By: Ian Logue
Patriots runningback Kevin Faulk called Bill Belichick ‘One of a kind’ during his press conference Tuesday.
It’s tough to argue that anyone fought harder to become the type of player that Kevin Faulk was.
Some analysts talked about Faulk being “undersized” before he was drafted, but the size of his body ultimately didn’t come anywhere near the size of the heart that was inside of it.
As he finally walks away from the game, most fans will likely remember that attribute above any other.
Faulk officially announced his retirement on Tuesday and he’ll take with him three Super Bowl Rings, five AFC Championships, and nine division titles. He had been the last remaining player who was around before Bill Belichick arrived, having been drafted by former Patriots coach Pete Carroll, who oddly enough is who they face this Sunday out in Seattle. Carroll originally selected Faulk in the 2nd round during the 1999 NFL draft, and that one contribution left the Patriots with a player that gave everything he had over his 13 years with this football team and was a big part of their overall success both on the field and in the locker room during his tenure as a Patriot.
As he walks away there’s no doubt Faulk left quite a mark on the Patriots organization. (FILE:USPresswire)
During his press conference the veteran smiled, cried, and he thanked everyone from Robert Kraft and his wife Myra – who passed away last season – to Bill Belichick, through quite a few other coaches all the way to the dining staff.
He even mentioned Carroll and former Patriots GM Bobby Grier, who were obviously the ones who brought him here to begin with.
After all these years, one of the first people he mentioned was Troy Brown, who he recognized as being a “constant Patriot” and someone he really admired. As he stood in front of reporters Faulk noted that playing as long as he did it was easy to get lost in it, but now that it’s over he appreciates what he was able to accomplish.
“You don’t realize how long you’ve done something because you’re doing it, you’re in the flow of it, and it just feels great,” said Faulk. “But when the time comes for it to go you tend to understand and realize, ‘wow, what you’ve accomplished as a football player, as a person.”
Listening to Faulk, you could tell how big his locker room presence was, with the veteran admitting that he talked to everybody and that he was just a guy who “hung out with the offensive linemen”.
“When you’re playing so long and you meet so many different people, you keep a relationship with a lot of different people and I guess I was that guy on the team that kept a relationship with probably everyone that came and left,” said Faulk. “I had everyone’s phone number.”
The veteran obviously mentioned Belichick, who he admitted he had a hard time initially getting a feel for.
“One of a kind coach,” Faulk said of Belichick. “I’ve had a lot of football coaches in my career, and every last one of them I’ve tried to get the best feel for them so I can understand and put forth the best effort I have as an athlete to get the job for my coaches. For a very, very long time it was hard for me to figure out who you were and how you worked. But I knew one thing: if I did my job, I was all right.”
Belichick said one of Faulk’s biggest attributes was the fact he always worked hard in whatever role he was given, and was someone they could always count on.
“Whatever the role … the more critical the play, the better he played and the more you could count on him,” said Belichick.
One of the most powerful moments of the press conference came when Faulk mentioned his mother Mary Vivian Faulk, who passed away in 2004 with leukemia. He finally lost his composure and got choked up as he talked about her, crediting her as being the reason he “gives 120%” in everything he does. With tears streaming down his face Faulk talked about how much he appreciated everything she taught him and how much it affected the type of person he is now.
It makes you admire just the type of person he really is. He leaves the game with a legacy that fans will never forget, and it’s hard to believe that we won’t see #33 back in a Patriots uniform. Faulk knew it would happen eventually.
“You know that opportunity is coming and you know it’s going to happen one day,” said Faulk. “It’s just one of those things.”
It’s been an amazing 13 years, and hopefully we’ll see him on the sideline someday passing his knowledge on to future players who will accomplish even a fraction of what he’s done. If that happens, it’s easy to admit that they’ll have done – as Faulk said of himself – “all right”.