Faulk Struggles With Retirement Decision

Kevin Faulk isn't sure if he's all done in New England, but it appears that decision may have been made for him. In an NESN interview Faulk touches on a variety of topics from injuries to watching his team play in Super Bowl XLVI without him.

New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk is at a crossroads in his career, and he knows it.  Is it time for him to retire? Or should he try once more to get back on the field for another season?

The 35 year old, LSU product sat down at NESN studios with Boston Globe's Shalise Manza-Young in a revealing interview that touched on that decision as well as others which have impacted Faulk over the past year.

After telling followers on Twitter that he couldn't decide on whether to retire or not, Faulk explained that he wants to take time to make the right decision.

"Right now, with the emotions that are going on and with the game that just happened (Super Bowl XLVI), I know everybody speculated that I was going to make a decision, but it's kind of early," Faulk said. "I don't want to tie my emotions in to exactly what went on Sunday that passed (losing to the Giants) or what went on during the course of the season.  I think I have to sit down to talk with my family, my agent, my teammates and former teammates – people that I really trust in – for me to base my decision off of."  

Faulk cited his love of the game as one of the factors keeping him from deciding enough is enough.

Selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft (46th overall), 2010 and '11 were Faulk's two least-productive seasons in New England.  He appeared in just nine games recording 25 rushes for 102 yards and 13 receptions for 96 yards over that time.  Even in an injury marred 2005 season where he only played 8 games, Faulk managed to fare better (51 rushes for 145 yards, 29 catches for 290 yards).

The writing may be on the wall for Faulk despite his struggles to come to grips with how his career may be ending.  He noted that Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears virtually said as much, without telling him directly.

"You can see it when you've been with someone so long, you can see it in his face," Faulk said of his conversation with Fears. "He said ‘you know what, you're not the Kevin we're used to,' and I understood that, I knew that."

Faulk didn't dress for the Super Bowl, and it's something he could always regret.  But in typical Patriot-like fashion, the 13-year veteran told Manza-Young that he could deal with not being dressed for the Super Bowl if it turns out to be his final game.  

What inspiration did Faulk draw upon to move past the perceived slight for not dressing in his potential final game?  Troy Brown, ‘Mr. Patriot.'

"A lot of people called me the day after the Super Bowl, some just to congratulate me on my career, and what I've done and speculation on if I was going to retire," Faulk said of his experience. "Lots of people (supporters) were very upset I didn't dress for the Super Bowl.

"One thing I told one person, when they asked me the question (about not being dressed), there was a picture I was looking at, and it was Troy Brown. I told them if he can do it, I can do it."

Throughout the interview, Faulk revealed the feelings he struggled with, from being injured (He tore his ACL  vs the Jets Sept. 19, 2010), to trying to overcome the emotions of watching his teammates against the Giants while he cheered them on from the sideline.

Watch the video:

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