Ty Law

Tajuan E. "Ty" Law (born February 10, 1974) is a former American football cornerback who played fifteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Michigan. He was drafted by the New England Patriots 23rd overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. Law is a two-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a Pro Bowl MVP, and has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots. His 53 career interceptions rank 24th all-time in NFL history; he is widely regarded as one of the best defensive backs of all time. Law was added to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame as its 20th member and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019.

Ty Law
refer to caption
Law with the Broncos in 2009
No. 24, 22, 26
Position:Cornerback
Personal information
Born:February 10, 1974 (age 45)
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:Aliquippa
(Aliquippa, Pennsylvania)
College:Michigan
NFL Draft:1995 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles:838
Pass deflections:169
Interceptions:53
Touchdowns:7
Sacks:5.0
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Law attended Aliquippa High School in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania where he played football, basketball and ran track. He played in football as a cornerback, safety, wide receiver, and running back. He was named MVP of the school's basketball team.[1]

College career

Law had a three-year stint at the University of Michigan where he lettered three years in a row (1992–94), earned first-team All-American honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation as a junior and was a two-time unanimous All-Big Ten Conference selection. He was on the cover of the October 3, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated, though it was an ignominious honor: he is the defender over whom Colorado Buffaloes receiver Michael Westbrook is leaping on the famous Miracle at Michigan play. Following his junior year, he left Michigan to enter the 1995 NFL Draft due to financial hardship after his grandfather declared bankruptcy.[2]

He finished his college career with 154 tackles [120 solo, 34 assist], 6 interceptions, and 17 passes defended.[3]

Professional career

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots selected Law in the first round (23rd overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft. Law was the second cornerback drafted in 1995 after Fort Valley State’s Tyrone Poole.

1995

On July 20, 1995, the New England Patriots signed Law to a five-year, $5.50 million contract.[4] Throughout training camp, Law competed to be a starting cornerback against Maurice Hurst. Head coach Bill Parcells names Law the third cornerback on the Patriots’ depth chart, behind Ricky Reynolds and Maurice Hurst.

He made his professional regular season debut in the New England Patriots’ season-opener against the Cleveland Browns, ironically against Bill Belichick. On October 1, 1995, Law earned his first career start and made four combined tackles during a 30-17 loss at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4. He missed two games (Weeks 8-9) due to an injury. Law became a starting cornerback in Week 12 after the Patriots released Maurice Hurst.[5][6] On November 26, 1995, Law made six combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception against the Buffalo Bills off of Jim Kelly.[7] In Week 15, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles, broke up a pass deflection, and intercepted a pass attempt by Jets’ quarterback Boomer Esiason during a 31-28 win against the New York Jets.[8] He made an interception in three consecutive games since taking over the starting role. In Week 17, he collected a season-high eight solo tackles and made his first career sack during a 10-7 loss at the Indianapolis Colts. Law sacked Colts’ quarterback Jim Harbaugh for a six-yard loss during the first quarter.[9] He finished his rookie season in 1995 with 47 combined tackles (40 solo), nine pass deflections, three interceptions, and one sack in 14 games and seven starts.[10]

1996

Former Cleveland Browns head coach Bill Belichick became the assistant head coach for the New England Patriots in 1996. Law and Rickey Reynolds retained their roles as starting cornerbacks.[11] On October 20, 1996, Law collected a season-high 12 combined tackles (ten solo) and deflected two passes during a 27-9 victory at the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8. Law was inactive for three games (Weeks 11-13) due to an injury.[12] On December 8, 1996, Law recorded one tackle, deflected a pass, and returned an interception for his first career touchdown as the Patriots defeated the New York Jets 34-10 in Week 15. Law intercepted a pass by Jets’ quarterback Glenn Foley, that was intended for wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, and returned it for a 38-yard touchdown during the third quarter.[13] In Week 16, Law made seven solo tackles, a season-high three pass deflections, and intercepted two pass attempts by Troy Aikman during a 12-6 loss at the Dallas Cowboys.[14] He finished the 1996 NFL season with 62 combined tackles (56 solo), nine pass deflections, three interceptions, and one touchdown in 13 games and 12 starts.[15]

The New England Patriots finished first in the AFC East with an 11–5 record and earned a first round bye. On January 5, 1997, Law started in his first career playoff game and made three combined tackles during a 28–3 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round. The following week, he recorded four tackle as the Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 20–6 during the AFC Championship Game. On January 26, 1997, Law started in Super Bowl XXXI and made three combined tackles during a 35–21 loss against the Green Bay Packers.

