Motivated by Belichick call, Faulk returns to Pats

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Motivated by Belichick call, Faulk returns to Pats

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; It was either New England or nothing for Kevin Faulk in2011.

That was evident.

But what wasnt known, was if the veteran running back wouldbe able to fully recover from a torn ACL he suffered early last season.

The fact that the injury hit him in the first month of theseason, was perhaps a blessing in disguise for his return in 2011. Still, withthe lockout in place this offseason, Faulk had a tough time rehabbing the kneewithout his team doctors.

For me, that was probably one of the toughest things, tohave knee surgery and then having a lockout, and not being able to see mytrainers, converse with my trainers and try to do rehab on my own, said Faulkon Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

Credit to the LSU training staff. They helped me out awhole lot. But at the same time, not being able to converse with my trainersover here, it was very hard.

Faulk is back now. The unrestricted free agent re-signedwith the Patriots on Saturday. It was a return that he knew hed try to makethe day he got hurt in 2010.

And he received even more motivation just before the lockoutbegan, when Patriots coach Bill Belichick called Faulk and told him he wanted himback on the team in 2011.

That was motivation enough for me to go out and rehab mybutt off, and get ready for the season, whenever it may be and whenever it maycome, said Faulk on Saturday. So that was pretty much enough for me.

Faulk said he started feeling really good about two monthsago. But because of the new league rules, he cant practice with the team untilAug. 4.

I know physically I feel good, said Faulk. But mentally,I want to get out there, and see how it is getting hit. Pushing and pullingagainst linebackers and stuff. And thats just the process of it.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
 
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
 
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
 
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.
 

Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

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Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report for Sunday's game with the Rams is out. While they'll be without one big name, but their others are still very much in play. 

Rob Gronkowski, who was scheduled to undergo back surgery on Friday, has been ruled out. Jordan Richards, who is dealing with a knee issue and has not practiced this week, will also be held out of action on Sunday. 

Tom Brady (knee), Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder) and Chris Hogan (back) -- all of whom practiced on Friday -- have been listed as questionable for the Rams game at Gillette Stadium. Special teamer Nate Ebner (concussion) returned to practice on Friday and is also questionable, as is Trey Flowers (shin) and Elandon Roberts, who popped up on the injury report with a jaw issue Friday. 

Special teams captain Matthew Slater missed Friday's session after participating on both Wednesday and Thursday. He's been ruled as questionable. Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton is also questionable after missing his second straight day of practice with an illness.

If Slater and Ebner are at all limited this weekend, coupled with the loss of Richards, the Patriots kicking game would be significantly impacted. Hogan took reps as the team's personal protector on the punt team earlier this week and may fill that role should Ebner miss time.