The trouble, as he said, is how many guys it takes to replace a Faulk. The answer almost always seems to fall at "a few".
For example, maybe Julian Edelman and Danny Woodhead are capable with the ball, but can either be trusted in pass pro? Probably not, which means you have to have an additional player handling that stuff.
No matter how you slice it, the Patriots just got a little easier to defend on third down.
"He’s an instrumental part of their offense," said the scout. "He was a guy we worried about quite a bit because of the mismatch he creates – such a good receiver, such good ball skills, and a good route-runner as well. We felt like the guy could line up at running back and if you motion him out of the backfield, he’s just as dangerous. Just a very versatile player. You can’t find guys like that, who can help you in both phases of the game. ...
"Third-down situations, he was always a guy that just found a way to move the chains, he had a knack for that. But in addition, he had a real good knowledge of pass protection. Just his ability in pass protection and the passing game, it’s just something you can’t replace. And I guess they weren’t intending to replace him, that’s why they kept him around."