1997

On January 31, 1997, New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Parcells resigned five days after their loss in Super Bowl XXXI.[16] On February 3, 1997, the New England Patriots announced their decision to hire San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator Pete Carroll as their new head coach.[17]

Law returned as the No. 1 cornerback in 1997 and started alongside Jimmy Hitchcock. In Week 15, he collected a season-high nine solo tackles during a 26-20 victory at the Jacksonville Jaguars. He started in all 16 games in 1997 and made 77 combined tackles (69 solo), 11 pass deflections, three interceptions, and was credited with half a sack.[18]

1998

Patriots’ head coach Pete Carroll named Law and Chris Canty the starting cornerbacks to begin the regular season. On September 13, 1998, Law recorded two solo tackles, three pass deflections, intercepted two passes, and returned one for a touchdown during a 29-6 win against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2. Law intercepted a pass by Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning, that was intended for tight end Marcus Pollard, and returned it for 59-yard touchdown during the first quarter.[19] In Week 8, Law collected a season-high seven solo tackles, deflected two passes, and made one interception during a 12-9 overtime loss at the Miami Dolphins. On November 8, 1998, Law made four combined tackles, two pass deflections, and intercepted two passes by Chris Chandler as the Patriots lost 41-10 against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 10.[20] Law started in all 16 games in 1998 and recorded 70 combined tackles (60 solo), 32 pass deflections, nine interceptions, and one touchdown.[21] Law became the first member of the New England Patriots to lead the league in interceptions and was also voted to the 1999 Pro Bowl to mark the first of his career.

1999

On August 21, 1999, the New England Patriots signed Law to a six-year, $50 million contract extension that includes a signing bonus of $14 million.[22] On October 17, 1999, Law collected a season-high nine combined tackles, two pass deflections, and returned an interception by Dolphins’ quarterback Dan Marino for a 27-yard touchdown during the first quarter of the Patriots’ 31-30 loss against the Miami Dolphins in Week 6. Law missed two games (Weeks 15-16) due to a broken hand. On December 29, 1999, the New England Patriots placed Law on injured reserve due to his broken hand.[23] He finished the season with 57 combined tackles (48 solo), nine pass deflections, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and one touchdown.[24]

2000

On January 3, 2000, the New England Patriots fired head coach Pete Carroll after they finished the season with an 8-8 record. On January 27, 2000, the New England Patriots announced former New York Jets’ defensive coordinator Bill Belichick as their new head coach.[16] Belichick named Law and Antonio Langham as the starting cornerback tandem to begin 2000. In Week 3, he collected a season-high nine combined tackles during a 21-13 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. On December 18, 2000, Law was stopped by U.S, Customs officials in Niagara Falls, New York while crossing the Rainbow Bridge. During the routine inspection, officials found three whole ecstasy pills and four that were partially crushed. Law and teammates Terry Glenn and Troy Brown were returning from visiting an adult nightclub in Canada. Federal prosecutors declined to prosecute Law due to the small amount. U.S. Customs seized the drug and fined Law $700.[25] On December 20, 2000, New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick announced his decision to suspend Law for the final game of the season.[26] He finished the season with 74 combined tackles (58 solo), 11 pass deflections, and two interceptions in 15 games and 15 starts.[27]

2001-2002

The New England Patriots hired Romeo Crennel as their new defensive coordinator. Law returned as the No. 1 starting cornerback and started alongside Otis Smith.[28]

Law earned his first Super Bowl ring with the Patriots in 2001. In Super Bowl XXXVI, he intercepted a Kurt Warner pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown, the first points of the game for the Patriots, who eventually won the game 20-17.

