Kraft: Bruschi 'heart and soul' of Pats defense

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The New England Patriots have released a statement from owner Robert Kraft on linebacker Tedy Bruschi's retirement.

"For the past 13 seasons, Tedy Bruschi helped define what it means to be a New England Patriot. The heart and soul of the defense during the most successful era in the history of the franchise, Tedy also served as an example to every new Patriot of what it takes to be a champion on and off the field.

"Tedy’s tenacity as a player made him a fan favorite long before he helped bring three Super Bowl championships to New England. His remarkable and courageous return to the field following a stroke only added to his legend as one of the most significant and memorable athletes in the history of New England sports.

"We are blessed in so many ways to have had Tedy Bruschi as a career Patriot.”