Troy Brown: Patriots for Life

5182Gc8256L__SX332_BO1,204,203,200_This is a very workman like autobiography of Troy Brown.  And that’s fitting, because Troy Brown was a very workman like special teamer and wide receiver for the New England Patriots for 15 years.

The first few chapters Brown tells about his life growing up very poor in South Carolina and sports being his primary outlet.  Being on the smaller side he had to work hard and out compete other players to get ahead.  His entire football career is defined by that.

While he had a standout career in high school, he was not highly recruited and ended up playing junior college.  Luckily he caught the eye of a coach at Marshall University in West Virginia and received one of the last scholarships.  He went on to have an excellent career at Marshall winning the 1992 Division I-AA National Championship as a receiver and kick returner.

Troy Brown was drafted in the 8th round by the New England Patriots in the 1993 draft and almost didn’t even make the team.  He was cut at the end of Preseason and thought his football dream was dead, but luckily for the Patriots, Coach Bill Parcells re-signed him in October.  He spent most of his first seven seasons with the Patriots primarily as a kick returner, and slowly got a chance to start getting in the rotation as receiver as time went on.

His first year as a full-time starter was 2000, when new coach Bill Belichick saw something in his work ethic and talent that he really liked.  It was the right call.  In 2001 Brown had 101 catches and a pivotal role in the offensive as New England went on to upset the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.  He also had an excellent year in 2002.

But, when 2003 rolled around, Troy Brown was relegated to a lesser role in the receiving care.  He had been in the league 10 years at the point and the younger, fresher legs of the likes of Deion Branch were highlighted.  But Brown played a pivotal when New England went on to win back to back Super Bowls in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX.

Troy admits being upset that he didn’t start in the Super bowl XXXVIII against the Panthers but he played a pivotal role catching eight passes for 76 yards.  The following year Brown spent larges amounts of time playing defensive back because of injuries and again played a pivotal role in Super Bowl XXXIX covering the Philadelphia Eagles slot receivers.  He is a jack of all trades.

Troy Brown certainly didn’t want to retire after his 15 years in the league but father time caught up with him.  He had a great career as a lifelong New England Patriot.

This book will give the reader lots of insights into the character of Troy Brown and what it was like to be on championship winning teams and what it means to persevere.  In this case the underdog comes out on top.

Here is my tribute to Troy Brown written the day I heard he was announcing his retirement:  https://cdbaker.wordpress.com/2008/09/21/tribute-to-troy-brown/

Patriot Pride: My Life in the New England Dynasty

 

Troy Brown gets inducted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame today.

Doug Baker's NFL Blog

It was reported in The Boston Globe that Troy Brown will announce his retirement this week. Troy Brown is one of my all time favorite New England Patriots. He is a 15 year veteran who spent his entire career with the team, a rarity in this day of free agency. His tenure with the Patriots is second only to Steve Grogan who spent 16 years with the team. This off season, when it was clear the Patriots were not going to bring him back he flirted with signing with other teams, including the New York Jets. It would have been very sad to see Troy Brown spend his last year in the league in obscurity, in a strange land, among enemies. I’m glad he will retire having not worn the uniform of another team. And I can’t really say enough about what a joy it has been seeing Troy Brown…

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Troy Brown Elected to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame

I am really excited that Troy Brown was inducted today in the New England Patriots Hall of Fame.  Troy is one of my all time favorite players (along with a cast of many more admittedly).  But to me he embodies the underdog not only working hard and having a great career — he was a team player, a versatile player, a great player.  Congratulations Troy Brown!

http://www.patriots.com/news/article-1/Fans-vote-Troy-Brown-as-2012-Patriots-Hall-of-Fame-inductee/6f9bcd69-4706-4a43-82f5-1c5ccc6e5813

Troy Brown Announces Retirement

Yesterday Troy Brown announced his retirement from the NFL.  He is a 15 year veteran and spent his entire career with the Patriots.  He really is the epitome of what it means to be a team player.  See my tribute to Troy Brown here: https://cdbaker.wordpress.com/2008/09/21/tribute-to-troy-brown/

The press conference where Brown announced his retirement was honest and bittersweet.  He frequently said he still wants to play and that his greatest wish was that he could suit up and go practice with the guys but that you “can’t outrun father time.”  It was sad because he said it so many times that it is clear he is itching to play and this was a very tough decison.  He said the reason it is so hard for guy in his situation to walk away from the game is that it is a game he has loved and played for 30 years and he still feels he could go out there and play today. 

 

As Patriots fans know, Brown flirted with signing with the New York Jets, and joked he didn’t do it because he wouldn’t look good in green and white.  I wrote a blog on this last summer but deleted it.  Needless to say I didn’t want to see Brown in enemy territory wearing enemy colors!!  In this era of free agency, it is rare for a player to remain with a team his entire career and is something that also makes Brown special to Patriots fans.

 

The most poignant part of the press conference was when his son, who you can hear crying in the background at one point, asks the last question — if you still want to play why are you retiring?  Brown simply said it will be okay and is when he said you can’t outrun father time.

 

Patriots fans will miss Troy Brown.  He has made some of the greatest contributions in team history on the biggest stages.  He won’t be forgotten.

