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August 1 in Pats History: Moscow Patriots and the UNH Russian Front

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Staff member
Today in Patriots History
One-Third of the UNH Russian Front

Happy 57th birthday to Ilia Jarostchuk
Born August 1, 1964 in Utica, New York
Patriot LB, 1990; uniform #50
Signed as a free agent on March 25, 1990


Ilia Jarostchuk was a 5th round draft pick by Saint Louis, from the University of New Hampshire in 1987. He spent '87 with the St. Louis Cardinals, '88 with the Dolphins, and '89 with the relocated Phoenix Cardinals, before joining the Patriots. Jarostchuk played in twelve games with one start while with the New England Patriots.

After the end of his sports career due to injury, Ilya did not lose touch with the Patriots. He actively participates in the community as a volunteer, visiting children's hospitals with other veteran players, and helps out at many Pats events.

Since 1998 Ilya has been deeply involved with the Holy Epiphany Russian Orthodox Church in Roslindale. There he has performed many tasks: overseen the finances, taught classes and served as a school principal and director.

For his daytime job Ilya has a genuine career, as he works as a sales executive of neurosurgical products by Johnson & Johnson. Somehow he also finds time to serve as the vice president of the New England Patriots Alumni Club.

March 24, 1990: Patriots sign Jarostchuk | UPI

Sept 14, 2013: Moscow Patriots
The visit to Moscow by the former New England Patriot Linebacker, Ilia Jarostchuk, was extremely eventful. Ilia attended the Moscow Patriots team practices and met with the coaches, players, and the club’s administration. On August 24, Mr. Jarostchuk joined the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, at midfield for the coin toss prior to the 2013 Russian Championship Game in American Football. This game was broadcast live across all seven Russian time zones, and ended as the best Russian championship game ever played.​

Upon returning home, Ilia shared his experience with the owner of the New England Patriots, Mr. Robert Kraft, a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist. Prior to Ilia’s departure for Moscow, Robert Kraft gave Ilia some gifts to present to the Moscow Patriot team – a cap with the New England Patriots logo for every member of the Moscow Patriots team. The Moscow players were very touched by Mr. Kraft’s gift and well wishes. A team photograph was taken with all the players wearing their Moscow Patriots jerseys, and New England Patriots caps. The team then responded in like fashion, by presenting Mr. Kraft with a gift from Moscow – an actual game helmet with the team’s logo. Ilia delivered this gift to Mr. Kraft in person on the field before the last preseason game against the New York Giants.​

After hearing the story about the trip to Moscow and the development of American football in Russia, Mr. Kraft expressed his desire to help the Moscow Patriots and directed his VP of Media Relations, Stacey James, and Community Relations Manager, Donna Spigarolo, to place this on his agenda as something to follow up.​

At the present time, the Moscow Patriots’ players and coaches provide training to many players from other Russian cities. Partnering with such a powerful partner as Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots could bring American football to a whole new level in Russia!​

We thank Mr. Kraft for his pledge of support, and will continue to hold high and proud the banner of the New England Patriots in Moscow – GO PATRIOTS!​


Feb 8, 2019:


Pictured from left to right are Ilia Jarostchuk, Max Lane, Ron Stone and Steve Nelson,
in front of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square.

