Today in Patriots History
The first Chung
The first Chung
June 14 is a case of quantity over quality, starting with a draft bust from the final year of the Dick MacPherson era.
Happy 52nd birthday to Eugene Chung
Born June 14, 1969 in Prince George's County, Maryland
Patriot G/T, 1992-1994; uniform #69
Pats 1st round (13th overall) selection of the 1992 draft, from Virginia Tech
Nov 22, 1991:
When Virginia Tech 's coaches first got Eugene Chung into camp, they did what any staff would do with a big kid who has mobility: They tried to make him a tight end.
Chung is considered one of the nation's best offensive linemen and a certain first-round pick in next spring's NFL draft. Pro Football Weekly's draft preview rates Chung as the fifth best player available and the second-best lineman; the NFL scouting combine lists him as the fourth best overall and the top lineman.
Dave Thomas, director of operations with NFL Draft Report, calls Chung the best college offensive lineman since Pittsburgh's Bill Fralic in 1984. He says the consensus among league scouts is that Chung, whom he compares to perennial All-Pro Anthony Munoz of the Cincinnati Bengals, will be one of the first five players picked.
Eugene Chung is the only Korean-American football player to be drafted in the first round in NFL history, and the only Asian-American player drafted in the first round since 1962. He did start 30 games over his first two years in the NFL, but considering the Patriots were a 7-25 team during that span, that is not much of an endorsement to his performance. In '94 Chung was a healthy scratch for twelve games and had officially become a draft bust, replaced by former Giant Bob Kratch.
On February 15, 1995 the NFL held an expansion draft for two new teams, Jacksonville and Carolina. Each existing club had to make six players available to stockpile the new franchises, and the Pats elected to cut their losses and make Chung available. The Jaguars selected Chung as the 26th of their 31 selections. He played in 11 games with no starts for the Jags before being waived, then spent one final NFL season as a backup with Indianapolis. Eugene Chung played in 34 games with 30 starts over three years for the Patriots, with all but three games coming in his first two seasons; overall he appeared in 55 games from 1992-1997.
Despite never really 'getting it' on the field as a player, from 2010 through 2019 Chung found employment as an assistant offensive line coach, with the Eagles (twice) and the Chiefs.
Jan 17, 2019:
The Eagles have failed to develop many offensive linemen over the last couple years, starting with the regression of Isaac Seumalo from his rookie season too Matt Pryor not seeing a snap in any game his rookie year (Pryor was also a sixth-round pick). Jordan Mailata, the Eagles seventh-round pick, has developed at an impressive rate for being a former rugby player...but didn't play a snap in 2018.
May 26, 2021:
Eugene Chung has been dealing with racism his entire football career. Fans yelled, “Go home, g—, you don’t belong here,” when he took the field at Oakton High…
One coach told Chung he was never going to gain weight eating with chopsticks. Another high school coach once told him there was no way he would ever play Division I football because he was “Oriental.”
“The list goes on,” said Chung. “I could sit here and write a whole novel about it.”
These experiences followed him to the pros. Chung has spent parts of the past three decades in the NFL as a player and an assistant coach, winning a Super Bowl in Philadelphia in 2013 as the team’s assistant offensive line coach. Participating on an Asian American sports panel last week, Chung revealed he was recently told he was “not the right minority” while interviewing for an NFL coaching job this offseason.