"How good was Ty Law?" Patriots owner Robert Kraft asked. "The best. And if you don't believe it, just ask him."
Kraft noted that the league crackdown on physical play by cornerbacks in 2004 was called the "Ty Law Rule." That was fitting because of Law's ability to manhandle receivers near the line of scrimmage (and sometimes away from it) helped define his career.
Law told a story Friday about the 2003 AFC Championship Game. Bill Belichick informed Law during the week that he would not be covering Marvin Harrison, the Indianapolis Colts' No. 1 receiver. Law usually covered the opposition's top wideout, so he was upset all week. When the game started, he walked out to cover Harrison anyway.
Belichick pulled Law aside and told him he could cover Harrison, but they would go back to Belichick's plan if he gave up any plays. Harrison wound up with three catches and 19 yards, and Law caught three interceptions. The NFL ended up with a new rules emphasis, and Law ended with a new respect for Belichick's mind games.
Law will be remembered in part for his brash behavior, from dancing with Robert Kraft after winning the Super Bowl, to saying whatever was on his mind. To anyone.
"You guys are out of your mind!" Law yelled. "Don't you know who I am! I'm Ty (expletive) Law! Ty (expletive) Law!"
He might not make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot, but we believe Ty (expletive) Law eventually deserves to add a gold jacket to the red one he received Friday in Foxborough, Massachusetts.