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August 12 in Pats History: Tom Neville

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jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
Tom Neville


Happy 78th birthday to Tom Neville
Born August 12, 1942 in Montgomery, Alabama
Patriot RT, 1965-1977; uniform #77
Pats 7th round (55th overall) selection of the 1965 AFL draft, from Mississippi State

Tom Neville was a fixture at right tackle in the early days of the Pats. He is the right tackle on the New England Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1960s, as well as the Pats 35th Anniversary Team.




April 3, 2008:

Tom Neville played offensive tackle for the Patriots over 13 seasons (1965-77), outlasting four different head coaches and playing in seven “home” stadiums, Neville had a huge impact on generations of Patriots offensive linemen, but he almost missed becoming a Patriot altogether.​

When Neville arrived at Patriots Training Camp in 1965, wear-and-tear was beginning to catch up with him. He’d already had the kind of college production that would later earn him induction into both the Mississippi State and Mississippi Sports Halls of Fame. A knee injury incurred while playing both ways for the Bulldogs left him unable to pass the Patriots’ physical.​

“They had said it was cartilage and it ended up being ligament. It was a complete tear,” remembered the now-64 year-old diamond dealer, speaking in a thick Southern drawl. “They were going to run us on the 40, and my leg wouldn’t bend enough. It kept catching in the grass. I couldn’t get down in a defensive stance and couldn’t get into the left tackle stance because it was the wrong leg that was extended.​

“They wanted to send me home and come back next year. I said, ‘No, I’ve just driven thirteen-hundred miles, I’m not going home.’ They said, ‘Play right tackle.’ I was able to get down in a stance and I made the team. After the third game I was able to get the starting position.”​

Quickly carving out a niche for himself as an outstanding pass-blocker in Head Coach Mike Holovak’s offense, which featured Vito “Babe” Parilli at quarterback, Neville attended the Pro Bowl in 1966 and again two years later.​

. . .​

In 1973, Chuck Fairbanks took over as head coach. He began rebuilding the team by drafting offensive guard John Hannah fourth overall. Both being from Alabama, Neville and Hannah quickly formed a lasting bond.​

“Tommy was kind of my mentor when I first got there,” said Hannah. “He was in his eighth year. He kind of took me under his wing and helped me adjust to the world of pro football.​


Neville was a staple of the Patriots offense for over a decade, but in 1975, he broke a leg. It healed, but the doctors realized a ligament had been trapped during the healing process. They re-broke Neville’s leg just six months after the original injury, and he was hard-pressed to return before the 1976 season.​

“I came to training camp and didn’t pass the physical, so I didn’t practice with the team,” said Neville.​

“He was running figure eights, and there was a spot on the ground where you could see that he actually wore an eight into the ground trying to get that ankle strong,” remembered Hannah, noting that Neville was activated right before the first game of the season. “To see him rehabilitate himself like that and the kind of effort he put into it was a great example for a lot of us.”​

One player Neville set an example for was rookie center Peter Brock, another first-round offensive lineman. He came aboard the year of Neville’s injury.​

“I was two weeks late getting to Training Camp,” said Brock, who was participating in the Chicago Tribune All-Star game at the time. “Red Miller, who was our offensive line coach, said that I had no free time unless it was spent with Tommy Neville going over the playbook and game plans. I spent all my free time outside of practice and meetings with him. He was in his 12th year. He helped me immensely.”​


April 26, 2018:

Tom Neville’s rookie contract with the then-AFL’s Boston Patriots was only $13,500.​

The Pittsburgh Steelers offered him $1,500 more, but Neville turned it down.​

“The guy who recruited me was a total jerk,” he said.​

The decision worked out in his favor. Neville played 12 of his 14 seasons with the now New England Patriots after the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.​

“The Patriots were my family,” said Neville.


