Tuesday, February 27, 2007

As Troy Brown Ponders Retirement...

I ponder Patriot games without Troy Brown...

Troy Brown has been a Patriot for 14 years. He came into the league and joined the team with former Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe. For almost a decade I have watched this man suit up for the Patriots.

He has lasted through two distinct uniform changes, played with Andre Tippett, Bruce Armstrong, and Vincent Brown, and outlasted higher Pats picks from that year in Chris Slade and Vincent Brisby. A pick in a round of the draft that no longer even exists, Brown (if he retires) will retire with the following among his career highlights (courtesy of the Patriots Web site) -

  • Brown ranks first on the Patriots all-time receptions list with 557 career receptions and also places second on the franchise's receiving yardage list with 6,366 yards.

  • On Nov. 27, 2005, Brown grabbed his 500th career reception in a game at Kansas City. Brown became just the second player in Patriots history to achieve the feat (Stanley Morgan).

  • In 2004, Brown earned accolades for his play on defense, showing a level of versatility unmatched in recent NFL history. After injuries had taken a toll on the Patriots' secondary, he pitched in as the team's nickel back for the final nine games of the regular season and all three of the Patriots' postseason contests. The team's third all-time leading receiver finished second on the team with three interceptions in the 2004 regular season and matched his reception total with 17 tackles on defense.

  • Brown became the only player in Patriots history to record a reception and an interception in the same game when he pulled the feat against Buffalo (11/14/04).

  • Brown's 321 receptions from 2000-03 are the highest four-year total in Patriots history.

  • Tight end Ben Coates ranks second with a four-year total of 308 (1994-97).

  • Brown is the Patriots all-time leading punt returner, topping the team's all-time lists in returns (237) and yardage (2,524), and tying for the franchise record with three punt returns for touchdowns.

  • Brown's 97 catches in 2002 were the second highest total in franchise history, four behind his record 101 catches in 2001.

  • Brown became the first Patriot in club history to record three 80-catch seasons (97, 2002; 101, 2001; 83, 2000).

  • Brown amassed a franchise-record 16 catches vs. Kansas City (9/22/02), which ranked as the most receptions in one game in the NFL in 2002. It also tied the fourth highest single game total in NFL history shared by Keenan McCardell (10/20/96), Jerry Rice (10/20/94) and Sonny Randle (11/4/62).

  • Brown has amassed 13 career 100-yard receiving games during his 12-year career, and is tied for second in Patriots history behind Stanley Morgan (39).

  • Brown is the Patriots all-time leading return specialist with 4,386 combined return yards. He surpassed David Meggett's previous record of 3,999 yards in 2002.

  • Brown became the franchise's all-time leading punt returner in 2002, surpassing Irving Fryar's career total of 2,055 yards. He also ranks eighth among the Patriots all-time leading kick returners (1,862 yards).

  • Brown has played in 162 games during his 12-year Patriots career, the most of any active Patriot. He enters the 2005 season ranked eighth on the Patriots all-time games played list.

  • Brown established a franchise record with 101 receptions during the 2001 season (96 - Ben Coates, 1994).

  • Brown accumulated 1,199 receiving yards in 2001, the second highest total in franchise history (1,491-Stanley Morgan, 1986).

  • Brown is the Patriots all-time leading receiver in the postseason with 47 catches and 553 yards during his 15 postseason games.

  • Brown returned two punts for touchdowns in 2001 (85 yards vs. Cleveland, 12/9 and 68 yards at Carolina, 1/6) and was the only player to accomplish the feat in the NFL in 2001. He became just the third Patriot to have two punt returns for touchdowns in a single season (Irving Fryar and Mike Haynes).

  • Brown recorded a 55-yard punt return for a score against Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game (01/27/02). It was the first special teams return for a score in the playoffs in franchise history and was the first punt return for a score in AFC Championship game history.

  • Brown's 14.2-yard punt return average in 2001 was the second-highest in franchise history, behind Mack Herron's 14.8-yard average in 1974.

  • Brown caught 83 passes and accumulated 944 receiving yards during the 2000 season. His 83 receptions were the seventh-highest single-season total in franchise history.

  • In the 1996 season finale against the Giants (12/21/96) he made one of the most acrobatic receptions of the season when he snared a 13-yard pass from Drew Bledsoe on third-and-13, extending a drive which led to the game-winning touchdown in a 23-22 come from- behind victory.

  • Scored his first career touchdown on one of the most unusual plays of the 1995 season when he picked up a David Meggett fumble on a kick return vs. the New York Jets (12/10) and raced down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown.

Not bad for a guy that was drafted in the 8th round.

With the retirement of Brown, Tedy Bruschi will become the longest tenured Patriot with 11 seasons under his belt and the only other Patriot still left from the Bill Parcells Era.
It will, to say the least, be weird to see someone else out there wearing number 80.

If we don't see you on the field next year, good luck and thank you. It's been our pleasure.

No comments: