Rodney Harrison named 2019 inductee to Patriots Hall of Fame

Rodney Harrison named 2019 inductee to Patriots Hall of Fame

Another key member of the New England Patriots' ferocious early-2000s defense is joining the team's Hall of Fame.

Former safety Rodney Harrison was elected into the Patriots Hall of Fame on Monday, beating out 2019 finalists Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel.

Harrison came to New England from the San Diego Chargers in 2003 and made an immediate impact, setting the tone as a hard-hitting safety to help the Patriots win back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 2003 and 2004. He was named a first-team All Pro during the 2003 season and didn't miss a game during his first two seasons with New England.

Harrison was limited to just three games in 2005 after tearing his ACL but stayed with the Patriots until 2008, when he retired following a leg injury.

The former fifth-round pick since has gone on to a successful broadcasting career on NBC's "Football Night in America" show but left an indelible mark in New England, drawing head coach Bill Belichick's praise as one of the best players he's ever coached.

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Tedy Bruschi names his top five Patriots linebackers

Tedy Bruschi names his top five Patriots linebackers

Linebacker has been a position of strength for the New England Patriots for most of their 20-year dynasty, and one of the big reasons they've been able to sustain such a high level of success

Tedy Bruschi was a key linebacker for New England from 1996 to 2008. A three-time Super Bowl champion, Bruschi was inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2013. There's no doubt he's one of the best LBs in Patriots history.

But on Wednesday, a humble Bruschi took on the task of naming his top five Patriots linebackers of the Tom Brady era, and he didn't include himself.

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Here's who he did name, per WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria".

Five, I heard you guys talking about (Rob) Ninkovich and I think that was a good call, that Rob and the timely plays he made, that sort of edge presence was strong. I go with Ninkovich at five.

I go (Roman) Phifer at four. Phife is someone that people forget about. Now, Phife never came off the field, through all those three championship runs — the early ones — Phife was like that guy now that splits out and covers the guy on the slots, and he’d beat up the tight end, or he’d have to cover a back. Phife did so much for us on the punt team with me and (Mike Vrabel), that type of guy. So Phifer was definitely one of the top ones for me.

For three, I have to put Hightower at three. Dont’a just made so many big plays in so many big games. So he’d be three for me.

Two, I’d go with Vrabel. all the reasons you guys have talked about already, but Vrabel, there was also a time during that stretch where he had to play inside linebacker. Inside linebacker, outside linebacker, defensive end, those type of guys. So Vrabel is two.

And I put (Willie) McGinest at one. In terms of a d-end, and also getting up and playing outside linebacker, setting the tone in the locker room, I mean, he was there even for the ’96 Super Bowl for me when I was a rookie there, so one would be Willie for me.

That's definitely a tough top five to argue with. Of course, Bruschi probably should be in there.

Jerod Mayo, Junior Seau, and Ted Johnson all are honorable mentions. And if we're talking non-Brady era, Andre Tippett's likely in the top spot.

The Patriots lost a pair of key linebackers in free agency this offseason as Kyle Van Noy signed a four-year deal with the Miami Dolphins and Jamie Collins left for the Detroit Lions on a three-year contract.

Bill Belichick shares important message amid coronavirus pandemic

Bill Belichick shares important message amid coronavirus pandemic

As much of the world continues to adjust to life during the coronavirus pandemic, a number of Boston sports figures have delivered messages of encouragement as well as important reminders to stay home.

On Wednesday, Bill Belichick became the latest to do so. The New England Patriots head coach issued a PSA thanking medical professionals and urging the public to stay home during these difficult times.

"Hello, this is Bill Belichick. I want to reach out to you in these uncertain and unprecedented times to let you know that I, and the New England Patriots, are behind you. We are all in this together.

"Thank you to our heroic medical professionals -- doctors, nurses, medical workers, and others -- who are selflessly and courageously doing their job to take care of others in need. We have heard your stories and seen some of your great work. You are truly champions and warriors.

"We are facing a difficult opponent. It will take teamwork, discipline, and commitment to do the right things all the time. That includes staying at home. I encourage everyone to shelter in place for as long as necessary as we fight this virus together. There are plenty of things we cannot do right now, but let's focus on what we can do. We can adapt, we can adjust, and we can make better decisions right now for the betterment of the future. As I tell our team, let's keep stringing good days together, and we will get through this."

Watch below:

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Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman delivered a similar message on Friday. And after testing positive for the coronavirus, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has gone above and beyond in raising awareness about the importance of quarantining during the pandemic. He also will be donating plasma to the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.