By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The world was a very, very different place in 2001.

For one, social media — as we know it today — did not exist. No Twitter, no Facebook, no Snapchat, no Instagram. No Tumblr, Tik Tok, or Tinder, either.

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It was also a very different time in the football world in New England. The Patriots were coming off a 5-11 season in Bill Belichick’s first year as head coach, and the zero-time Super Bowl champs were gearing up for their final season at Foxboro Stadium before moving next door to CMGI Field.

Times have changed since then. And that’s putting it mildly.

Quite a bit happened during that fateful 2001 season, the year that Tom Brady became a household name, and the year that the Patriots won their first of six Super Bowls. And to help fans relive that history-altering year, the Patriots have created new social media “time machines.”

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The accounts are on Twitter and Instagram as @PatsTimeMachine, and they will post various images, videos and stories to recreate that 2001 season.

This week, the “time machine” included archived articles from Patriots Football Week. One article analyzed which free agents from the 2000 team would be staying and which would be leaving. That list of pending free agents includes Bruce Armstrong, who retired, and Chad Eaton, who left for Seattle.

The story for the start of the 2001 league year notes that the Patriots have to rework a contract with franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe, an extension “that could secure the quarterback position for the next decade and free up some cap room in the short term.” That story also noted that Bill Belichick was excited to have Romeo Crennel join his staff. It also looked ahead to potentially adding Bryan Cox to the linebacking corps, which ended up working out rather well.

Perhaps the best part of that story? That would be this:

“While the team expects to lock up Bledsoe long term, it might also be in the market for a more reliable veteran backup unless holdovers Tom Brady or Bishop can fill that role following the release of veteran John Friesz. Bishop has attempted just nine NFL passes in his two seasons with the club, and Brady was the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.”

That was, obviously, a fair concern in March 2001. But the 199th pick ended up being more capable of fulfilling the task asked of him than anyone could have ever imagined.

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The Patriots will also launch a podcast to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 2001 season, a time that transformed the franchise and kicked off an unprecedented two-decade stretch of success, the likes of which the NFL has never before seen and might not see again. Staff