Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft mourn loss of David Patten

Former Patriots wide receiver David Patten, who died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 47, is being remembered as a consummate teammate with the Patriots.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick recalled how Patten, who was undrafted out of Western Carolina and began his pro football career in the Arena League, built himself up into a significant contributor on three Super Bowl teams.

“It breaks my heart to hear of David’s tragic passing at such a young age,” Belichick said. “I am grateful to have coached David. He is an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl champions. I especially appreciate David for his professional journey. As much as anyone, David epitomized the unheralded, self-made player who defied enormous odds to not only earn a job in the NFL but to become a key player on multiple championship teams. I can speak for anyone who had the pleasure to be around David that his work ethic, positive energy and character were elite. My deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft called Patten a fine man who was vital to the team.

“I am heartbroken by the news of David’s passing,” Kraft said. “He was a devout Christian who followed his passion following his football career and founded his own ministry. David transitioned from an undersized and understated wide receiver to a powerful and passionate preacher. In New England, he will always be remembered as a three-time Super Bowl Champion. His touchdown reception in the AFC Championship game at Pittsburgh propelled the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXVI and I’ll never forget his remarkable catch in the back of the end zone in that game. It was our only offensive touchdown in the Super Bowl and secured our first championship in franchise history. Our sincerest sympathies are with his wife, Galiena, his family and all who are mourning David’s tragic and untimely death.”

Patten played for the Patriots from 2001 to 2004 and also finished his career in New England with a brief stint there in 2010.