Neville describes his life as being “accidental.”​

Example one — The callus leading to him buying pocket watches and eventually owning a jewelry store.​

Example two — A conversation at a gas station in Montgomery turning into an opportunity.​

“A guy says, ‘Aren’t you so and so?’ I said, ‘Yeah,’” Neville said. “He said, ‘Where you playing football?’ I said, ‘I’m not.’ He said, ‘How’d you like to play for Mississippi State?’ I said, ‘That’d be great.’”​

Two weeks later, Neville was in Starkville practicing. He became a second-team All-American and two-time All-SEC selection for the Bulldogs.​

. . .​

Neville stayed and earned a starting spot at right tackle to begin a 14-year pro career. An AFL all-star in 1966, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound Neville was a team co-captain for four years. He won the George L. Sargent Award for leadership in 1974 and the Jim Lee Hunt Award as the team’s top lineman in 1977.​



Picture Day allegedly from July 15, 1971(or maybe 1969-70?): offensive line RT Tom Neville, RG Len St. Jean, C Jon Morris, LT Tom Funchess and LG Mike Montler.


Mar 15, 2010:

Tom Neville's wristwatch was giving him a callus.​

It was the 1970s, and Neville was an offensive tackle for the New England Patriots. Jewelry wasn't exactly his thing.​

But that callus was bugging the heck out of him.​

That's when Neville invested in a dapper antique pocket watch. He liked it so much, he bought another, then another -- and that pretty much changed the course of his life.​

. . .​

When Neville lived in Boston, a friend owned a jewelry store, and Neville found himself spending more and more time there -- on days he wasn't roughing it out on the football field. That friend suggested he study to become a gemologist, but Neville said his response at the time was, "Ehh..."​

Though his feeling about studying jewelry was ambivalent at first, he finally ended up earning a degree from the Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica, Calif.​

After opening Tom Neville The Source in 1983, this hometown native has become one of the top go-to guys in the region. Not only for football reminiscences -- but for jewelry. Working in his store in the old Union Bank building, he has a customer base of more than 15,0000 people -- some who come from all over the U.S.


 

XLIX

Pro Bowl Player
I gotta tell you when I think of "August 12" and "Patriots history" it ain't Tom Neville that comes to mind...

1628786262614.png

His grandson is expected to be a top-5 pick next year. Sure would be cool to have him here but I can't see that happening.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
Benched in the Super Bowl
Was the right move; not bitter; got his ring


Happy 35th birthday to Kyle Arrington
Born August 12, 1986; from Brandywine, Maryland
Patriot CB/ST, 2009-2014; uniform #27, 24, 25
Signed to the practice squad on September 21, 2009

Kyle Arrington was an undrafted cast-off by the Eagles and Bucs when the Pats signed him to their practice squad early in 2009. Five weeks later Eric Mangini attempted to sign Kyle to the Browns roster. Bill Belichick thwarted that attempt by elevating Arrington to the 53-man roster, on November 8, 2009. Arrington played on special teams in the next three games, then was inactive for the November 30 Monday Night Football blowout loss at New Orleans. Arrington was not inactive again until he missed a week 15 game in 2014 against the Jets due to a hamstring injury, posting a streak of 92 consecutive games played (including playoffs).

Arrington was a special teams standout who worked his way up to four-year starter at cornerback. After a 2010 week two loss to Rex Ryan's Jets, Kyle replaced Darius Butler in the starting lineup at corner, remaining there for the rest of the season. In week four he returned a blocked field goal 35 yards for a touchdown in a win at Miami; it was the Pats first such score since Raymond Clayborn did so in 1987. Late in the season he cored again on a 36 yard pick-six on Sunday Night Football win against Green Bay, giving the Patriots a 21-17 lead (and an 8-2 record). It was his first NFL interception, making him the tenth player in franchise history to return his first interception for a touchdown.

The following year Arrington - who had just two interceptions during his college career at Hofstra - tied (with Eric Weddle and Charles Woodson) for the NFL lead with a career-high seven interceptions. Kyle had two games with a pair of picks: week 3 at Buffalo, and week 11 on MNF at Kansas City. The latter game was particularly impressive; besides the two picks he also had two pass deflections and five tackles (four solo). In the divisional round 45-10 blowout over Tim Tebow and Denver, Kyle had a forced fumble on a kickoff, and a team-high 11 tackles (7 solo).

Some of Arrington's limitations were beginning to become apparent though. In 2012 the Patriots made a major mid-season upgrade at corner by trading for Aqib Talib. That resulted in Arrington becoming a slot and nickel corner - something he was much better suited for, with Alfonzo Dennard the other outside corner. He finished the season with 67 tackles, 11 pass deflections, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and nine special teams tackles. In 2013 Arrington had a couple more career firsts: his first two sacks, and his first recovery of an onside kick.

That turnover came on a critical, clutch play. The Patriots looked bad at home against Cleveland and were losing 19-3 in the second half. The Patriots just scored to pull within five, 26-21, but were out of timeouts with 1:04 left to play. Arrington recovered Stephen Gostkowski's onside kick, giving New England possession on the Cleveland 40. Two plays later the Browns were called for defensive pass interference on a pass intended for Josh Boyce, and the Pats scored on the next play to escape with a 27-26 win.

In 2014 Arrington was a nickel corner, with Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner the starters at cornerback. He scored two touchdowns that season: one on a fumble return versus Cincinnati (10/5/14) and the other on a blocked field goal return against Miami (12/14/14). In Super Bowl 49 Seattle found a mismatch and exploited it. Relatively unknown 6'5 Chris Mathews was being covered by 5'10 Kyle Arrington, and he caught four of the five passes thrown his way - for 109 yards and a touchdown. (Why did Pete Carroll not throw more? Russell Wilson only threw seven passes in the first half. And why not have Browner cover Mathews when he was in, with Logan Ryan at the other corner?) Arrington was benched, and an undrafted rookie that was a surprise to make the roster took his place, some guy by the name of Malcolm Butler.


New England had re-signed Kyle Arrington to a four-year, $16 million contract on March 16, 2013. That was way too much for a person who finished the season on the bench behind four other corners. But Revis and Browner would both soon depart in free agency, and Dennard was waived on May 5, three days after the 2015 draft. It appeared that Arrington's job would be safe as the slot corner alongside Ryan and Butler; the Pats had not signed any other corners in free agency, nor had they drafted any either. But in a semi-surprise move the Patriots waived Arrington on May 11, 2015. (The Patriots eventually would use safety Duron Harmon as their nickel back, rather than a third corner.) He signed with Baltimore, then spent all of 2016 on injured reserve due to a concussion. Arrington was released the following June, ending his NFL career.

Kyle Arrington played in 86 regular season games for the Patriots, with 56 starts. He made nine interceptions and three fumble recoveries, with 48 passes defensed and scoring four touchdowns. Arrington also played in twelve postseason games for the Pats, receiving a ring for Super Bowl 49.

Other than being the answer to the question of "who did Malcolm Butler replace", Kyle Arrington has one other tidbit of Patriots trivia. He is the only person to wear three different uniform numbers as a member of the Patriots. Kyle was #27 when he joined the team in 2009, then switched to #24 in 2010. He gave Adrian Wilson that jersey when he joined the team in the 2013 offseason, and took #25.


January 31, 2017:

July 25, 2019:

“It’s kind of ironic because it’s bittersweet because you wanna win that’s the most important thing but at the same time I myself did not play very well,” Arrington laughed. “As a competitor, it’s one of the things that haunts me more so a bitter taste in my mouth I just wish I could have played better but at the end of the day we won and I can’t say enough how proud that we were part of one of the most epic games in Super Bowl history.”​

Arrington broke down what unfolded when he was pulled from the 2014 Super Bowl and how he used it as fuel to the fire with next team.​

“I gave up a few big plays and that was pretty much the writing on the wall and I was accepting it myself,” Arrington said. “To take Bill [Belichick’s] motto, I didn’t do my job so I don’t have any excuses whether it’s good or bad and it definitely motivated me, I don’t care what it is I take everything personally.”​

Arrington took the fuel and had a solid 2015 with the Ravens recording 28 tackles and a forced fumble.​

Today, Arrington works with his wife Vashonda on EVOLVE. An organization that, ‘Aims to empower and help growth in the youth in unprivileged communities.’​

“I asked the question to myself ‘What kind of lasting impact do I want to leave in this world,'” Arrington said. “If I can make a positive impact in this world whether be for man, woman, or child particularly children, that’s what gives me fulfillment and purpose.”​

The organization offers programs in subjects ranging from career readiness, entrepreneurship, nutrition, meditation and even yoga.​

“We are just trying to give them all the tools and opportunities necessary to be anything that they want to be,” Arrington said. “We just want to raise the bar and we realize that foundations are very specific in what they do and that’s fine but we don’t want to be specific when it comes to educational aspects, empowerment, and really don’t want to leave any stone unturned as far as the impact that we can have on our youth.”​

Arrington continues to use football to try and help motivate the youth through a football camp that he hosts with former defensive tackle Phil Taylor whom he also went to the same high school with.​


 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
Tom Brady's first NFL completion


Happy 46th birthday to Rod Rutledge
Born August 12, 1975 in Birmingham, Alabama
Patriot TE, 1998-2001; uniform #83
Pats 2nd round (54th overall) selection of the 1998 draft, from Alabama

Rod Rutledge played in 63 games with 31 starts over four seasons with the Pats. He had 27 receptions for 204 yards and one touchdown.

One of those 27 catches carries special significance in the history of the franchise: it was the first pass completed by TB12.






Jan 30, 2019:

It happens two or three times a year, and especially this time of year: Rod Rutledge’s phone will begin jiggling and vibrating, with hurried text messages bringing news that the former New England Patriot has been mentioned on some television or radio program.​

Rutledge, now 43 years old and the owner of rental properties in his native Birmingham, Ala., never has to send back a return text asking how it was that his name happened to be brought up.​

He knows.​

He always knows.​

“That’s when somebody’s doing trivia time,” Rutledge said by telephone from Birmingham, about a two-hour drive from Atlanta, where his former team will play the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night in Super Bowl LIII.​
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
Greg Spires


Happy 47th birthday to Greg Spires
Born August 12, 1974; from Cape Coral, Florida
Patriot DE, 1998-2000; uniform #94
Pats 3rd round (83rd overall) selection of the 1998 draft, from Florida State

Despite leading the team in sacks (six, tied with Willie McGinest), Spires was a surprise cut and did not make the 2001 roster. He was a pass rushing specialist, with one third of his tackles (17) resulting in a sack in 2000; he also had three forced fumbles that year. Perhaps Bill Belichick wanted more versatility at defensive end. On the other hand Spires had previously shown just that, moving from linebacker to nose guard to defensive end while in college at Tallahassee.

Spires did have a few notable games while in New England. he recorded two sacks in his first playoff game, a 25-10 loss at Jacksonville on January 3, 1999. He also had two sacks on Peyton Manning in a 24-16 victory over the Colts on October 8, 2000. Altogether he played in 42 regular season games for the Patriots, with 50 tackles, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass deflection.

He then spent one season with Cleveland and six with Tampa Bay. Spires was a dependable player for the Bucs, starting at left defensive end for six seasons for Jon Gruden. He earned a ring for Tampa's 48-21 victory over Oakland in Super Bowl 37, following the 2002 season.


Sep 3, 2001:

Spires, 26, started two of 16 games for the Patriots last season and recorded 17 tackles, including six sacks. The 6-1, 265-pound defensive end was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 1998 NFL draft. The Florida State product played in 42 games over three seasons and made three starts for the Patriots. He accumulated 47 career tackles, including 9.5 sacks for 74.0 yards, and had four passes defensed.​


Dec 4, 2004:


Aug 10, 2016:


May 14, 2019:


March 9, 2021:
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
Charley Frazier


Happy 82nd birthday to Charley Frazier
Born August 12, 1939 in Houston, Texas
Patriot WR, 1969-1970; uniform #81
Acquired in a trade with Houston on March 24, 1969



Charley Frazier came to Boston as part of the trade that sent Leroy Mitchell to the Oilers, and Larry Carwell to the Pats. Frazier was an AFL All-Star in 1966 when he averaged 19.8 yards per catching with 12 touchdowns and 1,129 yards receiving (in a 14-game season. But by 1969 the Pats were rebuilding, had Mike Taliaferro at quarterback, and Frazier was thirty years old. Even so he led the team with seven touchdown receptions (tied with RB Carl Garrett for the most TDs overall that year). The following season the Pats added Bake Turner, who became the starting wide receiver opposite Ron Sellers, and Frazier's playing time dwindled. He was waived early in the 1971 training camp, finishing his two seasons in New England with 28 receptions for 392 yards and seven touchdowns. Over his nine seasons as a pro Frazier averaged 16.7 yards per catch, with 207 receptions for 3,452 yards and 29 touchdowns.


