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June 11 in Pats History: Defending the Wall


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Today in Patriots History
Grey Defends the Wall


Happy 45th birthday to Grey Ruegamer
Born June 11, 1976 in Las Vegas
Patriot C/G, 2000-2002; uniform #67
Signed as a free agent on November 16, 2000

51Vb2RDqvRL.jpg


Gary Ruegamer played in 33 games over three seasons with the Patriots, with three starts. He was a 3rd round pick by the Dolphins in '99 out of Arizona State, and signed by the Patriots off Pittsburgh's practice squad. A two-time Super Bowl champion, his claim to fame as a Patriot may be for blocking on Tom Brady's first career rushing touchdown against the Jets. Ruegamer later defended the wall, with these comments:


“If the quarterback wants to throw a beach ball or a shot put, so what? If the NFL was so worried about competitive advantage, why would they let teams use footballs all week for the game and only then provide brand new kicking balls pregame?”
“The talking heads are trying to manufacture that it’s some significant competitive advantage to have a slightly deflated football. If that were the case then they should ban every conceivable ‘competitive advantage,’ like receivers’ gloves, taped ankles and strength and conditioning coaches.”
“Odell Beckham likely doesn’t make that amazing catch without gloves. Jerome Bettis may have fumbled a lot more in his stellar career without those big neoprene sleeves on his arms to hold the ball in place. DeMarco Murray may not have played as well without piles of ankle tape help him make sharp cuts. And J.J. Watt may not have been the defensive machine he was because of his offseason training. All, at the end of the day, provide some form of competitive advantage depending on the quality and application of use.”



Grey Ruegamer was originally a third round pick in 1999 by the Dolphins, from Arizona State. He never got on the field as a rookie, and was waived near the end of training camp in 2000 - making him a draft bust of epic proportions in comparison to those that we on this board complain about. Pittsburgh signed him to their practice squad, and from there the Pats signed him to their active roster. Grey became an unrestricted free agent in 2003 and signed with the Packers. The following year he was a starter at center when Green Bay set offensive franchise records that still stands for fewest sacks allowed (14) , as well as now broken records for most first downs (354), most net yards (6,357), and net passing yards (4,449). Grey last played for the Giants in 2008, and owns two super bowl rings: one with the Pats in 2001, the other with New York from 2007. Ruegamer played three seasons each in front of three well known quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Eli Manning.


On a side note, there was an interesting path as to how Miami ended up with the 72nd pick of the 1999 draft. which the Dolphins used to select Ruegamer:
  • Feb 18, 1998: Baltimore trades their third round pick (#72) of the 1999 draft to Tampa Bay for RB Errict Rhett.
  • April 19, 1998: The Bucs trade that draft pick back to the Ravens, for a 1998 fourth round pick.
  • March 17, 1999: Detroit trades QB Scott Mitchell to Baltimore for their third round pick (#72), and a 2000 conditional pick.
  • April 17, 1999: The Lions trade up two spots in the draft, sending #72 and a seventh round pick to Miami for #70.
  • Years Later: With the benefit of draft hindsight, Miami fans gnash their teeth. Detroit used their pick on DE Jared DeVries, who would play with the Lions for ten seasons. And one pick after the Ruegamer selection, Pittsburgh takes LB Joey Porter, who was named to three Pro Bowls while with the Steelers.



After being named the club’s director of player engagement on July 31, 2017, Grey Ruegamer enters his fourth season in the role and fifth year overall in Green Bay after playing three seasons (2003-05) with the Packers as an offensive lineman.
As the director of player engagement, Ruegamer is vital in maintaining locker-room cohesiveness and overall player health. He assists players in acclimating to their roles, both on and off the field and in the Green Bay community, and adapting to a new life in Green Bay.
Ruegamer also oversees the Packers' wide range of programs designed to meet the needs of players and their families in today's NFL. The department provides a framework of assistance within which players and their immediate family members can address the pressures created by daily life and complicated by the demands of playing professional football. The program is also set up to get players prepared for life after football, and helps players seek educational and vocational opportunities.
Ruegamer played 11 total seasons in the NFL on the offensive line, appearing in 124 games with 17 starts during the regular season and 12 contests with two starts in the postseason.



quarterback-tom-brady-of-the-new-england-patriots-calls-out-the-as-picture-id1716872

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots calls out the signals as he waits for the snap from center Grey Ruegamer #67 during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at the Coliseum on December 16, 2002 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans won 37-24.