UNH Magazine: 'The Russian Front' Revisited



Ilia '87, Alex '89 and Basil '89 Jarostchuk

In UNH football, it's not often that members of the defense team psych out opponents by speaking Russian. But for the Jarostchuk brothers, who played Wildcat football in the late '80s, a comment like "Ya vozmu sorok shest—A ti vozmi tritsatz dva!" (I'll take 46—you take 32!) while waiting for the snap was a fun way to unnerve the opposition.​
Ilia Jarostchuk '87 was the first brother to be offered a football scholarship, and to arrive at UNH, where he majored in civil engineering.​
Basil Jarostchuk '89 followed his brother to Wildcat country, majoring in Russian, and then Alex Jarostchuk '89. Alex, 6'5" and more experienced on the football field, was courted by many schools—Syracuse even sent a recruiter to Durham to seek Ilia and Basil's blessing. In the end, it was academics, not athletics, that lured him to UNH. "The UNH athletic department always supported the academics first. That was one of the biggest factors," says Alex, a chemical engineering major. A sister, Anya, arrived at UNH in 1987 but stayed for just a year. By then, sportswriters had dubbed the three brothers "the Russian Front." "She had to leave because she couldn't get a date," jokes Ilia. "Who wants to confront the Russian Front?"​
All three brothers credit UNH with setting them on successful career paths. Ilia was drafted in the fifth round in 1987 by the St. Louis Cardinals and played in the NFL for six years, including a stint with the New England Patriots. Today, he works in medical device sales for neurosurgical products at Johnson & Johnson. Basil lives in New Jersey and also works in sales and marketing for medical devices. Alex is associate director of engineering for Pfizer in Massachusetts.​
The Jarostchuk brothers overlapped as football players only for the 1986 season, but the Russian Front nonetheless has left a lasting legacy of pride. All three brothers maintain strong connections to their Russian heritage, taking leadership roles in the Russian Orthodox church. While the quirky story of UNH's Russian Front captured the attention of Wildcat football fans, it also gained the brothers an even greater notoriety among Russian immigrant families throughout the country. It was one of the first times, says Basil, that the media portrayed their heritage in a positive light.​




Staff member
Today in Patriots History
2.9 yards per carry

Happy 55th birthday to Marion Butts
Born August 1, 1966 in Sylvester, Georgia
Patriot RB, 1994; uniform #44
Acquired in a trade with the Chargers on April 24, 1994

Marion Stevenson Butts Jr. grew up in rural southern Georgia. He went to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College for two years before transferring to Florida State. The Noles were a perennial contender for the national title at that time, loaded with talent. On his first touch Butts ripped off a 56 yard run in a 1987 game against Texas Tech, yet he couldn't get on the field that often. At that time Sammie Smith was the star running back - considered to be the better 'Smith' in college football in the state of Florida (the other Smith being a Florida Gator named Emmitt). Butts got just 35 carries in '87 (5.7 ypc) and 29 in '88 (4.6 ypc), which ranked 5th and 6th on the team. From that team two other running backs were selected in the first round of the 1989 NFL draft: Sammie Smith (ninth) by Miami, and Dexter Carter (25th) by San Francisco, and freshman Edgar Bennett would go in the fourth round to Green Bay a few years later.

Somehow Butts was able to catch the notice of some NFL scouts. The San Diego Chargers sent linebacker Thomas Benson to New England in exchange for the Pats seventh round draft pick, and used it on the 6'1, 248 pound Butts. As a rookie he led the team with nine rushing touchdowns, with his best game coming late in the season against the Chiefs when he carried the ball 39 times for 176 yards. The following year Butts made the Pro Bowl when he ran for 1,225 yards and a league-high 87.5 yards per game. Butts made the Pro Bowl in 1990 and 1991 but was being overused by San Diego; in his five seasons with the Chargers he averaged 206 carries per season.

In 1993 Leonard Russell rushed for over 1,000 yards for the Pats, though in his three seasons in New England was only averaging 3.5 yards per carry. The Patriots were unable to agree to terms on a new contract with Russell, and during the 1994 draft made what at the time seemed to be a very good trade. The Pats dropped down eight spots in the third round, from 70 to 78, plus sent a fifth round pick to San Diego in exchange for Butts.

The 1994 Patriots improved from 5-11 to 10-6 and made the playoffs for the first time in eight years. Butts rushed for 703 yards and eight touchdowns - but averaged only 2.9 yards per carry. Leroy Thompson (3.1 yards per carry) didn't fare any better, so Parcells stuck with Butts for the entire season. Then in the first round of the playoffs Tuna made an odd decision, only then trying somebody else at running back. He inserted second year back Corey Croom - who had zero carries the entire season - into the starting lineup for the Pats in their playoff game against Bill Belichick's Cleveland Browns. Croom did okay (four first downs on nine carries), but the game plan was to pass, pass and pass some more. The Browns shut down the New England offense, with Drew Bledsoe going just 21-50 with three interceptions in a 20-13 victory for Cleveland.

