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August 8 in Pats History: Horace Ivory

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Dec 6th

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Today in Patriots History
Horace Ivory

Happy 67th birthday to Horace Ivory
Born August 8, 1954 in Fort Worth
Patriot RB/KR, 1977-1981; uniform #23
Pats 2nd round (44th overall) selection of the 1977 draft, from Oklahoma

Horace Ivory was part of one of the best draft classes in Patriot history. That '77 draft class included Raymond Clayborn, Stanley Morgan, Ivory and Don Hasselbeck. The draft pick used on Ivory was one of four acquired in the landmark trade with San Francisco for QB Jim Plunkett: Pete Brock, Tim Fox, Clayborn and Ivory.

Ivory was the 1B to Sam Cunningham's 1A on the 1978 Patriot team that set an NFL record that stood for more than forty years. That Pats team rushed for 3,165 yards; only two teams were within 500 yards of that mark. The Patriots also led the league with 30 rushing touchdowns (the rest of the league averaged 15.7), 180 rushing first downs (the next closest was 160) and 4.7 yards per carry (league average was 4.0).

Horace scored 11 touchdowns in that 1978 season, and 16 while with the Pats. Knee and hamstring injuries derailed what appeared to be a very promising football career though. With the arrival of Tony Collins in 1981, Ivory was deemed to be expendable and traded to Seattle. At the time Ivory ranked seventh in franchise history with 1,336 rushing yards (he ranks 25th now), and tied for fifth with Larry Garron with 14 rushing touchdowns (they now rank 18th) - despite more than 90% of his yardage coming in the two-year span of 1978-79.

In addition his 4.1 yards per carry ranks as twelfth best in club history among those with at least 300 rushes. During the 1978 season Horace Ivory set a single-season team record (later tied in 1995 by Curtis Martin) for consecutive games with two or more rushing touchdowns with three: two each in a week 8 33-24 win versus Miami; in a week 9 55-21 blowout over the Jets (on just seven carries); and in a 128 yard week 10 victory at Buffalo, accounting for both touchdowns in a 14-10 game. Ivory had one TD the following week and two more the week after in a 19-17 win over the Jets; that gave him a total of nine touchdowns over five games.

From page 37 of the 1981 Patriots Media Guide:

As the Patriots primary kickoff returner for the first time in his pro career, Horace was the NFL's top kickoff returner in 1980 . . . on his first kickoff return as a pro, he raced 46 yards against Seattle on 9-21 . . . on the day, he had five returns for 150 yards and maintained his league leadership for the balance of the year . . . his longest and most dramatic return came in the Patriots' come-from-behind win at Baltimore (10-19) . . . following a Baltimore score that put the Colts up 21-17, he took the ensuing kickoff and went 98 yards with the go ahead TD for the win . . . in only one season, he became the Patriots' eighth ranked kickoff returner and established a club record for career kickoff return average (27.6) . . . as a backup to Vagas Ferguson, he scored TDs against Seattle (9-21) and the NY Jets (11-2) and was the team's leading rusher with 111 yards . . . now ranks ninth on the club's all-time rushing list . . . missed the season opener vs. Cleveland (9-7) with a knee injury and the fifth game of the season (at NY Jets, 10-5) with a shoulder problem . . . the Patriots' second leading rusher in 1979 with 522 yards on 143 attempts, he missed five of the first six games with while nursing knee and ankle injuries while on injured reserve . . . during the 1979 season, he was the only Patriot to rush for over 100 yards in a game . . . he did so in rushing for 116 yards on 12 carries (9.7 avg.) vs. Baltimore (11-18-79) . . . Horace added 23 receptions for 216 yards to rank fifth in receiving on the Patriots' during '79 . . . he hauled in six passes for 57 yards vs. Miami (11-29-79) for the best day of his career in the receiving dept. . . . following a disappointing rookie year that saw a thigh injury limit him to spot duty in just five games, he rebounded for a sensational sophomore year . . . he was the club scoring leader with 66 points and his 11 rushing TDs fell just one shy of Steve Grogan's club record 12 set in 1976 . . . he also finished in the NFL TD race of '78 . . . his last minute heroics, including the game winning TD run (23 yards with 3:10 remaining) earned him CBS Star of the Week Honors in the Patriots' 33-24 win over Miami (10-28-78) . . . an elusive runner who has an uncanny ability to change speed, he was the 44th player selected in the 1977 NFL draft . . . Horace was chosen with a second round pick acquired from San Francisco in the Jim Plunkett trade . . . College: One of the best backs in OU history, Horace scored 16 TDs and rushed for 1,396 yards as a Sooner . . . he prepped for two years at Navarro (TX) J.C.