 

Following is a link to his announcement.

http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80b1c1ef

Tribute to Troy Brown

It was reported in The Boston Globe that Troy Brown will announce his retirement this week. Troy Brown is one of my all time favorite New England Patriots. He is a 15 year veteran who spent his entire career with the team, a rarity in this day of free agency. His tenure with the Patriots is second only to Steve Grogan who spent 16 years with the team. This off season, when it was clear the Patriots were not going to bring him back he flirted with signing with other teams, including the New York Jets. It would have been very sad to see Troy Brown spend his last year in the league in obscurity, in a strange land, among enemies. I’m glad he will retire having not worn the uniform of another team. And I can’t really say enough about what a joy it has been seeing Troy Brown play football for my team. He has been integral in some of the most pivotal plays in New England history. And he has three Super Bowl rings to show for it.

Troy Brown is the epitome of what it means to be a Patriot in 2000’s. He was an obscure eighth round draft choice in 1993 and spent his first several years primarily returning punts and kickoffs. He became a full time starter in 2000 and the following season set the team single season reception record with 101 catches for 1,199 yards and five touchdowns (a record broken by Wes Welker in 2007 with 112 catches).  He was a vital part of the Patriot’s dominance in the 2000’s and the three Super Bowl victories. What is most amazing about Troy Brown, however, is his versatility. Not only did he return kicks and catch passes, in 2004 after numerous injuries to Patriots defensive backs, Brown was pressed into action as a nickel back against the St. Louis Rams. In that same game the wily veteran also snuck down the line of scrimmage on a fake field goal attempt, hauling in a touchdown pass from Adam Vinatieri. The following week against Buffalo Brown became the first Patriot in team history to record both a reception and an interception in the same game. The reason Brown was able to be successful as nickel back was his football smarts. Versatility and intelligence on the field are attributes demonstrated by most players on the New England squad under Bill Belichick, and Troy Brown has no peer in either of these categories. Brown even played nickel back during New England’s defeat of the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. And if that is not enough proof of Brown’s versatility, he spent a few seasons as the emergency quarterback.

As mentioned earlier, Troy Brown has been pivotal in some key plays in New England history. Here are some of the ones I remember most vividly.

  • In the 2002 playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Brown ran a punt return back for a touchdown and later recovered a block field goal, which he lateraled to another player who ran it back for a touchdown. The later play blew the game open for the Patriots.
  • In Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams, Brown caught a key pass and got out bounds on the final drive of the game resulting in a winning field goal and New England’s first Super Bowl victory.
  • In Super Bowl XXXIII against the Carolina Panthers, on the final and winning drive of the game, Brown caught a long pass for a first down but was called for offensive pass interference. Charlie Weiss, the offensive coordinator, dialed up the exact same play again, which Brown hauled in to keep the drive moving. Not surprisingly, the reliable Brown was the go to receiver in that final drive and lead to Super Bowl win number two for the Patriots.
  • In 2004 when Brown was pressed into action as a defensive back I went giddy with excitement when he got his first interception against the Buffalo Bills.

And the play I remember the most, which simply illustrates what a smart football player Brown is, was in the 2006 season’s playoff game against the San Diego Chargers. The 2006 Chargers were clearly the best team in the NFL that year and the Patriots were playing them on the road in San Diego in what was one of the hardest fought, intense playoff games I have ever seen. The Chargers mostly outplayed the Patriots that day but New England hung in the game. In the fourth quarter Tom Brady threw an interception to Marlin McCree which would have ended the game. But Troy Brown in the scrum to make the tackle stripped the ball causing a fumble which the Patriot’s recovered. This allowed the Patriots to ultimately escape the game with a victory. Brown robbed San Diego of their best chance to make the Super Bowl in decades. Unfortunately the Patriots lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts the following week. I don’t think that the Colts would have beaten the Chargers at home had New England lost that game. So in my opinion, Brown paved the way for Peyton Manning to win his first Super Bowl ring, and cost the Chargers one. What a player!

Key Facts about Troy Brown’s Career

  • Spending 15 years with the team, he is the second longest tenured Patriot behind Steve Grogan.
  • He held the team’s single season record for receptions with 101 in 2003 before it was broken by Wes Welker with 112 catches in 2007.
  • He is the all time leading pass receiver in Patriots history with 557 catches for 6,366 yards and 31 touchdowns.
  • His is the all time leading punt returner in Patriots history with 2,554 yards and three touchdowns.
  • He played both receiver and defensive back in the Patriots win over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
  • He is the only Patriot in team history to record both a pass reception and an interception in game.
  • In 2004 Brown had three interceptions playing defensive back.
  • Troy Brown ranks third among wide receivers on Doug Baker’s New England Patriot’s All Time Greats list behind Gino Cappelletti (1960-1970) and Stanley Morgan (1977-1989).

Final Thoughts

Troy Brown is proof that you don’t have to be a Jerry Rice to be a most valuable player and key contributor on a championship football team. Brown was a great a player, but for different reasons than his physical skills. He maximized his potential through hard work and smarts. He was the kind of player all football fans should admire.

 Note: Statistics and fact checking were done on the New England Patriots and NFL Web sites.