A month later Marion Butts became a free agent, and the Patriots made no attempt to re-sign him. After being released at the end of training camp by the 49ers, Butts signed for Houston and played in twelve games as a reserve for the Oilers; he retired after the 1995 season. Over the course of seven seasons Marion Butts rushed for 5,185 yards and 43 touchdowns.


May 29, 1994:
True, Marion Butts has never played a down for Parcells or the Patriots. But as the coach always tells his players, "I go by what I see." And what he has seen of Butts in a Chargers uniform these past five seasons made Parcells want him like a hot meal on a cold day.​
April 25, the second day of the draft, Parcells got him, acquiring Butts and a third-round pick for the Patriots' third- and fifth-round selections. If not for Leonard Russell's refusal to accept the Patriots' $1.4 million offer, there would be no ifs, ands or Butts.​
But Butts agreed to $1.4 million. And now, despite being the 1993 Patriots' leading rusher -- and second in the AFC -- the unsigned Russell may never again wear a Patriots uniform.​
But as the Patriots ended their three-day veterans minicamp Thursday, even Parcells wondered if his good fortune will be as good as he first thought.​
"Any time you trade for a player that has been someplace else, you always wonder in the back of your mind why you're able to [make the trade]," Parcells said. "Hopefully, I've researched him enough to know. He's not susceptible to injury, and he's quite a physical player. If we can get three or four years out of Marion, that would be great."​
Butts will be 28 when the 1994 season begins.​

July 25, 1995:
The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Butts hurt his right knee and had arthroscopic surgery during training camp with the Patriots last season. New England had acquired him in a trade with San Diego. Patriots coach Bill Parcells hoped to build the running game around Butts' inside ability.​
However, Butts was tentative because of the knee injury. He gained 703 yards on 243 carries, averaging a career-low 2.9 yards, and scored eight touchdowns.​
"It was a slow start after I hurt my knee," said Butts, who gained 1,225 yards in 1990. "I didn't jell with the offensive line. They had a quarterback in [Drew) Bledsoe that they were going to go to after things didn't work out."​


Staff member
Today in Patriots History
Shea McClellin

Happy 32nd birthday to Shea McClellin
Born August 1, 1989 in Caldwell, Idaho
Patriot OLB, 2016-2017; uniform #58
Signed as a free agent on March 18, 2016

Shea Keegan McClellin was a first round (19th overall) pick by Chicago in the 2012 NFL draft, from Boise State. He did not really live up to that draft status, largely in part due to poor coaching decisions on how to use him, on a defense that already included Brian Urlacher at MLB, Lance Briggs at LLB and Julius Peppers at RDE. The Bears did not attempt to re-sign McClellin he became a free agent after four seasons in Chicago. The Patriots signed him nine days into the 2016 NFL free agency period.


Playing in the Pats' super bowl win over Atlanta proved to be the highlight of Shea McClellin's short-lived NFL career​

May 1, 2012:
5 Reasons Shea McClellin Is A Perfect Fit In Windy City | Bleacher Report

"I've had a chance to hear an awful lot about where he will play," Lovie Smith said. "He's not a linebacker, start with that. He won't be a linebacker. He'll have his hand down in a three-point stance from Day 1."​

The Bears entered the NFL draft desperately needing to find another pass-rusher to take some of the pressure off Julius Peppers. The team didn't know whether that would be in the first round or not, but it ended up with one of the best pure pass-rushers in this year's draft class.​
Many thought Shea McClellin was best suited for an outside linebacker role in a 3-4 system, similar to the role Clay Matthews plays for the Green Bay Packers.​

However, he will line up at end for Chicago. McClellin is not an every-down defensive end, and the Bears did not need that. They have Israel Idonije, who is more suited to defend against the run because of his size. McClellin's value will be on display in passing situations.​

August 7, 2015:

