Today in Patriots History
Obscure Tight Ends, and other April 7 Birthdays
Obscure Tight Ends, and other April 7 Birthdays
Happy 31st birthday to Tim Wright
Born April 7, 1990 in Wall Township, New Jersey
Patriot TE, 2014; uniform #81
Wright is most well known for being the player that the Patriots received when Logan Mankins was traded to Tampa. Overlooked at the time was the fact that New England also received a 4th round draft pick, which turned out to pay better dividends: that was used to select Trey Flowers.
Tim Wright had six touchdown receptions with the Pats in 2014, appearing in all 16 games with 8 starts. He had 26 receptions for 259 yards (10.0 ypc), but was waived prior to the start of training camp the following year.
The Bucs re-signed Wright, then traded him to Detroit prior to week one in 2015. He didn't do much with the Lions (9 receptions for 77 yards and 2 TD) in '15, and spent 2016 on IR. KC signed him in 2018, but he did not make the 53-man roster. His career NFL stat line is 907 yards on 89 receptions, with 16 touchdowns in 41 games. He also has a ring from the Pats from the Super Bowl victory over Seattle.
Happy 49th birthday to Lovett Purnell
Born April 7, 1972 in Seaford, Delaware
Patriot TE, 1996-1998; uniform #48, #85
Pats 7th round (216th overall) selection of the 1996 draft, from West Virginia
Purnell played in 34 games with seven starts over three seasons with the Pats. He had five touchdowns on 19 catches for 159 yards, averaging 8.4 yards per catch. He also had two receptions in three playoff games with the Patriots.
In 2007 Purnell was inducted to the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.
Happy birthday to Bob Suci, who would have been 82 today
Born April 7, 1993 in Flint, Michigan
Died 12/21/15 in Grand Blanc, MI
Patriot CB/PR, 1963; uniform #21
Suci spent four seasons in the AFL with the Oilers and Patriots, but unfortunately a knee injury cut his career short. In 1963 he appeared in all 14 games for the Patriots, averaging 9.3 yards on 25 punt returns and 21.2 yards on 17 kickoff returns. That same year Suci led the AFL in pick-sixes (2) and interception return yardage (277). His 98-yard TD interception off George Blanda was the highlight of a 45-3 rout over the Houston at Fenway Park on November 1, 1963. The crucial victory put the Patriots and Oilers in a first place tie.
Suci was in on nine turnovers for that '63 Patriot defense, with seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries. The Pats ranked first in yards allowed and second in points allowed that year, claiming the franchise's first title (AFL East) and first playoff victory in a 26-8 victory at Buffalo.
Legend of former Michigan State, AFL player Bob Suci still lives on after death
Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame
Happy 71st birthday to Kenny Price
Born April 7, 1950 in Houston
Patriot LB, 1971; uniform #54
Kenny Price was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa by Dallas in 1971. He spent time on the taxi squad, and appeared in just one game with the Patriots. On December 19, 1971 John Mazur's squad upset Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts 21-17. The winning points came on an 88-yard 4th quarter touchdown pass from Jim Plunkett to Randy Vataha; that was the second Plunkett-to-Vataha TD connection of the day.
That was the final regular season game in '71, with the Pats finishing 6-8: a four-win improvement over the previous season. It was also Kenny Price's one and only NFL game.
On the Wikipedia page for the 1971 draft Price is listed as one of eleven notable undrafted players. Apparently their definition of notable and mine differ.
Happy 31st birthday to Jemea Thomas
Born April 7, 1990 in Fitzgerald, Georgia
Patriot CB, 2014; uniform #21
Pats 6th round (206th overall) selection of the 2014 draft, from Georgia Tech
Patriots Found Upside in Georgia Tech Do-It-All Jemea Thomas | NEPatriotsDraft.com
8/26/14: Patriots Cut Six, Including Sixth-Round Pick Jemea Thomas | NESN
The New England Patriots already cut ties with a 2014 sixth-round draft pick, cornerback Jemea Thomas.
The Patriots whittled down their roster to 75 players Tuesday by waiving Thomas, defensive lineman Ben Bass, defensive back Travis Hawkins, wide receivers Derrick Johnson and Wilson Van Hooser and linebacker Deontae Skinner. The Patriots also placed running back Tyler Gaffney and linebacker Cameron Gordon on injured reserve.
Thomas was picked up by the Cowboys, and then the Rams and Titans. His NFL career consisted of 28 special team snaps over two games in 2014, one each with St. Louis and Tennessee. Thomas' last pro football stop was with the Titans for their training camp in 2015.
April 7, 2008
Patriots sign veteran free agent Victor Hobson, after five years with the Jets. There were high expectations for Hobson, but strong training camp performances by rookies Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton resulted in Hobson's release at the end of camp.