Former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, and current Colts kicker, said in an interview in Indianapolis on Friday that he's not surprised to see his old team back in the Super Bowl. Vinatieri, who has been fortunate enough to play in six Super Bowls, winning four of them and has an 82.9 percent field goal percentage, believes New England's sustained success comes from three people: owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
"I am not amazed. They have a great organization. Obviously, [owner Robert Kraft] does everything in his power to make sure the team has got what they need to win," said Vinatieri, who kicked for the Patriots from 1996 to 2005 before signing with the Colts and spending the last six years in Indianapolis. "Bill Belichick is, in my opinion, probably the greatest football coach. I can't say that I've ever played for Chuck Noll, [Vince] Lombardi, but in this modern day era, I don't think there's anyone better out there. When you've got guys like Tom Brady playing quarterback, you're going to win a lot of games with that setup. So no, it doesn't surprise me at all that they've continued to be successful year-in and year-out."
When asked about his most difficult and most memorable kicks, Vinatieri said both of them came from when he was with the Patriots and both kicks came in the same year.
"I think the most memorable one for me is probably the one in the snow, and I'd say that was probably the most difficult one. You can't stack up a more difficult situation," Vinatieri said, citing his kick in the Snow Bowl that propelled the Patriots to a 16-13 overtime win over the Raiders in the divisional round of the playoffs in 2002. "You're down by three, there's a minute left, give me three or four inches of snow on the ground, 45 yarder. If you make it, you're just tied and you still have to win the game. If you miss it, you pack up your lockers and go home. I think that's the one of proudest of just because of sheer difficulty.
"Most memorable: Probably you're first Super Bowl, because there's no experience like winning your first championship, and having it come down -- as a kid, you dream about playing in Super Bowls. As a kicker, you dream about making that Super Bowl winning kick. You couldn't have wrote the script any better than that. To have all that happen in the same year, those are my 1A and 1B. The Snow Bowl one is probably the one I'm most proud of because of difficulty. The other one is probably the most memorable because it's your first Super Bowl."
Because of Vinatieri's success on the field and the fact that he almost has enough Super Bowl rings to fill one hand, many believe that he could find himself in the Hall of Fame one day. If that's the case, he would join Patriots Nick Buoniconti, John Hannah, Mike Haynes and Andre Tippett in the hall of Canton. However, that's not something that he's thinking about at this point in his career.
"The people who are in the Hall of Fame are the ones who have won championships, won Super Bowls," said Vinatieri. "I've been very fortunate to have been a part of six Super Bowls. I've won four of them with my team. That may help me out a little bit.
"I try not to think about that, because I still feel like i've got a couple chapters in my book to write, and hopefully I have an exclamation point or two yet to put on my career," he added. "If I'm fortunate to have that happen, it would be unbelievable. If it never happens, I still feel honored to be in those conversations. For me, having those rings, having the career I've been blessed with, I couldn't ask for anything more."