Tedy Bruschi was the consummate Patriot during his 13 seasons in New England – so much so that Bill Belichick called him the “perfect player” at Bruschi’s retirement press conference in 2009. Bruschi was a seven-time team captain whose relentless work ethic, on-field intensity and full-tilt-full-time approach set the tone for his team while making him a fan favorite in New England. Bruschi was originally drafted by the Patriots in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft. He played in his first of five Super Bowls that season and is one of a select few Patriots to own three World Championship rings. In his 13 seasons, Bruschi helped propel the Patriots to 11 winning records, nine playoff appearances, including eight as division championships, five conference crowns and those three Super Bowl titles. In 211 career games (including regular-season and playoffs), the Patriots had a 144-67 (.682) record, including a 16-6 (.727) playoff mark. Bruschi earned his first Pro Bowl honor following the 2004 season after co-captaining a Patriots defense that allowed just 16.25 points per game, the third fewest in franchise history. Bruschi had a knack for making big plays in critical situations. He is the only player in NFL history to return four consecutive interceptions for touchdowns and his career total of four picks returned for scores ranks second in Patriots history. After Bruschi suffered a stroke in February 2005, he established “Tedy’s Team,” which is dedicated to raising funds and awareness to fight stroke along with the American Stroke Association.
Seasons with the Patriots (13): 1996 – 2008