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April 29 in Pats History: Don Calhoun

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jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
Don Calhoun


Happy 69th birthday to Don Calhoun
Born April 29, 1952 in Sumner, Oklahoma
Patriot RB, 1975-1981; uniform #44
Signed as a free agent on Nov 15, 1975 (five days after being released by Buffalo)

Calhoun was a teammate of Steve Grogan's at Kansas State and drafted by the Bills in the tenth round (249th) in the 1974 draft. He may be the first in a long tradition of Buffalo castoffs to find success in Foxborough. After being relegated to nothing more than blocking for OJ Simpson in Buffalo, Calhoun's talents were much better utilized in New England. He became a vital part of the Chuck Fairbanks era Patriots that were robbed of a Lombardi Trophy, and the team set an NFL record for rushing yardage in a single season.

When called upon to fill in for Sam Cunningham or Andy Johnson, Calhoun delivered so well that fans fervently lobbied for him to be given more snaps. He never once missed a game due to injury, and led the NFL with an incredible 5.6 yards per rush in 1976. In a four week span at the end of the '76 season Calhoun came in off the bench and performed better than anyone could have reasonably asked for, with four consecutive 100-yard games as a sub. Over those four games Calhoun carried the rock 93 times for a whopping 540 yards. He was a major factor in the six-game winning streak to finish the season, with the Pats finishing 11-3. The Patriots were not only in the playoffs for the first time in 13 years - at that point in time they were the best team in the league. Unfortunately Pats fans had to wait another quarter century for a championship thanks to Ben Dreith.

When Calhoun finished his playing days in New England he ranked third in franchise history in rushing yardage (he ranks 6th now), and third in rushing touchdowns (9th now). Calhoun's 4.1 yards per carry is second most in team history for a player with as many rushes (820) as he had.

Calhoun: One Tough Back - Kansas State University Athletics

Don Calhoun - Kansas Sports Hall of Fame







 

jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
Two More Birthdays


Happy 81st birthday to Sid Blanks
Born April 29, 1940 in Del Rio, Texas
Patriot HB, 1969-1970; uniform #22
One of four players received in a ridiculously stupid trade with Houston for Leroy Mitchell, on March 24, 1969

As a Houston Oiler rookie in 1964, Blanks led the AFL in rushing touchdowns and was an AFL All-Star. He caught on with the Pats as a backup and special teamer at the end of his career, appearing in all 28 games over those two seasons. Blanks' stat line with the Patriots while enduring two years of Clive Rush and John Mazur was 20 carries for 74 yards, and seven receptions for 65 yards.





Sid Blanks was an All-American member of the football team in 1960-63 and also a member of the Javelina track and field squad. He was inducted into the Javelina Hall of Fame in 1981.​

He was the first black football player in the LSC. He was All-American twice and made the all-conference squad four times.​

Blanks set numerous records while with the Javelinas, both conference and school marks. He led the team in rushing in 1960, 1961 and 1963; led the squad in scoring in 1960, 1961 and 1963, and he was the leading receiver in 1961 and 1963.​

He led the LSC in rushing in 1960 and 1961 and was the top scorer in 1960.​

After finishing at Texas A&I, Blanks was a standout in the professional ranks.​

Blanks was a captain of the 1963 team.​



Sid Blanks was a talented running back for the Houston Oilers and Boston Patriots from 1964-1970. A product of Texas A&M-Kingsville, Blanks had 756 rushing yards as a rookie in 1964, and led the AFL is rushing touchdowns with six. He was selected to play in the AFL All-Star Game that season and was thus a part of the All-Star Game Boycott in New Orleans in January 1965. Sadly, Blanks blew out a knee in training camp in 1965. He sat out the entire ’65 season and though he returned to play five more seasons, he never fully returned to his pre-injury form.​

Sid Blanks was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1997. It is believed that the disease was brought about by his time playing football.​




One other pro football player born on this date with a New England connection:

Justin Cross turns 60 (born 4/29/1959)
Cross is a native of Portsmouth NH, and was an offensive tackle for the Bills from 1982-86; he later became a commercial airline pilot.
 

jmt57

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April 29, 1980: Day One (Rounds 1-6) of the NFL Draft, from the New York Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan
  • 1.14 --- S Roland James, Tennessee
  • 1.25 --- RB Vagas Feruson, Notre Dame [Pick acquired from Houston in Leon Gray trade, 8/15/79]
  • 2.45 --- LB Laurence McGrew, Southern Cal
  • 3.73 --- (Pats trade WR Harold Jackson to Rams for '79 3.73 and '80 4.98 on 8/16/78)
  • 3.73 --- DT Steve McMichael, Texas
  • 5.124 -- DE Doug McDougald, Virginia Tech
  • 6.154 -- (pats trade 6.154 to Cleveland for Mike St. Clair on 2/7/80)
  • 6.160 -- WR Preston Brown, Vanderbilt [Pick also acquired in Leon Gray trade]
Ferguson is not bolded due to a grand total of 345 yards rushing from year two on, leading to his quick exit from the NFL after showing promise with 991 yards from scrimmage as a rookie. Trading McMichael away is something that Pats fans from that era would prefer to forget.

On the other side of the ledger Roland James played in 145 games with 29 interceptions over 11 seasons in New England, and Larry McGrew was a very good linebacker from 1980-89, appearing in 142 games for the Patriots.
 

jmt57

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April 29, 1981: Day Two (Rounds 6-12) of the NFL Draft, from the New York Sheraton Hotel
  • G Ron Wooten, North Carolina (6th round, #157 overall)
  • WR Ken Toler, Ole Miss (7th round, #185)
  • K Ken Nabler, Stanford (8th round, #194) [Pick acquired from Saints in Sam Adams trade]
  • TE Lin Dawson, North Carolina State (8th round, #212)
  • (9th round #240 traded to Detroit 7/26/80 for LB Ed O'Neil)
  • (10th round #267 traded to Cleveland 2/7/80 for DE Ernest Price]
  • QB Brian Buckley, Harvard (11th round, #295)
  • S Cris Crissy, Princeton (12th round, #323)

To end up with two players as good as Ron Wooten and Lin Dawson from the sixth round on is an absolute win. Wooten missed a scant seven games while manning the right guard position for seven seasons. Dawson was a complete tight end, an excellent blocker for the Pats running game; his injury early in Super Bowl 20 was a devastating blow for the Patriots. Both are members of the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1980s.
 

jmt57

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April 29, 1986: Day One (rounds 1-6) of the NFL Draft, from the New York Marriott Marquis
  • RB Reggie Dupard, Southern Methodist (1st round, #26 overall)
  • DT Mike Ruth, Boston College (2nd round, #42) [from 7/31/84 trade with Seattle for Bob Cryder
  • S Vencie Glenn, Indiana State (2nd round, #54)
  • (3rd round #82 pick forfeited as a penalty for the improper status of WR Derwin Williams on injured reserve in 1984)
  • TE Scott Gieselman, Boston College (4th round, #109)
  • G Greg Robinson, Sacramento State (5th round, #137)
  • Pats trade 6th round pick (#165) to Bucs for 1987 5th


This was a seriously poor draft. If this was day two, rounds seven to 12 then one could shrug it off, But that wasn't the case: the team got virtually zero production from the first six full rounds of the draft.