Sept 14, 1969: Charley Frazier makes the tackle on Bill Thompson in week one.
This was one of four interceptions thrown by Mike Taliaferro, as former
Pats head coach Lou Saban got a bit of revenge in Denver's 35-7 victory
 

Patjew

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
What a sentence! “It’s kind of ironic because it’s bittersweet because you wanna win that’s the most important thing but at the same time I myself did not play very well”
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
More August 12 Birthdays, and a Tragedy


Happy 43rd birthday to Derrick Burgess
Born August 12, 1978 in Lake City, South Carolina
Patriot OLB/DE, 2009; uniform #53
Acquired in a trade with Oakland on August 6, 2009, in exchange for a 2010 3rd and 5th round draft pick

The Patriots traded for Burgess after the start of training camp in 2009, a move born out of desperation due to a gap that was never adequately filled when Mike Vrabel was shipped off to KC in the Matt Cassel trade. Burgess was nothing special, was late reporting to camp the next year, seemed to have either a bad attitude or was a misfit in the Pats defensive scheme, and was cut before the start of the 2010 season.

Burgess had been a Pro Bowler with the Raiders in 2005 (16 sacks) and 2006 (11 sacks), but never showed that type of productivity with the Pats. Philadelphia signed him to a contract in 2010, but he lasted only one game with the Eagles. Derrick Burgess played in a total of 102 NFL games, with 52 sacks.




Happy 71st birthday to Melvin Baker
Born August 12, 1950 in Beaumont, Texas
Patriot WR, 1975; uniform #83
Signed as a free agent on Octoner 8, 1975

Melvin Baker was an eighth round draft pick out of Texas Southern by the Dolphins in 1974. His nomadic NFL journey included stops in Miami, New Orleans, New England, San Diego, Houston, St. Louis (Cardinals) and Buffalo. He was with the Patriots for just one game, released twelve days after he was signed. Baker played in a total of 21 NFL games, with nine receptions and two touchdowns.




Happy 77th birthday to Teddy Bailey
Born August 12, 1944 in Hamilton, Ohio
Patriot RB, 1969; uniform #37

Signed as a free agent on July 28, 1969

Teddy began the 1969 season on the taxi squad, then was promoted to the active roster on October 22. He appeared in a couple of games with the Patriots but accumulated no stats.




August 12, 1978:
As mentioned above, on this date in 1978 Daryl Stingley was paralyzed on a hit in a preseason game by Jack Tatum of the Oakland Raiders. Stingley would spend the rest of his life as a quadriplegic and died in 2007 due to heart disease and pneumonia, complicated by the paralysis.

As angry as the tragic event makes Patriot fans feel to this day, it is also an embarrassing moment in the history of the franchise.


Only a play or two before Stingley went down, John Madden, who was growing more and more upset because all night long the Patriots had been probing the Raiders middle with passes, turned to the guy beside him and said, "They'd better stop doing that or somebody's going to get hurt!"​

It happened in the second quarter -- a hurried pass launched over the middle for Stingley, who was slanting into the secondary. It was high and too far in front of him. Leaving his feet, Stingley was prone in the air, arms outstretched, as the ball sailed past him. In my memory, there he hangs.​

For his part, Jack Tatum seemed fooled. Having started back to his right, he pulled up as the ball was released. The receiver, he realized, was coming from the opposite direction. Jack turned, but managed only three or four strides before the action was upon him. He crouched over, sort of leaning into Stingley as the Patriots receiver drifted toward him. They collided. Stingley, in an awkward position, fell to the turf. There was no explosive hit. No flying helmet. Yet Stingley was down. He wasn't moving. He wasn't getting up.​

Trainers from both teams rushed out on the field. They tended to Darryl for a long time. Then an ambulance was summoned. Darryl was carefully loaded up and carted off. The game resumed, but under a sickening pall.​

After the game, Madden went directly to the hospital. It was Madden's first instinct to go to Stingley. At the hospital, Stingley had been found to have fractured vertebrae in his neck and was being fitted with a halo brace to stabilize the injury. Our physicians, thankfully, had risen to the occasion. Having overseen a safe transport, they had summoned the appropriate specialists. Experts were now at hand.​

But even at the hospital something was dissonant, out of sync. Expecting to find himself among concerned New England officials, Madden found himself alone. No one from the Patriots was there. Not the owner. Not the coach. No one.

