Tom Brady is now 40 years old and in his 18th season as a quarterback for the New England Patriots. He is also about to play for his sixth Super Bowl ring.
It has been 17 years since Brady’s first Super Bowl. That season, Brady replaced the injured Drew Bledsoe, beat the Raiders in the “tuck rule” game, and helped the Patriots beat the heavily favoured St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl.
The only other constants between the 2001 Patriots and this season’s team is head coach Bill Belichick and a couple of assistant coaches. Most of Brady’s teammates from that season have now moved on. That group now includes television analysts, one NFL head coach, a professional poker player, and amazingly, a kicker who is still playing.
Below we look back at Brady’s first Super Bowl teammates and see what they are up to today.
Tom Brady was a second-year player who replaced starter Drew Bledsoe in the second game of the season. He led the Patriots to an improbable victory over the Rams in the Super Bowl.
17 years later, Brady is now widely considered the GOAT in the NFL and is entering the conversation for one of the greatest athletes ever in North American sports.
Drew Bledsoe was drafted by the Patriots as the first pick in the 1993 draft and served as their starting quarterback for nine seasons. He signed a then-record 10-year, $US103 million contract extension in 2001, nine months after the Patriots drafted Tom Brady, but he lost his job to Brady early in the next season when he ruptured a blood vessel in his chest. He returned from the injury but did not regain his starting job in New England.
Bledsoe was traded to the Buffalo Bills after the season for a first-round pick. He spent the next five seasons with the Bills and the Dallas Cowboys, going 35-35 as a starter. He now owns the Doubleback Winery in Walla Walla, Washington, with his wife.
Mike Vrabel was a starting linebacker in his first season with the Patriots.
Vrabel won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and later finished his career with the Chiefs in 2010. He also caught 10 of Brady’s touchdown passes in goal-line situations. He was recently named the new head coach of the Tennessee Titans.
Tedy Bruschi started nine games for the Pats and had 1.5 sacks during the playoffs.
Bruschi is now an analyst on ESPN.
Troy Brown was Brady’s top target with 101 catches and 1,199 yards receiving. He also scored a touchdown on a punt return against the Steelers in the AFC title game.
Brown spent his entire 15-year career with the Patriots. Brown is now an analyst for NBC Sports Boston. He is also a partner in the Narragansett brewery.
Richard Seymour was the Patriots’ star rookie who was taken with the sixth pick in the 2001 NFL Draft.
Seymour spent eight seasons with the Patriots and last appeared in the NFL in 2012 with the Raiders. He is now a professional poker player and finished 18th in one WPT event.
Tebucky Jones was the free safety for the Patriots in 2001.
Jones is now the head football coach at New Britain High School in Connecticut.
Jermaine Wiggins was the Pats’ starting tight end.
Wiggins last played in the NFL in 2006 with the Vikings. Wiggins now co-hosts a morning show on HOT 96.9 in Boston, where he goes by “Wiggy” as part of “The GetUp Crew.”
Roman Phifer was a veteran linebacker with the Pats.
Phifer last played in the NFL in 2005 with the Giants. After retiring, he briefly coached with the Broncos and now serves as the Director of Player Development at his alma mater, UCLA. He is also a partner at National Amateur Sports, an IT company that works with schools and athletic programs. Phifer also produced a documentary called “Blood Equity” that explored the dark side of having played in the NFL.
Damien Woody was in his third season as a 320-pound offensive lineman.
Woody played eight more seasons in the NFL, with stop in Detroit and with the Jets. He is now an analyst for ESPN.
Adam Vinatieri was in his sixth of ten seasons with the Patriots. He famously kicked three field goals in the “Tuck Rule Game” against the Raiders, including one to send the game to overtime and one to win it in OT. He also kicked the game-winning field goal in the Super Bowl as time expired.
Vinatieri is still playing in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, having just completed his 22nd season.
Ken Walter was the Patriots’ punter. He was also a key participant in both the “Tuck Rule” game and the Super Bowl as he was the holder for Adam Vinatieri’s big field goals.
Walter also won a ring in 2003 with the Pats and last played in the NFL in 2006. Since retiring he has worked as an independent marketing consultant.
Source: Sportsnight with Bill Rosinski
Terry Glenn only played 4 games with the Patriots in 2001 due to multiple suspensions from the NFL (for failing a drug test) and the team (for not showing up to training camp). He did notably catch Tom Brady’s first career touchdown pass during those four games.
Source: New York Times
Glenn last appeared in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 2007. In retirement he was arrested on charges of public intoxication and possession of marijuana. Late in 2017, he died in a single-car accident.
Ty Law was one of the starting corners. He had three pick-6s during the season, including the Patriots’ first score in the Super Bowl.
Law last played in the NFL in 2009 with the Broncos. He now owns a chain of trampoline parks in the New England area.
Source: Launch Trampoline Park
Lawyer Milloy was the starting strong safety and led the Pats in tackles.
Milloy is active on social media promoting various business interests, watching his daughter play basketball, and supporting both the Patriots and the University of Washington.
David Patten was the Patriots’ second-leading receiver. He was in the first of four seasons with the Pats and scored touchdowns in both the AFC title game and the Super Bowl.
Patten won three Super Bowls with the Pats and last appeared in the NFL in 2008 with the Saints. Since retiring, he has served as a coach at Western Carolina and a minister.
Source: New England Patriots
Otis Smith led the Patriots in interceptions during the 2001 season.
Smith is now the defensive quality control coach for the Kansas City Chiefs
Bryan Cox started seven games with the Patriots in 2001.
Cox played just one more season in the NFL — with the Saints — and is now a coach. He was most recently the defensive line coach for the Falcons team that lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl 51. He was fired after the season. He believes he was let go over an altercation at the scouting combine and, according to him, is now a “stay-at-home dad” in Houston looking for his next job.
Source: Charlotte Observer
Willie McGinest was in his eighth season with the Patriots and had a sack in the Super Bowl.
McGinest last played in the NFL in 2008 with the Browns. He now serves as an analyst on the NFL Network and runs a charitable foundation, “55 Foundation.” He also had a cameo in the TV series “Scorpion.”
Matt Light was a rookie second-round pick for the Patriots and their starting left tackle in 2001.
Light spent his entire 11-year career with the Patriots. After retiring he spent time as an analyst on ESPN. He later founded KEEL Vodka and runs the Light Foundation aimed at helping children.
Antowain Smith was the Patriots’ leading rusher in 2001.
Smith last played in the NFL in 2005 with the Saints. He has been quiet in retirement but was spotted at a Patriots game-watch in Houston during the Pats’ Super Bowl 51 playoff run.
Joe Andruzzi was the starting right guard in 2001.
Andruzzi now runs the Joe Andruzzi Foundation to help fight cancer after his own battle with with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Now check out the big-name coaches who were on that coaching staff.
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