On February 8, 1960, Lou Saban became the first head coach of the New England Patriots (then Boston Patriots). He coached the Patriots for two years before moving on the the Buffalo Bills. In 1964 and 1965, Saban led the Buffalo Bills to consecutive AFL championships. He also coached the Denver Broncos for several years. He was twice named Coach of the Year and is a member of the American Football League Hall of Fame.
First-round draft choice Richard Seymour helped revitalize the New England Patriots defensive line in 2001. Quickly earning a starting spot on the defensive line, he finished the 2001 season with 44 tackles (25 solo) and 3 sacks. In 2002, Seymour earned his first Pro Bowl selection and became the first Patriots defensive tackle ever awarded that honor. In 2003, he put together an even more impressive season, earning another Pro Bowl berth and finishing with 80 tackles (45 solo), 8 sacks, and 10 pass deflections. He quickly came to be considered one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.
New England Patriots running back Curtis Martin earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 1995. Drafted in the 3rd round, Martin turned out to be quite a steal. He finished his rookie season with 1,487 rushing yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Martin would go on to become one of the most prolific running backs in NFL history.
In Week 2 of the 2001 NFL season, an inexperienced Tom Brady replaced New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe after he suffered a devastating hit from New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis that caused internal bleeding and a collapsed lung. Brady played so well that head coach Bill Belichick allowed him to keep the starting job even after Bledsoe had recovered. The Patriots finished the season with an 11-5 record and went on to defeat the St. Louis Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI. Brady was named Super Bowl MVP and Bledsoe was traded to the Buffalo Bills during the following off-season.
The New England Patriots did NOT win Super Bowl XXXVII. They DID win Super Bowl XXXVI, Super Bowl XXXVIII and Super Bowl XXXIX, making them only the second team ever in the history of the NFL to win three of four consecutive Super Bowls (The Dallas Cowboys were the first to achieve this feat, winning Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX.)
In 2004, the New England Patriots traded a second round draft pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for disgruntled running back Corey Dillon. Although some critics questioned the wisdom of this trade, Dillon quickly proved himself worthy of the Patriots' trust. In 2004, he put together the best season of his career, rushing for 1,635 yards and providing the Patriots with a legitimate running threat to compliment the accurate arm of quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots finished the season by claiming their third Super Bowl victory in four years.
It took head coach Bill Belichick only two years to win a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. After suffering through a tough first season in which the Patriots finished 5-11, Belichick engineered a masterful second season, handing QB duties over to Tom Brady and leading the Patriots to a victory over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. He would follow up with two more Super Bowl victories in the next three years, making him one of the most successful head coaches in league history.