Patriots running back Kevin Faulk addresses the media during his conference call on Thursday, March 11, 2010.
Q:Can you talk about getting this deal underway and knowing that you have another year left?
KF:It was just the fact of getting it done and getting it out of the way, so you can get started [on] football.
Q:Was retirement ever part of the equation for you?
KF:Never. No. Not at all. Sorry for that laughing, it just sounds funny - retirement, right now. No.
Q:How certain were you that something was going to get done? Was it taking a little longer than you hoped?
KF:It was a very mind blowing process. Like I always said, when the season was over, that I was always 85 percent sure that I was going to wind up back in New England and 15 percent sure it [would be] anywhere else. If that 15 percent came into play, how much of that was going to be a factor. And at some point in time during the week it kind of was a factor because as a father, a husband I had to think about all of that besides just football - what I was going to do, what the family was going to have to do if I was going to have to leave or not. That was a weighing factor on me, as well.
Q:Vince Wilfork talked yesterday about leadership and what it means to be a leader. What do you think about the state of leadership on this team, in the locker room, as it stands right now?
KF:Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and I'm not saying Vince is wrong and I'm not saying Vince is right. But, we lost a lot of leaders on our team the year before last, and some real good ones. Some of the best leaders I've been a part of, but at the same time, it was [time] for a lot of guys on our team to step into that role of being leaders. A lot of veteran guys that we have on our team now, their leadership roles weren't what they were accustomed to. Like, I'm a leader by example. I'm not a very vocal leader, unless it's just really something that has to be said. Vince is one of those vocal guys that leads by example. You have two different types of leaders right there, but that doesn't mean one is a better leader.
Q:Do you think more vocal leaders are necessary?
KF:You always need a vocal leader. You always need that. That's just the way it goes. You need a vocal and you need one that leads by example. You need a few of them as a matter of fact.
Q:You talked about being compared to Troy Brown in an interview yesterday and how he started and ended his career in New England. Can you expand on the influence he may have had on your career?
KF:Major. Major impact. Probably over 50 percent. Like you said, just to watch him. I learned everything that he did during the time he was there with me. I've [watched] him be a professional in every aspect of his game, not just football.
Q:Do you have an appreciation for the fact that while you are going about your business, there are guys who are watching you the way you watched Troy and do you present yourself accordingly?
KF:Of course. You have to. You have to think about that. You have to have that on your mind because that's how you got to where you are, by watching someone, by observing someone. So that's always in the back of your mind - 'Man, somebody may be watching me', so it's a give and take situation.
Q:Have you thought about how rare it is that a guy starts and finishes his career with the same team and can you talk about how special that would be?
KF:That is very rare. That is one of the reasons I am still here. One of the things I told myself when I first got here as a rookie, it was just something that... You see a lot of guys that come and go in the NFL, that have been with one team for a certain amount of years and they've left and go make their mark somewhere else, but you never hear about a guy in this day and age that's been staying for a long time. And it's just a fact of being in that organization and trying to uphold and be consistent.
Q:You spent four seasons dressing in Foxboro Stadium and you are the only guy that links back to that period, how important is the legacy you are building with this franchise?
KF:Very important. Like I said, what was going through my mind the past three or four days in free agency, that was one of them. There were so many [thoughts] going through my mind and that was one of them. That was an important part of everything because yeah, I might have left and gone and it might have been successful, but it wouldn't have been the same if I would have been here doing it. It's funny that this situation happened, like what happened to Nomar Garciaparra, it's great he came back and retired a Red Sox, but at the same time if he would have done it here it would have even been better.
KF:Thanks, I appreciate it. This organization - Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick - I just thank them for giving me the opportunity to play an extra year.
Q:You know us [media], you hear us on the radio and see us on television and everybody's got an opinion and the majority of it since last November has been negative. Are we more alarmist than necessary or is this team at a point where it needs to pick a road and go down it?
KF:Every year's team is rebuilding. I understand the question being asked, but at the same time it kind of seems like we as fans, I'm a player, but I'm a fan as well, it's like we we're getting a little spoiled with everything that was going on throughout the course of the years and yes, our goal every year is to make it to the playoff and make it to the Super Bowl, but realistically how often does that happen to an organization each and every year? That doesn't happen often. And when we did it, it was just something that happened and we got on a roll. It's just something that goes on in professional sports, not just football.