79495412-e1501535702430.jpg
 
Today in Patriots History
More June 11 Trivia


Happy 75th birthday to Ed Koontz
Born June 11, 1946 in Hanover, PA
Patriot LB, 1968; uniform #54
Pats 17th round (440th overall) selection of the 1968 draft, from Catawba

Ed Koontz is one of eight NFL players drafted out of Catawba College, a small (enrollment: 1,325) Division II school in Salisbury, North Carolina. Koontz played in six games with one start for the Patriots in what was the final season for Mike Holovak as the Pats head coach.


Catawba Sports Hall of Fame: Ed Koontz


Nice column on Ed Koontz and the AFL below:

Catawba Football: Koontz made it in the pros as a 17th-round draft pick | GoCatawbaIndians.com

"I'm in our locker room, and I looked around and saw veterans like Earthquake Hunt and Houston Antwine, guys I'd been watching on TV for years," Koontz said. Soon, Koontz was on the field with Hunt and Antwine, playing his role in the Patriots' final season at historic Fenway Park.
Koontz is still convinced the 1968 Patriots doomed themselves before the season started when they traded veteran quarterback Babe Parilli to the Jets for young QB Mike Taliaferro. With Taliaferro and undrafted free agent Tom Sherman calling signals, the Patriots started 3-3 but finished 4-10. The awful finish cost coach Mike Holovak his job.
Many of Koontz's vivid memories are of clashes with the Jets. He intercepted a pass against New York in an exhibition game. That led to him starting both regular-season contests against them.
"I started three times that year against New York — against Namath," Koontz said. "That was a highlight. Playing linebacker with Nick Buoniconti (a Hall of Famer and one of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins) was also a highlight. It was tremendous playing with Nick before he moved on to Miami."




June 11, 2015: Patriots release TE Tim Wright
The transaction came less than ten months after the Pats had traded Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay for Wright and a 4th-round draft pick.

(The team also released QB Garrett Gilbert, which would cause angst and seller's remorse on this forum because a full five years later he would get his first and only NFL start, a result of two injuries and ineffectiveness of a third Dallas quarterback.)

The Patriots offset the release of four players by signing four more, including QB Matt Flynn. He had played well in his first NFL start in a week 15 of 2010 31-27 loss at New England, subbing for an injured Aaron Rodgers and throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns. In 2012 he signed a three-year deal with Seattle, with $9 million guaranteed, and was penciled in to be the Seahawks starting QB. However, rookie Russell Wilson exceeded expectations and won the starting job out of training camp. Flynn was expected to be a veteran presence alongside Jimmy Garoppolo while Tom Brady served his suspension, but New England cut Flynn very early in training camp.



June 11, 2003: Patriots hire Thomas Dimitroff as director of college scouting, and Larry Cook as regional scout
Dimitroff had joined the Pats the previous year, as a national scout. In the twelve years prior he had worked as a scout for Saskatchewan in the CFL, in the WLAF, on year with the Chiefs, four with Detroit and four with the Browns. Tom would serve in his position for the Patriots through the 2007 season, then worked as the general manager for the Atlanta Falcons from 2008 to 2020. Among the players drafted by the Patriots during his tenure in Foxborough were Ty Warren, Asante Samuel, Dan Koppen, Vince Wilfork, Logan Mankins, Ellis Hobbs, Matt Cassel and Stephen Gostkowski.

Cook worked for 34 years as a member of the New England personnel department, through 2018. Larry originally joined the Patriots as a part-time west coast pro personnel scout when Ron Meyer was named head coach in 1982. He began his 56 year career in football in 1963 as a coach at Fountain Valley High School in California.




