BOSTON (CBS) — Kevin Faulk has not played for the New England Patriots since 2011, but his loyalty to his former team and his former teammates appears to run very deep.
Faulk sat down with CNN’s Susan Candiotti as part of the network’s special program “Downward Spiral: Inside the Case against Aaron Hernandez.” In the interview, Faulk expressed support for Hernandez, Faulk’s former teammate who is currently in prison facing three separate murder charges.
“I want to tell him that he has somebody that’s on his side that’s praying for him,” Faulk said of Hernandez.
Candiotti then pressed Faulk: “Prosecutors are saying that he orchestrated the execution of someone.”
Faulk replied: “You’re not going to make me believe that he’s a monster because you used those type of words.”
Hernandez and Faulk were teammates for just two years, though Faulk was limited by injury to just two weeks of game action in 2010, Hernandez’s rookie year. Faulk spent his entire 13-year career with the Patriots.
“You get questioned all the time, ‘Do you think your boy did it?'” Faulk said. “No, I don’t want him to have done it, no. So if you want me to say no, [then] no, I don’t think he did it. At the same time, anybody can be pushed to do something drastic like that, if they push you to that point.”
Comments from Hernandez’s former teammates have come few and far between following his arrest last year. Deion Branch, who spent parts of three seasons in New England with Hernandez, said last June that he was hoping that Hernandez had nothing to do with the Odin Lloyd murder.
“That’s my guy, man. That’s my guy,” Branch told the Albany Herald. “It really shocked me. He was a great kid. Overall, I hope the best that he isn’t involved with it and I hope he gets his name cleared, but most importantly I send my prayers and condolences out to the Lloyd family.”
Matt Light, a Hernandez teammate in 2010 and 2011, was initially quoted as saying he “never embraced, never believed in anything Aaron Hernandez stood for.” In an interview on Toucher & Rich, Light later denied making those comments, but in January on Felger & Massarotti, Light did comment on his former teammate.
“He was a different duck, and I knew he was a different duck from day one,” Light said of Hernandez. “I typically avoided that kind of a character. The thing that I always tell people is it sheds this negative light, and it overshadows what really is the heart and soul of all of our wins and our legacy, and that is we have really good quality individuals. Unfortunately there’s always one in the bunch.”
Quarterback Tom Brady, by far the team’s biggest star, spoke of Hernandez just once last year at the start of training camp.
“Certainly it’s a very tragic thing that happened; someone loses their life,” Brady said. “It’s a terrible thing that happened. … There’s a very human, compassionate element that we all have and when it’s someone you know has been on our team, it’s a very sad thing. I think that we as a team have tried to move forward with better awareness and understanding of these types of things. Hopefully nothing like this ever happens again.”
Head coach Bill Belichick likewise addressed the Hernandez arrest just once last summer.
“As the coach of the team, I’m primarily responsible for the people that we bring into the football operation,” Belichick said. “Overall, I’m proud of the hundreds of players that have come through this program, but I’m personally disappointed and hurt in a situation like this.”
Hernandez is currently incarcerated in Bristol County Jail. His trial for the Lloyd murder is expected to begin in October, while the trial for the July 2012 murders of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado is scheduled for May 2015.
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