Today, one of the greatest players in Patriots history, Troy Brown, announced his retirement. Troy Brown spent 15 seasons in the NFL, all with the Patriots. Drafted in the eighth round out of Marshall in 1993, Brown was primarily a kick and punt returner, until recording 41 receptions and 6 touchdowns in 1997. In 2001, Brown recorded a then team-record 101 catches. Brown, a longtime fan-favorite, has a team record 557 receptions.
Troy Brown, as Robert Kraft put it, was the “consumate professional.” He went about his business, did what was told, and was one of the most coachable and versatile players in NFL history.Troy was released from the Pariots during final cuts his rookie season, but resigned less than two months later. He excelled on the team as a punt/kick returner, and cracked the starting lineup as a receiver in 2000, recording 83 catches opposite Terry Glenn. In 2001, he helped lead the Patriots to their first Super Bowl, and in ’02 had a team-record 16 receptions in one game.
Some of his biggest moments included the magnificent punt return for a touchdown in the 2001 AFC championship game against the Steelers, his 16 catch game in 2002, his first career interception against Buffalo in 2004, his game winning touchdown in overtime against the Dolphins in 2004, his game-saving strip after a Tom Brady interception in the 2006 divisional playoff game against the Chargers, and the standing ovation he received for his final appearance with the Patriots; returning a punt.
While I could try to summarize what Troy was able to do statistically, I can’t even begin to capture what he meant to the Patriots’ franchise.
Troy Brown still could play, he still wants to play, so it’s a shame to see him go. But everyone has a time to leave the game, and Troy decided that he would rather have quit playing than play for a team other than the Patriots.
“The only colors you’ll ever see on my back are the red, white, and blue of the New England Patriots. I’m proud to say it… I would love to keep playing, but there comes a time when the man upstairs… you can’t outrun God. He tells you you’re 37. Your knee is supposed to be hurting. Your hip is hurting. There are a bunch of 22-year-olds taking your place. There are very few places for guys 37, 38 years old. You just have to move on and craft other goals.”