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Former Pats exec tells great story about 'secret' Corey Dillon meeting originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots are the last team to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles, and they probably wouldn't have accomplished that feat without making a bold trade before the 2004 NFL Draft.
The Patriots needed to upgrade at running back and veteran Corey Dillon's tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals looked like it was coming to an end.
Before working out a deal with the Bengals to acquire Dillon, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and former executive Scott Pioli traveled to Connecticut for a "secret meeting" with Dillon to talk to him face-to-face.
Pioli told the story on NFL Network this week. Check it out in the video below:
This morning on #GMFB I told the backstory of the '04 road trip Bill Belichick & I made for a secret meeting w/ Corey Dillon & agent Steve Feldman pre draft. We couldn't do at our facility or anywhere we'd be recognized
CD won us over & offered a pay cut to be w/ #Patriots #NFL pic.twitter.com/wRBQERbac9
— Scott Pioli (@scottpioli51) April 20, 2021
Dillon was awesome for the Patriots during the 2004 campaign.
He ranked third in the league with 1,635 rushing yards -- also a Patriots single-season record -- while also tallying 12 rushing touchdowns and 4.7 yards per carry. Dillon's 292 rushing yards in the playoffs led all running backs, and his touchdown in Super Bowl XXXIX helped the Patriots defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 for their third championship in four years (and second in a row).
Dillon's final two seasons with the Patriots in 2005 and 2006 weren't anywhere near as productive, but the trade still was most definitely worth it for New England. The pass-run balance the Patriots had on offense in 2004 is one of several reasons why many fans and experts believe that team is the best in franchise history.