Troy Brown worked hard and took advantage of every opportunity he was given in the National Football League during his 15-year career.
The result was three Super Bowl championships and franchise records in receiving and special teams and defining the “Patriot Way.”
On Saturday, Brown was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in front of thousands of fans outside the Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon.
The ceremony began with an introduction of Patriots alumni from the 1960s, 70s and 80s before several of Brown’s former teammates from the 90s and three Super Bowl teams were introduced.
Among Brown’s former teammates in attendance were quarterback Scott Zolak, offensive linemen Matt Light, Max Lane and Joe Andruzzi, running back Kevin Faulk, receiver Deion Branch, linebacker Tedy Bruschi and defensive back Ty Law – each receiving thunderous applause from the crowd. Patriots Hall of Famers Drew Bledsoe, Steve Grogan, Gino Cappelletti and Andre Tippet were also on hand for the ceremony. Gil Santos, the Voice of the Patriots for 36 years, was the master of ceremonies.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft and son, Jonathan, each spoke fondly of Brown’s career and his former teammates joined him for a panel discussion that was highly entertaining and insightful. View the videos in the photo gallery above to watch the panel discussion that included Bledsoe, Law, Brown, Bruschi and Faulk with Zolak leading the discussion.
Here’s some highlights on what the Patriots alumni had to say about the newest member to the franchise’s Hall of Fame.
Cappelletti said: “Let me congratulate Troy Brown on being inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Troy has been a favorite of mine because of the way he plays the game. All the good things that seemed to be happening during the course of the game involved Troy Brown.”
Grogan said: “I watched Troy Brown for so many years. I think one of things when I watch a game is I look at players and I say ‘can this guy have played in our era or eras before that?’ Troy Brown is one of those guys. He’s a football player. He could have played in the 60s, 70s 80s, 90s, whatever. He played football the way the game was supposed to be played. He worked hard, did the best he could and did anything the team asked him to do. Not everybody is like that on a football team.”
Tippet said: “[Brown is] a throwback. He’s as old school as it gets and a football player. He’s in my opinion, the last of the old school football players in the National Football League, not to take anything away from the players that are playing today. … He’s the example of what every pro football player should be like.”
Robert Kraft said: “For 15 years, Troy Brown didn’t adhere to the Patriot Way, he defined it. He is one of the greatest Patriots in our team’s history. …
Great players go to the Pro Bowl and great teams go to the Super Bowl. Troy Brown was the ultimate team player. It is no coincidence that he was part of five Super Bowl teams in his career.”
Brown credited his mother for teaching him the Patriot Way early on in life, saying it was those values instilled in him at a young age that made him a successful football player.
“When I talk about my mother, she is one of the most unselfish people you will ever come across in your life,” Brown said. “We didn’t have a lot, we couldn’t do a lot of things but if she had a dollar more than the next person and that person needed it, trust me, she would give it up. That’s the kind of heart she has.”
Brown took to heart his mother’s unselfish attitude and brought into the locker room and onto the football field – building a reputation for being unselfish player – putting the team ahead of himself.
“[My mother] did a great job of teaching me the Patriot Way,” Brown said. “It started very early on in my life.”
Brown thanked Patriots head coach Bill Belichick for the opportunity to be a starting wide receiver for the New England Patriots in 2000, which helped him break out in the NFL after eight years primarily as a special teams player.
Brown recalled an early lesson he learned from Belichick when the coach took over in New England.
“There’s one thing Bill Belichick said to me a long time ago and that’s there is an ‘I’ in team because your team is made up of individuals doing their jobs,” Brown said. “If you let the rest of your teammates down by not doing your job, the whole thing is going to be a complete failure.”
For three of the 15 Patriots teams Brown played for, all 53 players bought into Belichick’s theory.
“We were able to go to five Super Bowls and win three of them,” Brown said. “We had to be on the same page. We helped each other out over the years. It was a positive locker room and we handled our business and did things the Patriot Way. We valued that ‘I’ – getting ourselves ready to go out and do something to benefit the entire team.”
Brown noted the thousands of fans lined around Patriot Place to watch his induction ceremony and thanked the fans for coming out and continuing to show him support.
“This crowd … in 1991, we never would have gotten this,” Brown said. “In 1992, we never would have gotten this. In 1993 we would have had half of these people here. Robert Kraft and his family have done a tremendous job of building the second most profitable franchise in the NFL. We’ve got some more work to do. We got to be number one. We won’t take anything less.
“Thank you the fans. You’ve always have supported me and treated me like I was a native New Englander. I’m also honored I was able to spend my entire career here wearing the Red, White and Blue.”
View the videos and photos above for more from Brown’s Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony.