Matthew Slater seemingly couldn’t be any more impressed by Nick Folk.
Folk has been tremendous for the Patriots since latching on with New England midway through the 2019 season. The veteran kicker converted on 71 of his 79 field-goal attempts with the Patriots to date, and in the process established himself as one of the team’s most sure-handed players.
But putting the football through the uprights isn’t the only way Folk is making a positive impact in Foxboro. During an appearance Monday on “Mut at Night,” Slater explained what else his teammate brings to the table.
“I can honestly say that I’ve played with hundreds of guys at this point, I can’t think of anyone that’s been more of a professional than Nick in the way that he approaches his craft, the systematic approach that he has to get himself ready to kick, the things that he takes into consideration when he’s approaching kicking, the things he thinks about,” Slater said, as transcribed by WEEI. “And really, I think that can be said about his thought process in terms of the entire special teams game, the kicking game. I always joke with him and say, ‘You’re going to be a special teams coordinator one day.’ Because he’s thinking about so many different things, schematically, techniques, it’s really been impressive for me.
“I’d say the one thing that I’ve learned from Nick is how to be a better pro. Systematically how to be a pro, how to approach things. He’s having a … it goes without saying he’s having an out-of-this-world type of year for us. Our team’s not where we are today without Nick Folk and his contributions. I think, look, every player on this team can look at Nick and learn something and improve himself by just doing that.”
Folk helping Slater, the Patriots’ longest-tenured player, how to be a better professional is saying something. But the 14th-year pro serving as somewhat of a teacher to Bill Belichick, a special teams whiz, tells you all you need to know about Folk.