A day late on this portion of January 12. Sometimes life just gets in the way of these things.
Today in Patriots History
Four January 12 Birthdays
Jarvis Green, Dan Klecko, Neil Graf, Onree Jackson
Happy 43rd birthday to Jarvis Green
Born January 12, 1979 in Thibodaux, Louisiana
Patriot DE, 2002-2009; uniform #97
Pats 4th round (126th overall) pick in the 2002 draft, from LSU
Jarvis Green ranks 12th all-time in franchise history with 28 sacks. He played in 121 regular season games with 233 tackles, nine forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and four pass deflections.
The Patriots went 11-4 in 15 postseason games with Jarvis Green. He had five sacks and 27 tackles in the playoffs, with three tackles for a loss. Green earned rings for his play in Super Bowls 38 and 39.
After a knee injury in 2009 and subsequent surgery, Green lost some acceleration and his football career was over. At the time he retired Green ranked seventh (now 14th) all time for the Patriots with 24 tackles for a loss. In his post-NFL career he opened a wholesale shrimp business called Oceans97.
Former Patriot Jarvis Green to bring his business, Oceans 97 Inc., to Boston.
When Jarvis Green looks back on his time with the Patriots, he thinks not only of the two Super Bowl wins, but of the important lessons he learned from Bill […]
Almost two years after retiring from the NFL, Jarvis Green found himself back in training camp. Shrimp training camp. The former Patriots defensive end was learning the ins and outs of the shrimping business. But even as his now ex-wife and others kidded him by calling him “Bubba” — an allusion...
The lineman won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and played for nine years in the NFL. These days, he's all about the shrimp.
After starting 46 games and winning two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, Green has become the owner and president of Oceans 97, a shrimp and seafood supply company.
Happy 41st birthday to Dan Klecko
Born January 12, 1981 in Colts Neck, New Jersey
Patriot DT, 2003-2005; uniform #90
Pats 4th round (117th overall) pick in the 2003 draft, from Temple
Dan Klecko played in 29 regular season games for the Patriots, with three starts. He earned rings from Super Bowls 38 and 39, then received a third in SB 41 when the Colts beat the Bears. Over six NFL seasons Klecko played in 63 regular season games and eight playoff games for New England, Indianapolis and Philadelphia.
Bill Belichick occasionally utilized him in a Mike Vrabel type role as an eligible receiver on offense, where he caught all three passes thrown his way in 2004. Unfortunately his most memorable play came against the Patriots when he caught a Peyton Manning pass in the AFCCG, tying the game at 21.
Klecko now works with a financial investment firm that includes a division that focuses on professional entertainers and athletes. He also handles pre and post game analyst duties for the Eagles radio network. His father Joe was a defensive end in the NFL from 1977-88, going to four Pro Bowls.
Drafted by New England, defensive tackle Dan Klecko hopes to achieve the NFL success his father enjoyed.
Dan Klecko savors gift of grabbing passes from Tom Brady and Peyton Manning
After becoming a two-time All-American and Big East Defensive Player of the Year at Temple University, Dan Klecko was drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.
Happy 72nd birthday to Neil Graff
Born January 12, 1950 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Patriot QB 1974-1975; uniform #15
Signed as a free agent on April 9, 1974
Neil Graff was originally a 16th round (414th overall) selection of the 1972 draft by the Vikings, out of Wisconsin. He spent '72 on the Minnesota taxi squad, then went back to college in 1973. The Patriots then signed Graff as a free agent in 1974. He served as the backup to Jim Plunkett as well as the holder on field goal and extra point attempts.
Graff started the first two games of the 1975 season for the Patriots , a 7-0 loss to the Oilers and a 22-14 loss to Miami. The quarterback went 18-35 for 221 yards, with two touchdowns (to Randy Vataha and Russ Francis) and three picks.
A combination of factors led to Graff starting those games. Jim Plunkett had separated his shoulder in the preseason on a blindside hit by San Diego defensive end Coy Bacon, and was unable to play. Rookie Steve Grogan was already a fan favorite, but was still far too raw to start. The relationship between Chuck Fairbanks and Plunkett was not good at all, and Plunkett's skill set did not match Fairbanks' vision of the offense. Plunkett was rushed back too soon, Grogan eventually took over - and with the benefit of hindsight, it is no surprise at all that the 1975 Patriots finished 3-11, after a very promising 1974 season when they went 7-7.
On April 30, 1976 the Seattle Seahawks took Graff as part of the expansion draft. He also later spent time with Pittsburgh and Green Bay.