Grabbing a phone, Madden called the Oakland airport. Immediately, he was patched through to the New England charter, taxiing out to take off. A more than animated discussion followed. The plane returned to the gate. The business manager was put off.

In the hospital, Stingley was conscious, as doctors worked to fit the halo. Having donned surgeon's garb, Madden appeared beside him, leaning close. "Everything's going to be all right," he whispered. If only it had been true.​

Meanwhile, a second disaster was averted. On the New England charter, now airborne and headed east, players were struggling to understand Stingley's injury when an engine started gushing fuel. Immediately, the flight was diverted to San Francisco. A dozen fire trucks lined the runway as the plane touched down.​









Other notable pro football players born on August 12 include:

- Alex Wojciechowicz (1915-1992)
Hall of Fame center and linebacker was the sixth overall pick of the 1938 draft by the Detroit, out of Fordham. He played for 13 seasons and was an integral part of two NFL championship teams with the Eagles.

- R.C. Thielman, 66 (1955)
Three-time All-Pro guard for Atlanta and Washington, who played from 1977-88.

- Greg Manusky, 55 (1966)
After a 12-year career as a linebacker for Washington, Minnesota and KC, he spent seven more seasons in the NFL as a position coach, and twelve as defensive coordinator with SF, SD, Indy and Washington. Manusky is now a defensive assistant at the University of Kentucky.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
Today in Patriots History
Greg Spires


Happy 47th birthday to Greg Spires
Born August 12, 1974; from Cape Coral, Florida
Patriot DE, 1998-2000; uniform #94
Pats 3rd round (83rd overall) selection of the 1998 draft, from Florida State

Despite leading the team in sacks (six, tied with Willie McGinest), Spires was a surprise cut and did not make the 2001 roster. He was a pass rushing specialist, with one third of his tackles (17) resulting in a sack in 2000; he also had three forced fumbles that year. Perhaps Bill Belichick wanted more versatility at defensive end. On the other hand Spires had previously shown just that, moving from linebacker to nose guard to defensive end while in college at Tallahassee.

Spires did have a few notable games while in New England. he recorded two sacks in his first playoff game, a 25-10 loss at Jacksonville on January 3, 1999. He also had two sacks on Peyton Manning in a 24-16 victory over the Colts on October 8, 2000. Altogether he played in 42 regular season games for the Patriots, with 50 tackles, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass deflection.

He then spent one season with Cleveland and six with Tampa Bay. Spires was a dependable player for the Bucs, starting at left defensive end for six seasons for Jon Gruden. He earned a ring for Tampa's 48-21 victory over Oakland in Super Bowl 37, following the 2002 season.


Sep 3, 2001:

Spires, 26, started two of 16 games for the Patriots last season and recorded 17 tackles, including six sacks. The 6-1, 265-pound defensive end was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 1998 NFL draft. The Florida State product played in 42 games over three seasons and made three starts for the Patriots. He accumulated 47 career tackles, including 9.5 sacks for 74.0 yards, and had four passes defensed.​


Dec 4, 2004:


Aug 10, 2016:


May 14, 2019:


March 9, 2021:

Bill's first mistake of ridding himself of somebody already on the roster.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
"Happy 43rd birthday to Derrick Burgess
Born August 12, 1978 in Lake City, South Carolina
Patriot OLB/DE, 2009; uniform #53
Acquired in a trade with Oakland on August 6, 2009, in exchange for a 2010 3rd and 5th round draft pick

The Patriots traded for Burgess after the start of training camp in 2009, a move born out of desperation due to a gap that was never adequately filled when Mike Vrabel was shipped off to KC in the Matt Cassel trade. Burgess was nothing special, was late reporting to camp the next year, seemed to have either a bad attitude or was a misfit in the Pats defensive scheme, and was cut before the start of the 2010 season.

Burgess had been a Pro Bowler with the Raiders in 2005 (16 sacks) and 2006 (11 sacks), but never showed that type of productivity with the Pats. Philadelphia signed him to a contract in 2010, but he lasted only one game with the Eagles. Derrick Burgess played in a total of 102 NFL games, with 52 sacks."


Team Bill believes this is what "going all-in" means.
 