Reggie "Dupard for a yard" began his NFL career on IR with a sprained toe, and it never got any better after that. Mike Ruth showed some promise, but consecutive trips to IR with a hip injury and torn ACL prematurely ended his career. Second round pick Vencie Glenn missed most of training camp, holding out due to a prolonged contract negotiations. He lasted all of four games - before being traded away for a fifth round pick - and then proceeded to have a ten year NFL career with other teams. Scott Gieselman spent his rookie season on IR, and never played a down in the NFL; Greg Robinson was waived at the end of his rookie training camp.
 

jmt57

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April 29, 1987: Day Two (rounds 8-12) of the NFL Draft
Pats select K Carlos Reveiz, Tennessee (11.302) and RB Elgin Davis, Central Florida (12.330); the three other draft picks had previously been traded.
 

jmt57

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April 29, 2004: New England signs four undrafted rookie free agents.
The only one from this group that made it was Randall Gay from LSU. The cornerback was forced into starting duty as a rookie due to injuries, including all three postseason games culminating with the Super Bowl 39 victory over Philadelphia. Randall had five picks over four seasons in Foxborough, and then played three more years for the Saints.




April 29, 2006: Day One (rounds 1-3) of the NFL Draft, from Radio City Music Hall
  • 1.21 -- RB Laurence Maroney, Minnesota
  • Pats trade up 16 spots, sending 2.52 (Greg Jennings) and 3.75 to Green Bay for 2.36
  • 2.36 -- WR Chad Jackson, Florida
  • 3.22 -- TE David Thomas, Texas

Maroney gained 2,839 yards and scored 22 touchdowns in four seasons in New England, so it's not fair to label him a bust - but the other running backs drafted soon after (DeAngelo Williams, Joseph Addai) would have been better choices. Chad Jackson was indeed a bust, but the reality is that he was the consensus #2 receiver of that class by virtually every draft expert. Thomas was a questionable choice that did not work out; TE Owen Daniels was still available and would be selected 12 picks later.
 

jmt57

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April 29, 2007: Day Two (rounds 4-7) of the NFL Draft
  • Pats trade 4.11 to Oakland for WR Randy Moss
  • 4.127 -- DT Kareem Brown, Miami
  • (Pats own fifth, 5.165, had been traded to Oakland on 9/2/06 for WR Doug Gabriel)
  • (Pats awarded 5.171 compensatory for free agent loss of David Givens)
  • 5.171 -- OT Clint Oldenburg, Colorado State
  • (Pats traded Brandon Gorin to Arizona on 8/21/06 for conditional pick, 6.180)
  • 6.180 -- DE Justin Rogers, Southern Methodist
  • 6.202 -- CB Mike Richardson Notre Dame
  • (Pats awarded 6.208 and 6.209 compensatory for free agent losses of Adam Vinatieri, Christian Fauria)
  • 6.208 -- RB Justice Hairston, Central Connecticut
  • 6.209 -- OT Corey Hilliard, Oklahoma State
  • 7.211 -- LB Oscar Lua, Southern Cal (pick came from day one trade with Oakland)
  • (Pats own seventh, 7.238, had been sent to Miami on 3/5/07 as part of Wes Welker trade)
  • (Pats awarded 7.247 compensatory for free agent loss of Tom Ashworth)
  • 7.247 -- C Mike Elgin, Iowa
The only good that came out of day two was utilizing that fourth round pick on Randy Moss. The rest was eight nothing-burgers.




April 29, 2008: New England signs six undrafted rookie free agents
The best of the bunch was LB Gary Guyton, who surprisingly outperformed Victor Hobson to win a place on the week one roster. Guyton became a starter the following year, and spent four years with the Patriots. The Pats also signed TE Jonathan Stupar, who would go on to play a couple seasons with Buffalo.
 

jmt57

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April 29, 2011: Day Two (rounds 2-3) of the NFL Draft
  • (Previous year Pats had traded a 2010 third to Carolina for a 2011 second)
  • 2.33 -- CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
  • (Pats had traded down the previous day, sending 1.28 to New Orleans for 2.56 and a 2012 first)
  • 2.56 -- RB Shane Vereen, California
  • Pats trade down, sending 2.60 to Houston for 2.73 and 5.138
  • 2.73 -- RB Stevan Ridley, Louisiana State
  • (Pats had received a third round pick from Minnesota in 2010 Randy Moss trade)
  • 3.74 -- QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
  • Pats trade down, sending 3.92 and 4.125 to Oakland for 7.219 and a 2012 second
Not horrible but not that good either. Dowling was an egregious bust, and the Pats once again waste an early pick on a backup quarterback. All the trading down is not yielding the desired result of more hits, nor is trading out to the next year yielding better quality. Vereen and Ridley were productive, but never really quite played up to their draft status.




