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Bruschi named to Pro Bowl squad

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - New England Patriots inside linebacker Tedy Bruschi has been selected to participate in his first career Pro Bowl. Bruschi is the fifth Patriots player on the AFC's 2005 Pro Bowl roster, joining teammates Tom Brady, Larry Izzo, Richard Seymour and Adam Vinatieri. The five Patriots will represent the AFC in the NFL's annual all-star game in Hawaii on Feb. 13. Bruschi was added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster in place of linebacker Ray Lewis, who will miss the game due to injury.

Bruschi, 31, is a defensive co-captain and one of the leaders of New England's defense. The nine-year veteran has helped to set the tone for the entire team with his relentless work ethic and on-field intensity. In 2004, Bruschi was selected as the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week three times (Week 4, Week 17 and the Divisional Playoffs). The second team* Associated Press* All-Pro selection recorded eight or more tackles in 11 games, including both of the Patriots' playoff victories. In the 2004 regular season, he ranked second on the team with 128 tackles (84 solo) and tied for second on the team with three interceptions, while recording 3.5 sacks. He also continued to create big turnovers, as two of the Patriots' four defensive touchdowns were triggered by fumbles forced by Bruschi. His strong play continued into the postseason, as one of his best performances came in the Patriots' 20-3 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the divisional playoffs on Jan. 16, 2005. In that game, Bruschi forced a fumble and recovered two fumbles while making eight tackles as the Patriots held the NFL's most prolific offense to just three points.

The 6-foot-1-inch, 247-pounder has been a defensive captain since 2002 and has made a total of 403 tackles since 2001, leading the team over that four-year span. Between 2002 and 2003, Bruschi became the first player in NFL history to return four consecutive interceptions for touchdowns. He has started 88 of 136 career games and has made a total of 768 tackles (505 solo), 24.0 sacks, 11 interceptions, 49 passes defensed, 17 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

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