|Position:||Wide Receiver, Cornerback|
|Born:||July 2, 1971|
Barnwell, South Carolina
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||196 lb (89 kg)|
(Blackville, South Carolina)
|NFL Draft:||1993 / Round: 8 / Pick: 198|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Troy Fitzgerald Brown (born July 2, 1971) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. He played college football at Marshall. On May 11, 2010, Brown was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame. In June 2012, Brown was voted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame by fan vote.
Brown played his entire fifteen-year career with the Patriots. He earned three Super Bowl rings with the team; he played on five of the eleven Patriots teams to reach the Super Bowl, and he retired as the franchise leader in career receptions. His primary position was at wide receiver, but he also contributed as a return specialist and on defense as a cornerback.
Brown attended Blackville-Hilda High School in Blackville, South Carolina. He was discouraged from playing football, as he was thought too small, beginning at 5'6", 135 lbs. Still, he lettered in football and track and field. His high school team won a state championship in 1988 with a 14-1 record.
In college, Brown was a standout wide receiver, punt returner, and kickoff returner for Marshall University, leading the Division I-AA in both kickoff and punt return average in 1991, a year in which he and quarterback Todd Donnan tied a record by combining for a 99-yard pass play against Virginia Military Institute.The following year, Marshall claimed its first national championship with Brown as its primary wide receiver and returner. In the championship game, Brown sealed the win by intercepting a Hail Mary Youngstown State pass in the final seconds of the game.
His career kickoff return average (29.69 yards per return) still stands as an NCAA record, as do his four kickoff returns for touchdowns. He scored one touchdown for every eight times he touched the football.
In 2006, Brown was given a distinguished alumni award by his alma mater.
Brown was drafted by the Patriots out of Marshall in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft (198th overall). He was waived as a final cut in the 1993 pre-season by head coach Bill Parcells but was re-signed on October 19, 1993. It wasn't until the 1995 season that he started seeing time as a wide receiver, recording 14 catches for 159 yards. The next season in 1996, when the New England Patriots reached the Super Bowl, he recorded 21 catches for 222 yards. In 1997, he recorded 41 catches for 607 yards and 6 touchdowns despite being behind both Terry Glenn and Shawn Jefferson on the depth chart at receiver as well as competing with Ben Coates and Vincent Brisby for catches. In 1998, he resumed his duties as a punt returner.
His first year as a starter was 2000, when he recorded 83 catches for 944 yards and 4 touchdowns. In 2001 he, alongside Tom Brady, led the Patriots to their first ever Super Bowl championship, recording 101 catches during the season for 1,199 yards and 5 touchdowns, setting the franchise record for receptions and earning his first and only trip to the Pro Bowl. He also returned 29 punts for 413 yards and 2 touchdowns, giving him a league-leading 14.2 yards per return average. During the AFC Championship Game at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs that season, Brown returned a crucial punt for a touchdown which provided the winning margin, adding to the two he returned for touchdowns during the regular season. He also scooped up a blocked field goal attempt in that game, and made a lateral pass to teammate Antwan Harris, which completed a second special teams touchdown. In 2002, he recorded 97 receptions for 890 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2003, he had 40 catches for 472 yards, helping his team back to Super Bowl XXXVIII.
In 2004, he had only 17 receptions, but contributed in what was originally an emergency role on defense, ranking second on the team in interceptions with three. He was topped in this category only by Eugene Wilson. Further demonstrating his versatility, during the 2006 preseason he lined up as an emergency quarterback; when questioned as to why Brown had appeared there, the head coach of the Patriots, Bill Belichick, joked that he had lined Brown up there "to develop his legend".
Brown was released by the Patriots on March 1, 2005 for salary cap reasons, but he signed a new contract with them on May 23, 2005. He signed despite a better financial deal from the New Orleans Saints. In the 2005 season, he recorded 39 receptions for 466 yards.
On July 17, 2007, Brown reached an agreement with the New England Patriots for a 15th season, making him the second longest-playing Patriot at the time behind Steve Grogan; both have since been surpassed by Tom Brady. On July 28, he was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, but was activated on November 27.
In addition to playing offense and defense with success, Brown is the Patriots' all-time leading punt returner with 252 returns for 2,625 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is second all-time in Patriots history in receptions (557) and third all-time in receiving yards (6,366). He still holds the Super Bowl record for most punt returns in a career with 8.
Brown is the only player in NFL history with at least 550 receptions, 250 punt returns, and an interception.
A memorable moment for Brown came in a 2006 AFC Divisional Playoff game, when the Patriots met the favored San Diego Chargers. With 5 minutes left in the game, the Patriots were down 21-13 and facing 4th and 5. Tom Brady threw his third interception of the game, to the Chargers' Marlon McCree. Brown, making what teammate Tedy Bruschi described as a "quick mental switch" from offensive to defensive player, instinctively ripped the ball out of McCree's grasp. The fumble was subsequently recovered by the Patriots Reche Caldwell, giving them a new set of downs. New England went on to tie the score with a touchdown and a two-point conversion, and then won the game on a 31-yard field goal. Brown also caught 5 passes for 39 yards in the game.
Brown is a fan favorite among many Patriots fans due to his style of play and years of dedication to his team. His punt return in the 2001 AFC Championship along with numerous big plays throughout his Patriots career culminated in his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame at Patriots Place.
On March 13, 2008, The Boston Globe reported that the Patriots would not offer Brown a contract for the 2008 season. On September 25, 2008, Brown officially retired from professional football during a press conference alongside Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. He finished his playing career as the all-time leader for the New England Patriots in receptions with 557.
Since 2008, Brown has been a football analyst with NBC Sports Boston. At the beginning of the 2019 NFL season, he began coaching in an unofficial capacity with the New England Patriots, assisting wide receivers coach Joe Judge, who was often busy with his other role as special teams coordinator.
Brown currently resides in Huntington, West Virginia, where a portion of West Virginia Route 10 was designated Troy Brown Way. Brown and his wife, Kimberly (who works as a chemist for the United States Army Corps of Engineers), have two sons, Sir'mon and SaanJay.