Other pro football players born on this date with New England connections:

Ron Hallstrom, 62 (June 11, 1959)
Born in Holden MA, Hallstrom was a 1982 first round pick by Green Bay. He went on to play 174 games with 132 starts at guard for the Packers.

John Morelli (1923 - 2004)
Born and raised in Revere, the Georgetown grad played in 19 games on the offensive line for the 1944-45 Boston Yanks.

Matt Peart, 24 (June 11, 1997)
The 6'7" Jamaican born offensive lineman went to UConn. He was a third round draft pick by the Giants a year ago, playing in eleven games with one start for the G-men in 2020.

Darnell Alford, 44 (June 11, 1977)
A sixth round pick by the Chiefs in 2000, the offensive lineman from Boston College appeared in three NFL games.




Also born on June 11 (of 1956) was a guy with a name that sounds like a bit actor from a bad Hollywood movie: Joe Montana.
 
Today in Patriots History
Grey Defends the Wall


Happy 45th birthday to Grey Ruegamer
Born June 11, 1976 in Las Vegas
Patriot C/G, 2000-2002; uniform #67
Signed as a free agent on November 16, 2000

51Vb2RDqvRL.jpg


Gary Ruegamer played in 33 games over three seasons with the Patriots, with three starts. He was a 3rd round pick by the Dolphins in '99 out of Arizona State, and signed by the Patriots off Pittsburgh's practice squad. A two-time Super Bowl champion, his claim to fame as a Patriot may be for blocking on Tom Brady's first career rushing touchdown against the Jets. Ruegamer later defended the wall, with these comments:


“If the quarterback wants to throw a beach ball or a shot put, so what? If the NFL was so worried about competitive advantage, why would they let teams use footballs all week for the game and only then provide brand new kicking balls pregame?”
“The talking heads are trying to manufacture that it’s some significant competitive advantage to have a slightly deflated football. If that were the case then they should ban every conceivable ‘competitive advantage,’ like receivers’ gloves, taped ankles and strength and conditioning coaches.”
“Odell Beckham likely doesn’t make that amazing catch without gloves. Jerome Bettis may have fumbled a lot more in his stellar career without those big neoprene sleeves on his arms to hold the ball in place. DeMarco Murray may not have played as well without piles of ankle tape help him make sharp cuts. And J.J. Watt may not have been the defensive machine he was because of his offseason training. All, at the end of the day, provide some form of competitive advantage depending on the quality and application of use.”



Grey Ruegamer was originally a third round pick in 1999 by the Dolphins, from Arizona State. He never got on the field as a rookie, and was waived near the end of training camp in 2000 - making him a draft bust of epic proportions in comparison to those that we on this board complain about. Pittsburgh signed him to their practice squad, and from there the Pats signed him to their active roster. Grey became an unrestricted free agent in 2003 and signed with the Packers. The following year he was a starter at center when Green Bay set offensive franchise records that still stands for fewest sacks allowed (14) , as well as now broken records for most first downs (354), most net yards (6,357), and net passing yards (4,449). Grey last played for the Giants in 2008, and owns two super bowl rings: one with the Pats in 2001, the other with New York from 2007. Ruegamer played three seasons each in front of three well known quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Eli Manning.


On a side note, there was an interesting path as to how Miami ended up with the 72nd pick of the 1999 draft. which the Dolphins used to select Ruegamer:
  • Feb 18, 1998: Baltimore trades their third round pick (#72) of the 1999 draft to Tampa Bay for RB Errict Rhett.
  • April 19, 1998: The Bucs trade that draft pick back to the Ravens, for a 1998 fourth round pick.
  • March 17, 1999: Detroit trades QB Scott Mitchell to Baltimore for their third round pick (#72), and a 2000 conditional pick.
  • April 17, 1999: The Lions trade up two spots in the draft, sending #72 and a seventh round pick to Miami for #70.
  • Years Later: With the benefit of draft hindsight, Miami fans gnash their teeth. Detroit used their pick on DE Jared DeVries, who would play with the Lions for ten seasons. And one pick after the Ruegamer selection, Pittsburgh takes LB Joey Porter, who was named to three Pro Bowls while with the Steelers.