2003

Law was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year and for the fourth time in his career after the 2003 season. In 2003, he was part of a record-breaking Patriots defense that led the NFL in four key categories: opponents’ points per game (14.9), opponents’ passer rating (56.2), interceptions (29) and passing touchdowns surrendered (11). His physical play against some of the game's best receivers prompted the NFL to more strictly enforce the five-yard illegal contact rule on defensive backs after the 2003 season. In the AFC Championship Game against the Colts, Law intercepted three passes from Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, assisting his team to a 24-14 win and their second Super Bowl appearance in 3 years, where they defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29.

2004

Law earned his third Super Bowl ring with the Patriots in 2004, but missed the final 9 games of the season and all three of the Patriots' playoff games due to a foot injury.

2005

On February 25, 2005 Law was released by the Patriots due to his $12,551,000 cap salary.[29] Since then, he has represented the Patriots in a few games as an honorary team captain. In 2014, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

New York Jets

On August 8, 2005, the New York Jets signed Law to a three-year contract as an unrestricted free agent. The contract has incentives that could pay Law $28 million over the first three-years and also has options that total $50 million over seven-years.[30][31] He then went on to have one of his best years there, gaining a career-high 10 interceptions. He was also the only Jet voted into the Pro Bowl (Jonathan Vilma was named to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement to Miami's Zach Thomas, not by means of popular vote by the fans). Law was released by the New York Jets on February 22, 2006 as the Jets were a projected $26 million over the salary cap for 2006.[32] He was due to make $7.6 million in 2006.[33]

Kansas City Chiefs

Surtain and Law
Law (right) with former Chiefs teammate Patrick Surtain in 2007

On July 25, 2006, Law passed his physical with the Chiefs and signed a five-year deal worth $30 million.[34] He reunited with coach Herman Edwards, under whom Law had played in the 2005 season hoping to strengthen the Chiefs' defense.

Second stint with Jets

On November 10, 2008, Law agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New York Jets.[35] Following the end of season, the Jets once again released him on February 24, 2009.

Denver Broncos

Law signed with the Denver Broncos on November 7, 2009.[36] This added to a defensive backfield that had 5 members over 30 years of age, with 20 Pro Bowl selections combined. His final game with the Broncos came January 3, 2010. He finished the season with 10 tackles, and 1 interception run back for 37 yards. He was released by the Broncos on February 24, 2010.

His time in Denver was short and uneventful, only lasting a season. It was his second choice, as he would have preferred to play in New England but settled for Denver.[37] Even though his last season was in Denver, Law stated, "I am a Patriot for life."[38]

NFL statistics

Year Team GP COMB TOTAL AST SACK FF FR YDS INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
1995 NE 14 47 40 7 1.0 0 0 0 3 47 16 38 0 9
1996 NE 13 62 56 6 0.0 0 0 0 3 45 15 38 1 9
1997 NE 16 77 69 8 0.5 0 1 0 3 70 23 40 0 11
1998 NE 16 70 60 10 0.0 0 1 0 9 133 15 59 1 32
1999 NE 13 57 48 9 0.5 2 1 0 2 20 10 27 1 9
2000 NE 15 74 58 16 0.0 0 0 0 2 32 16 32 0 11
2001 NE 16 69 59 10 1.0 0 0 0 3 91 30 46 2 9
2002 NE 16 76 59 17 1.0 1 1 0 4 33 8 29 0 10
2003 NE 15 73 60 13 0.0 0 0 0 6 112 19 65 1 23
2004 NE 7 28 23 5 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3
2005 NYJ 16 62 45 17 0.0 0 0 0 10 195 20 74 1 18
2006 KC 16 68 64 4 1.0 3 0 0 4 11 3 16 0 9
2007 KC 16 47 39 8 0.0 0 0 0 2 2 1 2 0 13
2008 NYJ 7 19 14 5 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2009 DEN 7 10 9 1 0.0 0 0 0 1 37 37 37 0 1
Career 203 839 703 136 5.0 7 4 0 53 828 16 74 7 169

