With eight trips to the Super Bowl and four wins (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014), the New England are tied with both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys for the most appearances at the Super Bowl. Unlike the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys who have been dominant since 1970, the Patriots success is that of recent success. The Patriots have claimed 12 of the last 14 AFC Titles. After Belichick and Brady joined forces, in 2000, “The Patriot Way” emerged. The Patriot Way is; selflessness, crisp execution and innovative play calling. The greatest Patriot players in history are all proof of The patriot Way
1)Troy Brown – With 31 touchdowns and 557 receptions for 6,366 receiving yards, in his 15 years with the New England Patriots, Troy Brown ranks first on our list. Brown has been cornerback, return man, wide receiver and emergency quarterback. Brown was drafted in the 8th round in 1993, out of Marshall as a return specialist. In 2000 he became a fulltime starter, racking up 5 touchdowns, 1199 yards and 101 receptions. Since 2000, he has assisted the Patriots win three Super Bowls.
2)John Hannah – Often compared to the great Anthony Munoz, one of the greatest lineman in history, Hannah was a bit undersized, 265 pounds and 6 foot 2 inches. Hannah made up for his lack in size as a beast on the field, with agility, technique, quickness and an iron will. He was selected to Nine Pro Bowls, all between 1976 and 1985. In 1985 he finally made his trip to the Super Bowl with a devastating loss to the bears, 46-10.
3)Ben Coates – With 50 touchdowns and 490 receptions, good for 5,471 yards, Coates ranks third in our list. Coates ended his career as the fourth most productive tight end in the history of the NFL. In 1993 Ben Coates as the offense focal point for New England. That year he emerged as the ultimate security covering for Drew Bledsoe. Coates was exceptional at working the soft zone, where he could clear out space, and move the chains.
4)Vince Wilfork – Wilfork was drafted with the 21st pick out of the University of Miami, in 2004. Almost immediately Wilfork became the defense anchor. Despite being 6 foot 2 inches and 325 pounds, Wilfork was extremely quick on his feet. Wilfork is an 11 year pro with 5 trips to the Super Bowl and one of the best defensive tackles in his time. Wilfork helped New England win 2 Lombardi Trophies.
5)Tom Brady – A former sixth-round draft pick, Tom Brady, has proven to be the most decorated athlete in football. In 2007, Brady had a phenomenal career year (4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns). Although it did end in a loss the the New York Giants, in Super Bowl XLII. More Recently, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady appeared to embrace The Patriot Way. This latest title run included Brady handing off and tossing passes to Jonas Gray, LeGarrette Blount, and Brandon LaFell. Brady can elevate the play of any teammate he’s given.