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Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Belichick Has Kind Words For Patriots' Clayborn

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With Raymond Clayborn set to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame on Saturday night, Bill Belichick was asked on Thursday about the former New England defensive back finally earning the honor of having his name added to the Hall at Patriot Place pre

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DarrylS

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In the late 70's to mid 80's he was part of the roster that made me believe that all things Patriots would some day be better, he was paired with Mike Haynes in the d backfield..
 

fgssand

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Saw a fit, reasonably sharp, 62 year old class act last night at the Speaker Series at the Hall.

Said that back in the day, the reason good t SMS petered out in the end was a total lack of training facilities...one set of weights, a couple of bikes and a few mats in a tiny room was all there for the entire team to try to stay in shape and recover during the season, said it really took its toll.

Learned that the real reason why that 1978 team fell apart in the playoffs that year. They were a powerhouse, went 11-5, had Tippet, Cunningham, Morgan, Haynes, Clayborn to name a few.

The playoff game was against the oilers and was the ONLY home playoff game for the franchise, until the Snowbowl (which ended a hell of a lot nicer).

That was the year that the Sullivan's. Chose to fire head coach Chuck Fairbanks after game 15 upon learning he had accepted a college head coach at Colorado.

While I always thought the Sullivan's fired him for taking that job, I learned that Fairbanks actually took the job because he protested the treatment of poor Darryl Stingley (who had met his fate a little earlier that season).

Stingley & the Patriots had agreed on a new deal prior to the injury, typical Chuck Sullivan reneged on the deal and refused to pay him the $275,000 salary flat out. Raymond pointed out it was Chuck and not Billy that was responsible.

He also had interesting comments about the '85 Dolphin AFC Chamionship game - said they knew walking on that field that day that the 19'game Miami streak would end.

Finally, he totally blames Berry for the SB disaster -- said without a doubt Berry ruined the team by replacing a hot Grogan with a scared Eason. Said Eason was totally intimidated by Dent & Co from the opening snap, that he'd flinch and fall down out of fear of getting torn apart by that great D. Went on to say how smart and different BB is when faced with similar decision of Injured Brady over Bledsoe in SB36.
 

QuantumMechanic

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While I always thought the Sullivan's fired him for taking that job, I learned that Fairbanks actually took the job because he protested the treatment of poor Darryl Stingley (who had met his fate a little earlier that season).

Stingley & the Patriots had agreed on a new deal prior to the injury, typical Chuck Sullivan reneged on the deal and refused to pay him the $275,000 salary flat out. Raymond pointed out it was Chuck and not Billy that was responsible.

Given how the Sullivans screwed over Fairbanks, Hannah, and Grey the previous year, I'm not surprised Fairbanks had had enough.
 

Actual Pats Fan

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Given how the Sullivans screwed over Fairbanks, Hannah, and Grey the previous year, I'm not surprised Fairbanks had had enough.
I was there too last night, and it was so great to see Ray.

Of course training camp was mentioned, and when told that there are no more two-a-days, he said, "Hey, I'll play right now!"

Ray was exceptionally gracious in crediting his teammate on the other side, Mike Haynes, for forcing teams to throw in Ray's direction and giving him more interception opportunities. When asked if he remembered any special play that stood out in his career, he thought about it, and finally said, "Every play. Every play is special." Sounds like a Patriot to me...

The shared adversity on those teams, of everyone playing under less than perfect conditions with less than totally supportive ownership, clearly bonded them, and I never heard Ray or any of his teammates make any excuses, which they could have.


When I left the theater, I got to finally see the Pat Patriot exhibit which of course is very impressive.

Then, I noticed posted on the lower wall to the right, a letter from Bob Kraft to creator Phil Bissell. It's dated February 18, 1994, and thanks Phil for his congratulatory note on Kraft's purchase of the team, and reiterates his commitment to building a championship team.

Then, hand-written under his signature, is an additional note, in large letters:

"I too prefer the old logo."

I stared at it, transfixed, and quietly flabbergasted. He shared the same opinion of all those former players and fans I'd spoken to for a quarter century.

I've been puzzling over it since, my mind going back and forth from a relationship long, long ago that succumbed to miscommunication, to the anticipated impending Goodell Gate III.


Well, I'll be there again tomorrow; perhaps I can pull Robert aside and simply ask him: What gives?
 

jimnance

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In the late 70's to mid 80's he was part of the roster that made me believe that all things Patriots would some day be better, he was paired with Mike Haynes in the d backfield..

In the discussion for the greatest all time cb tandems.
There was so much hope when Fairbanks came on board( handsdown the 2nd best HC in Pat's history). Helluva coach, Pats got loaded with great players. Between Billy Sullivan and Ben drieth, we got screwed. Should been at least one SB Championship.('76).
God,I loved that team
 

DarrylS

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In the discussion for the greatest all time cb tandems.
There was so much hope when Fairbanks came on board( handsdown the 2nd best HC in Pat's history). Helluva coach, Pats got loaded with great players. Between Billy Sullivan and Ben drieth, we got screwed. Should been at least one SB Championship.('76).
God,I loved that team

That team gave me a nice injection of optimism for the way things could be rather than what they usually were.. work was a ***** for me as a Pats fan among the Giants, Jets and Miami fans.. payback is a bytch mothaf..er...
 

Actual Pats Fan

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In the discussion for the greatest all time cb tandems.
There was so much hope when Fairbanks came on board( handsdown the 2nd best HC in Pat's history). Helluva coach, Pats got loaded with great players. Between Billy Sullivan and Ben drieth, we got screwed. Should been at least one SB Championship.('76).
God,I loved that team
Survivors of that team need to be properly honored...I'm looking at the 45th anniversary in '21. Stay tuned.
 
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