[39]

Retirement

After retiring from the NFL, Law founded Launch Trampoline Park, a chain of entertainment facilities based around large areas of connected trampolines. Launch currently has franchised locations across New England, with one park open in Delaware.[40] The website of its Rhode Island location reports that Law makes frequent appearances there, where he participates in games of trampoline dodgeball with customers.[41]

On May 19, 2014, Law was announced as the 2014 Patriots Hall of Fame Inductee.[42] He was inducted on August 1. On February 2nd, 2019 he was selected to the NFL Hall of Fame class of 2019; he will be inducted on August 3, 2019 in Canton, Ohio.

References

  1. ^ "Ty Law". Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  2. ^ "ESPN.com - Page2 - Ty Law". espn.go.com. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "Official Website of the New England Patriots". New England Patriots. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  4. ^ "Bledsoe Becomes Highest Paid in NFL". Hartford Courant. July 21, 1995. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  5. ^ "Rams claim Maurice Hurst on waivers". UPI.com. November 22, 1995. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  6. ^ "Hurst's Agent Claims Injury". Courant.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  7. ^ "New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills - November 26th, 1995". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  8. ^ "New York Jets at New England Patriots - December 10th, 1995". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  9. ^ "New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts - December 23rd, 1995". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "ESPN - Ty Law #24 (1995)". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "1996 New England Patriots Starters, Roster, & Players". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  12. ^ "NFL Player stats: Ty Law (1996)". NFL.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  13. ^ "New York Jets at New England Patriots - December 8th, 1996". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  14. ^ "New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys - December 15th, 1996". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "ESPN - Ty Law #24 (1996)". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Timeline of Belichick and Parcells". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  17. ^ "Pete Carroll: The New England years". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  18. ^ "ESPN - Ty Law #24 (1997)". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  19. ^ "Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots - September 13th, 1998". www.pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots - November 8th, 1998". www.pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  21. ^ "ESPN - Ty Law #24 (1998)". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  22. ^ "Madison Signs $54M Contract". Sun Sentinel. June 22, 2000. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  23. ^ "Law goes on IR, Patriots sign two". Patriots.com. December 29, 1999. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  24. ^ "ESPN - Ty Law #24 (1999)". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  25. ^ "New England Patriots' player caught with ecstasy". UPI.com. December 19, 2000. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  26. ^ "Patriots Ty Law Suspended". Apnews.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  27. ^ "ESPN - Ty Law #24 (2000)". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  28. ^ "2001 New England Patriots Starters, Roster, & Players". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  29. ^ ESPN.go.com, Accessed December 27, 2007.
  30. ^ "Law lands with Jets-Pro Bowl Corner Lands Long-Term Pact". New York Post. August 9, 2005. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  31. ^ "Law's deal could be worth $28.5M over first three years". ESPN.com. August 8, 2005. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  32. ^ ESPN.go.com, Accessed December 27, 2007.
  33. ^ Morningsun.net, Accessed December 27, 2007.
  34. ^ "Law ready to secure Chiefs secondary", ESPN.go.com. Accessed July 22, 2007.
  35. ^ Schefter, Adam (November 10, 2008), "Jets sign CB Law", NFL.com, archived from the original on October 9, 2010, retrieved October 9, 2010
  36. ^ Schefter, Adam (November 6, 2009). "Law, Broncos agree to contract". ESPN.go.com. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
  37. ^ Stapelton, Arnie. "Pro Bowler Ty Law signs with Broncos". Newsday. Newsday. Retrieved September 29, 2017. Law said... "Other than going back to New England, this would be the ideal situation for me.
  38. ^ Reid, Levan. "Ty Law: 'I'm a Patriot For Life'". CBS Boston. CBS. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  39. ^ "Ty Law Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  40. ^ "About Launch". Launch Corporation. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  41. ^ "FAQs - Launch Warwick". Launchri.com. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  42. ^ "Fans vote Ty Law as the 2014 Patriots Hall of Fame Inductee". New England Patriots. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
1993 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1993 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team's head coach was Gary Moeller. The Wolverines played their home games at Michigan Stadium. That year Michigan Wolverines football competed in the Big Ten Conference in almost all intercollegiate sports including men's college football. The team featured three All-Americans: Tyrone Wheatley, Buster Stanley, and Ty Law. Stanley, who was the team MVP, served as co-captain with Ricky Powers. The team posted an 8–4 overall record (5–3 Big Ten) and won the 1994 Hall of Fame Bowl.

