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July 16 in Pats History: Ken Herock

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Sep 19th

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jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
A Four-Pack of Trivia


Today is another slow day for Patriot birthdays: we have four players that combined to play just twelve games played with the Pats.


Happy 80th birthday to Ken Herock
Born July 16, 1941 in Munhall, PA
Patriot TE, 1969; uniform #36
Claimed off waivers from Cincinnati on August 14, 1969




Ken Herock played in six games with no stats for the Patriots in his sixth and final year as a pro football player. He became a scout and director of player personnel for the Raiders in 1975 (when Oakland was winning super bowls), and then took the same position with Tampa Bay (miraculously turning the Bucs into a playoff team, despite their owner's infamous frugality).

Herock then moved on to Atlanta, where he drafted both Deion Sanders and Brett Favre, among others; he was also the one NFL scout who believed in Tim Tebow. In 2010 Herock caused a bit of an uproar when he was quoted as saying that he didn't feel there are any topics off limits in pre-draft interviews. That comment raised eyebrows since it was made after the backlash when it became public that Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland had asked Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute during one of those interviews. Herock still operates a company that prepares NFL prospects for that very same interview process.

Ken Herock | Pro Prep

The One NFL Scout Who Believed in Tim Tebow | The Post Game




Side note: while looking up information on Ken Herock I came across these two articles, which I found pretty interesting. If you enjoy or are interested in National Football League history then these may be of interest, both of which involved Herock.

The first is an absolute gem, that revolves around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 1982 draft. The second article is a mind-boggling timeline of events and circumstances that led to the Patriots trading away their number one overall pick of the 1991 draft.



 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
A Four-Pack of Trivia


Happy 72nd birthday to Bill Atessis
Born July 16, 1949 in Houston
Patriot DE, 1971; uniform #73
Signed as a free agent in October, 1971




Bill Atessis was a second round pick by the Colts in 1971, but he was injured in training camp and waived with an injury settlement. The Pats signed the Texas Longhorn a few weeks later, and he played in five games for them that year. The following season he was asked to lose weight in order to transition to outside linebacker, and ended up walking out of training camp. The Pats traded him to the Cardinals on July 19 for a fifth round draft pick, but he landed on injured reserve before the season began. In '73 the Jets signed Atessis with the idea of putting him back on the defensive line, but he was cut in early August to end his NFL career. Bill Atessis now works as a lead project manager in the construction industry in his native Texas for Faithful & Gould, an international project and construction management conglomerate.

Bill Atessis | Wikipedia

Bill Atessis | LinkedIn

William 'Bill' Atessis | Faithful & Gould




Happy 37th birthday to Louis Leonard
Born July 16, 1984 in Los Angeles
Patriot DT, 2010; uniform #94
Signed as a free agent on December 14, 2010




In his fourth and final year in the NFL, Leonard was signed by the Patriots in mid-December - and waived six days later. In between he played in the week fifteen 31-27 victory against Green Bay, the same game that caused Matt Flynn to become a very sought after commodity - when Flynn threw three touchdowns while subbing for an injured Aaron Rodgers.

Louis Leonard | LinkedIn





Happy 29th birthday to Jordan Matthews
Born July 16, 1992 in Madison, Alabama
Patriot WR, 2018 offseason; uniform #80
Signed as a free agent on April 6, 2018

Jordan Matthews was a two-time first team All-SEC at Vanderbilt, and Biletnikoff semifinalist. The Eagles grabbed him in the second round of the 2014 draft, and he caught 225 passes for 2,473 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first three seasons.

Matthews had a revolving door of quarterbacks in Philly: Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez in 2014, Sam Bradford (and Sanchez again for two games) in '15, then Carson Wentz in '16. For whatever reason Matthews' productivity dropped in 2016, and he was traded to Buffalo the following offseason. 2017 was a lost cause due to a thumb injury that required surgery and then a knee injury; he had just 282 yards with the Bills.

The Pats signed Matthews as a free agent to a one-year contract worth $1 million, with $300k guaranteed. At the time it seemed as if he would be a major factor in the 2018 season after the departure of Brandin Cooks, and with Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games. However, Matthews was released with an injury settlement just after the start of training camp due to a 'significant' hamstring injury. He was with the San Francisco 49ers last year and is currently a free agent; his NFL career is likely over with just four receptions over the last two seasons, despite reports of his plan to make a comeback and convert to tight end.