April 29, 2013: Jeremy Ebert among five players waived
Ebert was a 7th round pick in 2012 who was released as part of the final preseason roster cuts, spent two weeks on Philadelphia's practice squad, and was signed to the Pats practice squad in late November. He was waived two days after the completion of the 2013 draft, when the Patriots selected Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce at his wide receiver position. Others waived were TE Brad Herman, CB Malcolm Williams, FB Tony Fiammetta and DT Tracy Robertson. Herman was the only one of the five to never see any playing time in the NFL, while Williams was the only one to get on the field for the Patriots.
 

jmt57

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April 29, 2016: Day Two (rounds 2-3) of the NFL Draft
  • (Pats first round pick was stolen by the science-deniers of the NYJFL, making the second round the Pats first pick)
  • 2.29 -- CB Cyrus Jones, Alabama
  • (Pats had received 2.61 from Arizona as part of the 3/15/16 Chandler Jones trade)
  • Pats trade down, sending 2.61 to New Orleans for 3.78 and 4.112
  • 3.78 -- G Joe Thuney, North Carolina State
  • 3.91 -- QB Jacoby Brissett, North Carolina State
  • (Pats awarded a third round compensatory draft pick for free agent loss of Darrelle Revis)
  • 3.96 -- DT Vincent Valentine, Nebraska
While the unethical thievery of the first round pick had a monumental negative impact for the Pats, the team certainly did not help matters by using their first pick on a 5'10 corner with average speed, more viewed as being a punt returner than an every down player.

Thuney was a steal in the third round.
Valentine showed promise early but soon turned into a bust.
Brissett started a grand total of two games for the Pats.
 

jmt57

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April 29, 2017: Day Three (rounds 4-7) of the NFL Draft
  • (Another day, another draft pick stolen by the suits who don't believe in the Ideal Gas Law. Goodell and his goons never noticed a change in tire air pressure since they never drive an automobile; they have limo drivers that take care of that pesky business.)
  • 4.118 -- poof, gone
  • (4.124 was previously used in trade up for Antonio Garcia)
  • (4.131 was part of a 2016 trade down, from Seattle)
  • 4.131 -- DE Deatrich Wise, Arkansas
  • (Pats traded 4.137 to Indianapolis for TE Dwayne Allen and 6.200 on 3/9/17)
  • (Pats traded AJ Derby to Denver for 5.163 on 10/25/16)
  • (Pats sent 5.163 to Buffalo as compensation for RFA RB Mike Gillislee on 4/24/17)
  • (Pats traded 5.175 to Cleveland for OLB Barkevious Mingo on 8/25/16)
  • (Pats awarded a fifth round compensatory draft pick for free agent loss of DE Akiem Hicks)
  • Pats trade 5.183 to Kansas City for TE James O'Shaughnessy and 6.216
  • Pats trade up five spots, sending 6.216 and 7.239 to Dallas for 6.211
  • 6.211 -- OT Conor McDermott, UCLA
  • (Pats traded 6.215 to Detroit for LB Kyle Van Noy and 7.239 on 10/25/16)
  • (Pats traded 7.250 to Detroit for TE Michael Williams on 8/25/15)
  • DT Adam Butler, Vanderbilt was one of the UDFA signed following the draft
Nearly all of the day three draft picks were traded away for veterans, so to properly grade this draft you really need to consider the production of the players received from those trades. Van Noy, Allen and Mingo made solid contributions. On the other hand it would have been nice if the Pats had not traded up for Garcia, and 345 Park Avenue had not stolen another draft pick; those two early fourths could have helped.




