Is Tedy Bruschi Patriots Most Popular Player Ever?

There aren’t many things that make Bill Belichick cry. But when Tedy Bruschi recently announced his retirement, the robot-like coach was forced to choke back tears.

Ex New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi may be Patriots most popular player.

Said Belichick, “I’ve had the privilege of coaching a lot of great players and leaders in the National Football League, and I’ll just put Tedy up there with all of them and above all of them. There’s no player that I think epitomizes more of what I believe a player should be on the field, off the field, really, in every situation.”

For a coach who shows very little emotion, it says a lot about Bruschi as a player and a person.

Bruschi was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 1986 NFL draft and played his entire career with New England, a total of 13 seasons. He was part of nine playoff teams, eight division championships, five conference titles and three Super Bowl wins.


Bruschi’s toughness was personified after the 2005 Super Bowl. He was taken to the hospital after complaining about temporary numbness, blurred vision and headaches. He was diagnosed with a mild stroke and underwent several months of rehab. Incredibly, he was medically cleared on October 16, 2005, and played the following night against Buffalo. For his efforts, he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week and went on to receive the 2005 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.

His grit and determination is what endeared Bruschi to Boston sports fans and what makes him one of the all-time great Patriots along with the likes of Tom Brady, John Hannah and Andre Tippett. Bostonians love athletes who work hard and show a blue-collar mentality. Bruschi took great pride in spending his entire career with the Patriots. He once told the story how he visited Green Bay during free agency and could only think about how the Packers had defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl. He knew within minutes he wasn’t going to sign with the Packers.

Bruschi loved to play football and it showed. His passion, energy and intensity was infectious and made everyone around him better. When you look at Super Bowl champions, every team is made up of unselfish players who lead by example. Bruschi was the anchor of a defense along with Rodney Harrison and Richard Seymour that was one of the most dominating of its era.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft summed it up best at the press conference announcing Bruschi’s retirement…”Tedy embodies everything we want the Patriot brand to stand for: hard work, perseverance, overachievement, and selfless commitment to team first. He’s handled every stage of his career with great class.”

Shortly after announcing his retirement, Bruschi joined ESPN as a football analyst. He’s also involved with various charitable causes and is a popular sports motivational speaker.

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