Faulk: Mind game
If Patriots running back Kevin Faulk was in position to pass along advice to first-round draft choice Laurence Maroney, he said the words would be simple.
“I think there is just one thing you can tell a rookie who comes in here, no matter if he’s a first-round pick, second-round pick, third-round pick,” Faulk said during a break from the team’s offseason program at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday.
“Obviously you have the ability to play in the NFL, or you wouldn’t be here. But the next thing is the mind. It’s 90 percent mental and 10 percent ability, if you ask me. Your ability got you this far. Now it’s your mind that gets you the rest of the way.”
Faulk, who enters his eighth NFL season in 2006 and turns 30 in June, said he first discovered the overriding importance of the mental aspect of football in his “third or fourth season.”
“Being with Coach Belichick, you have no choice,” he said. “That’s one thing he thrives on a whole lot, being mentally sharp.”
Faulk has been spending weekdays in New England, participating in the offseason program, before flying home to Louisiana on weekends to be with his family. He’ll also be inducted into the Louisiana State Athletic Hall of Fame in July.
“It means a whole lot, being part of the great running backs they’ve had there and the great players [in all sports] they’ve had coming out of LSU, like Shaq and Pistol Pete [Maravich].”
Faulk, who was wearing a LSU cap with Maravich’s No. 23 on it, answered a few other questions before sitting down for a television interview.
What are your thoughts on some of the draft picks and adding them to the offense?
“It’s always good to add options to the offense. I think Tom [Brady] loves it; it helps him spread the ball around.”
Do you feel as if the addition of Maroney might change your role?
“I can’t control that. The only thing I can control is what Kevin Faulk does. Like I said, it’s a great addition to the team. Another weapon for the team. But as far as how I feel about, I can’t control it. I can just control what Kevin does.”
As a longer tenured guy, is that the same approach you take with free-agent departures?
“I saw an interview with [Tedy] Bruschi and I think he said it perfectly. You almost spend a decade playing with guys, and when they’re gone, it hurts for a little while. Then reality sets in, you know you’re in a business, and it can happen to anyone. When you see them put that name on a different color jersey, you’re playing against each other now. You’re not teammates anymore. I think they’re going to take it the same way.”
Do you have any specific goals this year?
“Most of all, staying healthy. I think previous years I’ve had some injuries that you couldn’t believe a football player would get. But I got them.”
Do you have any thoughts on LSU’s Joseph Addai, and him being picked by the Colts?
“I think he’s in a good situation. I have to give him a call and congratulate him. He’s a great guy, with the ability to a No. 1 guy in Indianapolis. The offense fits his style perfectly.”