So many Patriots defensive players have come, gone, and dominated in the last couple of years. Some have been all-stars, such as Gilmore, Wilfork, Jackson, Chung, and many others. However, some positions don’t get as much glory as they should.
The Patriots have an elite group of linebackers that have dominated over the seasons, and this article ranks the top five linebackers in Patriots history.
Five: Dont’a Hightower
A current player on the Patriots, Dont’a Hightower has dominated the Patriots defense since 2012. Even though he has declined over the years, he has put up some impressive stats for himself. In his nine seasons with the Patriots, he has produced 27 sacks and 579 tackles which is remarkable.
He also dominated in terms of achievements, making it to the pro bowl twice and even showing it with three super bowl rings. Although he wasn’t the most prominent contributor on the list, he has come through and played his heart out for the Patriots.
Four: Mike Vrabel
Now the Tennessee Titans head coach, Mike Vrabel, dominated back in his linebacker days. He played for the Patriots between 2001 and 2010, and he was an immense contribution to the team. In his eight seasons, he put up 48 sacks and 606 tackles which is absurd and mind-boggling.
He also dominated the interception game, having seven in his career. Many linebackers don’t have more than three! On top of this feat, he also made the pro bowl, was an all-pro for one season and won three Super Bowls.
He also is a fantastic coach, borrowing many ideas from Belichick and learning from him to coach the Titans, and he’s succeeded.
Three: Jerod Mayo
An odd one out on the list, Jerod Mayo ranks so high due to his professionalism, commitment, and production. He led the league in tackles twice and won the AP Rookie Of The Year award in 2008. He didn’t play for long, only from 2008-2015, but when he did, he dominated the game.
Although he only had 11 sacks in his eight seasons, he put up a whopping 802 tackles, an impressive feat. In terms of his awards, he dominated many other linebackers, making the pro bowl twice, all-pro once, and even winning a Super Bowl once.
Jerod Mayo was a very clutch linebacker in crucial moments of the season, especially the season where the Patriots went 16-0, and that helps his case.
Two: Andre Tippett
One of the few players who dominated before the Brady era, Patriots fans will remember the name Andre Tippett. Andre played for the Patriots from 1982 to 1993 and put up incredible numbers during those years.
In his 12 seasons, he put up an impressive 100 sacks, which many linebackers dream of putting up. He also dominated in the season, making the pro bowl five times and even being inducted into the hall of fame!
He dominated the Patriots’ defense before the dynasty and is a proper Hall of Famer. If that isn’t enough, then what is?
One: Tedy Bruschi
One of the most iconic Patriots linebackers, probably the first person you think of when you hear linebacker for the Patriots, Tedy Bruschi. No introduction is needed as Bruschi dominated during his 12-season tenure on the Patriots.
He put up 30.5 sacks and 1074 tackles which are pretty impressive stats for someone who fought injury.
Speaking of injury, his awards show he dominated as he made the pro bowl, won three Super Bowls, and won the 2005 comeback player of the year. He won comeback player of the year because he suffered a stroke in the offseason, came back to play, and led the Patriots in tackles.
The main reason Bruschi is so high up is his heart, connection, and support to the city. Bruschi had the dog in him, he wasn’t the biggest or fastest, but he outworked most people on the field.
He supports every other local charity and sports team, and he’s genuinely a Patriot in the hearts of all fans.
Although there are so many different linebackers that could make this list (like Willie McGinest), these players made such an impact on the team. Patriots have always had a great defense, even to this day when they ranked third in defense last year.
Either way, linebackers seem to get shadowed in the limelight when many of them dominated, so it’s necessary to give them credit when it’s due.
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