Former Patriots cornerback Ty Law is set to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night, but one former divisional rival gave New England credit before Law even stepped foot on stage.
Kevin Mawae played 16 NFL seasons, making eight Pro Bowls and being named to three All-Pro teams. Eight of those seasons came whilst donning New York Jets green, which means Mawae faced the Patriots 16 times over that span. The offensive lineman spoke about his experiences facing New England during his Hall of Fame speech on Saturday, crediting Bill Belichick for making the Patriots the toughest matchup of his career.
“Though I played against many opponents who challenged me to be my very best, there?s one coach that I must recognize, coach Bill Belichick,” Mawae said. “I never felt more challenged mentally in a game than when I faced your teams. I came to love the puzzle of figuring out your defense and the chess match those games became. I didn?t win all of them, in fact, my team?s lost most of them. I think we were 4-13 against you. That sucks, that was awful. I still hate the Patriots, everyone hates the winners.
“But holding your defense to zero sacks or having big rushing games came with a great sense of accomplishment. Congratulations to you and all of your successes and thank you for making me a better player.”
Watch Mawae speak about New England here:
Mawae joins Law, Champ Bailey, Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed and Johnny Robinson to round out the six players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2019 class.