FOXBORO -- It's been a long time since Adam Vinatieri has called New England home. He left as a free agent in 2006, with three Super Bowl rings. In the last seven years he's picked up another, as well as a streak of grey hairs.
Though all that time has passed, the memories of Vinatieri's accomplishments as a Patriot are still fresh. On Friday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked a question about Vinatieri and the Hall of Fame.
"Hes certainly one of the greatest kickers Ive ever seen since Ive been in the league," Belichick said. "The longevity, the production, the performance in championships and big games. What more could he do? Go out there and play wide receiver and catch a bunch of passes? Is that what he needs to do? I dont know. What more could he do?"
Belichick was making the point about the lack of special teamers in the Hall of Fame, but he also made it clear that he felt Vinatieri was deserving.
After kicking three extra points and a field goal in the Colts' 59-24 loss to the Patriots on Sunday, Vinatieri said he hadn't seen Belichick's comments, but he was flattered to hear about them.
"That's a heck of an honor if he said that," Vinatieri said. "I don't think about that kind of stuff, I just keep trying to put more chapters into the book of my career and we'll see where it all lays later on. Belichick and I have had some good history a lot of years ago, so I have a huge respect for him and I appreciate him. If that's what he said, that's great."