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July 28 in Pats History: Nick Kaczur

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Today in Patriots History
Nick Kaczur

Happy 42nd birthday to Nick Kaczur
Born July 28, 1979 in Brantford, Ontario
Patriot RT, 2005-2010; uniform #77
Pats 3rd round (100th overall) selection of the 2005 draft, from Toledo

Nick Kaczur grew up in Brantford Ontario, a city where Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone, and is also where hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and comedian/actor Phil Hartman grew up. After high school Kaczur worked in construction for two years before enrolling at the University of Toledo. He was the first player there to be All-Mac conference for each of his four seasons. Besides being drafted by the Pats he was also selected in the first round (ninth overall) by the Toronto Argonauts in the 2005 CFL draft. Because of the delay enrolling in college he was already 26 years old when he began his first NFL training camp in New England.

Kaczur played in 68 regular season games for the Patriots, with 62 starts. The Pats were also 5-2 in the postseason when he started. In 2008 Nick started 14 games at right tackle as a member of an offensive line that was a part of the best rushing season for the Patriots in more than twenty years in terms of rushing yards (2,278), rushing touchdowns (21) and yards per carry (4.44). The following year he started 13 games on an offense that allowed the fewest sacks (18) by a Patriots line since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978.

Despite the somewhat relatively short career, Nick Kaczur is a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 2000s. He was inducted into the University of Toledo Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

Nick Kaczur is one of only two Rocket football players to ever make All-MAC four times. A starter at left tackle in all 51 games his four-year career, Kaczur made second-team All-MAC as a freshman in 2001, then earned first-team honors in 2002, 2003 and 2004. He played on MAC Championship teams in 2001 and 2004, and bowl teams in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Kaczur blocked for future NFL players Chester Taylor and Bruce Gradkowski. In his senior season, Kaczur was a Lombardi Award candidate for the nation's best lineman, linebacker or tight end, and an Outland Trophy candidate for the nation's best interior lineman. He played in the 2005 East-West Shrine Game and the 2005 Hula Bowl. He was drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by New England and played six seasons with the Patriots as a starting right tackle. He played in the 2008 Super Bowl with the Pats and was named to their All-Decade Team at right tackle. Kaczur earned his degree in recreation & leisure from UT in 2005.​

Below is a timeline of events directly and indirectly related to Kaczur:
  • April 23, 2005: Nicholas Jesse Kaczur is drafted by the Patriots.
  • July 20, 2005: Signs a 5-year, $2.59 million contract.
  • 2005: Begins season as backup to Tom Ashworth. Becomes starting LT in week four after Matt Light is injured.
  • Nov 2006: Replaces Ryan O'Callaghan as starting RT.
  • 2007-08: As the starting RT, misses only three games due to injuries over two seasons.
  • June 2008: Boston Globe reports that Kaczur had been arrested in April for illegal possession of oxycontin after being pulled over for speeding.
  • April 2009: Pats draft OT Sebastian Vollmer.
  • Aug 24, 2009: Kaczur signs a 4-year, $16 million extension.
  • Oct 18, 2009: Part of a Patriots' line that powers the offense to 619 yards, setting a franchise record in an epic 59-0 victory over Tennessee.
  • Dec 13, 2009: New England gets a much needed win over Carolina, 20-10. The Pats were coming off a 1-3 stretch that began with the 35-34 loss at Indy after leading 24-7 (the 4th and two, pass to Kevin Faulk game), then the 38-17 Monday Night annihilating loss at New Orleans, and finally the 22-21 loss at Miami, blowing a 21-10 second half lead. The victory over the Panthers would turn out to be Kaczur's final NFL start. He would leave the game with a back injury, replaced by Sebastian Vollmer.
  • Dec 20/27, 2009: Inactive for games against the Bills and Jaguars due to the back injury.
  • Jan 3, 2010: Kaczur is healthy and active, but Vollmer remains at RT in the starting lineup for the week 17 loss at Houston. Wes Welker shreds his knee, putting a damper on New England's postseason hopes.
  • Jan 10, 2010: Ray Rice runs for an 83 yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage as the Pats are one-and-done in the playoffs. Kaczur does get some playing time but Vollmer again got the start; it would turn out to be Nick's final NFL game.
  • April 2010: Pats draft OL Ted Larsen.
  • July 2010: The plan is to move Kaczur inside to guard and leave Vollmer at RT. Kaczur suffers a back injury in first week of training camp.
  • Sept 2010: Kaczur makes the initial roster over Larsen, who is quickly claimed off waivers by Tampa.
  • Oct 12, 2010: After missing almost all of training camp due to a back injury and being inactive for first four games, Kaczur is placed on IR.
  • July 29, 2011: Kaczur is released by the Patriots, one day before he turns 32.