When the new coaching staff got together this year, “one of our first discussions when we got here was where to play him and most people wanted him to play outside including him, himself,” coordinator Vic Fangio said on Friday. “But I didn't see it that way, I said I want to put him at inside first and, ah, I'm glad we did and I think he's glad we did now even though he wanted to play outside first. I think he's found a home in there.”​

McClellin had been a hand-on-the-ground defensive end his first two seasons. When it was clear that was no fit, he was moved last year to strong-side linebacker, where he was barely “sufficient,” in the words of one NFL defensive coach.​

March 17, 2016:

That's right, so follow me here: Many Bears fans wanted Chandler Jones but Phil Emery made his first draft pick McClellin. Then, four years later the Patriots trade Jones to Arizona and sign McClellin as a free agent.​

Fair or unfair, many commenters here have compared McClellin to Jones for the last four seasons and pointed to that as a sign of the mistake that Emery made. Now McClellin lands with one of the most successful franchises in the league.​

Dec 12, 2016:


Patriots’ Shea McClellin jumps over Ravens players to block a field goal attempt in the first quarter.

Shea McClellin blocks FG attempt, leads to Blount TD


Feb 5, 2017:

After the Atlanta Falcons scored their second touchdown to go up 13-0, they attempted their extra point. But Matt Bryant didn’t even try his kick because McClellin had hurdled the line, resulting in a failed try.​

Unfortunately for New England, McClellin was called for a penalty for illegal formation, which ticked off Pats head coach Bill Belichick. FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira later said the penalty call was incorrect because McClellin cleared the gap between the guard and center instead of going over the center.​

Feb 6, 2017:
Marsing's Shea McClellin rides second chance all the way to the Super Bowl with the Patriots | Idaho Statesman

Feb 15, 2017:

Shea McClellin signed a three-year, $9 million contract last offseason, the biggest contract the Patriots awarded to an external free agent in 2016. He ended the season having played just 37 percent of the defensive snaps and 49 percent of the special teams snaps, logging 16 solo tackles, two fumble recoveries and one sack.​

That’s not great production for that much money and in 2017 McClellin is currently slotted to be the 10th highest-paid Patriot. The Pats could save $1.6 million in cap space if they were to cut McClellin. Should they when there’s already a lot of uncertainty with some key front seven players?​

Nov 8, 2017:

According to multiple reports, McClellin suffered a setback in practice after returning to practice 21 days ago. The linebacker, who missed multiple games due to a concussion last year, was placed on the IR in September due to another head injury. The news is a blow for the Patriots depth wise.​

Originally, it looked like McClellin's return (he was eligible to play this weekend in Denver) was coming at the perfect time. The linebacker's potential return coincided with Dont'a Hightower going down with a season-ending pectoral injury. Although McClellin doesn't play at the same level as Hightower, he'd give the Patriots another veteran piece at a time of need.​

In a sense, McClellin was viewed as a mid-season pickup for the Patriots, like Dion Lewis was last season. Instead, the setback hurts the Patriots in a few different ways. Now, they'll move on with Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, David Harris, Marquis Flowers and Trevor Reilly at linebacker. The team also loses one of their injured reserve return spots.​

May 16, 2018:
Shea McClellin joins Mountain View High | Idaho Statesman

March 19, 2018:

Shea McClellin played in 14 games for the New England Patriots, making four starts. He was in for 380 defensive snaps, and 218 plays on special teams. During that time McClellin made 39 tackles, two fumble recoveries, one sack, three quarterback hits and one tackle for a loss. Shea also played in all three 2016 postseason games, earning a ring from the "28-3" super bowl comeback against Atlanta.

Over the course of his NFL career the Idaho native appeared in 66 games with 35 starts, registering 200 tackles, 8½ sacks, 23 QB hits and 17 TFL.

