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Tom Brady, John Hannah, Ty Law make all-time Patriots team

"Patriots Dynasty Week" reigns supreme on the NFL Network airwaves this week -- suitably celebrating a franchise that has been on quite a run since Y2K.

The Boston-turned-New England Patriots will play their 55th season in 2014, but it wasn't until the modern modern era that the franchise really got hot. Bill Belichick's squad became just the second team ever -- joining the Cowboys -- to win three Super Bowls in four years. Not to mention, the Pats own 11 of the past 13 AFC East titles. Thus, NFL Media deemed this organization a dynasty, and I was assigned to pick an all-time team.

Just like last week's "All-Time Packers," we picked a starting lineup, not the top 25 Patriots ever. We fully expect disagreements -- hit me at the usual place: @HarrisonNFL.

Now, let's get started with the greatest Patriot of them all ...


Quarterback: Tom Brady

Huge surprise. The three-time Super Bowl champion and two-time league MVP might be the greatest quarterback ever. I guess you could say Brady's stiffest competition for this spot would be fan favorite Steve Grogan. But yeah, not much of a competition.

Running back: Jim Nance

Nance was a hoss. I still remember the shock I experienced in reading the back of his football card and seeing that he ran for 1,458 yards in 1966. No one put up those kinds of numbers back then. Nance was the best RB in the AFL in '66 and '67.

Fullback: Mosi Tatupu

Tatupu played tailback and fullback and was a special teams stud for New England. He ran under punts and kicks and ran the football for 13 years with the Patriots, leading the NFL in yards per carry (5.5) in 1983.

Wide receiver: Wes Welker

Welker has defined the relatively new slot receiver position with his incredible productivity. In six years with Patriots, Welker averaged 112 catches per season, earning a Pro Bowl nod in each of his final five campaigns in New England.

Wide receiver: Stanley Morgan

"Stanley Steamer" is the best true wideout in Patriots history. While Welker has made his living in the slot, Morgan could stretch the field or play the possession game. His 10,352 yards and 67 receiving touchdowns remain franchise records to this day.

Tight end: Ben Coates

What a great football player Coates was for the Patriots. The two-time first-team All-Pro posted seasons of 96, 84, 62, 66 and 67 catches from 1994 to '98, the most among tight ends in that span.

Offensive tackle: Matt Light

An anchor for the Patriots' Super Bowl teams of the early 2000s, Light protected Brady's blind side for over a decade. With three Super Bowl rings, three Pro Bowl nods and a fine reputation as a reliable player, Light was an easy choice.

Offensive tackle: Bruce Armstrong

A 14-year starter in New England, Armstrong suited up in 212 regular-season contests for the Patriots. He made six Pro Bowl teams and started Super Bowl XXXI.

Offensive guard: John Hannah

Perhaps the greatest offensive lineman ever, Hannah was anointed as such on the cover of *Sports Illustrated* in 1981. He was a seven-time first-team All-Pro, even earning the honor in his final season (1985), which also saw him start in Super Bowl XX.

Offensive guard: Logan Mankins

Nine years into his NFL career, Mankins is still going strong. He's made six Pro Bowls while starting two Super Bowls. He was the very last pick of the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft, and is still probably the best ever taken at that slot.

Center: Jon Morris

Morris enjoyed quite a start to his career in 1964, making the Pro Bowl right out of the gate for one of the AFL's best teams -- and he went on to make it the next six years, too. His legacy is underscored by recognition on the All-Time AFL Team.


Defensive end: Richard Seymour

Seymour was one of those rare breeds who could play inside or outside, in a 3-4 or 4-3. During his eight years in New England, Seymour made seven Pro Bowls, earned three first-team All-Pro nods and won three Super Bowls.

Defensive end: Larry Eisenhauer

He is a forgotten Patriot. What a D-line the Pats had in the '60s with Eisenhauer, Houston Antwine, Jim Lee Hunt and Bob Dee. Eisenhauer beats out Julius Adams for this spot by virtue of being a regular first-team All-AFL honoree.

Nose tackle: Vince Wilfork

New England greatly missed Wilfork's services in 2013, as a torn Achilles tendon cost the five-time Pro Bowler most of the season. A 10-year vet, Wilfork is considered one of the best nose tackles ever.

Outside linebacker: Andre Tippett

In the 1980s, two outside linebackers truly struck fear in opponents' hearts: Lawrence Taylor and Andre Tippett. The latter posted 35 sacks over a two-year period (1984-85), and made the Pro Bowl five times.

Outside linebacker: Willie McGinest

McGinest's name has come up in Hall of Fame talk over the past couple of years, but at this point, being one of the greatest Patriots ever will have to do. He holds the NFL record for postseason sacks (16) and won three Super Bowls with the franchise.

Inside linebacker: Steve Nelson

Nelson was the ultimate New England Patriot, playing through some of the best and worst times in franchise history during his 14-year tenure -- earning three Pro Bowl nods in the process. The club has him credited with a ridiculous 1,776 tackles.

Inside linebacker: Nick Buoniconti

Known to many as a Miami Dolphin -- by virtue of his role as a leader on the undefeated 1972 team -- Buoniconti developed his game in Boston. Buoniconti's presence on the All-Time AFL Team is mostly due to his time with Pat Patriot.

Cornerback: Ty Law

Law was a master craftsman at his position, intercepting 36 balls in his 10 seasons with New England and generally establishing himself as one of the premier corners in the league. He led the NFL with nine picks in 1998.

Cornerback: Mike Haynes

Haynes was as good as it gets at corner, as evidenced by his spot on the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team. He was named to the Pro Bowl in six of his first seven seasons -- including his rookie campaign -- before being traded to the Raiders in 1983.

Safety: Lawyer Milloy

Milloy opened up his NFL career with a fine seven-year run in New England, making the Pro Bowl four times while logging 26 takeaways. He also nabbed a first-team All-Pro designation in 1999. Milloy's leadership contributed greatly to the upset win over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Safety: Ron Hall

Perhaps the one guy on this team that even some diehard Patriots fans haven't heard of, Hall played the safety position at a very high level for the club in the 1960s. His 11 picks in 1964 are still a team record.


Kicker: Adam Vinatieri

No one has made more big kicks than Adam Vinatieri. There is some sentiment that, in addition to being the top kicker in franchise history, he ultimately could get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Punter: Rich Camarillo

One of the most prolific punters of his era, Camarillo booted the ball all over the park in Foxborough from 1981 to 1987. During that time he averaged 42.6 yards per punt and made the Pro Bowl in 1983.

Returner: Troy Brown

Brown did everything in New England, from being a go-to wide receiver to playing defensive back to ... well ... returning kicks. He ranks 17th in NFL history in punt return yards and took one to the house in the 2001 AFC Championship Game.

Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL.

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