FOXBORO (CBS) – An emotional Kevin Faulk officially retired from the game he loves on Tuesday, after spending his entire 13-year career with the New England Patriots.
Following the ceremony, Faulk joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh and Zolak to reflect on some of his best memories throughout his career.
It’s hard to step away from the game he loves, but Faulk has cherished every moment of it.
“When that time comes for it to be up, you never feel like you cherished enough of those days because you feel like it went by so fast,” Faulk said of his retirement. “It’s been great. The old saying goes — that never gets old — is ‘time flies when you’re having fun’… it’s one of those things I’m happy to be a part of and I thank God every night and every day I wake up.”
A winner of three Super Bowls and five AFC Championships, Faulk was quick to say the Patriots’ 2001 title over the St. Louis Rams was his favorite.
“The first one because it was in New Orleans, my home state. It was right around the corner from relatives,” said Faulk. “To win that in my third year in the NFL, that was awesome.”
Gallery: Kevin Faulk Through The Years
Faulk also recalled his favorite message from the Patriots, something that Bill Belichick has hanging up in the stadium.
“One of my favorite signs in the player facilities in the stadium is the one that coach Belichick has; the definition of mental toughness. It’s ‘doing what’s right for the team when your situation is not right for you.’ That’s one of those signs whenever something is going bad in your day, I think about that.”
That saying mine as well have a picture of Kevin Faulk attached to it, who gave it his all and sacrificed everything for the betterment of the New England Patriots.
During his retirement speech, Faulk mentioned going to Belichick for the first time after he was named head coach prior to the 2000 season. He was nervous to approach his new coach, but worked up the courage to ask him what he needed to do for the best of the team.
“It was fairly easy,” Faulk recalled of what Belichick said to him. “’The more you can do as a football player can help you with being here. You know you have to work on picking up the blitz, and just be accountable who you are as a person. Be a great person in the locker room.’”
Patriots On Faulk: “Second To None”
For all the good that Faulk has been a part of — from the third downs he’s gotten the extra yard to move the chains to the clutch short passes he’s turned into long gains — there is one big controversial play; 4th-and-2 in Indianapolis during the 2009 season. At their own 28 yards line with 2:08 to play, the Patriots faced a 4th-and-2. Bill Belichick decided to go for it, as a first down would all but seal the victory for New England.
Faulk received a short pass from Tom Brady, but came up short of the first down line. The Colts went on to win the game 35-34.
While the call on the field was as controversial as the one Belichick made from the sidelines, Faulk was surprised the Patriots went for it.
“At the time, going to the sideline, I always go talk to (running backs coach) Ivan (Fears) to see if there’s anything he’s seen. He’s the guy that will see something very small that will help you. He told me the play call, and I was like ‘wow, we’re really going to run that,’” recalled Faulk. “I was probably going to be the dummy, what we call the donkey where Tom isn’t even going to look. But when I lined up and saw the coverage, the coverage said something different; that the ball could be coming to my side. It was one of those things, ‘well you need to get open because you never know if the ball is going to come to you.’ From there it’s just doing your job.”
As for what he’s going to do now, Faulk said he is always available to the Patriots if any of their players need advice – about anything.
“It’s just the fact of them knowing I’m willing to help; I’m just a phone call away,” he said, noting he’ll be at the stadium a few days of the week as well. “That help is there. I’ll always be around here.”