'96 thoughts from honorary captains


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Thoughts on the 1996 AFC Championship team from the Patriots' four honorary captains for Sunday's AFC Championship Game -- Drew Bledsoe, Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown and Ty Law:


"It was a really special time for everyone involved and I know it was for our fans as well. The Patriots had been through a lot of years that hadn’t been much fun and then to have not just one, but two home games in that run was really neat. I know for a fact that the loudest Foxboro Stadium ever was, was when we took the field against the Steelers with the fog. It seemed like the fog kind of acted like a dome and held the sound in."


"That old Foxboro Stadium, such a nostalgic feeling of that stadium you always got ... the ‘Fog Bowl’ against the Steelers ... Playing in front of them and winning that way, you knew what they were doing in that stadium. They had to deal with those bathrooms. All the players knew and all the players’ wives had to be up there too. They had to deal with the bleachers; they had to deal with the bathrooms. You knew what kind of facility it was but you looked around and they were there. They were always there; they were close, they were on top of you and they could voice their opinions and you could hear every word. It felt good knowing that they cared so much and how badly they treated us sometimes when we lost, I liked that because it showed how much passion they had. To be able to give them some signature victories like that against the Jaguars and of course finishing off Foxboro Stadium they way we did versus the Raiders, you wanted to do that for them because you just always felt that they were there with you in that place."


"Getting to come back and representing the '96 team this time around, it's a great gesture from Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots to have us come back and do that. It will be fun for me to get out there and do the coin toss with them again. ... Reflecting back on '96, you think about all the failures you've had and all the great times you've had and all the other wins and stuff. I think about all the guys that I went to war with out in all those games and sweated with out there. It will be a special time for us and it will be great to see some of the guys come back too and enjoy this game this weekend."


"I think the ’96 season we were one of those teams that nobody thought we would get to the dance, you know get to the show. We were a decent football team but we just kind of caught fire at the end and next thing you know we’re in the playoffs and it’s a whole new season. We had a great coach in Bill Parcells and everything just seemed to be clicking at the right time. I couldn’t even put it into words because for a minute there I’m just happy to be winning because my rookie year we didn’t get the opportunity to play in the playoffs, so to go from a non-playoff team to representing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl was pretty big. Like I said, we hosted the AFC Championship Game and were winning playoff games and the home crowd gets to see that and they hadn’t seen that in a long time."