1994 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1994 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season. Led by Gary Moeller in his last season as head coach, the Wolverines participated in the Holiday Bowl.

1995 NFL Draft

The 1995 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 22–23, 1995 at the Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. At the time of the draft, the Raiders were still based in Los Angeles. They would officially return to Oakland after a 13-year hiatus in July 1995. Additionally, the former Los Angeles Rams had gotten approval to move to St. Louis shortly before the draft on April 13 (they would return to Los Angeles in 2016). The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.

There were 32 picks in the first round of this draft as the two expansion teams each received two extra picks between the first and second rounds. The Carolina Panthers, having selected second in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft, were awarded the first overall pick in this draft and the Jacksonville Jaguars, having picked first in the expansion draft, selected second. The Panthers, however, traded their number one pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for the Bengals' fifth overall pick and their fourth pick in the second round. The Panthers were also stripped of two later supplemental picks, numbers 61 and 191, for improperly recruiting the Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Coordinator, Dom Capers, as their Head Coach.This marked only the third time to date in NFL History that two Hall of Fame players were selected by the same team in the same round (the other being the Bears in 1965 draft and the Ravens in the 1996 NFL Draft.) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Warren Sapp with the 12th overall pick and Derrick Brooks with the 28th overall pick. The two future Hall of Famers would go on to lead a strong defense which contributed heavily to the win in Super Bowl XXXVII.

1995 New England Patriots season

The 1995 New England Patriots season was the team's 36th, and 26th in the National Football League. The Patriots finished the season with a record of six wins and ten losses, and finished fourth in the AFC East division. Unlike the previous year, Drew Bledsoe had a poor season by throwing just 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions and completed just 50.8% of his passes. On the other hand, rookie running back Curtis Martin shined with a Pro Bowl season and would be the Patriots' feature back for two more seasons before being traded to the New York Jets in 1998.

1998 New England Patriots season

The 1998 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 29th season in the National Football League and the 39th overall. They finished with a 9–7 record, good for fourth place in the division but also a playoff berth; they lost in the first round to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the offseason, the Patriots tendered restricted free agent running back Curtis Martin with the highest possible tender, which would return the Patriots first- and third-round draft picks if any team were to sign him and the Patriots were to decide not to match the offer. Fueling the rivalry between the two teams, the New York Jets and head coach Bill Parcells, who had resigned from the Patriots two years earlier, signed Martin, the 1995 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and per restricted free agency rules ceded their first- and third-round picks in the 1998 NFL Draft to the Patriots. With the first-round pick the Patriots selected another running back Robert Edwards, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in his rookie campaign. Suffering a broken finger in November, veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe was unable to start the team's final two regular season games and was replaced by Scott Zolak. With a 9–7 record the Patriots finished fourth in the AFC East but earned a sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. With Zolak still at the helm, the Patriots were defeated on the road by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the second straight playoff defeat for second-year head coach Pete Carroll, and is one of only two games the Patriots have ever lost to the Jaguars, the second being in 2018.

1999 New England Patriots season

The 1999 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 30th season in the National Football League and the 40th overall. They finished with an 8–8 record, tied for fourth place in the division, and out of the playoffs.

In May, the Patriots announced their intention to pull out of a publicly financed stadium deal in Hartford, Connecticut and instead work towards building a privately financed new stadium, which would become Gillette Stadium, at the site of the existing Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. On the field, the Patriots came into the 1999 season without second-year running back Robert Edwards; after rushing for over 1,100 yards in 1998, the rookie suffered a serious knee injury playing in a rookie beach game in Hawaii after the season. Taking Edwards' place were veteran Terry Allen and rookie Kevin Faulk, but neither player was able to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing and overall the Patriots' rushing offense was 23rd in the NFL. After beginning the season with a 6–2 record the team stumbled down the stretch and finished 8–8 and out of the playoffs for the first time since 1995. Following the season finale, third year head coach Pete Carroll was fired, while vice president of player personnel Bobby Grier was retained only until the 2000 NFL Draft.

