A day after getting word that he was voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame as its 19th member, former Patriots wide receiver and utility man Troy Brown expressed his gratitude to a fan base that appreciated his 15 years with the team.
"I realize now how much the fans really did appreciate what I was doing with the organization," said Brown in a conference call with reporters. "I always played hard for my teammates ... I really wanted to go out there and make our fans happy."Thank God for Bill Belichick, Charlie Weis and all those guys who gave me a chance to be a starter."
Brown played with the Patriots in all three of the team's Super Bowl wins. But was also part of other games of lore in Patriots history, including the "Tuck Rule" game against the Oakland Raiders in 2001. He tried to pinpoint the one game he found most special.
"[There were] so many special moments," Brown said. "Maybe the 2006 game against the San Diego Chargers, to be able to get the ball back."
He was referring to the AFC Divisional playoff matchup with the Chargers, a 24-21 win for the Patriots, when he forced a fumble by safety Marlon McCree after a Tom Brady interception.
The play spurred the Patriots on and highlights the kind of player Brown was for the team: A skilled wide receiver, functional fill-in defensive back, and handy return man.
As one of the original Patriots under Robert Kraft's ownership, he's seen the franchise remain a consistent force in the NFL under the Kraft family name.
"He’s built a great model for other teams around the league," Brown said. "They continue to do it year after year and he’s done a wonderful job with this organization."
Asked about the other nominees for the Patriots Hall of Fame, particularly Bill Parcells who coached him from 1993 to 1996, and whether they'll make it into the hallowed group of 19, Brown was hopeful.
"I do, and I think he's very deserving of it because you look at where this franchise was before Bill [Parcells] took over," he said. "He's the one that changed the attitude of the Patriots and the fans – he changed expectations. It’s going to be a hard climb, so many guys that are going to be coming up from the Super Bowl teams. I think Tedy [Bruschi] is coming up. It's going to be really, really tough for them to get in there. But fans should look at it and think about what he did for franchise in this area."