Patriots

Faulk will (or should) be the next to say goodbye

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Faulk will (or should) be the next to say goodbye

Two weeks ago in Ft. Myers, Tim Wakefield said goodbye to the Red Sox after 17 years in Boston. On Thursday, Jason Varitek, who's been with the Sox since 1997, will walk away from the game in what will certainly be another emotional ceremony.

Neither Wakefield nor Tek were ready to retire, but time and circumstances forced their hand. In the end, they made the right decision (or finally just accepted reality) and will now move on with the next phase of their lives.

I bring this up because today at Children's Hospital in Boston, Mary Paoletti caught up with Kevin Faulk, who was visiting with some young patients during this, his 13th NFL offseason.

When the topic of Faulk future came up, he gave a familiar answer:

"Ill tell you this much: My decision is not going to be based on solely me, he said. So, thats one thing I have to weigh in. But at the same time, Ive played a lot of football. If it doesnt happen to work out for me later, hey, it doesnt. Im blessed, Im happy, I thank God for everything, but at the same time, I know what I love to do and if it happens, it happens.

Kevin, it's not going to happen.

With Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen likely ready for expanded roles, Danny Woodhead under contract for another two years and BenJarvus Green-Ellis hopefully back in town on a respectable multi-year deal, there's no role for Faulk on next year's team. There was barely a role on this year's team.

The time has come to walk away, and while we can understand why he didn't make an impromptu retirement announcement at the Children's Hospital, it's fair to guess that Faulk will eventually come to the same conclusion and face the same reality as Wake and Tek, and hold a retirement press conference of his own this summer at Gillette.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars

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BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars

0:41 - Tom Curran and Albert Breer discuss some of the big takeaways from the Patriots win over the Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

4:49 - Jalen Ramsey told the fans in Jacksonville that the Jaguars would be going to the Super Bowl. Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith talk about if they have a problem with what Ramsey said and if the Patriots would be using his quote as bulletin board material.

9:25 - Curran, Breer, and Giles discuss Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels likely not returning with the Patriots as Patricia seems to be headed towards the Lions while McDaniels goes to the Colts.

14:06 - Michael Hurley joins BST to preview the Jaguars/Patriots matchup and discuss the Patriots schedule and road to the Super Bowl. 

No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

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No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

BOSTON – Less than 48 hours after one of his legendarily hard slap shots put a Montreal Canadiens forward in the hospital after striking him in the head, Zdeno Chara didn’t hesitate when given the chance to wind up and blast away on Monday afternoon.

It was the 40-year-old Chara that rocketed a slapper past Kari Lehtonen at the end of the second period, and in doing so energized the Bruins while getting them on the scoreboard. The Chara goal helped earn the Black and Gold a point in overtime before eventually falling to the Dallas Stars by a 3-2 score at TD Garden on Monday afternoon.

The Bruins captain had been texting with the felled Montreal winger on Monday, and was fully aware that Phillip Danault was out of the hospital and doing well aside from understandable concussion symptoms after a puck to the head. Perhaps that eased Chara’s mind just a little when it came time to lean into another wind-up slapper on Monday, but it was also certainly aided by the lack of brave bodies willing to front one of his heavy, hard point blasts.

“I obviously spoke to Phillip a number of times. I talked to him right after the game and wanted to make sure he was okay, and he texted me back that he’s doing fine. He’s been released [from the hospital] and that’s very positive, good news,” said Chara. “It’s obviously very unfortunate that it’s something that happens quite often, but it’s something you never want to see with somebody getting hit and hurt. I’m very happy he’s going to recover fully and hopefully he’s back on the ice and playing hockey [soon] like we all do.”

Was there any hesitation to Chara winding up and stepping into a 100-mph slap shot so quickly after the ugly incident in Montreal?

“It’s something that doesn’t happen very often where you have that clean [shooting] path to the net where you can settle the puck, take a look and take a full slapper,” said Chara. “Usually teams play so well structurally that there’s already somebody fronting it, and you’ve got to get it through him with bodies in front. It does happen, but it’s nice that you have that time to put everything on it.”

That’s exactly what the 6-foot-9 defenseman did in sparking the Bruins to come back from a 2-0 deficit and push for the overtime point while extending their point streak to a season-best 13 games and counting.

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