1999 Pro Bowl

The 1999 Pro Bowl was the NFL's all-star game for the 1998 season. The game was played on February 7, 1999, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The final score was AFC 23, NFC 10. Keyshawn Johnson of the New York Jets and Ty Law of the New England Patriots were the game's MVPs. This game was also the last game in the career of Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, and Detroit Lions Running back Barry Sanders. The referee was Dick Hantak.

2001 New England Patriots season

The 2001 New England Patriots season was the 32nd season for the New England Patriots in the National Football League and 42nd season overall. They finished with an 11–5 record and a division title before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXVI.

Coming off a fifth-place finish in the AFC East during head coach Bill Belichick’s first season in 2000, the Patriots were not expected to fare much better in 2001. On August 6, quarterbacks coach, Dick Rehbein, died of cardiomyopathy at the age of 45. In the second game of the regular season, nine-year starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who had received a 10-year contract extension in March, was injured on a hit by New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis, causing backup Tom Brady, a sixth-round draft pick in 2000, to enter the game. The Patriots lost the game to fall to 0–2, but Brady started the final 14 games of the season and compiled an 11–3 record as a starter, helping the Patriots clinch the 2nd seed in the AFC playoffs and a first round bye. As a result, the Patriots became only the 2nd team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl after starting the season 2–3, behind the 1980 Oakland Raiders.With the second seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots faced the Oakland Raiders at home following a first-round bye in the final game at Foxboro Stadium; in a snowstorm, a Patriots drive late in the fourth quarter was kept alive in an application of the now-famous tuck rule that was used in overturning a Brady fumble into an incomplete pass. Shortly after, a 45-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal through the snow, considered one of the most clutch field goals in NFL history, sent the game into overtime, when another Vinatieri field goal won it. After defeating the top-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots faced the heavily favored St. Louis Rams, known as "The Greatest Show on Turf", in Super Bowl XXXVI. Once again, Vinatieri kicked a game-winning field goal; the 48-yard kick sailed through the uprights as time expired, and gave the Patriots their first ever Super Bowl victory in what has been considered by many to be a "cinderella" season. As it would turn out the 2001 season served as a launching pad for the team. In the next 18 seasons, they would win their division 15 times, win the AFC Championship 9 more times, win 5 additional Super Bowl titles, and achieve an undefeated regular season (followed by a 2–1 playoff record) in 2007.

2002 New England Patriots season

The 2002 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 33rd season in the National Football League, the 43rd overall and the 3rd under head coach Bill Belichick. They finished with a 9–7 record, good enough for second in the division but not a playoff berth. It was their first season at their new home field, Gillette Stadium, which replaced the adjacent Foxboro Stadium.

Following their victory in Super Bowl XXXVI seven months earlier, the Patriots played their first game in the new Gillette Stadium in the NFL's prime-time Monday Night Football opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a win for the Patriots. After an additional two wins to begin the season, including a 44–7 road win against the division rival New York Jets, the team lost five of its next seven games, allowing an average of 137 rushing yards a game during that span. In the final week of the season, the Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins on an overtime Adam Vinatieri field goal to give both teams a 9–7 record. A few hours later, the Jets, who defeated the Patriots the week prior, also finished with a 9–7 record with a win over the Green Bay Packers. Due to their record against common opponents, after the Jets won the tiebreaker for the division title, both the Patriots and Dolphins were eliminated from the playoff contention. As of 2018 this is the last season the Patriots failed to win at least 10 games. It also marked the only time a Tom Brady-led Patriots team failed to win their division or make the playoffs.

2003 All-Pro Team

The 2003 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 2003. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP team. These are the three teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 2003 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice with continues through 2008.

