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July 8 in Pats History: another former Patriot has a successful post-NFL career

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Today in Patriots History
A pair of obscure Pats

Going through these daily Pats history pieces, I am happy to find so many former players that went on to have successful careers after hanging up their cleats. Today's entry is a good example, even if the two are indeed relatively obscure in regards to the feats on the gridiron.

Happy 53rd birthday to Mickey Washington
Born July 8, 1968 in Galveston, Texas
Patriot CB, 1990-1991; uniform #21
Signed off the Colts' practice squad on October 30, 1990

The speedy 5′9 corner was selected in the 8th round, 199th overall by the Phoenix Cardinals in 1990. He did not make the week one roster and was available until Baltimore signed him to their practice squad on October 2. After the Patriots released RB Don Overton in late October they signed the former Texas A&M Aggie, and he appeared in nine games for New England that season. In 1991 Washington appeared in all 16 games for the Patriots with four starts and two picks. He was cut near the end of training camp in 1992, picked up by Pittsburgh, but released again before the start of the season.

Mickey Washington had two interceptions and 73 tackles in 25 games during his two years with the New England Patriots.

The Texas A&M graduate persevered, spending eight years in the NFL. He also played for Washington, Buffalo, Jacksonville and New Orleans, with three years as a starter – one of which was with the Bills (when he started in Super Bowl 28), and two with the Jaguars, from ’94-’96. After his NFL career ended Washington earned his law degree, and founded his own practice in Texas, focusing on labor and employment law. Mickey Washington also served on the executive committee for the National Football League Players Association.

Nov 14, 1993:

Feb 28, 2012:

Mickey Washington Elected To Serve On NFLPA Executive Committee

LinkedIn | Mickey Washington

Happy 50th birthday to Jeff Kopp
Born July 8, 1971 in Danville, California
Patriot LB, 1999; uniform #91
Signed as a free agent on October 27, 1999

Jeff Kopp was a sixth round draft pick by Miami in 1995, out of USC. He primarily played on special teams, appearing in 63 games with three starts over his five year NFL career. After a rash of injuries decimated the Pats linebacking corps to the point that safeties were forced to fill in at linebacker, Pete Carroll signed Kopp in late October of '99. He appeared in six games for the Patriots, with two tackles.

In his post-NFL life Kopp worked as an investment advisor, as a steer wrestler on the professional rodeo circuit, and as a bicycle shop owner. Kopp then became a high school football head coach in Jacksonville, through 2017. Since 2018 Jeff has been Director of Prison Ministry at The Church of Eleven22 and Campus Chaplain at Department of Corrections Prison in Jacksonville.


Jeff Kopp | San Ramon Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Jeff Kopp on Twitter

Jeff Kopp on Instagram

Jeff Kopp on LinkedIn


In other July 8 news:

July 8, 2020:
Patriots sign Cam Newton to a one-year, $1.75 million contract, to compete with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer as starting quarterback for the Pats' first post-Tom Brady season.

Other players with New England area connections sharing this birth date:

- Phil McGeoghan, 42 (7/8/79); born and raised in Agawam, went to Boston University and then Maine after BU stopped playing football.
Phil played with Denver and New Orleans in the NFL, as well as one season with NFL Europe. He has been a position coach for several colleges and NFL teams, and is now the WR coach for the Los Angeles Chargers.

- Charlie Stewart (7/8/90-12/18/65); this native of western Mass was a guard in the early days of the NFL, before figuring out there were better jobs for someone with a degree from Colgate.

Some other pro football players born on this date:

- Jack Lambert, 69 (7/8/52); Hall of Fame middle linebacker for the Steelers was a six-time All Pro, and won four Super Bowl rings.

- John David Crow (7/8/35-6/17/15); RB won the Heisman Trophy in 1957 and played 11 years in the NFL for the Cardinals and 49ers. Named to four Pro Bowls, Crow was a bruising runner who refused to run out of bounds. In 1960 he led the league with 5.9 yards per carry, and 1,533 yards from scrimmage (in a 12-game season).

- Tommy Mason (7/8/39-1/22/15); RB was the second overall pick by the Patriots in the 1961 AFL draft, but he signed with the Vikings, who selected him with the first overall pick of the NFL draft. Tommy played 11 years in the NFL and was named to three Pro Bowls; he later married Olympic gymnast and Broadway actress Cathy Rigby.

- Ken Lanier, 62 (7/8/59); the 'rock on the right side' started 180 games (including 13 playoff games) at right tackle for the Broncos from 1981 to 1994.

- Na'il Diggs, 43 (7/8/78); linebacker played twelve seasons in the NFL, mostly with Green Bay and Carolina.