FOXBORO -- He's been called the "consummate Patriot" by Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and the "perfect player" by coach Bill Belichick. On Saturday, Belichick had more words of praise for former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who will be inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame on Monday night.
"Very, very special," Belichick said of Bruschi. "Both his performance and the personality and the character that he brought to the team and the success that we’ve had during his time here has been remarkable. He’s played a huge, huge part in it all the way through."
Bruschi made the switch from the defensive line to linebacker soon after being drafted by the Patriots out of the University of Arizona in 1996. During his 13-year career, he was a captain for the Patriots seven times. He went to five Super Bowls and played a pivotal role on each of New England's three Super Bowl champion squads.
"The success that we had, that he was such a huge part of -- there’s no way that that could be understated," Belichick said. "To me, he’s one of the all-time greats that’s ever played here and that’s in large part because of the championships that were won while he was a part of it. There have been other great players but the team success that he was such a huge part of is really what it’s all about. His impact on that cannot be understated."
Bruschi will be inducted alongside longtime Patriots radio play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos, who missed just one game in 36 years.