Oct 16, 2003:

Nov 10, 2005:
Five rookies: Logan Mankins, Nick Kaczur, Ellis Hobbs, James Sanders and Mike Wright have been thrown into the mix and asked to make large contributions for a team who is trying to be the first in NFL history to win three straight Super Bowls.​

Having two new starters on the left side of the offensive line may not be a team's ideal situation but both Mankins and Kaczur have played well this season. Kaczur, especially, has been a pleasant surprise. The rookie has held his own against some of the best pass rushers in the NFL like the Falcons Patrick Kerney and the Colts Dwight Freeney.​

Head coach Bill Belichick likes what he sees out of his two rookie linemen.​

"I think they're both coming along and making progress," Belichick said.​

"Logan has played inside the whole year so he is locked in there. Nick has spent time at both tackles but now more at left tackle since Matt is injured, so he has kind of settled in there. They have both done well for us.​

"Both those guys work hard and are well prepared. They have seen some things and situations they may not be familiar with but overall they have managed it well with minimal mental errors."​

Feb 2, 2008:
Canadian lineman loving life: Nick Kaczur grew up in the same town as a guy named Gretzky
Kaczur was a defenceman ... a big defenceman.​

"I think I scared some of the other kids' parents when they saw me come on the ice", he recalled.​

June 5, 2008:

Dec 11, 2008:
Kaczur is not named in court records but The Boston Globe reports that Ekasala's defense attorney, Bernard Grossberg identified the player as the cooperating federal witness. The drug charges were put on hold if Kaczur stays out of trouble for six months.​

Aug 21, 2010:

July 29, 2011:
The Patriots continued to make moves on Friday, announcing several players had been cut.​

Veterans Defense Lineman Ty Warren and Tight End Alge Crumpler seemed to be the biggest surprises on that list.​

Crumpler was a team captain last season.​

The Patriots also released Nick Kaczur, Tully Banta-Cain, Tony Carter, Marcus Stroud, and rookie free agent Ryan Coulson.​

June 24, 2013:

These days Nick Kaczur is back in his hometown of Brantford, coaching varsity football:
April 24, 2020:


Staff member
Today in Patriots History
More July 28 Trivialities

Happy 87th birthday to Milt Graham
Born July 28, 1934 in Chatham, MA
Patriot RT, 1961-1963; uniform #70

Milton Russell Graham went to Colgate University where he played both football and basketball. Graham was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 14th round (167th overall) of the 1956 NFL draft, as well as by the Syracuse Nationals (predecessor to the Philadelphia 76ers) in the 13th round of the 1956 NBA draft. The 6'6 tackle/defensive tackle ended up playing for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League from 1956 to 1961 before joining the Boston Patriots for three games late in the '61 season.

Graham played in 28 regular season games for the Pats, plus the franchise's first two playoff games in 1963. He was was part of the CFL All-Star team in 1958 and a member of the 1960 Grey Cup (CFL championship) winning team for Ottawa, and was named the Unsung Hero of the 1962 Patriots. After two-plus years with the Pats, Graham decided to retire in 1963 at the age of 29 due to the physical toll on his body. Milt Graham then spent more than twenty years working for the FBI.

Interesting articles on Art Graham's life here:

From the 1963 Patriots Media Guide:
He won the regular right tackle berth prior to the 1962 season and at the end of the campaign was honored by the 1776 Boosters Club as the Pats' "Unsung Hero" . . . A resident of North Chatham and a Massachusetts native, Milt was an honorable mention All-America in his senior year at Colgate, 1955 . . . He played six years for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian league and was on the All-Star team in 1958 . . . A bad back has hampered Milt during the current season . . . The injury was aggravated during the Pats' victory over Oakland Oct. 11 and he is currently on the injured deferred list

Happy 56th birthday to George Colton
Born July 28, 1963 in Lindenhurst, New York
Patriot guard, 1987; uniform #63

Pats 9th round (248th overall) selection of the 1986 draft, from Maryland

George Colton did not make the Pats roster as a rookie, but he did return the following year for three games as a replacement player in 1987. In 1985 he was the winner of the Alvin L. Aubinoe trophy, an award given annually to the Maryland Terrapins 'Unsung Hero of the Season'.

Happy 61st birthday to Darrell Wilson
Born July 28, 1958 in Camden, New Jersey
Patriot safety, 1981; uniform #47

The former UConn Huskie appeared in just one NFL game, a week ten 30-27 overtime loss to Miami, on November 8, 1981. Wilson went on to play in the Canadian Football League for the Toronto Argonauts for five seasons, where he was a member of the 1983 Grey Cup championship team. After hanging up his cleats Wilson coached high school football in New Jersey for eight years, with his teams winning five conference championships and advancing to the state finals four times. Wilson then became the wide receivers and defensive backs coach at the University of Rhode Island in 1986. Since then he has been a position coach at Rutgers (four years), Wisconsin (two years) and at Iowa from 2002 to 2012. Since 2018 Darrell Wilson has been an assistant head coach, defensive pass game coordinator, and special teams coordinator at Wagner College in New York.