December 30, 2019:

Week 15 - 1978​

Pats kicker David Posey missed a 42-yard, game-tying attempt early in the fourth quarter, but three plays later Tony McGee sacked Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson, forcing a fumble, which Ray Hamilton recovered at the Bills 20-yard line. The Patriots needed only one play to take the lead and did so when Horace Ivory scampered 20 yards for a touchdown and a 21-17 advantage.​

April 10, 2020:

Nov 6, 2020:


Staff member
Today in Patriots History
Jerome Henderson

Happy 52nd birthday to Jerome Henderson
Born August 8, 1969; from Statesville, North Carolina
Patriot DB/PR, 1991-93 and 1995; uniform #36, #26
Pats 2nd round (41st overall) selection of the 1991 draft, from Clemson

From the 1993 Patriots Media Guide:

Pro Career: 1992- Played in all 16 games, with nine starts - the first six games of the season at free safety, one at strong safety (at Atlanta on 11/29) and the final two games of the season at cornerback . . . finished seventh on the team with 60 tackles (39 solos) and added 11 passes defensed ... tied (with Maurice Hurst) for the team lead with three interceptions - at Miami (10/18), at Buffalo (11/1) and at Indianapolis (11/15) ... had career-high 10 tackles (five solos) vs. San Francisco (10/11).

1991- Played in 16 games and had one start at cornerback during rookie season ... finished the season with 41 tackles (31 solos) and two interceptions ... led the club in punt returns with 27 for 201 yards (7.4 avg.) ... also recorded four special teams tackles ... began pro career by notching a team-high eight tackles at Indianapolis (9/1) ... made first career start and notched first career interception vs. Houston (9/22) by picking off Oilers QB Warren Moon ... returned a punt for a career-high 39 yards vs. Miami (10/6) ... grabbed second interception of the season at Buffalo (11/3) ... registered four solo tackles and two passes defensed at Cincinnati (12/22). Drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 1991 draft (41st player selected).

College: Four-year letterman at Clemson ... earned honorable mention All-America honors following senior season ... anchored a Clemson secondary as a senior that rankes sixth in the nation in pass defense, allowing only 87.9 yards per game ... started final 24 games of career at left cornerback for the Tigers ... played two years behind former All-America cornerback Donnell Woolford.

Jerome Henderson played in forty games in two stints with the Patriots. He had 107 tackles, seven interceptions plus a fumble recovery. Henderson also appeared in the three playoff games following the 1996 season: the 28-3 victory over Pittsburgh, the 20-6 AFCCG win against Jacksonville, and Super Bowl 31 versus Green Bay. Overall Henderson played in 98 regular season NFL games and seven postseason games from 1991 to 1998.

From 2006 to 2008 Henderson worked for the Jets, initially as their director of player development and later as the defensive backs coach. When Eric Mangini left New York in 2009 to become Cleveland's head coach he took Henderson with him, again as a defensive backs coach. Henderson held that position for three seasons with the Browns, then for four more years in Dallas. From 2016 to 2019 he was the defensive passing game coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons; since last year he has been the defensive backs coach for the Giants.



Staff member
Today in Patriots History
The Hair Stylist who overcame Breast Cancer

Happy 65th birthday to Paul Dombroski
Born August 8, 1956 in Sumter, South Carolina
Patriot CB, 1981-1984; uniform #47
Claimed off waivers from Kansas City on November 12, 1981

Paul Dombroski was a 'military brat' who was born in Sumter, South Carolina and grew up in Wahiawa, on Honolulu County on Oahu in Hawaii. He is the first person of Okinawan heritage to play in the National Football League, but that is just a small part of his unique story.