After being named the club’s director of player engagement on July 31, 2017, Grey Ruegamer enters his fourth season in the role and fifth year overall in Green Bay after playing three seasons (2003-05) with the Packers as an offensive lineman.
As the director of player engagement, Ruegamer is vital in maintaining locker-room cohesiveness and overall player health. He assists players in acclimating to their roles, both on and off the field and in the Green Bay community, and adapting to a new life in Green Bay.
Ruegamer also oversees the Packers' wide range of programs designed to meet the needs of players and their families in today's NFL. The department provides a framework of assistance within which players and their immediate family members can address the pressures created by daily life and complicated by the demands of playing professional football. The program is also set up to get players prepared for life after football, and helps players seek educational and vocational opportunities.
Ruegamer played 11 total seasons in the NFL on the offensive line, appearing in 124 games with 17 starts during the regular season and 12 contests with two starts in the postseason.



quarterback-tom-brady-of-the-new-england-patriots-calls-out-the-as-picture-id1716872

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots calls out the signals as he waits for the snap from center Grey Ruegamer #67 during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at the Coliseum on December 16, 2002 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans won 37-24.


79495412-e1501535702430.jpg


I liked Ruegamer as a prospect during the 1999 draft process, and was happy that he was signed off Sh!tsdirt's PS...He became our top backup C/G all 3 of his seasons here...Was a teammate of JR Redmond at AZ State as well...

Regarding the bolded line, he was Not "a draft bust of epic proportions in comparison to those that we on this board complain about..."
That simply made the LOLphins complete idiots for releasing him when they did...Don't be that guy.

Forgot that he was on the 2007 Vagiants...Yuck.
 
Today in Patriots History
More June 11 Trivia


Happy 75th birthday to Ed Koontz
Born June 11, 1946 in Hanover, PA
Patriot LB, 1968; uniform #54
Pats 17th round (440th overall) selection of the 1968 draft, from Catawba

Ed Koontz is one of eight NFL players drafted out of Catawba College, a small (enrollment: 1,325) Division II school in Salisbury, North Carolina. Koontz played in six games with one start for the Patriots in what was the final season for Mike Holovak as the Pats head coach.


Catawba Sports Hall of Fame: Ed Koontz


Nice column on Ed Koontz and the AFL below:

Catawba Football: Koontz made it in the pros as a 17th-round draft pick | GoCatawbaIndians.com

"I'm in our locker room, and I looked around and saw veterans like Earthquake Hunt and Houston Antwine, guys I'd been watching on TV for years," Koontz said. Soon, Koontz was on the field with Hunt and Antwine, playing his role in the Patriots' final season at historic Fenway Park.
Koontz is still convinced the 1968 Patriots doomed themselves before the season started when they traded veteran quarterback Babe Parilli to the Jets for young QB Mike Taliaferro. With Taliaferro and undrafted free agent Tom Sherman calling signals, the Patriots started 3-3 but finished 4-10. The awful finish cost coach Mike Holovak his job.
Many of Koontz's vivid memories are of clashes with the Jets. He intercepted a pass against New York in an exhibition game. That led to him starting both regular-season contests against them.
"I started three times that year against New York — against Namath," Koontz said. "That was a highlight. Playing linebacker with Nick Buoniconti (a Hall of Famer and one of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins) was also a highlight. It was tremendous playing with Nick before he moved on to Miami."




June 11, 2015: Patriots release TE Tim Wright
The transaction came less than ten months after the Pats had traded Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay for Wright and a 4th-round draft pick.

(The team also released QB Garrett Gilbert, which would cause angst and seller's remorse on this forum because a full five years later he would get his first and only NFL start, a result of two injuries and ineffectiveness of a third Dallas quarterback.)

