Today in Patriots History
Happy 62nd birthday to Lin Dawson
Born June 24, 1959 in Norfolk, Virginia
Patriot TE, 1981-1990; uniform #87
Pats 8th round (212th overall) pick of the 1981 draft, from North Carolina State
James Linwood Dawson was drafted after Russ Francis abruptly retired following the 1980 season. He saw little playing time as a rookie when Don Hasselbeck became the starter, but had an equal share of playing time and receptions along with Hasselbeck in the strike-shortened '82 season. At that point Ron Meyer felt confident enough in Dawson's performance to make him the starter in 1983, trading Hasselbeck to the Raiders.
Dawson's best year from an offensive production standpoint was in 1984 when he was third on the team with 39 receptions, with four touchdowns and 427 receiving yards. Unfortunately Dawson sustained a ruptured tendon in his left knee on the first play of Super Bowl 20; the freak non-contact injury caused him to miss the entire 1986 season. He also missed the first month of the 1988 season due to a hamstring injury. Once the hammy was fully healed Lin seemed to be back on track with a two-touchdown game against the Bears in week nine, but Dawson suffered a season ending broken ankle the following week against Miami.
Over the course of his career Dawson played in 105 games with 75 starts, with eight touchdowns. He also appeared in five playoff games for the Pats and had a 13-yard touchdown against the Raiders in the '85-86 playoffs. Lin Dawson is the tight end on the Patriots all-decade team for the eighties. He is now the athletic director at Clark University in Atlanta.
April 29, 1981:
Dick Steinberg post-draft assessment
Dick Steinberg, the New England Patriots' designated draft czar, thinks at least two teams in the AFC East have improved themselves considerably for the 1981...
Steinberg, who ran the draft show at Schaefer Stadium Tuesday and Wednesday, labeled the Patriots' draft as a '7' on a scale of 1-to-10. New England failed to get a blue chip defensive lineman but did upgrade their team at several positions, most noticeably on the offensive line.
The Patriots spent the second day doing what most teams do -- picking players who can add some backup support. They chose a punter for the third straight year -- Ken Naber of Stanford -- who promises to give Mike Hubach a battle for his job.
Their other Wednesday picks were wide receiver Ken Toler of Mississippi, tight end Lin Dawson of North Carolina State, quarterback Brian Buckley of Harvard, and Cris Crissy of Princeton, a receiver-slotback projected as a safety.
'Every player we drafted should play in the NFL, but not necessarily with the Patriots,' Steinberg said. 'The thing that really hurt us was not having a third-round choice. We filled a glaring need in the offensive line, added a running back and depth in special teams, and we strengthened our linebacking and defensive-line corps even though we didn't get a good pass-rusher.'
Coach Ron Erhardt said that he thought the team he takes to camp this summer will be better than last year's -- if all the un-signed players (Horace Ivory, Rod Shoate, Don Hasselbeck are the biggies) have come to terms.
When asked about the team's prospects, Erhardt cracked, 'Anything over .500 is a super job of coaching.'
Aug 25, 1981:
Training Camp Notes
Terry Nelson, a former star with the Los Angeles Rams, was among 10 players dropped by the New England Patriots. Nelson, a tight end who was released by the Rams before training camp, was signed by the Patriots shortly after Russ Francis, one of the league's best tight ends, decided to retire. But last year's backup, Don Hasselbeck, recently ended a contract holdout and reported to the team, and Lin Dawson, a 1981 draft choice, has apparently won a roster spot.
Jan 27, 1986:
New England Patriots tight end Lin Dawson sustained a ruptured tendon in his left knee on the first play and was lost for the rest of the game. He was carried from the field on a stretcher. The Patriots went to reserve tight end Derrick Ramsey.
J Lin Dawson was appointed Director of Athletics by Clark Atlanta University President Ronald A. Johnson on November 18, 2015 to provide visionary leadership for
J Lin Dawson was appointed Director of Athletics by Clark Atlanta University President Ronald A. Johnson on November 18, 2015 to provide visionary leadership for the Department of Athletics. In two short years, the Department is well on its way to becoming a stellar program.
“Our goals are driven by the simple philosophy of winning championships, graduating student-athletes, and developing leaders,” he said. “These three pillars set the tone for all we do and think.”
A former professional football player, Dawson brings more than 20 years of administrative, academic and entrepreneurial experience to CAU. Prior to his arrival at CAU, Dawson served as Director of Athletics at North Carolina Central University, Grambling State University, Elizabeth City State University, and as Chief Operating Officer for the National Consortium for Academics and Sports at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. In addition, Dawson gained senior-level administrative experience as an Associate Athletic Director at North Carolina State University and Virginia Commonwealth University.
At Clark Atlanta University, he oversees the University's NCAA Division II athletic program, including, but not limited to, compliance, budgeting, operations, advancement, student-athlete recruitment and professional staffing and development.