From page 32 of the 1984 New England Patriots Media Guide
Pro: Paul spent eight games on the injured reserve list in 1983 ... known for his aggressive play, Paul suffered a concussion when he attempted to run down Tampa's Theo Bell from behind in the Patriots' final preseason game ... he was active for the first regular season game of '83 but did not participate ... he was placed on injured reserve on 9-6 ... eight weeks later (11-4-83), he was activated and became a regular on special teams and played a prominent role in situational defensive schemes ... Paul was the Patriots' leading special teams tackler in 1982 ... for his efforts, he was named the 1982 1776 Fan Club's Special Teams Player-of-the-Year ... he was in on 30 tackles, recorded one pass deflection and recovered one fumble in '82 ... Ron Meyer says, "Paul is a leader on special teams who has a keen knack for finding the ball carrier on special teams" ... he also saw spot duty playing in Nickel and Six back defensive alignments in '82 ... Paul was claimed on waivers from Kansas City after nine games of the '81 season (11-12-81) ... played with the Chiefs during '80 and for five games in '81, but was hurt in a game against the Patriots (10-4-81) and was placed on injured reserve ... when the Chiefs attempted to reactivate him by placing him on procedural waivers, he was claimed by the Patriots.

College: Began his college career at Hawaii, but transferred to Linfield (OR) College, a Division II school to finish his career ... as a senior DB he tied for second in the nation with 13 interceptions ... named to the Kodak Division III and NAIA Division II first team All-America teams, as a senior.

Paul Dombroski played in 36 games over four seasons with the Pats, in a backup, sub package and special teams role. He made a key play in a 1984 week 3 game at Sullivan Stadium. Seattle was up 23-0 in the first half before the Patriot defense clamped down, and the Pats rallied to take the lead. Dombroski picked off a Dave Krieg pass on New England's 33 yards line and returned it 23 yards, essentially sealing the miraculous comeback. You can read a thorough description of this game here:

Eason Rallies Patriots from 23-0 Deficit to Beat Seahawks | fs64sports

Aug 28, 1984:

The New England Patriots placed three players, including All-Pro punter Rich Camarillo, on injured reserve Tuesday and claimed three others on waivers.​

The roster moves pared the Patriots' roster to the NFL's 49-player limit.​

Defensive back Paul Dombroski, a fifth-year pro, second-year linebacker Ed Reynolds, and tight end Brooks Williams, in his seventh season, were recalled after being waived by New England Monday.​

Placed on the injured reserve list along with Camarillo, a fourth-year pro, are second-year linebacker Johnny Rembert and second-year wide receiver Clarence Weathers. Camarillo and Rembert both have knee injuries; Weathers suffered a broken foot early in training camp.​

Aug 28, 1985: Transactions

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -- Cut defensive backs Rick Sanford and Paul Dombroski, defensive end Smiley Creswell, tight end Paul Ricker, nose tackle Milford Hodge and running back Tony Mumford. Placed tackle Darryl Haley on injured reserve.​

Dombroski had previously been with the Chiefs, and was later with the Bucs and the Browns. He appeared in 63 NFL games, plus one playoff game while with the Pats. Paul is a survivor of breast cancer (yes, you read that correctly).

I am a Former NFL Player, Business Owner, 25 year Hairdresser and Breast Cancer Thriver...​
Experience the Art of evolving, adapting and influencing.​

I have a different respect for women now when they get mammograms. I walked into the room and the technician gave me a puzzled look. Not knowing that men can get breast cancer, the experience of a mammogram really wasn’t on my radar. So, I’m looking at her, pointing at my breast, and wondering how I’m going to get it into that machine. I looked like a contortionist trying to get myself into it.​

Nov 24, 2015:

March 24, 2020:

I remember it so clearly.​

It was a Sunday morning and the NFL Oakland Raiders were playing the New England Patriots. Dad and I were glued to the television set because Paul Dombroski — Dad’s nephew, my cousin — was playing defensive cornerback for the Patriots. His job that day was to defend against Cliff Branch, the Raiders’ three-time First Team All-Pro wide receiver.​

Paul’s going up against Branch attracted the attention of sportscaster “Dandy” Don Meredith. He introduced Paul to the millions of viewers by saying: “Paul’s claim to fame is that he is the only NFL player with Okinawan heritage.”​



Staff member
Today in Patriots History
Jarrett Stidham

Happy 25th birthday to Jarrett Stidham
Born August 8, 1996 in Corbin, Kentucky
Patriot QB, 2019-; uniform #4
Pats 4th round (133rd overall) selection of the 2019 draft, from Auburn

A little bit of trivia: Stidham and RB Damien Harris were youth football teammates for one season, going undefeated in the Madison County Youth Football League (just south of Lexington, Kentucky) in 2003. The two later competed against each other in college, and were both drafted by the Patriots in 2019.

