Motivated by Belichick call, Faulk returns to Pats

191543.jpg

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.

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

FOXBORO  -- To think there’d be no further questions about the Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo dynamic when Brady’s four-game suspension ends would be moronic.

Bill Belichick won’t like them. He’s destined to give them the verbal Heisman. But there are aspects to the story which demand further interrogation.

So there’s those questions. And then there’s baiting for the sake of baiting, which is what happened Friday morning.

A reporter asked Belichick, “You said Tom will start when he’s eligible. Can you think of an occasion when you named a Week 5 starter in July?”

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Belichick said.

“What happens if Jimmy plays better?”

“Look, I told you what’s gonna happen,” Belichick answered.

Pressing on, the reporter began, “So there’s no, there’s, there’s . . . ”

At that point, with Belichick reacting like he’d come open a month-old-corpse and muttering, “Jesus Christ," the reporter cut himself off.

I’ve been trying to steer clear of the media ombudsman business. But this stuff makes it hard. The first question was obtuse in the extreme. I don’t even know how that gets formulated.
This is not a Brady-Bledsoe scenario.

You have the best quarterback of his generation who – 17 months ago – took down what was supposed to be one of the great defenses in NFL history in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. A guy who got smashed all over the field in Denver at the age of 38 and still almost pulled out a win last January.

When that guy’s cleared to play, you sprint him onto the field regardless of the circumstances.

“If Jimmy plays better . . . ”? Better than what? Better than 11 touchdowns, no picks, 116-for-160 and 1,547 yards, which is what Brady did in the first four games last season? Better than Brady played in Denver while getting his head caved in every other play?

I understand that sometimes you have to ask the dumb question to get something on the record, but this was not that. This seemed like someone who really thought he was onto something. Was going to paint Belichick into an uncomfortable corner and hang him with his own words.

Sorry, counselor.

Now, you and I can sit on the front stoop and wonder what happens if Garoppolo plays ridiculously well then Brady comes back and spends four weeks playing like he’s never been on a field before and is clearly an impediment to the team’s success.

Won’t happen. But we can talk about it.

Asking Belichick if he’s gonna go with the hot hand when two days prior he told you what he was going to do is asking for a JC response.

Belichick probably figured that stating Brady was the Week 5 starter before he was asked was the best way to defuse idle speculation. “We’ll see . . . ” or “We always do what’s best for the football team . . . ” would have ignited a thousand hours of conversation about the budding quarterback controversy in New England.

Belichick now knows that the speculation and scenario spinning is coming anyway. JC may hear his name muttered a few more times from the podium between now and October.