May 29, 2018: Shea McClellin prepared to move on from playing career because of cumulative effect of concussions| Mike Reiss, espn
"I'm still staying ready, still working out. I've learned to never say never, there's always a chance that I could still play again, but for now all my focus is on coaching high school," said the 28-year-old McClellin, who has accepted a position as linebackers coach at Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho.​
A star defensive end at Boise State from 2008-2011, McClellin said he has had five documented concussions in his career.​

May 29, 2018:

June 3, 2018:
"I definitely think it starts from the top, Bill [Belichick] and Mr. Kraft, and then it just trickles down," he said. "Then you have leaders like Tom [Brady] and Matt [Slater] and Dev [Devin McCourty] -- the captains. When you come in as a new guy or a young guy, and you see how laid-back and easy-going the captains are; they'll just come up and talk to you and genuinely want to know about how you're doing and how your life is. I think that's something that makes the chemistry and camaraderie that much better. When the older guys really care about you, it makes you want to play for them and for your teammates, and not just for yourself."​
McClellin said he's still following the team closely and will be a "Patriots fan for life." He added he hopes to return to attend a game at some point in the 2018 season.​
As for those critical of the Patriots, he pointed out that it's hard for those who haven't played for the team to have an educated opinion.​
"I would say a lot of guys don't know what they're talking about, because they haven't experienced it," he said. "When you have a winning culture, everyone is going to hate on it. That's what comes with it, it's the way it is. It's hard for someone who hasn't been in the situation to say, ‘Oh, it's like this, it's like that.' It's a winning culture and you're going to get slander and hate -- that's just the way it is. From my standpoint, I absolutely enjoyed my time there -- from the coaches to the owners, players and trainers."​

Jan 30, 2019: Former Patriot McClellin talks Super Bowl, NFL Life | Idaho Statesman (podcast)
After a six-year NFL career, former Boise State standout Shea McClellin is hanging up the cleats — at least for now — and picking up a whistle.​
Mountain View High announced Wednesday that McClellin is joining the Mavericks' staff as a linebackers coach.​
"I don't like to pass up good opportunities, and it was a really good one," McClellin said.​
McClellin, who spent last year on injured reserve for the New England Patriots, was the No. 19 overall pick by the Chicago Bears in 2012. A Marsing High graduate, he was sidelined with concussions last season that kept him out as the Patriots lost to the Eagles in the Super Bowl. He played in the Patriots' Super Bowl LI win over the Falcons in February 2017.​

March 25, 2020:

McClellin’s NFL career ended when he was only 28. As a multi-sport star in high school, one of the best defensive players in Boise State history and the No. 19 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, his whole identity was based on what he accomplished in sports. Then it was gone.​

He knows he carries the “bust” label, but McClellin isn’t offended. He knows Chicago, and how it used him, wasn’t a good fit. After he starred as a defensive end/outside linebacker at Boise State, the Bears tried to make him a defensive end, then an inside linebacker, when by NFL standards his frame and skill set left him better suited at outside linebacker, where he was eventually used by the Patriots. Before the draft, the Bears weren’t even on his radar as a potential landing spot.​

In 2017, McClellin was placed on injured reserve just before the season and did not play all year as the Patriots reached Super Bowl LII, falling to the Eagles. Concussions had taken their toll, and even though he felt he had a good four or five seasons left physically, he knew that was likely the end of his career.​


Staff member
Today in Patriots History
The Carpenters

Happy 53rd birthday to Rob Carpenter
Born August 1, 1968 in Amityville, New York
Patriot WR, 1991; uniform #81
Claimed off waivers from Cincinnati on August 27, 1991


Rob Carpenter was a fourth round pick by the Bengals in the '91 draft, a player who spent two seasons with Notre Dame before transferring to Syracuse. waived as part of final roster cutdowns. After being picked up by the Pats he made his first NFL reception in a week two loss at Cleveland, was out for four weeks with a knee injury late in the season, and had two receptions for 34 yards in a week victory over the Colts. Carpenter finished his rookie season with three receptions for 45 yards in nine games, with one start.

In the offseason the Pats left Carpenter unprotected, and he was signed by the New York Jets - the team he grew up rooting for as a kid growing up on Long Island - as a Plan B free agent. He spent three years with the Jets, one in Philadelphia and one with the Packers before having to retire due to injuries. Over the course of his NFL career he played in sixty games with five starts, hauling in 51 passes for 607 yards (11.9 ypc) and one touchdown. Carpenter also averaged 7.2 yards on his 40 punt returns. In his post-NFL life Carpenter works as a personal fitness trainer.

