By Danny Cox
Often times, a player will retire from professional sports by calling a press conference and letting the world know that he is done. Others will get even more fanfare going by creating a huge news frenzy regarding their retirement and making sure that they won’t be forgotten.
Lastly, there are those that stay almost completely quiet throughout their entire career, rack up great statistics, and then fade off into the sunset without a single trumpet playing their goodbye. One of those men would be Kevin Faulk.
The former New England Patriots running back officially announced his retirement on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 in a ceremony at Gillette Stadium. In attendance were not thousands of people and the press, but his coaches and teammates.
Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick gave the ultimate praise to Faulk and put him in the same class as former Patriots receiver Troy Brown.
“(Faulk) is the gold standard of teamwork, commitment, performance and winning,” said Belichick. “The bigger the situation or the play, the more you could count on him,” Belichick continued.
Kevin Faulk played 13 seasons in the NFL, all with the Patriots, since being drafted in the second round out of LSU. The running back has been the epitome of hard work without the glitz, glamour, and having to talk himself up. He had teammates like Tom Brady to do that for him.
During a highlight video of Faulk’s career, Brady said that not a single player “was more clutch” than Faulk.
The minuscule back out of LSU had an excellent career with the Patriots and had some of the best stats that anyone could ever think of. For all of the work he put in, his stats aren’t over the top, but they were all gotten when they mattered for New England.
- Games Played: 161
- Rushing Attempts: 864
- Rushing Yards: 3,607
- Touchdowns: 16
That is just as a running back. No one that has watched the Patriots over the last decade and a half can deny Faulk’s accomplishments in both as a receiver and in the return game as well.
Still, he would never speak up and put himself out there. Kevin Faulk did his job because that was what he knew needed to be done. As retirement has come though, it was finally time for him to open his mouth and talk about things. Yet, when he did? He still went on to thank so many people that have helped him throughout his career and the impact of his mother, who passed away in 2004.
Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft had nothing but good things to say about Faulk as well.
“Kevin Faulk helped define the way an entire generation of Patriots fans have come to view and appreciate our brand of football,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. “He worked so hard to get better every year. He was always one of the first to arrive in the building and among the last to leave.
“His work ethic, enthusiasm for the game and clutch performances, especially on third down, earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and fans alike. He retires a Patriot whose career will always be celebrated for helping deliver three Super Bowl championships to New England.”
As Faulk did finish speaking and thanking those that helped him do what he did throughout the course of his career, it was a simple gesture that did the talking for him.
To end his speech, Faulk held up his hand and showed off his three Super Bowl championship rings.
Thank you for a fantastic career as a true player and gentleman, Kevin Faulk. As a boy that grew up in the heart of LSU Tigers’ country…thank you even more.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.