Today in Patriots History
Day Two of the 1976 NFL Draft
Roosevelt Hotel in New York City; Rounds 8-17
- 8.217 -- traded away previous year, for S Steve Freeman
- 8.235 -- RB Stu Betts, Northern Michigan
- 9.243 -- S Doug Beaudoin, Minnesota
- 10.270 -- WR Ricky Feacher, Mississippi Valley State
- 11.298 -- LB Donnie Thomas, Indiana
- 12.325 -- DT Nathaniel Bell, Tulane
- 13.352 -- S James Jones, Central Michigan
- 14.382 -- WR David Quehl, Holy Cross
- 15.409 -- WR Bernard Coleman, Bethune-Cookman
- 16.436 -- DT Clifford Brown, Tuskegee
- 17.466 -- C Todd Anderson, Stanford
Most day two picks back then were the equivalent to today's undrafted rookie free agent signings. The one notable draftee was ninth rounder Doug Beaudoin, who played in 45 games with 20 starts over four seasons with the Patriots.
Nobody was challenging Doug Beaudoin to a friendly game of anything back in 1971. Unless, of course, said challenger was up for a butt whooping. "I could beat just about anybody at anything," Beaudoin said. "Skiing, golf, pingpong. Whatever you w...
Beaudoin played seven seasons in the NFL, five for New England and making stops in Miami and San Diego in '80 and '81, respectively. Beaudoin recorded four interceptions during his NFL run, but was hampered throughout his professional career by an injury suffered during his senior track season at Jamestown High.
"I'll never forget it," Beaudoin said. "We were running the 440 relay in Valley City and it was about 30 degrees and sleeting. I took the baton for the home stretch, probably ran about 30 yards, and my hamstring snapped. I was probably never the same after that."
The born athlete said his time in the 40-yard dash fell from approximately 4.40 to 4.60, and hamstring issues would cloud weeks of strong play on the gridiron even as Beaudoin ascended to the sport's highest level. His New England teammate in the secondary, Mike Haynes, brought up Beaudoin's injury-prone legs while the two shared a moment in Canton, Ohio, in 1987.
Haynes was getting his call to the NFL Hall of Fame.
"We were sitting there and I was congratulating him on his Hall of Fame career, and he said, "You know what, Doug? If not for your hamstrings, you'd probably be sitting here too," Beaudoin recalled.
Doug finished his pro football career with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL in 1985. He remained in the area, and is now the VP of Sales and Entertainment for the FX Marketing Group in Tampa.
Happy 62nd birthday to Ken Toler
Born April 9, 1959 in Greenville, Mississippi
Patriot WR, 1981-1982; uniform #82
Pats 7th round (185th overall) selection of the 1981 draft, from Ole Miss
Toler played in 25 games over two seasons with the Patriots, primarily on special teams. He had seven receptions for 133 yards, averaging 19.0 yards per catch. He also caught two TD passes in the 1982 season.
Both touchdowns came in the third quarter, as part of Patriot victories. His first NFL touchdown was in week one of the '82 season at Baltimore, a 30-yard strike from Matt Cavanaugh. That turned out to be the winning points in a 24-13 victory over the Colts.
Toler's other touchdown came in the final regular season game of '82. Buffalo had a 13-3 lead before the Patriots rallied. Toler was on the receiving end of a 33-yard pass from Steve Grogan that gave New England the lead. The Patriots went on to win 30-19 and claim a wild card spot in the playoffs, while the Bills were eliminated, one game behind the Pats.
Toler later spent two seasons with Birmingham in the USFL, playing on a squad that went 27-9 in his two years on the Stallions.
Happy 79th birthday to Dick Capp
Born April 9, 1942 in Portland, Maine
Pats 17th round (147th overall) selection of the 1966 AFL draft, from Boston College
Capp grew up in Deering, Maine before heading to BC. He was on the Pats taxi squad (predecessor to the practice squad) and played minor league football in Massachusetts. Vince Lombardi noticed Capp somehow and he signed with Green Bay as a tight end/linebacker in 1967. The Packers - coming off a Super Bowl I victory over Kansas City - were a veteran club, so Capp didn’t get on the field very often. He played in 14 games the following season for Pittsburgh, but that was the extent of his NFL career.
Dick Capp's claim to fame is making a crucial special teams play in Super Bowl II.
Deering's Dick Capp had a very special Super Bowl moment
“Even though it’s nothing like the press coverage and pomp and circumstance that it is today, it still was huge,” he said. “You know you’re playing in a big game. I got interviewed from someone on the New York Times. Me. I wasn’t even a starter. We were all going, ‘Holy smokes, if one of the subs was interviewed by the New York Times, it must be a big game.’ ”
And Capp delivered. Green Bay led 13-7 late in the first half and was forced to punt from its 17. Oakland’s Rodger Bird attempted to catch Donny Anderson’s punt at midfield but muffed it. Capp – who was activated for the Super Bowl after not playing for months – recovered the ball at the Oakland 45 with 23 seconds left in the first half. The Packers got a field goal to go up 16-7 at the half. The NFL highlight video of that game points to that play as a turning point.
Capp said he was fortunate to be the one who recovered the it.
“There were three of us there, it just bounced up,” he said. “And I had pretty good hands.”
But he jokingly never lets his former teammates know who made the play. “We have reunions in Green Bay a lot when we get together for a couple of days,” he said. “And I always kid the veterans that if it wasn’t for that play, they wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.”
He made his mark playing special teams. “I was good at it; it was the only reason I made the Packers,” he said.
Capp’s journey to Green Bay began at Deering, where he played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. He was tall and lean – about 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, he said, growing to 6-4, 240 in the pros – athletic, fast and smart. The Rams won the 1959 Class A football state championship his senior year.
One other player born on this date with a New England connection:
Happy 58th birthday to Bob White
Born April 9, 1963 in Fitchburg
Alum of Lunenburg High School and the University of Rhode Island.
The center played in 24 games with 10 starts for the Dallas Cowboys from 1987-89.
April 9, 1970
The Patriots sign free agent QB Brian Dowling.
The Yale grad spent most of his time on the taxi squad during the Jim Plunkett era. He is more well known as being the inspiration of 'BD' in the Doonesbury comic strip, and QB for Yale in the 29-29 1968 tie versus Harvard.