FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots will honor former linebacker Tedy Bruschi in a special halftime ceremony during Monday night's game against the New York Jets. Bruschi will be the third player honored during a halftime ceremony from the three Super Bowl Championship teams. Ted Johnson and Troy Brown were the other career Patriots from that era that have been honored.
Bruschi, who retired in August of 2009, closed his career as one of the most productive Patriots' players in team history. As a team captain, Bruschi's relentless work ethic and on-field intensity helped set the tone for the entire team. Bruschi was originally drafted by the Patriots in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 13-year NFL career with the Patriots. Bruschi left the football field having played a major role in leading the Patriots to 11 winning seasons, including nine playoff seasons, eight division championships, five conference titles and three Super Bowl crowns. In Bruschi's 211 career games (including regular-season and playoffs), the Patriots had a 144-67 (.682) record, including a 16-6 (.727) playoff mark.
Bruschi earned his first Pro Bowl honors following the 2004 season after co-captaining a Patriots defense that allowed just 16.25 points per game, the third fewest in franchise history. Bruschi is the only player in NFL history to return four consecutive interceptions for touchdowns and his career total of four picks returned for scores ranks second in Patriots history. He is tied for fourth in NFL history among linebackers, and Bruschi is the only Patriots linebacker to return multiple interceptions for scores in a single season (2002 and 2003).
Beyond his impressive numbers, fans and his peers revered him for his accomplishments off the field and for his dedication to the New England area. After Bruschi suffered a stroke in February 2005, he dedicated himself to raising funds and awareness to fight stroke along with the American Stroke Association. He established "Tedy's Team," a vehicle to help battle stroke, the number one cause of disability in the United States. Members of Tedy's Team have run in the Boston Marathon and the Falmouth Road Race and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for stroke research. Bruschi returned to the lineup for the final nine game of the 2005 season following his stroke, and in his first game back he earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors following a 10-tackle performance vs. Buffalo (10/30/05).
Bruschi played in 189 regular-season games for the Patriots, more than any other linebacker in team history, third among all defensive players and sixth overall in team history. Bruschi played in 22 career playoff games, the highest total in Patriots history and tied for the second highest total of any active player (Adam Vinatieri, 23). For his career, Bruschi finished with 1,134 total tackles, 30.5 sacks, 12 interceptions, including four returned for touchdowns, 62 passes defensed, 18 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown and 55 special teams tackles.