August 10, 2015:

He ranks among the all-time leaders in Syracuse University receptions in most statistics despite only playing for them for two seasons. He ranks fifth in career yards (1656), ninth in touchdowns (10), ninth in receptions (93), seventh in yards/catch (17.8) and second in yards/game (72.0).​

Feb 18, 2021:

"It was just like I was back in college," Carpenter said. "(Current Patriots and former Syracuse Coach Dick) MacPherson was the one who put it out there to bring me over from the Bengals. The Bengals were trying to slide me through to being on the practice squad and Coach MacPherson was like, 'Nah, no thanks. We'll take him.'"​

One problem. Carpenter and New England, in Seinfeld-esque, was like Elaine wearing an Orioles cap in George Steinbrenner's box seats at Yankee Stadium.​

"This wasn't the Belichick, Brady Patriots. These were the Patriots who had a few years prior to that, come off the Super Bowl appearance against Chicago. That was a team that actually was in a rebuild at that point in time," Carpenter said.​

"And I wasn't comfortable, to be honest. I really was not comfortable being in a New England uniform. I guess it was just a little bit of immaturity on my part, being a New Yorker.​

"New England was a weird year. I ended up right back with a bunch of my old coaches from Syracuse. So it was a little weird in the fact that I felt like I was still in college, but was still trying to make the adjustment to the NFL."​

Aug 31, 2015:
Carpenter was taken by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 1991 NFL draft, but was claimed by the Patriots at the end of the preseason. Things didn’t work out in New England and Carpenter was left unprotected for Plan B free agency.​
Once he was free to look around for a new team, Carpenter went on a tour and visited with several clubs, including his hometown Jets. It was a no-brainer. Carpenter chose to come home to play for the team that he — and most of his family — rooted for.​
“It was a great thing,” said Carpenter. “I knew that was going to be the team that I was going to sign with.”​
Carpenter played in 35 games for the Jets from 1992-94, recording 19 receptions for 244 yards and his only NFL touchdown catch. He played his final NFL season with the Eagles in 1995.​

June 5, 2020:

Happy 38th birthday to Bobby Carpenter
Born August 1, 1983 in Lancaster, Ohio
Patriot LB, 2012; uniform #59
Signed as a free agent on April 5, 2012

Bobby Carpenter only played in four games for the Patriots, with two tackles. He was on the field for six defensive snaps and 74 special team snaps with the Pats. The Pats released released Carpenter at the end of training camp, re-signed him a month later, and released him a second time on October 30, 2012. It was a bit of a surprise move as Carpenter was viewed to be veteran insurance for rookie OLB Dont’a Hightower, while also being able to play on special teams.

April 5, 2012:

Carpenter was the 18th overall pick of the 2006 draft by Dallas, from Ohio State. He was considered to be a major draft bust, starting just three games in four seasons for the Cowboys. From 2010 to 2011 Carpenter was also with the Rams, Dolphins and Lions before landing in New England. He lasted eight years in the NFL, playing in 93 games while making 170 tackles.


June 15, 2012:

Carpenter has zig-zagged across the country throughout his NFL career. Dallas made him the 16th overall pick in 2006 out of Ohio State. St. Louis traded for him in 2010, then cut him four months later. A stint with Miami lasted 42 days. He lasted longer with Detroit, nearly two full seasons.​

Now, in New England, Carpenter is one of 11 linebackers.​

Distinguishing himself in games has proven more of a struggle for Carpenter. He never found a groove with Dallas, instead becoming known more for the derisive nickname “Barbie Carpenter,’’ given to him by tackle Marc Colombo when the Cowboys were filming HBO’s “Hard Knocks’’ series in 2008.​

Carpenter’s shining moment came in Week 4 last season, when he returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown that propelled the Lions to a 34-30 win over Dallas.​

Otherwise, the highlights have been sparse. He saw action in all 16 games last season but finished with just 29 tackles. Still, he earned high praise from his new coach.​