NCPATSFAN1971

On the Roster
Today in Patriots History
More August 12 Birthdays, and a Tragedy


Happy 43rd birthday to Derrick Burgess
Born August 12, 1978 in Lake City, South Carolina
Patriot OLB/DE, 2009; uniform #53
Acquired in a trade with Oakland on August 6, 2009, in exchange for a 2010 3rd and 5th round draft pick

The Patriots traded for Burgess after the start of training camp in 2009, a move born out of desperation due to a gap that was never adequately filled when Mike Vrabel was shipped off to KC in the Matt Cassel trade. Burgess was nothing special, was late reporting to camp the next year, seemed to have either a bad attitude or was a misfit in the Pats defensive scheme, and was cut before the start of the 2010 season.

Burgess had been a Pro Bowler with the Raiders in 2005 (16 sacks) and 2006 (11 sacks), but never showed that type of productivity with the Pats. Philadelphia signed him to a contract in 2010, but he lasted only one game with the Eagles. Derrick Burgess played in a total of 102 NFL games, with 52 sacks.




Happy 71st birthday to Melvin Baker
Born August 12, 1950 in Beaumont, Texas
Patriot WR, 1975; uniform #83
Signed as a free agent on Octoner 8, 1975

Melvin Baker was an eighth round draft pick out of Texas Southern by the Dolphins in 1974. His nomadic NFL journey included stops in Miami, New Orleans, New England, San Diego, Houston, St. Louis (Cardinals) and Buffalo. He was with the Patriots for just one game, released twelve days after he was signed. Baker played in a total of 21 NFL games, with nine receptions and two touchdowns.




Happy 77th birthday to Teddy Bailey
Born August 12, 1944 in Hamilton, Ohio
Patriot RB, 1969; uniform #37

Signed as a free agent on July 28, 1969

Teddy began the 1969 season on the taxi squad, then was promoted to the active roster on October 22. He appeared in a couple of games with the Patriots but accumulated no stats.




August 12, 1978:
As mentioned above, on this date in 1978 Daryl Stingley was paralyzed on a hit in a preseason game by Jack Tatum of the Oakland Raiders. Stingley would spend the rest of his life as a quadriplegic and died in 2007 due to heart disease and pneumonia, complicated by the paralysis.

As angry as the tragic event makes Patriot fans feel to this day, it is also an embarrassing moment in the history of the franchise.


Only a play or two before Stingley went down, John Madden, who was growing more and more upset because all night long the Patriots had been probing the Raiders middle with passes, turned to the guy beside him and said, "They'd better stop doing that or somebody's going to get hurt!"​

It happened in the second quarter -- a hurried pass launched over the middle for Stingley, who was slanting into the secondary. It was high and too far in front of him. Leaving his feet, Stingley was prone in the air, arms outstretched, as the ball sailed past him. In my memory, there he hangs.​

For his part, Jack Tatum seemed fooled. Having started back to his right, he pulled up as the ball was released. The receiver, he realized, was coming from the opposite direction. Jack turned, but managed only three or four strides before the action was upon him. He crouched over, sort of leaning into Stingley as the Patriots receiver drifted toward him. They collided. Stingley, in an awkward position, fell to the turf. There was no explosive hit. No flying helmet. Yet Stingley was down. He wasn't moving. He wasn't getting up.​

Trainers from both teams rushed out on the field. They tended to Darryl for a long time. Then an ambulance was summoned. Darryl was carefully loaded up and carted off. The game resumed, but under a sickening pall.​

After the game, Madden went directly to the hospital. It was Madden's first instinct to go to Stingley. At the hospital, Stingley had been found to have fractured vertebrae in his neck and was being fitted with a halo brace to stabilize the injury. Our physicians, thankfully, had risen to the occasion. Having overseen a safe transport, they had summoned the appropriate specialists. Experts were now at hand.​

But even at the hospital something was dissonant, out of sync. Expecting to find himself among concerned New England officials, Madden found himself alone. No one from the Patriots was there. Not the owner. Not the coach. No one.

Grabbing a phone, Madden called the Oakland airport. Immediately, he was patched through to the New England charter, taxiing out to take off. A more than animated discussion followed. The plane returned to the gate. The business manager was put off.

