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All-time Bill Belichick Patriots team: Defensive end

Ryan Hannable
July 11, 2018 - 1:44 pm

Leading up to Patriots training camp at the end of July we’re unveiling our all-time Bill Belichick Patriots team with a new position coming out almost every day. Today, it’s defensive end (2). Click here for the complete series so far.

Willie McGinest

McGinest doesn't really get as much credit as he deserves for being one of the best players of the Patriots dynasty. The defensive end won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and is still the NFL's all-time playoff sack leader with 16, including the most in a single playoff game (4.5 in 2005 against the Jaguars). Although he was drafted by the Patriots in 1994, the majority of his success came with Bill Belichick as his coach.

His best individual season came in 1995 when he recorded 11 sacks and 70 tackles, but not too far behind was the 2004 season when he had 9.5 sacks.

After spending the final few years of his career with the Browns, he signed a one-day contract with the Patriots on August 5, 2015 so he could retire as a member of the Patriots organization.

"Nobody would mess with Willie," Belichick said before he was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2015. "Nobody. He was the most, I’d say in the time that I’ve been here, there is maybe one player, I’d put him up there as the guy you just don’t want to cross him. If it got to that point, it’s better to back off than get into it with him. He was very well respected, as he should be. He was great athlete, great player, great teammate, versatile guy, [on] championship teams. He had a great career."

Richard Seymour

Although Seymour was traded by the Patriots just before the 2009 season to Oakland, it doesn't overshadow how dominant of a player he was with the team. He could have been even better too, as he dealt with a number of injuries over the course of his career.

The defensive end was drafted No. 6 overall by the Patriots in 2001 and lived up to the hype. In his eight years with the Patriots he totaled 39 sacks and 223 tackles. He was also part of three Super Bowl-winning teams and named to the Pro Bowl five times as a member of the team.

"From nearly the day he arrived in 2001, Richard Seymour established himself as one of our premier players for nearly a decade," Belichick said the day Seymour was traded. "His presence has been felt as a force on the field, a respected man off it and a multiyear champion.” 

Honorable mention: None

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