Pats' brightest Light goes out.Byline: Jennifer Toland
FOXBORO - During Super Bowl week, which this year coincided with the 10-year anniversary of the Patriots' first championship, Matt Light was forced to reflect on that magical 2001 season, which was his rookie year, even though he didn't really want to.
True, Light was one of just three remaining players from that team, a distinction that carries an obligation to remember when, but he was more interested in looking ahead, not back.
Super Bowl XLVI did not turn out like Light had hoped, but his final game hardly marred an 11-year career during which he protected the blind side of the game's best quarterback, played in five Super Bowls and six AFC (1) (Application Foundation Classes) A class library from Microsoft that provides an application framework and graphics, graphical user interface (GUI) and multimedia routines for Java programmers. Championship games, was named to the Pro Bowl three times, and was part of establishing the Patriots as a model franchise.
The 33-year-old Light played at a high level in 2011, starting 15 games at his left tackle position, but he made the decision to leave the game on his own terms. Light formally announced his retirement during a ceremony yesterday morning at the Hall at Patriot Place The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter.
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"I think one of the things that was very apparent over the last couple of seasons is that it takes a lot longer to recover the older you get," Light said. "And so, really, during that six, seven, eight months of football season, it really became very difficult to give much outside of a `hi, goodbye' or `good morning' to my family, and that's always been really important to me.
"And also health reasons, and just wanting to leave this game upright and feeling good. And to be quite honest with you, I really just had this sense of just being grateful for the experience."
Light's family - including his wife, Susie, and two of their three children - his friends, former Patriots teammates and some fans gathered to pay tribute on the third floor of the team's Hall of Fame. Light was lauded as a durable and dependable lineman by coach Bill Belichick Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism. , a great friend and teammate, a prankster, and a humanitarian.
"I hope it's not the last time we honor Matt in this building," Patriots owner Robert Kraft Robert K. Kraft, (born June 5, 1941 in Brookline, Massachusetts) is the Founder, Chairman & CEO of the Kraft Group, a diversified holding company with assets in paper & packaging, sports & entertainment, real estate development and a private equity portfolio. said.
A video montage of Light's career included messages from Tom Brady Thomas Edward Brady, Jr. (born August 3, 1977 in San Mateo, California) is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. , who called Light "one of my favorite teammates I've ever had," and longtime Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia Dante Scarnecchia (born February 14, 1948 in Los Angeles, California) is the American football offensive line coach and assistant head coach for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. , who touched on his and Light's "love-hate" relationship.
Light, who was a Pro Bowl selection in 2010 and re-signed with the Patriots as a free agent before last season, had been contemplating retirement.
"Most of us knew it was coming," left guard Logan Mankins said. "We had some nights after games here celebrating that we had heart-to-heart talks about stuff like that. I think he was sharing it, bouncing it off of people. He knows that we always told him that whatever he felt was right, and we supported him."
Belichick reminisced about moving up to draft Light out of Purdue in the second round, about Light the rookie being late for team meetings, and about his legendary locker room mischievousness.
"Even if it wasn't him," Belichick said, "he was always the suspect."
Belichick was not immune to Light's antics. Light once replaced Belichick's computer mouse with one that carried 400 volts of electricity.
"You will scream for Jesus when that thing hits you," Light said. "And for whatever reason, I thought it would be comical to put that in Bill's office."
Belichick zapped himself twice and lost an entire file of work.
"He had a great sense of when to lighten up," Belichick said, "and when to tighten up."
Light made 173 career starts and is one of just five players to start five Super Bowls (Brady, John Elway, Cornelius Bennett and Charles Haley are the others). Light said Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney was the toughest player he ever opposed.
In 2002, Light established The Light Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to empowering youngsters through grants, scholarships and outdoor activities. A Super Bowl ticket and travel-package raffle Light held this year raised more than $260,000 for the foundation. He was the recipient of the Patriots' 2005 Ron Burton Community Service Award.
Eleven current Patriots offensive linemen - including Mankins, Dan Koppen and Sebastian Vollmer - as well as former Pats offensive lineman Russ Hochstein and running back Sammy Morris, were in attendance. Their presence seemed to mean the most.
"You guys," Light said, "made it all worthwhile."
Gaffney coming back
Also yesterday, the Patriots announced the re-signing of receiver Jabar Gaffney.
Gaffney is a 10-year NFL NFL
National Football League
NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga veteran, including three with New England from 2006-08. In his time with the Pats, Gaffney caught 84 passes for 1,059 yards and eight touchdowns.
In all, Gaffney has 443 receptions for 5,622 yards and 24 touchdowns. Last year with Washington he had career highs with 68 catches for 947 yards and tied his career best with five touchdowns.
NAME: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled until (UTC) due to vandalism.
CUTLINE: (1) Matt Light (2) The Patriots' Matt Light spent many seasons keeping defenders from reaching quarterback Tom Brady.
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