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.

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.