Carpenter battles Danny Woodhead during a 2012 training camp session.​

August 16, 2012:

To hear his former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel tell it, there couldn’t be a better fit for Carpenter than Belichick and the Patriots defense.​

“I just think it’s a good marriage. It makes perfect sense he’d be part of that group,” Tressel said, when reached yesterday. “For starters, his football IQ is terrific, and coverage has always been one of his strengths. I can remember the first time we were totally convinced he was going to be a great one, was when his high school team was over for a 7-on-7 passing tournament. And we saw that big guy open his hips, and cover a lot of ground and have good instincts as he read route progressions. He was just well beyond his years in terms of reading the passing game.”​

Oct 2, 2012:
The New England Patriots announced today that they have re-signed LB Bobby Carpenter and signed TE Alex Silvestro to the practice squad.​
In addition, the Patriots released DL Terrell McClain. McClain was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 26, and played in a reserve role last Sunday at Buffalo. The team also released OL Thomas Austin from the practice squad.​
Carpenter, 29, is a veteran of six NFL seasons with Dallas (2006-09), Miami (2010) and Detroit (2010-11). He joined the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent from Detroit on April 5, 2012 and was released on Sept. 1 following training camp. The 6-2, 250-pounder was originally drafted in the first round (18th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft by Dallas out of Ohio State.​

April 17, 2019:
The Cowboys saw something in Carpenter that few, if any, other NFL teams did and believed he could play inside in a 3-4 defense. Carpenter's game was based more upon speed and pass coverages than point-of-attack strength, and he was ill-equipped for the role. The blame falls upon the Cowboys' scouting department, not Carpenter. Coach Wade Phillips found a role for Carpenter in 2009. Used primarily in pass-coverage situations, Carpenter had two sacks and participated in 46 tackles. Carpenter had only 1 ½ sacks in his first three seasons combined, while participating in 50 tackles. He was traded to the Rams in 2010.​

Bobby Carpenter - About

After finishing my NFL career I had concerns (like most players) about where my life would lead me. As part of my attempt to be a lifelong learner, I returned to Ohio State’s Fisher School of Business in the Fall of 2013 to pair an MBA in Finance & Strategy with my Undergraduate degree in Economics. The Ohio State University has been and will always be a special part of my life. Not only was it where I attended school… twice, but I now with be co teaching a Finance Class at The Fisher College of Business utilizing all of the skills I learned in school and at OSU. I was also fortunate enough to meet the mother of my children during my sophomore year. We now have 4 wonderful children whom we raise in central Ohio. At my core I am a competitive guy with Midwestern values. Faith, family and sports are my passions and I am blessed to live them everyday.[/url]​


Staff member
Today in Patriots History
More August 1 Frivolities

Happy 45th birthday to Leonta Rheams
Born August 1, 1976 in Tyler, Texas
Patriot DT, 1998-99; uniform #75
Pats 4th round (115th overall) selection of the 1998 draft, from Houston


Not to be confused with the female singer with a similar name, Leonta Rheams was a 6-2, 303 pound defensive tackle. He was waived at the end of his rookie training camp and immediately re-signed to the practice squad. Rheams was elevated to the active roster in early November, and he appeared in six of the final eight games of the season. Leonta spent the full 1999 offseason with the Pats before being released as part of final roster cutdowns. He later played for the Memphis Maniax in the XFL.

Leonta Heams | XFL

Happy 64th birthday to John Spagnola
Born August 1, 1957 in Bangor, PA
Patriot TE, 1979 offseason
Pats 9th round (245th overall) selection of the 1979 draft, from Yale

The Patriots waived Spagnola near the end of their 1979 training camp, and he signed a week later with Philadelphia. Spagnola was with the Eagles for nine years, then spent one season each with the Seahawks and Packers prior to retiring. He finished his NFL career with 133 games played (80 starts), 263 receptions and 15 touchdowns. In his post-NFL career John Spagnola is a managing director with PFM Assett Management in Philadelphia.