In the hospital, Stingley was conscious, as doctors worked to fit the halo. Having donned surgeon's garb, Madden appeared beside him, leaning close. "Everything's going to be all right," he whispered. If only it had been true.​

Meanwhile, a second disaster was averted. On the New England charter, now airborne and headed east, players were struggling to understand Stingley's injury when an engine started gushing fuel. Immediately, the flight was diverted to San Francisco. A dozen fire trucks lined the runway as the plane touched down.​









Other notable pro football players born on August 12 include:

- Alex Wojciechowicz (1915-1992)
Hall of Fame center and linebacker was the sixth overall pick of the 1938 draft by the Detroit, out of Fordham. He played for 13 seasons and was an integral part of two NFL championship teams with the Eagles.

- R.C. Thielman, 66 (1955)
Three-time All-Pro guard for Atlanta and Washington, who played from 1977-88.

- Greg Manusky, 55 (1966)
After a 12-year career as a linebacker for Washington, Minnesota and KC, he spent seven more seasons in the NFL as a position coach, and twelve as defensive coordinator with SF, SD, Indy and Washington. Manusky is now a defensive assistant at the University of Kentucky.
"But even at the hospital something was dissonant, out of sync. Expecting to find himself among concerned New England officials, Madden found himself alone. No one from the Patriots was there. Not the owner. Not the coach. No one.

Grabbing a phone, Madden called the Oakland airport. Immediately, he was patched through to the New England charter, taxiing out to take off. A more than animated discussion followed. The plane returned to the gate. The business manager was put off."


I remember when Stingley got paralyzed by the Tatum hit but I don't remember anything about "no concerned New England Officials being in the Hospital room with Darryl". Now it's possible that this "dissonance" happened the way the writer says it did - but really? Coach Chuck Fairbanks was probably kind of cold and well, the Sullivans were the Sullivans but something doesn't sound right. OTOH, I remember the way Madden snapped at a reporter who asked if the the Tatum hit was a cheap shot by saying something like "hey this is football - tough sht.

In any event, this was an absolutely terrible tragedy for Darryl Stingley.

Although what I'm going to say next is nothing like what happened to Darryl but shortly before the Patriots played Oakland in that awful Pre-Season Game, the 1978 Red Sox had a 14 Game lead over the 4th Place Yankees. By the end of the Basesball Season, the Yankees caught up to the Red Sox and forced a playoff game which the Yankees won. I know this has nothing to do with the Patriots but it does have a lot to do about what it was to be a Boston/New England fan back in those days.
 

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I remember when Stingley got paralyzed by the Tatum hit but I don't remember anything about "no concerned New England Officials being in the Hospital room with Darryl".
Dysfunction. Events like this are the substance which support the national bias against the Patriots by the media, league and our opponents.

Organizational ineptitude and yes, dissonance, do not justify abject prejudice with direct, brazen injustice against those who are not at all responsible for it- namely, the players and coaches.
Coach Chuck Fairbanks was probably kind of cold and well
This was ultimately the last straw which drove Chuck out of town. Chuck Sullivan's incredibly malicious rant that they weren't paying Darryl a penny is indeed shameful and atrocious; this along with ownership trying to void his contract after he got in a motorcycle accident drove Russ Francis (Darryl's roommate) to retire two years later.
Although what I'm going to say next is nothing like what happened to Darryl but shortly before the Patriots played Oakland in that awful Pre-Season Game, the 1978 Red Sox had a 14 Game lead over the 4th Place Yankees. By the end of the Basesball Season, the Yankees caught up to the Red Sox and forced a playoff game which the Yankees won. I know this has nothing to do with the Patriots but it does have a lot to do about what it was to be a Boston/New England fan back in those days.
It's incredible how close local teams came to titles without winning.

Too many men on the ice.
In the hospital, Stingley was conscious, as doctors worked to fit the halo. Having donned surgeon's garb, Madden appeared beside him, leaning close. "Everything's going to be all right," he whispered. If only it had been true.
The next few days were a living horror movie, as it was highly uncertain if Darryl would survive. At one point Madden had to summon help when they almost lost him.

I knew then that if I lived to see today, which I have, that I would still nevertheless hate Madden and my entire perspective on pro sports, and life, were permanently scarred by the Dreith debacle.
Meanwhile, a second disaster was averted. On the New England charter, now airborne and headed east, players were struggling to understand Stingley's injury when an engine started gushing fuel. Immediately, the flight was diverted to San Francisco. A dozen fire trucks lined the runway as the plane touched down.
Dodged one there.
 

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