Neil Graff, a financial adviser in Sioux Falls, S.D., was the starting quarterback for two Patriots games in 1975 and the first preseason game in Seahawks history, in 1976.
Graff started 33 straight games at Wisconsin. He was the Badgers' MVP and all-Big Ten as a senior. He led the Big Ten in passing and total offense as a junior. He set school records for career passing yards (3,699) and touchdown passes (23) as well as single-game TD passes (4) and passing efficiency (259.9).
At Lincoln High, Graff was all-state in football and basketball two years and he had NCAA Division I scholarship offers in both sports. He led Lincoln to the mythical state football title as a junior and helped the Patriots to a runner-up finish in basketball as a senior.
He was named the High School Football Player of the Decade for the 1960s by the Rapid City Journal. Graff was chosen as one of South Dakota's top 50 athletes of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated. He is a member of the Lincoln High Hall of Fame.
Neil H. Graff is a financial advisor at United Planners' Financial Services Of America A Limited Partner in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Contact Neil Graff for financial advice today.
Neil Graff (CRD# 1544136) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at United Planners' Financial Services Of America in Sioux Falls, SD and has over 33 years of experience in the finance industry. He has taken additional exams to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).
CFP professionals must pass the comprehensive CFP Certification Examination, pass CFP Board's Fitness Standards for Candidates and Registrants, agree to abide by CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules of Conduct which put clients' interests first and comply with the Financial Planning Practice Standards.
Now a financial adviser in Sioux Falls, Graff enjoys career and family after football
Graff was drafted in the 16th round of the NFL draft in 1972. He spent six years with five teams, including the Minnesota Vikings. He played quarterback behind such greats as Fran Tarkenton in Minnesota, Terry Bradshaw in Pittsburgh and Jim Plunkett in New England.
“I really see my lot in life as the guy who has pushed the former great quarterbacks into the Hall of Fame,” jokes Graff, 64.
From an early age, he played many sports. In fact, “mixing it up” played a role in his athleticism.
“I got my start as a quarterback in seventh grade when Coach Don Erickson chose the guy with the biggest hands,” Graff recalls.
Graff not only played quarterback for the Lincoln Patriots from 1966-68, he was a three-sport athlete, adding basketball and baseball.
“I would play basketball all winter long outside in the driveway using three basketballs,” Graff says. “When one basketball got too cold and wouldn’t bounce, I’d take it in the house and get another one.”
Now retired from the NFL, life after football means living a legend.
Graff’s name is now on an annual trophy. The Neil Graff award, known as the Graffy, is given each year to the most underappreciated, underrated Seattle Seahawk. Graff played quarterback for the 1976 Seattle Seahawks, battling for the top spot against Jim Zorn. After playing in only three preseason games, he was traded to Pittsburgh. But many thought Graff should have been the quarterback. In 2001, the Seattle fans started a website to select the most underappreciated Seahawk and named the award after him.
Football has taken a toll on Graff’s body. He has had both knees replaced, and an MRI revealed four areas of his brain with a potential to cause problems.
The Graff family is suing Children's Care Hospital and School, now LifeScape, saying staff there improperly used restraints on their son.
Only one quarterback in the National Football League has ever called South Dakota home – Neil Graff.
Happy 75th birthday to Onree Jackson
Born January 12, 1947; from Brighton, Alabama
Patriot QB, 1969 offseason
Pats 5th round (110th overall) selection of the 1969 draft, from Alabama A&M
6'5 Onree Jackson was a three year starting quarterback in college and two-time conference MVP
. He was the first franchise's first African American quarterback and first quarterback to be drafted by the NFL from a historically black college or university as a QB
. (Pete Hall was drafted to play end and Eldridge ****ey to be a wide receiver; Willie Thrower and Sandy Stephens were undrafted. Jim Harris was selected three rounds later by Buffalo
from Grambling. He would become the first African American to begin the season as a starting quarterback in the NFL.)
Player Personnel Director Rommie Loudd said that 'Jackson could be the Willie Mays of pro football'. However new Patriot head coach Clive Rush wanted everything to be like it was the previous year with the Jets, often telling Jackson 'Joe (Namath) wouldn't do that'. He chose to make Jet backup Mike Taliaferro the starting quarterback and went so far to say that Jackson ''was behind three other quarterbacks
''. The Pats would go 5-16 before Rush was fired.
Jackson was waived before the season began and never returned to the NFL. He played briefly for the minor league Alabama Hawks then spent the rest of his working life as a football coach and teacher in Huntsville, Alabama.