July 28, 2021:
With backup QB Jarrett Stidham on PUP and possibly facing surgery, the Patriots claim Jake Dolegala off waivers from Green Bay as a third camp arm. Dolegala went to Central Connecticut and had been on the Pats practice squad in 2020; he was released four months earlier after New England drafted Mac Jones. In addition Trent Brown and Kyle Van Noy are activated off the PUP list.

July 28, 2020:

Other pro football players with New England connections born on July 28:

- Matt Milano, 27 (1994); went to Boston College
A 5th round pick by the Bills in '87, the linebacker has four interceptions and 121 tackles in his first two NFL seasons.

- Mike Trainor (1900-1967); born in Bangor
Wingback for the Buffalo All-Americans in the twenties.

- Jeff Oliver, 56 (1965); Boston College
Offensive lineman for the Jets in 1989.

- Jack O'Hearn (1893-1977); born and raised in Brookline
Wingback in the twenties for the Cleveland Tigers and Buffalo All-Americans.

- Bill Stephens (1904-1933); Brown University
Center for the 1926 Brooklyn Lions.

Other notable pro football players born on this date:

OT Chris Samuels
LB Julian Peterson
FS Dexter Jackson
LB DeMeco Ryans
DE Greg Hardy

Some interesting trades include players born on July 28:

- In 2009 the Raiders traded their 2010 6th round, 175th overall (Greg Hardy) and 2009 7th round, 216th overall (Captain Munnerlyn) draft picks to the Panthers, to move up for the 2009 6th round, 202nd overall pick (Brandon Myers).
-> Hardy and Munnerlyn became solid starters in Carolina; Myers had one good season in Oakland before departing in free agency.

- In 2012 Houston traded DeMeco Ryans and their 2012 3rd round, 88th overall pick (Nick Foles) to Philadelphia for a 2012 3rd round, 76th overall pick (Brandon Brooks) and a 2012 4th round, 99th overall pick (Ben Jones).
-> Ryans has been a very good middle linebacker for the Eagles, and Foles was a winning Super Bowl quarterback. Brooks and Jones both left in free agency after four seasons in Houston; ironically Brooks signed with the Eagles, and the right guard was named to each of the last two Pro Bowls.

- In 1999 Chicago traded their 1st round, 7th overall pick to Washington in exchange for a 1999 1st round, 12th overall pick (QB Cade McNown), 1999 3rd round, 71st overall (WR D'Wayne Bates), 1999 4th round, 106th overall (LB Warrick Holdman), 1999 5th round, 143rd overall (OT Jerry Wisne) and 2000 3rd round 87th overall (TE Dustin Lyman).
-> Wisne, who turns 43 today, appeared in 7 games for the Bears. McNown lasted two seasons, going 3-12; Bates had 15 receptions and one TD. Holman was a decent starter; Lyman a backup.
The player Washington drafted: Hall of Fame CB Champ Bailey.

Today's birthdays also include some first round draft busts:
Waymond Bryant (Bears #4 overall in 1974; LB only lasted four seasons in the NFL)
Larry Elkins (#2 in 1965; the pro football career for this Oilers wide receiver was even shorter: 18 games)

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
*sigh* now I have to do a re-watch of that game to see ... Matt Light coughing up two penalties certainly didnt help the cause...

Oxy, in tandem with Hochstein after Neal had to leave, didn't Do his Job often enough during the game, but one play in particular was significant:
(sequence begins at 1:10:00)



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2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
*sigh* now I have to do a re-watch of that game to see ... Matt Light coughing up two penalties certainly didnt help the cause...
I recommend you don’t re-watch it as it will only make you even more mad. You will count many missed opportunities starting from the first drive on defense.

The game should’ve been a Pats blowout.


In the Starting Line-Up
I recommend you don’t re-watch it as it will only make you even more mad. You will count many missed opportunities starting from the first drive on defense.

The game should’ve been a Pats blowout.
I really do not want to... Havent watched the whole game, ever, since it occurred...

but my curiosity is piqued at this point


Voted most photogenic
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I really do not want to... Havent watched the whole game, ever, since it occurred...

but my curiosity is piqued at this point
You will be amazed on how bad Eli Manning was prior to the final drive of the game (which he still tried to lose the game). Defense should’ve picked him off at least 3 times in the first quarter alone. The Giants offense and special teams tried hard to lose the game for them but Pats uncharacteristically couldn’t capitalize.

You’ll also see good angles from Brady’s POV and see the middle of the field wide open, but no WR’s would turn around in time. Very bizarre they couldn’t exploit that.