Ty Law

Last updated

Ty Law
Ty law.jpg
Law with the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI
No. 24, 22, 26
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1974-02-10) February 10, 1974 (age 45)
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: Aliquippa
(Aliquippa, Pennsylvania)
College: Michigan
NFL Draft: 1995  / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles:838
Pass deflections:169
Interceptions:53
Touchdowns:7
Sacks:5.0
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Tajuan E. "Ty" Law (born February 10, 1974) is a former American football cornerback who played fifteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Michigan. He was drafted by the New England Patriots 23rd overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. Law is a two-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a Pro Bowl MVP, and has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots. His 53 career interceptions rank 24th all-time in NFL history; he is widely regarded as one of the best defensive backs of all time. Law was added to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame as its 20th member and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without possession of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays; if they fail, they turn over the football to the defense, but if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs to continue the drive. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Cornerback Defensive position in American and Canadian football, covering receivers, to defend against pass offenses and make tackles

A cornerback (CB), also referred to as a corner or defensive halfback in older parlance, is a member of the defensive backfield or secondary in American and Canadian football. Cornerbacks cover receivers most of the time, to defend against offensive plays, i.e. create turnovers in best case or deflect a forward pass or rather make a tackle. Other members of the defensive backfield include the safeties and occasionally linebackers. The cornerback position requires speed, agility, and strength. A cornerback's skillset typically requires proficiency in anticipating the quarterback, backpedaling, executing single and zone coverage, disrupting pass routes, block shedding, and tackling. Cornerbacks are among the fastest players on the field.

National Football League Professional American football league

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held on the first Sunday in February and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

Contents

Early years

Law attended Aliquippa High School in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania where he played football, basketball and ran track. He played in football as a cornerback, safety, wide receiver, and running back. He was named MVP of the school's basketball team. [1]

Aliquippa, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States

Aliquippa is a city in Beaver County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, located on the Ohio River in the western portions of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 9,438 at the 2010 census.

Beaver County, Pennsylvania County in the United States

Beaver County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 170,539. Its county seat is Beaver. The county was created on March 12, 1800, from parts of Allegheny and Washington Counties. It took its name from the Beaver River.

A wide receiver, also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers, is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is a key player. They get their name because they are split out "wide", farthest away from the rest of the team. Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field. The wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist.

Tony Dorsett, a Hall of Fame running back, is Law's uncle. [2] Law would spend summers in Dallas with Dorsett while he was growing up.

Tony Dorsett American football running back

Anthony Drew "Tony" Dorsett is a former American football running back who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.

College career

Law had a three-year stint at the University of Michigan where he lettered three years in a row (1992–94), earned first-team All-American honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation as a junior and was a two-time unanimous All-Big Ten Conference selection. He was on the cover of the October 3, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated , though it was an ignominious honor: he is the defender over whom Colorado Buffaloes receiver Michael Westbrook is leaping on the famous Miracle at Michigan play. Following his junior year, he left Michigan to enter the 1995 NFL Draft due to financial hardship after his grandfather declared bankruptcy. [3]

University of Michigan Public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

The University of Michigan, often simply referred to as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The university is Michigan's oldest; it was founded in 1817 in Detroit, as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state. The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet spread out over a Central Campus and North Campus, two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.

The Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF) is one of the organizations whose College Football All-America Team is recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The organization also presents various awards. It is named in honor of football pioneer Walter Camp.

Big Ten Conference American collegiate athletics conference

The Big Ten Conference is the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conference in the United States. It is based in suburban Chicago, Illinois. For decades the conference consisted of 10 universities but the present conference has 14 member institutions. They compete in the NCAA Division I; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, the highest level of NCAA competition in that sport. The conference includes the flagship public university in each of 11 states stretching from New Jersey to Nebraska, as well as two additional public land-grant schools and a private university.

He finished his college career with 154 tackles [120 solo, 34 assist], 6 interceptions, and 17 passes defended. [4]

Professional career

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots selected Law in the first round (23rd overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft. Law was the second cornerback drafted in 1995 after Fort Valley State's Tyrone Poole.

New England Patriots National Football League franchise in Foxborough, Massachusetts

The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston area. The Patriots compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts, which is located 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, and 20 miles (32 km) northeast of downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The Patriots are also headquartered at Gillette Stadium.

1995 NFL Draft

The 1995 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 22–23, 1995 at the Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. At the time of the draft, the Raiders were still based in Los Angeles. They would officially return to Oakland after a 13-year hiatus in July 1995. Additionally, the former Los Angeles Rams had gotten approval to move to St. Louis shortly before the draft on April 13. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.

Tyrone Poole Player of American football

Tyrone Poole is a retired American professional football player who played 13 seasons as a cornerback in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers 22nd overall of the 1995 NFL Draft. He played college football at Fort Valley State.

1995

On July 20, 1995, the New England Patriots signed Law to a five-year, $5.50 million contract. [5] Throughout training camp, Law competed to be a starting cornerback against Maurice Hurst. Head coach Bill Parcells names Law the third cornerback on the Patriots’ depth chart, behind Ricky Reynolds and Maurice Hurst.

