While the New England Patriots haven't been to a Super Bowl since 2007, they haven't actually won since 2005. While he didn't have to kick any game winning field goals in 2005 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Adam Vinatieri's leg is what brought the Patriots the Lombardi trophy in both 2001 and 2004.
Vinatieri (one of my all time favorite Patriots) joined WEEI's "The Big Show" on Friday to talk about the Patriots returning to the Super Bowl in a place he now calls home in Indianapolis. For Vinatieri, he knows he wouldn't have had the opportunity to win the big game without the man under center getting him in position.
"You've got really good kickers across the league that never got opportunities that I've had the pleasure of being a part of," Vinatieri said. "I'm very, very fortunate not only to have a nice long career that I've had up to this point, but to be able to be placed in key positions and been fortunate to make most of those kicks that helped our team win championships and Super Bowls.
"Having guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, you're going to have opportunities to win games," he added. "You just never know when your time is going to be called and hopefully you're ready and prepared for it when it happens."
Through his 16 seasons in the NFL, Vinatieri has established himself as one of the greatest clutch kickers the sport has ever seen, and has even been involved in Hall of Fame discussions. For this, Vinatieri is eternally grateful.
"To have people even mention me in those kinds of talks is a tremendous honor for me, but I try not to think about it at all," Vinatieri said. "If I'm fortunate enough to have that happen, that would be unbelievable, and if it never happens, I still feel honored to be in those conversations. For me, having those rings, to have the career that I've been blessed with, I couldn't wish for anything more." (via WEEI)