Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft ‘Heartbroken’ By Death Of David Patten

'He is an essential person and player in Patriots history'


September 3, 2021

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft expressed their condolences to the family of David Patten in a joint statement Friday.

Patten, a wide receiver on the Patriots’ first three Super Bowl championship teams, died Thursday at age 47.

“It breaks my heart to hear of David’s tragic passing at such a young age,” Belichick said. “I am grateful to have coached David. He is an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl champions. I especially appreciate David for his professional journey. 

“As much as anyone, David epitomized the unheralded, self-made player who defied enormous odds to not only earn a job in the NFL but to become a key player on multiple championship teams. I can speak for anyone who had the pleasure to be around David that his work ethic, positive energy and character were elite. My deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.”

Kraft’s statement mentioned the two touchdowns Patten scored during the 2001 playoffs — one in the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the other against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. Those were New England’s only offensive touchdowns in the two games.

Patten also recorded a team-high 107 receiving yards on eight catches in the Patriots’ famed “Snow Bowl” victory over the Oakland Raiders in the 2001 divisional round.

“I am heartbroken by the news of David’s passing,” Kraft said. “He was a devout Christian who followed his passion following his football career and founded his own ministry. David transitioned from an undersized and understated wide receiver to a powerful and passionate preacher.

“In New England, he will always be remembered as a three-time Super Bowl Champion. His touchdown reception in the AFC Championship game at Pittsburgh propelled the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXVI and I’ll never forget his remarkable catch in the back of the end zone in that game. It was our only offensive touchdown in the Super Bowl and secured our first championship in franchise history.

“Our sincerest sympathies are with his wife, Galiena, his family and all who are mourning David’s tragic and untimely death.”

Patten played four seasons for the Patriots and was part of the franchise’s 2001, 2003 and 2004 championship squads. He also spent time with the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints before retiring in 2010.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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