It was 10 years ago when the Patriots were in the midst of capping off an incredible run to a third Super Bowl title in four years, a feat unmatched since. There were 22 players who were part of all three title-winning teams and 17 of them will be on hand for a celebration on Sunday as the Patriots take on the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. The remaining five are all either active players or coaches and will be unable to attend, including Tom Brady who will obviously be otherwise preoccupied.
In order to win three Super Bowls in four years it takes great players and the Patriots certainly had plenty of them. But we're trying to figure out who was the best, excluding Brady of course, among those who were part of all three teams.
Patriots Hall of Famers Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law and Troy Brown all were members of all three teams, as were Richard Seymour, Willie McGinest, Kevin Faulk, Ted Johnson and Matt Light. So, there are plenty of quality people to choose from and plenty of Pro Bowl and All-Pro accolades as well.
In honor of the 10th Anniversary of the 3x Super Bowl Championships, check out photos from the 22 players that were a members of all three teams.
With the celebration coming up on Sunday, we thought we'd take a quick look back with our Samsonite Make Your Case question asking: Which three-time champion (other than Brady) is best?
PFW's Andy Hart says ...
Former Patriots cornerback Ty Law (1995-2004) will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame during a public ceremony in the NRG Plaza on Friday, August 1 at 4:30pm. Check out the best photos from his career.
Ty Law was not only a great player throughout his entire career, but he also he seemed to rise to the occasion at the most important times in the postseason. His interception and touchdown return in Super Bowl XXXVI was epic. His three interceptions against Peyton Manning in the 2003 AFC title game were another example of coming up big when his team needed it most.
Law brought playmaking to the back end of the defense but also brought an attitude and swagger that played a role with that veteran, confident defense in the postseason. Law is worthy of consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was a massive part of the backbone of the Patriots run to three Super Bowl titles.
No. 24 trails only No. 12 among the most important contributors from the group of three-time New England Super Bowl champions.
PFW's Paul Perillo says ...
So many great players to choose from but I'm going to go with Seymour for his sheer dominance up front on a defense that was impossible to beat through the air or on the ground. Seymour played inside and out and was equally effective in either spot. He could stuff the run and get after the passer, and he was recognized for this with Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections in 2003 and 2004.
His immense size and athleticism set him apart from other 3-4 defensive ends and his play in the biggest games was also something that put him at the top of the list. In many ways the Patriots are still trying to replace Seymour, and back in the title-winning days no Patriot (other than Brady) performed at higher level than Big Sey.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.