A New England Patriot his entire career, Brown is the all time team leader in receptions and second all time on the team in yardage. In his NFL career he has played in a total of 191 with 70 starts and had 557 receptions for 6366 yards and 31 touchdowns. He is also the Patriots leading receiver in postseason play with 47 total catches and 553 yards during his 15 postseason games. In addition to his receiving skills, Brown has also contributed on special teams. He is the Patriots all time leader in punt returns (237) and punt return yardage (2,524). One of the most versatile players to ever play in the NFL, in his pro career he has played at the wide receiver, punt returner, kickoff returner, special teams coverage unit and quarterback positions.
In 1993, Brown was drafted in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. In his rookie season he played in twelve games as a punt and kick returner before he suffered a quadriceps injury that forced him to miss the rest of his rookie season. In 1994, the Patriots released Brown from the team before the season began but ended up resigning him in the middle of the regular season. He ended up playing in 9 games with the Patriots in 1994 exclusively as a punt returner. Brown added backup wide receiver duty's to his role on the team as kick returner as he played in every regular season in 1995. He finished the 1995 season with 14 receptions for 159 yards and also had 672 kick return yards on 31 attempts.
In 1996, Troy Brown once again played in all sixteen of the Patriots regular season games as a kick returner (634 yards) and backup wide receiver (21 receptions for 222 yards). Troy played in two of the Patriots postseason games but missed the Super Bowl vs the Green Bay Packers due to a hernia injury. In 1997, with a new coach and new offensive system, Brown focused entirely on playing wide receiver and set career highs for receptions (41), yards (607), and touchdowns (six) while playing in all sixteen of the Patriots games. In 1998 and 1999, Brown continued to play as a backup wide receiver as well as kick and punt returner.
2000 - 2002
Brown's 2000 season was the first year that he became a starting wide receiver for the Patriots. In 2000, he played in all sixteen and started fifteen of the Patriots regular season games. He had 83 receptions for 944 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 39 punt returns for 504 yards (12.9 avg) and a touchdown. In 2001, Brown was a key component in the Patriots winning their first Super Bowl ever as he played in every regular and postseason game for the Patriots and made a team record 101 receptions for 1199 yards and five touchdowns. He also was the only player to have two punt returns for touchdowns in 2001 and led the NFL in punt return average (14.2).
In the third week of the 2002, Brown had the greatest receiving game of any player in Patriots history. In a game vs the Kansas City Chiefs he had 16 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown. He was injured in the game however and was inactive the next two games both of which the Patriots lost. When the Patriots played the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, Brown had ten receptions for 111 yards in a 20 to 12 Patriots victory. He led the team in both receptions (97 - forth best in the NFL), and yards (890) in 2002 and also had four touchdowns.
In 2003, Patriots players voted Brown as one of the teams offensive captains. Although he missed four games due to injury's, he managed to be a pivotal part in a Patriots team that once again ended their season in a Super Bowl victory. In the 12 regular season games that Brown played in he caught 40 passes for 472 yards and four touchdowns. His best game of 2003 came in a Patriots 19 to 13 victory over the Miami Dolphins when he caught a 82 yard pass for a touchdown to win the game in overtime. In the 2003 postseason he 16 receptions for 171 yards. In 2004, when injury's decimated the Patriots defensive backs so much that the backup's, backup's were playing. Troy Brown, who had practiced at the cornerback position in training camp and preseason played his first game as a defensive back in that Patriots week nine 40 to 22 victory over the St. Louis Rams and had three tackles and one defensed pass. In the game, Brown also caught a touchdown pass from kicker Adam Vinatieri on a fake field goal in the third quarter. The following week, he recorded his first career NFL interception off his former quarterback Drew Bledsoe. The interception, along with his two receptions in the game made him the first player in Patriots history to record both and interception and pass reception in the same game. He would later in the season make two more interceptions in games vs the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. Due to him spending just as much time playing defense as offense, and also playing on special teams (12 punt returns for 83 yards), Brown's production as a receiver diminished. In 2003, he caught a total of 17 passes for 184 yards and one touchdown; however, he also made 17 tackles and three interceptions. Playing in all three of the Patriots postseason victory's including the Patriots Super Bowl victory over the Carolina Panthers, Brown had 3 receptions for 25 yards and four total tackles.
With the defensive back situation more stabilized in 2005, Brown only occasionally played defensive back in dime-back situations. Once again focused on playing wide receiver, Brown had 39 receptions for 466 yards and two touchdowns in 2005. In 2006, Brown passed former Patriots receiver Stanley Morgan to become the Patriots all time leader in receptions. He finished 2006 with 43 receptions for 384 yards and four touchdowns. Brown played in all three of the Patriots postseason games and had 9 receptions for 95 yards. He also created a key turnover for the Patriots when he forced a fumble after a Tom Brady interception in the divisional playoff game vs the San Diego Chargers that the Patriots recovered.
- ↑ http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2007/01/15/brown_adds_to_his_legend/
- ↑ http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2007/07/11/brown_patriots_close/