The Patriots have announced that former linebacker Tedy Bruschi, now retired, has been elected to the team's Hall of Fame by the fans. He will be inducted on August 11 and will be honored at the team's home opener against the Jets at Gillette Stadium.
Bruschi spent all 13 years of his NFL career with New England (1996-2008), and put up stellar numbers. He appeared in almost 200 career games for the Patriots, recording 680 total tackles while picking off 12 passes and forcing 17 fumbles over this time in New England.
While those numbers are outstanding, what Bruschi was best known for his passion for the game and his team, and for his courage and strength he showed off the field.
As you all know, Bruschi suffered a stroke in early 2005, and was expected to never play another NFL game ever again. But Bruschi was having none of that, as he fought his way back to the field and played in the team's final 9 regular season games. Unbelievable. Just pure determination and grit, and it's one of the many reasons why he's one of my All-Time favorite Patriots.
Bruschi should not only go down as one of the best linebackers in team history, but also one of their best leaders. He also played a big part during the Patriots "Dynasty Years" when they won three Super Bowls over a span of four years. He arguably is the face of the Patriots defense during that time, playing with a group that consisted of Ty Law, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinest and Rodney Harrison. Just to name a few.
As team owner Robert Kraft told the media early Tuesday: "Tedy was the heart and soul of the defense and proved to be a champion, both on and off the field."
Couldn't have been said much better than that. Congratulations, Tedy. Well deserved indeed.