The New England Patriots announced their four honorary captains for the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and they are some of the most beloved figures in franchise history.
Ty Law, Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown and Drew Bledsoe will take the field before kickoff, offering a strong representation of the franchise’s recent success.
Law is tied with Raymond Clayborn for the franchise record for most career interceptions with 36. Always one to step in clutch situations, Law was an integral part of the Patriots’ three Super Bowl wins.
The five time Pro Bowler picked off Kurt Warner in Super Bowl XXXVI for a 47-yard touchdown and personally victimized Peyton Manning during the 2003 AFC Championship Game, where he picked off the Colts’ quarterback three times.
Bruschi was the heart and soul for the Patriots during their title runs. A fierce and passionate player, Bruschi was a force during his time as linebacker. Another strong postseason performer, Bruschi was clutch in the big moments, perfectly exemplified during the 2004 divisional round against the Colts, ripping the ball out of Dominic Rhodes’ hands during the 20-3 victory.
The passion for football was shown after Bruschi suffered a stroke in 2005. The defensive captain made a miraculous return to the field and won Comeback Player of the Year.
Before Wes Welker was Tom Brady’s favorite target, no one was more dependable than Troy Brown. Brown is currently the Patriots’ all-time leader in receptions and held most of the records for receiving before Welker arrived.
Brown was the definition of reliable and was one of the most versatile players that Bill Belichick has ever had. Not only was Brown a great receiver, but he was also played defense and returned punts, including a vital punt return against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2001 AFC Championship Game, which proved to be the winning margin.
Brady has been on the warpath as he destroys nearly every passing record in Patriots history. Those records were once held by Drew Bledsoe, who for nearly a decade was the face of the franchise.
Taken No. 1 in the 1993 NFL Draft, Bledsoe was a vital ingredient in making the Patriots a respectable franchise. Bledsoe led the Pats to a Super Bowl berth against the Green Bay Packers, but lost to the tough tandem of Brett Favre and Reggie White.
All four players were on the teams that lost to the Packers and defeated the Rams and now they will reunite on Sunday.
With such a strong representation of the franchise on display, the question could be asked: Which honorary captain, in his prime, could the Patriots use most this weekend against the Ravens?