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Tom Brady: ‘Not a better player’ to ever play for Patriots than Tedy Bruschi

07.29.13 at 5:18 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Before taking the field for a nighttime practice inside Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady took the occasion on the field Monday to join in the chorus of praise for the newest member of the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Brady played with Tedy Bruschi for nine seasons from 2000-2008 and the two won three Super Bowls together.

But what Brady recalled Monday were the personal moments he had with Bruschi, getting to know the man as well as the player.

“Spending Christmas at his house, all those things are really special memories for me,” Brady said. “They couldn’t award a better player than Tedy.

“There’s not a better player that’s ever come through this program than Tedy. It’s going to be great for all us to see him inducted and have him around and hopefully, he has some words of wisdom for this year’s team.”

Then there was Vince Wilfork, a former teammate that actually played defense with Bruschi.

“It’s just the confidence he had in everyone,” Wilfork said. “Anytime he gave a huddle call, you could just tell in his voice how confident he was in the call, how confident he was in the play. Just being alert on the field, he was a very, very smart person. Just to hear his voice, you always knew you had somebody that had your back in him. He helped build this organization into what it is.”

Wilfork got a little dig in on at Bruschi, who is now working for ESPN.

“He’s grown a little Hollywood now. We see him on television,” Wilfork joked.

Pepper Johnson coached Bruschi in Bruschi’s final nine seasons in Foxboro. Johnson, who played with the likes of Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks with the Giants, compared Bruschi’s intensity to those legendary players.

“It’s kind of like the leadership question, I think after you hit a certain plateau, that’s it,” Johnson said. “Carl Banks was very strong, very intense guy out on the field. You try to [model] yourself after him, you try to pattern yourself after him but Tedy Bruschi was serious, totally focused. Every time coach Belichick grabbed the podium and took to heart everything he was saying. It wasn’t just that he was talking to him, Belichick was talking to everybody through him. That’s what he tried to relay a little bit in the locker room, off the field, too, at linebackers dinners.”

Bruschi went into the club’s Hall of Fame Monday with longtime broadcaster Gil Santos.

Read More: Carl Banks, Gil Santos, Lawrence Taylor, New England Patriots
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