Joining the team he had followed as a kid, the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native became part of a two-tight end formation with Keith Krepfle, and helped the Eagles post a 12-4 record in 1980 and reach Super Bowl XV.​

During his first four seasons, from 1979-82, he caught 52 passes for 613 yards and five touchdowns. And then after missing the 1983 campaign because of a cervical spine injury, Spagnola gathered 204 receptions for 2,220 yards and nine touchdowns from 1984-87.​

While Spagnola was statistically more productive toward the end of his Eagles career, it was just the opposite as far as the team was concerned. The team did not post a winning season from 1982-87. Frustrating?​

"Yeah, it was," Spagnola said. "It was frustrating for a number of reasons. (Dick) Vermeil's a heck of a coach. So when he left (following the 1982 season), things changed. We had a really good team in '85, but we just got off to a bad start. And we had a new owner (Norman Braman) and we had a coach (Marion Campbell) who wanted to kind of do what the owner wanted to do, and he put (rookie quarterback) Randall (Cunningham) in instead of (Ron) Jaworski.​

"That was unfortunate. Not because Randall wasn't going to be a good player some day, but he wasn't ready at that time. We started at 1-4 before we put Ron back in, and we kind of lit it up there for a while. That was a really good team that was somewhat mismanaged.​

"And then once Buddy (Ryan became the head coach in 1986), he sort of tried to run Chicago's offense and we didn't have the personnel. There were a couple years of underperforming teams.​

"I love what I do," Spagnola said Thursday after advising the Northampton County Retirement Board on investing its half-billion dollars in pension funds.​

Spagnola played at Bethlehem Catholic High School and Yale University before moving on to 11 years as a tight end in the National Football League, nine of them with the Philadelphia Eagles. He stayed close to the game as an analyst and sideline reporter through 1998, while also working in the financial world.​

August 1, 2018:

Two other NFL players born on this date with New England connections:

Armand Cure (8/1/19-12/5/03)
Born in New Bedford; New Bedford High School; University of Rhode Island
The running back played briefly for the 1947 Baltimore Colts in their first year of existence, as part of the All-America Football Conference.

Jason Perry, 45 (8/1/76)
Went to Milford Academy in Connecticut for a year of prep school before college
A fourth round pick by the Chargers, the safety played in 36 games from 1999 to 2002.

And some notable pro football players sharing this birthdate:

- Clay Matthews (1928-2017)
The grand patriarch of pro football had two sons (Clay, Bruce) and four grandsons (Casey, Clay, Jake and Mike) play in the NFL. The family has combined to play in 877 games. The original Clay Matthews was a tackle and defensive end for the Forty Niners in the 1950s.

- Edgerrin James, 43 (8/1/78)
The Edge was the fourth overall pick of the 1999 draft, and as a rookie he led the NFL in rushing with 1,553 yards and in touchdowns (17). James ranks 13th all-time in rushing yards (12,246), 15th in yards from scrimmage (15,610) and 20th in rushing touchdowns (80).

- Cliff Branch, 73 (8/1/48)
The wide receiver was a major factor in three championship seasons with the Raiders. Branch was an All-Pro for three straight seasons ('74-'76) and played in 22 postseason games, back when the playoffs were much more abbreviated than they are now. Cliff Branch had 501 receptions in an era that featured much less passing than today, for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns.

- Doug Sutherland, 73 (8/1/48)
Defensive Tackle from the Division 3 University of Wisconsin-Superior (enrollment: 2,400) played in 164 games from 1970-81, almost all with the Minnesota Vikings.

- Alvin Reed, 77 (8/1/44)
The Prarie View alum was a two-time AFL All-Star tight end, catching 144 passes for 2,015 yards and 9 touchdowns from 1968-70.

- Mike Wallace, 35 (8/1/86)
He made a splash with 2,450 receiving yards from 2010-11, and 24 touchdowns in his first three seasons with Pittsburgh. Wallace was never again quite as productive, though he did have ten TDs in 2014 for Miami and 1,017 yards receiving with Baltimore in 2016. Wallace is. His 538 career receptions for 8,072 yards and 57 touchdowns put him in the hall of very good, but not the HoF.