FOXBORO -- The Patriots will honor Matt Light at halftime of Monday's game against the Houston Texans for being the fifth player since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 to play his entire career in New England.
But as Patriots coach Bill Belichick pointed out on Wednesday, Light -- who retired in May after his 11-year career -- is being honored for more than his on-field performance as an offensive lineman.
"Matt was a great player for this organization, at a key position," said Belichick. "He brought a lot to the team in terms of personality and leadership, toughness, dependability, consistency. He had a great career, starting from his rookie year and all the way through.
"He dealt with some personal things off the field, Crohn's disease and all that. But in spite of those challenges, he really found a way to still continue to perform at a very high level. And I think that's a great credit to him too, on the adjustments and the things that he did on that level. He was great off the field, with the team and in the locker room in terms of leadership and all that. But also in terms of his contributions to the community and what he's done with The Light Foundation and so forth.
"I loved coaching Matt Light. I'm glad we had him on our team," Belichick continued. "He contributed a lot. He certainly knew how to needle and irritate people, sometimes in a good way. And that was something that every team needs a little bit of, a little bit of a lighter side to their personality. And that was another one of his strengths."