NDIANAPOLIS – As Marshall Faulk addressed a crowd full of Colts players, coaches and fans at the Westin on Wednesday, he couldn’t help but think back.
His mind drifted to the five seasons he spent in Indianapolis (1994-1998), where Faulk helped begin the foundation for one of the NFL’s winningest franchises.
“Always good to be back in Indy,” Faulk, a recent inductee to the Colts Ring of Honor, said. “Every time I come here it’s always a reminiscence of playing here.
“The fans here, they don’t forget you. They remember you. They appreciate you for the time that you spent here.”
On Wednesday, Faulk also looked forward to a span of excellence that is prime for another chapter in 2014.
Faulk was the keynote speaker at the Colts kickoff luncheon with sponsors and season ticket members welcoming players and coaches to their tables at the Westin.
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson introduced Faulk on Wednesday before the current NFL Network analyst held Q & A sessions with Chuck Pagano and player representatives on each side of the ball.
Andrew Luck was a recipient of several Faulk inquiries.
One centered around the outside expectations for the 2014 Colts and how that might differ from “surprise” 11-win seasons the last two years.
“The Colts are a winning franchise. Winning is in the DNA,” Luck said. “It’s something that I picked up very early from Reggie (Wayne), from Vinny (Adam Vinatieri), from Robert Mathis. You win for so long it just becomes habit. You have to keep on winning.”
One Colts player that Faulk certainly has some history with is 19-year veteran Adam Vinatieri.
Faulk told the story of Vinatieri’s winning field goal in Super Bowl XXXVI that kept the then Rams running back from a second ring.
A curious topic Faulk asked Vinatieri was what drives a guy who is playing at an age where most NFL players have hung up the cleats for around 10 years.
“We talk about milestones and records and for me, when you play a long time, you start to get a lot of numbers, but at the end of the day, the only number that matters is how many wins we get, how many wins in the playoffs and holding that trophy, hopefully one or two, or how many times we get to,” Vinatieri said.
“This next (ring) is going to be the sweetest one.”
Faulk has had the joy of holding that Lombardi Trophy.
With hundreds in attendance on Wednesday, the Hall of Famer had a message for his former team.
“It’s there for you---the opportunity to accomplish the ultimate dream, to have that feeling as a team. There’s no better feeling to the guys that are in this room, to the coaches that are in this room than that day, when you win.
“That 11-5 record last year was great but there’s a bigger goal in mind…and that’s starting the season in Denver and ending the season in Arizona.”
By | Kevin Bowen