The Patriots offset the release of four players by signing four more, including QB Matt Flynn. He had played well in his first NFL start in a week 15 of 2010 31-27 loss at New England, subbing for an injured Aaron Rodgers and throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns. In 2012 he signed a three-year deal with Seattle, with $9 million guaranteed, and was penciled in to be the Seahawks starting QB. However, rookie Russell Wilson exceeded expectations and won the starting job out of training camp. Flynn was expected to be a veteran presence alongside Jimmy Garoppolo while Tom Brady served his suspension, but New England cut Flynn very early in training camp.



June 11, 2003: Patriots hire Thomas Dimitroff as director of college scouting, and Larry Cook as regional scout
Dimitroff had joined the Pats the previous year, as a national scout. In the twelve years prior he had worked as a scout for Saskatchewan in the CFL, in the WLAF, on year with the Chiefs, four with Detroit and four with the Browns. Tom would serve in his position for the Patriots through the 2007 season, then worked as the general manager for the Atlanta Falcons from 2008 to 2020. Among the players drafted by the Patriots during his tenure in Foxborough were Ty Warren, Asante Samuel, Dan Koppen, Vince Wilfork, Logan Mankins, Ellis Hobbs, Matt Cassel and Stephen Gostkowski.

Cook worked for 34 years as a member of the New England personnel department, through 2018. Larry originally joined the Patriots as a part-time west coast pro personnel scout when Ron Meyer was named head coach in 1982. He began his 56 year career in football in 1963 as a coach at Fountain Valley High School in California.




Other pro football players born on this date with New England connections:

Ron Hallstrom, 62 (June 11, 1959)
Born in Holden MA, Hallstrom was a 1982 first round pick by Green Bay. He went on to play 174 games with 132 starts at guard for the Packers.

John Morelli (1923 - 2004)
Born and raised in Revere, the Georgetown grad played in 19 games on the offensive line for the 1944-45 Boston Yanks.

Matt Peart, 24 (June 11, 1997)
The 6'7" Jamaican born offensive lineman went to UConn. He was a third round draft pick by the Giants a year ago, playing in eleven games with one start for the G-men in 2020.

Darnell Alford, 44 (June 11, 1977)
A sixth round pick by the Chiefs in 2000, the offensive lineman from Boston College appeared in three NFL games.




Also born on June 11 (of 1956) was a guy with a name that sounds like a bit actor from a bad Hollywood movie: Joe Montana.

Hanover isn't real far from Hershey, 50 miles or so, and I actually have heard of Catawba College but had never put the two together...

Bill should've kept Tim Mister Wright for at least the 2015 season, especially when considering the garbage that were Gronk's backups after the Hooman was traded...

Ashamed to say that I had forgotten about Larry Cook's extensive tenure here...If there isn't a ring of honor of some kind for non-playing staff, then there should be one and Cook should be in it.
 
Koontz is still convinced the 1968 Patriots doomed themselves before the season started when they traded veteran quarterback Babe Parilli to the Jets for young QB Mike Taliaferro. With Taliaferro and undrafted free agent Tom Sherman calling signals, the Patriots started 3-3 but finished 4-10. The awful finish cost coach Mike Holovak his job.
A past-it Babe was better than nothing.
“The talking heads are trying to manufacture that it’s some significant competitive advantage to have a slightly deflated football.
...as part of their endless agenda to manufacture fake violations and fake scandals implicating the innocent Patriots.

[from NESN]:

"No one is arguing that the New England Patriots shouldn’t be punished if the NFL finds they intentionally under-inflated footballs..."

I simply point out that the NFL finds that tire pressure variation is nothing but an imagined mass hallucination, and that the Earth is flat. The league's findings which contradict reality result in totally real, by definition illegitimate penalties against the Patriots leading to specific, multiple unfair competitive disadvantages.
I had forgotten about Larry Cook's extensive tenure here...If there isn't a ring of honor of some kind for non-playing staff, then there should be one and Cook should be in it.
Team HOF lacks legitimacy, due to lacking too many deserving players. But Larry, Bucko, Dante and Ernie come to mind and they belong. Period.

BTW I know Hog couldn't stand him, but Ron Meyer brought along some awesome guys here. Got to give credit where it's due.
 


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