New England Patriots: Kevin Faulk's Legecy and Future

Haris DanaoContributor IJanuary 21, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10:  Kevin Faulk #33 of the New England Patriots runs the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Ravens won 33-14. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Kevin Faulk has been described as the perfect third-down back, the ageless wonder and Tom Brady's go-to guy. 

Kevin Faulk will go down as the greatest player to never be nationally recognized. 

Faulk was drafted in 1999 in the second round, being the only player in 2010 Patriots team to predate Bill Belichick.  Faulk has played his entire career with the team and has never rushed for more then 100 yards in a game in his career. 

He holds the Patriots record for all-time all-purpose yards with 12,140 yards. In the 2000s, he was one of six players to rush and receive for over 3,000 yards. For the Patriots, he is fifth in rushing (3,505), eighth in receiving yards (3605) and first in kickoff return yards (4098).

But he is not remember by these numbers.  What he will be remembered for is his blue-collar hard working attitude. 

Never has a third-down running back ever been more important to a team then Kevin Faulk.  Faulk was known never to talk, celebrate or act out.  He has been behind many running backs in his career (Corey Dillion, Antwoin Smith and Laurence Maroney) and never has a public complaint been issued. 

Kevin Faulk was a hard worker, he fights for every yard and will do whatever is asked.  He did everything—rush, receive, return, block and special teams—because he knew the team came first, not him.  It almost seems that he could never be stopped.

But as we all know, he is still a human. 

When he went down, New England went into chaos.  Everyone screamed "who will be Mr. Everything, the third-down master?"  The answer was a youngster known as Danny Woodhead.  His playing style (cutting, diving, catching and juking) was similar to Kevin Faulk and he soon became Kevin Faulk's replacement.

Many will wonder what will be of Faulk?

One word: retirement.

Faulk has been great to the Pats for 10 years, but his time is over.  As much as I hate to say it, the team has been built around a new group, and Kevin Faulk has no needed role in it.

His retirement will not only end his career, but he was the last of the blue collar players such as Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown and Rodney Harrison. 

Yet Faulk will go down in Patriots history as one of the best patriots to ever play