April 5, 2018:

April 6, 2018:

May 22, 2018:

Aug 1, 2008:

June 18, 2021:




Edit: actually, make that a five-pack:

In memory of Ed Buckingham
Born July 16, 1934 in Terre Haute, Indiana
Patriot OT, 1961 offseason
Acquired in a trade with Buffalo on August 4, 1961
Died Feb 2, 1987 at the age of 52

Ed Buckingham was a 16th round pick (183rd overall) by Green Bay in the 1957 draft. He was pretty good size for that time period, standing 6'4 and weighing 255 pounds. Ed rode the taxi squad for the Packers for four seasons, interspersed with a brief time with the Edmonton Eskimos (now Edmonton Elks) of the Western Interprovincial Football Union (now the West Division of the Canadian Football League). Buckingham also played in 1961 with the Indianapolis Warriors of the United Football League, a minor league in the midwest that was in existence from 1961 to 1964, whose big claim to fame is being the first football league to operate teams in both the USA and Canada.

Buffalo signed Buckingham, then traded him to Boston early during the 1961 training camp in exchange for a 1962 11th round draft pick. Ed Buckingham did not make the Pats roster, and never did play in a regulation game in either the NFL or AFL.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
A Four-Pack of Trivia


July 16, 2014:
The Patriots announce the retirement of Armond Armstead. In 2012 the defensive lineman from USC had played for Toronto in the CFL, where he was an All-Star and won the Grey Cup. Armstead underwent surgery to treat an infection after signing with the Pats in 2013, and spent the entire season on the Non-Football Injury List. It was later revealed as part of a lawsuit against USC that he had suffered a second heart attack in 2014, allegedly due to that team prescribing painkillers while he was on the Trojans football team.


July 16, 2012:
The deadline passes for the Pats and Wes Welker to reach a contract agreement, resulting in his playing the 2012 season under the franchise tag and becoming a free agent the following spring. Welker would sign with Denver after playing for the Patriots from 2007 to 2012.


July 16, 2009:


July 16, 1994:
New England places Ricky Reynolds on the Physically Unable to Perform List prior at the start of training camp. Reynolds had been a seven year starter in Tampa Bay and was one of several veteran free agents signed in the second offseason of the Bill Parcells era. He recovered in plenty of time, missing only one game that season.





Four other deceased players with interesting life stories and varying connections to the New England area:

- Harry Connolly (1920-2006); this native of Norwalk went to Boston College, and then the tailback was the 37th overall pick in the 1943 NFL draft.

- Al Cornsweet (1906-1991): the Brown grad was a fullback and head coach of the 1931 NFL Cleveland Indians.
Cornsweet, Al

- Herman Gundlach (1913-2005); went to Worcester Academy and Harvard, and was a guard for the 1935 Boston Redskins.

- Grenny Lansdell (1918-1984); born in Great Barrington, he went on to become one of the greatest triple threats in college football history. After the war Lansdell proceeded to become a pilot for Trans World Airways for 30 years.



Other pro football players born on this date include:

- Barry Sanders, 53 (7/16/68); my condolences if you never had the privilege of watching him play. Just imagine the possibilities had he been on a good team.

1994 Patriots vs Lions


- Max McGee (1932-2007); the unlikely (and hungover) hero of Super Bowl I.

- Gary Anderson, 62 (7/16/59); one of only two kickers to have a 'perfect' season: 35/35 on field goal attempts, and 59/59 on extra points in 1998.
Gary Anderson - NFL Legend

- Aaron Glenn, 49 (7/16/72); CB was named to three Pro Bowls, with 41 career interceptions and eight career touchdowns. He is now the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions.
 

Pape

In the Starting Line-Up
Today in Patriots History

Happy 37th birthday to Louis Leonard
In his fourth and final year in the NFL, Leonard was signed by the Patriots in mid-December - and waived six days later. In between he played in the week fifteen 31-27 victory against Green Bay, the same game that caused Matt Flynn to become a very sought after commodity - when Flynn threw three touchdowns while subbing for an injured Aaron Rodgers.
lol, Pats/Packers 2010... ok ok so it was the matt flynn game BUT it also included one of the greatest kickoff returns in New England Patriots history!


the time link is broken because the nfl blocks the NFL content on other sites, so fast forward to 4:10 to see it
 
Last edited:

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
lol, Pats/Packers 2010... ok ok so it was the matt flynn game BUT it also included one of the greatest kickoff returns in New England Patriots history!


the time link is broken because the nfl blocks the NFL content on other sites, so fast forward to 4:10 to see it
Great catch, that was a total brain fart on my part. I think I must have just glanced at the box score and saw Flynn's stats - while completely overlooking Dan Connolly's awesome return.

Note to everyone else: don't hesitate to click on any of these YouTube videos. You can still see them; as Pape mentioned above, when you click you just watch on You Tube rather than seeing it here on one of these threads. I'll try to remember to include a title or description of the video going forward, so you know what it is about.
 

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