2003 New England Patriots season

The 2003 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 34th season in the National Football League, the 44th overall and the 4th under head coach Bill Belichick. They finished with a league-best 14–2 record before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Two seasons after winning Super Bowl XXXVI, the Patriots went into 2003 after missing the playoffs in 2002. In a salary cap-related move, captain and Pro Bowl safety Lawyer Milloy was released five days before the start of the regular season, prompting second-guessing of head coach Bill Belichick among fans and a report by ESPN analyst Tom Jackson that Patriots players "hated their coach", an accusation later denied by players. Milloy signed with the Buffalo Bills, who defeated the Patriots, 31–0, in the season opener. The Patriots would rebound though, not losing another game after starting with a 2–2 record. Due to multiple injuries, the Patriots started 42 different players during the season, an NFL record for a division winner until the Patriots started 45 different players in 2005. Undefeated at home, nose tackle Ted Washington coined the phrase "Homeland Defense" for a Patriots' defense, boosted by the acquisitions of Washington and San Diego Chargers castoff safety Rodney Harrison in the offseason, that gave up a league-low 14.9 points per game en route to a 14–2 regular season record. The regular season was bookended with a 31–0 victory over the Bills at home in Week 17, a score reversed from the Patriots' shutout loss to the Bills in Week 1. The win gave the Patriots a perfect 8–0 record at home in the regular season and the 14–2 season was a club record and the first time the Patriots ever won more than 11 games in a season.

After a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots faced the Tennessee Titans at home in one of the coldest games in NFL history and won, setting up an AFC Championship Game matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. The top-seeded Patriots intercepted Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the league's co-MVP, four times, winning 24–14 and advancing to Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers. With a tied game late in the fourth quarter, Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal with seconds remaining, giving the Patriots their second Super Bowl victory in three seasons.

2004 New England Patriots season

The 2004 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 35th season in the National Football League, the 45th overall and the 5th under head coach Bill Belichick. They finished with their second straight 14–2 record before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXIX, their third Super Bowl victory in four years. They are, as of the present, the last team to repeat as NFL Champions.

Following a Super Bowl win in 2003, the Patriots looked to improve their running game in the offseason. Replacing Antowain Smith with longtime but disgruntled Cincinnati Bengals running back Corey Dillon, who was acquired in a trade days before the 2004 NFL Draft; Dillon would rush for a career-high 1,635 yards in 2004. Winning their first six games of the season, the Patriots set the NFL record for consecutive regular season victories (18), which was later broken by the 2006–2008 Patriots (21), and consecutive regular season and playoff victories (21) before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 31. In that game, Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law was lost for the season with a foot injury. Combined with the loss of other starting cornerback Tyrone Poole two weeks earlier, the Patriots were forced to complete the regular season and playoffs by using second-year cornerback Asante Samuel, undrafted free agent Randall Gay, and longtime Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown at cornerback, among others.

With a 14–2 record and the second seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts at home in the playoffs for the second-straight year, holding the Colts' top offense to three points. The Patriots then defeated the top-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, 41–27, in the AFC Championship Game. Prior to the Patriots' matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell said he did not know the names of the Patriots' defensive backs, which was taken as a sign of disrespect by the Patriots' "replacement" secondary. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Eagles 24–21 in their second straight Super Bowl victory and third championship in four seasons, leading to some labeling the Patriots of the era a sports dynasty.

2005 New York Jets season

The 2005 New York Jets season was the 46th season for the franchise, and the 36th in the National Football League. The Jets were attempting to improve upon their 10–6 record from 2004 but failed to do so, and finished the season with a 4–12 record.

Dave Yovanovits

Dave Yovanovits (born March 6, 1981) is a former American football offensive lineman in the NFL most recently of the Detroit Lions. He played in every snap of 40 of 45 games for Temple University. He was drafted in the 2003 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, whom he played for in 2003 and 2004. He was released by the Jets in order to reduce salary cap space when the team signed Ty Law in 2005. Yovanovits made his first career start in the Browns' 20-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens in their 2005 season finale. After briefly joining the Detroit Lions in December 2006, Yovanovits signed with the New Orleans Saints on February 16, 2007.Yovanovits played high school football for Hopatcong High School in Hopatcong, New Jersey. He has been a resident of Stanhope, New Jersey.