Last year Stidham was a healthy scratch for the first three games of the season, and did not play in eight other games. He came in as a reserve in five games, going 22-44 for 256 yards, with two touchdowns and three interceptions. As a rookie he barely saw any action, going two for four in three games. All told Stidham has completed half of his 48 NFL passes with two touchdowns, four picks, five sacks and a passer rating of 46.4.

July 28, 2021:

July 29, 2021:

August 8, 1992:

Other pro football players born on this date with New England connections:

Blake Countess, 28 (8/8/93)
Patriots Draft Trade Trivia
In 2015 Houston traded WR Keshawn Martin plus the draft pick that was eventually used on Countess (2016 6th round, 196th overall) to the Patriots, for the Pats 2016 5th round pick.
The following April the Pats traded 6.196 and two other draft picks to Miami for their 5th. That fifth was then packaged with a seventh in a trade with Seattle for two draft picks, which turned out to be DE Deatrich Wise and WR Devin Lucien.

Kalif Raymond, 25 (8/8/94)
Holy Cross
The wide receiver has spent time with the Broncos, Giants, Jets, and now Titans, playing in 35 NFL games during that time. Raymond is one of just three players from Holy Cross to make it to the NFL over the last quarter of a century.

Bubba Pena, 72 (8/8/49)
Born in Wareham; Lawrence High School; Dean College; UMass
The guard was a 4th round pick by the Browns in 1971. Per his twitter account, Bubba was on the 1972 NFL All Rookie Team, in the UMass Amherst Hall of Fame, and the Dean College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Marcel Shipp, 43 (8/8/78)
Milford (CT) Academy; UMass
The running back had a couple very productive seasons for Arizona, gaining 2,261 yards from scrimmage with nine touchdowns for the Cardinals in 2002-03.

Some notable pro football players born on August 8 include:

Bruce Matthews, 60 (8/8/61)
Hall of Fame offensive lineman was named to 14 Pro Bowls while playing in 311 NFL games for the Oilers/Titans; he is one of nine family members to play in the NFL.

Mike Farr, 54 (8/8/67)
This Detroit WR comes from another football family: his father Mel was a Pro Bowl RB and 1967 Offensive Rookie of the Year for the Lions, brother Mel was a Chargers RB, and his uncle Miller led the AFL with 10 interceptions in 1967.

Jim Sweeney, 59 (8/8/62)
The center played in 228 games from 1984-1999, mostly with the Jets and Steelers.

Brian Sipe, 72 (8/8/49)
Cleveland Browns QB was the 1980 MVP; in one two-year span Sipe engineered eight fourth-quarter comebacks and 11 game-winning drives.

Fred Miller, 81 (8/8/40)
Three-time Pro Bowl DT was a ten-year starter for the Colts from '63-'72.

Charlie McNeil (1936-1994)
His 349 yards on interception returns in 1961 set a single season record that stood for 43 years.

Chuck Cherundolo (1916-2012)
Center and linebacker with the Rams and Steelers from 1937 to 1948.

Anthony Becht, 44 (8/6/77)
In 2000 the Jets squeezed two first round picks out of Tampa Bay for WR Keyshawn Johnson, and the Bucs won the Super Bowl two years later. The Jets used those two picks on Becht and DE John Abraham. Both teams seemed to benefit dramatically from the win-win trade.

Trev Alberts, 51 (8/8/70)
The fifth overall pick of the 1994 draft was a huge bust, starting just seven games over three seasons for the Colts. Alberts was fired from his job as a college football in-studio analyst after pouting about not being on ESPN's first team crew. He then took a job as the athletic director at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and created a stir when he announced the school would be dropping its wrestling program - just hours after the team won their third consecutive NCAA title. Just a few weeks ago the Nebraska Cornhuskers announced that they hired Alberts to be their new Athletic Director.