April 29, 2021: Day One (round one) of the NFL Draft, from FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland
  • 1.15 --- QB Mac Jones, Alabama
 

Pape

In the Starting Line-Up
Today in Patriots History
Two More Birthdays


Happy 81st birthday to Sid Blanks
Born April 29, 1940 in Del Rio, Texas
Patriot HB, 1969-1970; uniform #22
One of four players received in a ridiculously stupid trade with Houston for Leroy Mitchell, on March 24, 1969

As a Houston Oiler rookie in 1964, Blanks led the AFL in rushing touchdowns and was an AFL All-Star. He caught on with the Pats as a backup and special teamer at the end of his career, appearing in all 28 games over those two seasons. Blanks' stat line with the Patriots while enduring two years of Clive Rush and John Mazur was 20 carries for 74 yards, and seven receptions for 65 yards.




One other pro football player born on this date with a New England connection:

Justin Cross turns 60 (born 4/29/1959)
Cross is a native of Portsmouth NH, and was an offensive tackle for the Bills from 1982-86; he later became a commercial airline pilot.
Sid Blanks... in of of the most iconic early Patriots photographs ... but maybe thats better saved for the august 16 edition
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
April 29, 2007: Day Two (rounds 4-7) of the NFL Draft
  • Pats trade 4.11 to Oakland for WR Randy Moss
  • 4.127 -- DT Kareem Brown, Miami
  • (Pats own fifth, 5.165, had been traded to Oakland on 9/2/06 for WR Doug Gabriel)
  • (Pats awarded 5.171 compensatory for free agent loss of David Givens)
  • 5.171 -- OT Clint Oldenburg, Colorado State
  • (Pats traded Brandon Gorin to Arizona on 8/21/06 for conditional pick, 6.180)
  • 6.180 -- DE Justin Rogers, Southern Methodist
  • 6.202 -- CB Mike Richardson Notre Dame
  • (Pats awarded 6.208 and 6.209 compensatory for free agent losses of Adam Vinatieri, Christian Fauria)
  • 6.208 -- RB Justice Hairston, Central Connecticut
  • 6.209 -- OT Corey Hilliard, Oklahoma State
  • 7.211 -- LB Oscar Lua, Southern Cal (pick came from day one trade with Oakland)
  • (Pats own seventh, 7.238, had been sent to Miami on 3/5/07 as part of Wes Welker trade)
  • (Pats awarded 7.247 compensatory for free agent loss of Tom Ashworth)
  • 7.247 -- C Mike Elgin, Iowa
The only good that came out of day two was utilizing that fourth round pick on Randy Moss. The rest was eight nothing-burgers.

Make that Seven grotesquely over-drafted nothing burgers...Then Little Billy gets rid of the only decent player from that Entire feckin draft class before the season even feckin begins...Feckin idiot.
 

jmt57

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Sid Blanks... in of of the most iconic early Patriots photographs ... but maybe thats better saved for the august 16 edition
Warning: this is extremely sad, to the point where I hesitated to post it.

 

Pape

In the Starting Line-Up
Warning: this is extremely sad, to the point where I hesitated to post it.

Based on my own personal experiences over the past year and a half (almost) I think that was a wonderful video.

While overall the story is sad, it is also a very positive uplifting story in a way ... There's a lot of hard work and frustration that comes from taking care of someone over a long period of time ... Putting aside your wants / needs / desires day after day, week after week can be frustrating ... lord knows i have lost my temper over the stupidest of things ... but in the end, that simple bond of love gets strengthened by doing, and that makes it worth it... You can see it in his grand daughters face... I think she'd understand what i am trying to say, even if some who read this dont...

Thanks for posting that.


edit: I also want to add that what Ive been thru over the past year pales in comparison to what Sid Blanks grand daughter has done. She is good people.
 
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