|Position:||Wide Receiver / Punt returner / Cornerback|
|Date of birth:||July 2, 1971|
|Place of birth:||Barnwell, South Carolina|
|NFL draft:||1993 / Round: 8 / Pick: 198|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Troy Fitzgerald Brown (born July 2, 1971) is a former NFL wide receiver, cornerback and punt returner in the National Football League. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. He played college football at Marshall. On May 11, 2010, Brown was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Brown played his entire 15-year career with the Patriots. He earned three Super Bowl rings with the team; he played on five of the eight Patriots teams to reach the Super Bowl, and he retired as the franchise leader in career receptions.
In college, Brown was a standout wide receiver, punt returner, and kickoff returner for Marshall University, leading the Division I-AA in both kickoff and punt return average in 1991, a year in which he and quarterback Todd Donnan tied a record by combining for a 99-yard pass play against Virginia Military Institute. The following year, Marshall claimed its first national championship with Brown as its primary wide receiver and returner. In the championship game, Brown sealed the win by intercepting a Hail Mary Youngstown State pass in the final seconds of the game.
His career kickoff return average (29.69 yards per return) still stands as an NCAA record, as do his four kickoff returns for touchdowns. He scored a touchdown every eight times he touched the football.
In 2006, Brown was given the Distinguished Alumni award by his alma mater.
Brown's college major was Computer Science, which is extremely rare for NFL players.
Brown was drafted by the Patriots out of Marshall in the 8th round of the 1993 NFL Draft (198th overall). He was waived as a final cut in the 1993 preseason but was re-signed on October 19, 1993. It wasn't until the 1995 season that he started seeing time as a wide receiver, recording 14 catches for 159 yards. The next season in 1996, when the New England Patriots reached the Super Bowl, he recorded 21 catches for 222 yards. In 1997 he recorded 41 catches for 607 yards and 6 touchdowns despite being behind both Terry Glenn and Shawn Jefferson on the depth chart at receiver as well as competing with Ben Coates and Vincent Brisby for catches. In 1998, he resumed his duties as a punt returner.
His first year as a starter was 2000 with 83 catches for 944 yards and 4 touchdowns. In 2001 he, alongside Tom Brady, led the Patriots to their first ever Super Bowl championship, recording 101 catches during the season for 1,199 yards and 5 touchdowns, setting the franchise record for receptions and earning his first trip to a Pro Bowl. He also returned 29 punts for 413 yards and 2 touchdowns, giving him a league leading 14.2 yards per return average. During the AFC Championship Game at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs that season, Brown returned a crucial punt for a touchdown which provided the winning margin, adding to the two he returned for touchdowns during the regular season. He also scooped up a blocked field goal attempt in that game, and made a lateral pass to teammate Antwan Harris, which completed a second special teams touchdown. In 2002, he recorded 97 receptions for 890 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2003, he had 40 catches for 472 yards, helping his team back to Super Bowl XXXVIII.
In 2004, he had only 17 receptions, but contributed in what was originally an emergency role on defense, ranking second on the team in interceptions with three. He was topped in this category only by Eugene Wilson. Further demonstrating his versatility, during the 2006 preseason he lined up as an emergency quarterback; when questioned as to why Brown had appeared there, the head coach of the Patriots, Bill Belichick, joked that he had lined Brown up there "to develop his legend".
Brown was released by the Patriots on March 1, 2005 for salary cap reasons, but he signed a new contract with them on May 23, 2005. He signed despite a better financial deal from the New Orleans Saints. In the 2005 season, he recorded 39 receptions for 466 yards.
On July 17, 2007, Brown reached an agreement with the New England Patriots for a 15th season, making him the second longest-playing Patriot behind Steve Grogan. On July 28, he was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, but was activated on November 27.
In addition to playing offense and defense with success, Brown is the Patriots' all-time leading punt returner with 252 returns for 2,625 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is second all-time in Patriots history in receptions (557) and second all-time in receiving yards (6,366).
2006 AFC Divisional Playoffs
A memorable moment for Brown came in a 2006 AFC Divisional Playoff game, when the Patriots met the favored San Diego Chargers. With 5 minutes left in the game, the Patriots were down 21-13 and facing 4th and 5. Tom Brady, known for his playoff poise, uncharacteristically threw his third interception to the Chargers' Marlon McCree. Brown, making what teammate Tedy Bruschi described as a "quick mental switch" from offensive to defensive player, instinctively ripped the ball out of McCree's grasp. The fumble was subsequently recovered by the Patriots Reche Caldwell, giving them a new set of downs. New England went on to tie the score with a touchdown and a two-point conversion, and then won the game on a 31-yard field goal. Brown also caught 5 passes for 39 yards in the game.
Brown is a fan favorite amongst many Patriots fans due to his style of play and years of dedication to his team. His punt return in the 2001 AFC Championship along with numerous big plays throughout his Patriots career culminated in his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame at Patriots Place. Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft have both stated Brown has been one of the best players in Patriots history and were saddened to see him leave the team when he retired.
On March 13, 2008, The Boston Globe reported that the Patriots would not offer him a contract for the 2008 season. On September 25, 2008, Brown officially retired from professional football during a press conference alongside Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. He finished his playing career as the all-time leader for the New England Patriots in receptions with 557.
He works with various charities through the Bartrum Brown Football Camp and Troy Brown Fantasy Football Camp.
Notes and references
- "Troy Brown elected to College Hall". The Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- "2005 Southern Conference Media Guide" (PDF). Marshall University Athletics. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
- Riley, Matt (2002-03-08). "From Herd hero to Super Bowl champ". The Parthenon. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
- Distinguished Alumni Marshall University. Accessed 10 July 2007.
- Reiss, Mike (2006-09-01). "Brown receives chance at QB in Patriots' loss". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-12-10.
- Gasper, Christopher L. (2008-03-18). "Route taken by receiver interesting". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- Tomase, John (2007-07-11). "Troy Will be Back for 15th Season". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2007-07-12.[dead link]
- "Pats activate WR Brown, LB Colvin placed on IR". Associated Press. ESPN.com. 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- Edes, Gordon (January 15, 2007). "Brown adds to Patriots legend". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-01-15.
- Rodak, Mike (2012-06-04). "Troy Brown elected to Pats Hall of Fame". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- Ulman, Howard (2008-09-25). "Record-setting Patriots WR Troy Brown retires". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-10-12.[dead link]
- New England Patriots bio
|New England Patriots Most Receptions (Career)
November 5, 2006-September 16, 2012