He made his professional regular season debut in the New England Patriots’ season-opener against the Cleveland Browns, ironically against Bill Belichick. On October 1, 1995, Law earned his first career start and made four combined tackles during a 30-17 loss at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4. He missed two games (Weeks 8-9) due to an injury. Law became a starting cornerback in Week 12 after the Patriots released Maurice Hurst. [6] [7] On November 26, 1995, Law made six combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception against the Buffalo Bills off of Jim Kelly. [8] In Week 15, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles, broke up a pass deflection, and intercepted a pass attempt by Jets’ quarterback Boomer Esiason during a 31-28 win against the New York Jets. [9] He made an interception in three consecutive games since taking over the starting role. In Week 17, he collected a season-high eight solo tackles and made his first career sack during a 10-7 loss at the Indianapolis Colts. Law sacked Colts’ quarterback Jim Harbaugh for a six-yard loss during the first quarter. [10] He finished his rookie season in 1995 with 47 combined tackles (40 solo), nine pass deflections, three interceptions, and one sack in 14 games and seven starts. [11]

1996

Former Cleveland Browns head coach Bill Belichick became the assistant head coach for the New England Patriots in 1996. Law and Rickey Reynolds retained their roles as starting cornerbacks. [12] On October 20, 1996, Law collected a season-high 12 combined tackles (ten solo) and deflected two passes during a 27-9 victory at the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8. Law was inactive for three games (Weeks 11-13) due to an injury. [13] On December 8, 1996, Law recorded one tackle, deflected a pass, and returned an interception for his first career touchdown as the Patriots defeated the New York Jets 34-10 in Week 15. Law intercepted a pass by Jets’ quarterback Glenn Foley, that was intended for wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, and returned it for a 38-yard touchdown during the third quarter. [14] In Week 16, Law made seven solo tackles, a season-high three pass deflections, and intercepted two pass attempts by Troy Aikman during a 12-6 loss at the Dallas Cowboys. [15] He finished the 1996 NFL season with 62 combined tackles (56 solo), nine pass deflections, three interceptions, and one touchdown in 13 games and 12 starts. [16]

The New England Patriots finished first in the AFC East with an 11–5 record and earned a first round bye. On January 5, 1997, Law started in his first career playoff game and made three combined tackles during a 28–3 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round. The following week, he recorded four tackle as the Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 20–6 during the AFC Championship Game. On January 26, 1997, Law started in Super Bowl XXXI and made three combined tackles during a 35–21 loss against the Green Bay Packers.

1997

On January 31, 1997, New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Parcells resigned five days after their loss in Super Bowl XXXI. [17] On February 3, 1997, the New England Patriots announced their decision to hire San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator Pete Carroll as their new head coach. [18]

Law returned as the No. 1 cornerback in 1997 and started alongside Jimmy Hitchcock. In Week 15, he collected a season-high nine solo tackles during a 26-20 victory at the Jacksonville Jaguars. He started in all 16 games in 1997 and made 77 combined tackles (69 solo), 11 pass deflections, three interceptions, and was credited with half a sack. [19]

1998

Patriots’ head coach Pete Carroll named Law and Chris Canty the starting cornerbacks to begin the regular season. On September 13, 1998, Law recorded two solo tackles, three pass deflections, intercepted two passes, and returned one for a touchdown during a 29-6 win against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2. Law intercepted a pass by Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning, that was intended for tight end Marcus Pollard, and returned it for 59-yard touchdown during the first quarter. [20] In Week 8, Law collected a season-high seven solo tackles, deflected two passes, and made one interception during a 12-9 overtime loss at the Miami Dolphins. On November 8, 1998, Law made four combined tackles, two pass deflections, and intercepted two passes by Chris Chandler as the Patriots lost 41-10 against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 10. [21] Law started in all 16 games in 1998 and recorded 70 combined tackles (60 solo), 32 pass deflections, nine interceptions, and one touchdown. [22] Law became the first member of the New England Patriots to lead the league in interceptions and was also voted to the 1999 Pro Bowl to mark the first of his career.

1999

On August 21, 1999, the New England Patriots signed Law to a six-year, $50 million contract extension that includes a signing bonus of $14 million. [23] On October 17, 1999, Law collected a season-high nine combined tackles, two pass deflections, and returned an interception by Dolphins’ quarterback Dan Marino for a 27-yard touchdown during the first quarter of the Patriots’ 31-30 loss against the Miami Dolphins in Week 6. Law missed two games (Weeks 15-16) due to a broken hand. On December 29, 1999, the New England Patriots placed Law on injured reserve due to his broken hand. [24] He finished the season with 57 combined tackles (48 solo), nine pass deflections, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and one touchdown. [25]