List of National Football League annual interceptions leaders

An interception, also known as a pick, is a gridiron football concept involving a pass being caught by an opposition player, who usually gains possession for his team. Record-keeping for interception counts in the National Football League (NFL) began in 1940. The record for most interceptions in a single season is held by Night Train Lane, who logged 14 interceptions as a rookie in 1952, while playing for the Los Angeles Rams. Previously Dan Sandifer of Washington and Spec Sanders jointly held the record, earning 13 interceptions, in 1948 and 1950, respectively. The record for most league-leading seasons in interceptions is 3. This was first achieved by Everson Walls, who led the league in interceptions in 1981, 1982, and again in 1985. Ed Reed was later able to match Walls, by leading the league in 2004, 2008, and 2010. Bill Bradley became the first player to led the league in interceptions in consecutive seasons (1971 and 1972). The aforementioned Walls matched Bradley with his 1981 and 1982 efforts. The most recent players to lead the league in interceptions are Kyle Fuller , Xavien Howard, and Damontae Kazee with 7 in 2018. Additionally, New York Giants players have led the league in interceptions in more seasons (7), than any other team.

Michael Felger

Michael Alan Felger (born August 6, 1969) is a sports radio talk show host on WBZ-FM in Boston, co-hosting "Felger and Massarotti" with Tony Massarotti, a former columnist for the Boston Herald. He is also a television host for NBC Sports Boston, where he talks about sports as a co-host of the weeknight evening show "Arbella Early Edition", the host of "Sports Sunday", and the host of pregame and postgame coverage for Boston Bruins (with Tony Amonte) and New England Patriots games (with Ty Law and Troy Brown).

Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for professional American football, located in Canton, Ohio. Opened in 1963, the Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional figures in the sport of professional football, including players, coaches, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, almost all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the National Football League (NFL); the Hall inducts between four and eight new enshrinees each year. The Hall of Fame's Mission is to "Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE."

The Hall of Fame class of 2019 (Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed, Champ Bailey, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, and Johnny Robinson) were selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by a 48-member selection committee and announced on February 2, 2019. Including the 2019 class, there are now a total of 326 members of the Hall of Fame.

West Coast Choppers

West Coast Choppers (WCC) is a brand that began selling screen-printed T-shirts and stickers with the company's Iron cross/Maltese cross logo while founder and "master marketer" Jesse James was finishing high school, packaging the accoutrements of the chopper lifestyle long before any actual West Coast Choppers customs had been ordered or sold. Even after the company did begin building custom choppers, 60% of revenue still came from sales of WCC-branded marketing tie-ins such as clothing, beverages and tools. Yearly sales of approximately 12–15 motorcycles at prices of around US$150,000 each actually lost money for the company, but attracted positive attention. Publicizing the names of celebrity clients, including Shaquille O'Neal, Kid Rock, Keanu Reeves, Ty Law of the Denver Broncos, wrestling star Bill Goldberg, actor Tyson Beckford, and NFL running back Jamal Anderson, was a central feature of the WCC marketing strategy. The other key to this strategy was the star power of Jesse James, presented mainly through television on the Discovery Channel in the Motorcycle Mania series and the 2002–2006 series Monster Garage.The Long Beach, California headquarters of West Coast Choppers shut down in 2010, but later reopened in 2013 with a new headquarters in Austin, Texas.

William Bartee

William Anthony Bartee ( bar-TEE; born June 25, 1977) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League. He played his entire career for the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent two years at the University of Oklahoma after beginning his college career at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. He totaled 60 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles, 7 tackles for loss, 12 passes defensed and 1 sack. He was drafted in the 2000 NFL Draft by Kansas City. Before the 2006 season, the Chiefs signed Ty Law, so William Bartee agreed to change his number from 24 to 21.

Bartee missed the entire 2006 season due to injury and was placed on the PUP list in November. He was released by the Chiefs after the season.

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