2000

On January 3, 2000, the New England Patriots fired head coach Pete Carroll after they finished the season with an 8-8 record. On January 27, 2000, the New England Patriots announced former New York Jets’ defensive coordinator Bill Belichick as their new head coach. [17] Belichick named Law and Antonio Langham as the starting cornerback tandem to begin 2000. In Week 3, he collected a season-high nine combined tackles during a 21-13 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. On December 18, 2000, Law was stopped by U.S, Customs officials in Niagara Falls, New York while crossing the Rainbow Bridge. During the routine inspection, officials found three whole ecstasy pills and four that were partially crushed. Law and teammates Terry Glenn and Troy Brown were returning from visiting an adult nightclub in Canada. Federal prosecutors declined to prosecute Law due to the small amount. U.S. Customs seized the drug and fined Law $700. [26] On December 20, 2000, New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick announced his decision to suspend Law for the final game of the season. [27] He finished the season with 74 combined tackles (58 solo), 11 pass deflections, and two interceptions in 15 games and 15 starts. [28]

2001-2002

The New England Patriots hired Romeo Crennel as their new defensive coordinator. Law returned as the No. 1 starting cornerback and started alongside Otis Smith. [29]

Law earned his first Super Bowl ring with the Patriots in 2001. In Super Bowl XXXVI, he intercepted a Kurt Warner pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown, the first points of the game for the Patriots, who eventually won the game 20-17.

2003

Law was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year and for the fourth time in his career after the 2003 season. In 2003, he was part of a record-breaking Patriots defense that led the NFL in four key categories: opponents’ points per game (14.9), opponents’ passer rating (56.2), interceptions (29) and passing touchdowns surrendered (11). His physical play against some of the game's best receivers prompted the NFL to more strictly enforce the five-yard illegal contact rule on defensive backs after the 2003 season. In the AFC Championship Game against the Colts, Law intercepted three passes from Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, assisting his team to a 24-14 win and their second Super Bowl appearance in 3 years, where they defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29.

2004

Law earned his third Super Bowl ring with the Patriots in 2004, but missed the final 9 games of the season and all three of the Patriots' playoff games due to a foot injury.

2005

On February 25, 2005 Law was released by the Patriots due to his $12,551,000 cap salary. [30] Since then, he has represented the Patriots in a few games as an honorary team captain. In 2014, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

New York Jets

On August 8, 2005, the New York Jets signed Law to a three-year contract as an unrestricted free agent. The contract has incentives that could pay Law $28 million over the first three-years and also has options that total $50 million over seven-years. [31] [32] He then went on to have one of his best years there, gaining a career-high 10 interceptions. He was also the only Jet voted into the Pro Bowl (Jonathan Vilma was named to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement to Miami's Zach Thomas, not by means of popular vote by the fans). Law was released by the New York Jets on February 22, 2006 as the Jets were a projected $26 million over the salary cap for 2006. [33] He was due to make $7.6 million in 2006. [34]

Kansas City Chiefs

Law (right) with former Chiefs teammate Patrick Surtain in 2007 Surtain and Law.JPG
Law (right) with former Chiefs teammate Patrick Surtain in 2007

On July 25, 2006, Law passed his physical with the Chiefs and signed a five-year deal worth $30 million. [35] He reunited with coach Herman Edwards, under whom Law had played in the 2005 season hoping to strengthen the Chiefs' defense.

Second stint with Jets

On November 10, 2008, Law agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New York Jets. [36] Following the end of season, the Jets once again released him on February 24, 2009.

Denver Broncos

Law signed with the Denver Broncos on November 7, 2009. [37] This added to a defensive backfield that had 5 members over 30 years of age, with 20 Pro Bowl selections combined. His final game with the Broncos came January 3, 2010. He finished the season with 10 tackles, and 1 interception run back for 37 yards. He was released by the Broncos on February 24, 2010.

His time in Denver was short and uneventful, only lasting a season. It was his second choice, as he would have preferred to play in New England but signed with Denver. [38] Even though his last season was in Denver, Law stated, "I am a Patriot for life." [39]

NFL statistics

YearTeamGPCOMBTOTALASTSACKFFFRYDSINTYDSAVGLNGTDPD
1995 NE 14474071.0000347163809
1996 NE 13625660.0000345153819
1997 NE 16776980.50103702340011
1998 NE 167060100.001091331559132
1999 NE 13574890.5210220102719
2000 NE 157458160.00002321632011
2001 NE 166959101.0000391304629
2002 NE 167659171.0110433829010
2003 NE 157360130.000061121965123
2004 NE 7282350.0000100003
2005 NYJ 166245170.0000101952074118
2006 KC 16686441.030041131609
2007 KC 16473980.00002212013
2008 NYJ 7191450.0100000002
2009 DEN 710910.0000137373701
Career2038397031365.07405382816747169

[40]

Retirement

After retiring from the NFL, Law founded Launch Trampoline Park, a chain of entertainment facilities based around large areas of connected trampolines. Launch currently has franchised locations across New England, with one park open in Delaware. [41] The website of its Rhode Island location reports that Law makes frequent appearances there, where he participates in games of trampoline dodgeball with customers. [42]

On May 19, 2014, Law was announced as the 2014 Patriots Hall of Fame Inductee. [43] He was inducted on August 1. On February 2, 2019 he was selected to the NFL Hall of Fame class of 2019; he was inducted on August 3, 2019 in Canton, Ohio.

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References

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