Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Apr 15, 2017.
I can't watch it because it hurts too much.
Today in Patriots History
Franchise Rushing Leaders
There are no Patriot birthday leaders being celebrated today, so I thought I would try something a little different for this entry. All numbers are for a player's career while with the Patriots, and include only regular season games.
Career Rushing Touchdowns
Fire From The Ashes
(45) - Jim Nance
(43) - Sam Cunningham
(37) - Corey Dillon
(35) - Steve Grogan
(34) - LeGarrette Blount
(32) - Tony Collins
(32) - Curtis Martin
(29) - BenJarvus Green-Ellis
(23) - Don Calhoun
(22) - Stevan Ridley
(21) - Antowain Smith
(21) - Laurence Maroney
(19) - Tom Brady
(18) - Mosi Tatupu
(17) - John Stephens
(16) - Kevin Faulk
(15) - Carl Garrett
(14) - Larry Garron
(14) - Horace Ivory
(14) - Babe Parilli
I don't imagine that their are very many teams with a quarterback that is among the top four all-time in rushing touchdowns.
Other names of note: Danny Woodhead is 25th with 10; Dion Lewis is tied at #31 with 8; James White (7) is tied with Shane Vereen and two others at #34; and Sony Michel is tied with Brandon Bolden, Tony Eason and Reggie Dupard at 38th with six touchdowns.
Career Rushing Yardage
5,453 - Sam Cunningham
5,323 - Jim Nance
4,647 - Tony Collins
3,799 - Curtis Martin
3,607 - Kevin Faulk
3,391 - Don Calhoun
3,249 - John Stephens
3,180 - Corey Dillon
2,981 - Larry Garron
2,917 - LeGarrette Blount
2,817 - Stevan Ridley
2,781 - Antowain Smith
2,469 - Craig James
2,437 - Leonard Russell
2,430 - Laurence Maroney
2,415 - Mosi Tatupu
2,235 - Carl Garrett
2,176 - Steve Grogan
2,064 - BenJarvus Green-Ellis
2,017 - Andy Johnson
With 1,069 yards, Sony Michel could become the 21st player in Patriot franchise history to rush for 2,000 career yards with the Pats.
Six players from the list above made the 2,000-yard club while playing in fewer than fifty games with the Patriots: Dillon (43), Russell (43), Martin (45), Smith (45), Maroney (45), and Blount (49).
(194) - Mosi Tatupu
(161) - Kevin Faulk
(107) - Sam Cunningham
(102) - Tony Collins
(99) - Larry Garron
(94) - Jim Nance
(94) - Andy Johnson
(93) - Don Calhoun
(88) - Sam Gash
(83) - Brandon Bolden
James Develin (81) could rise to as high as sixth on this list by the end of December.
Others outside of the top ten include Patrick Pass (78), John Stephens (76), Ron Burton (69), and James White (63).
Yards per Game
(84.4) - Curtis Martin
(74.0) - Corey Dillon
(71.6) - Sony Michel
(69.7) - Robert Edwards
(61.8) - Antowain Smith
(59.5) - LeGarrette Blount
(56.7) - Leonard Russell
(56.6) - Jim Nance
(56.0) - Terry Allen
(54.2) - Stevan Ridley
(54.0) - Laurence Maroney
(51.5) - Jonas Gray
(51.0) - Sam Cunningham
(47.5) - Craig James
(47.1) - Dion Lewis
(45.6) - Tony Collins
(45.4) - LaMont Jordan
(43.9) - Marion Butts
(43.8) - Carl Garrett
(42.8) - John Stephens
Here's a surprise at the #21 ranking: Mike Gillislee, with 42.6. He was inactive for seven games, so his rushing total is based on nine games played rather than 16.
Others outside the top 20 include BJGE (#23, 38.9), Fred Taylor (#27, 32.6) and Sammy Morris (#28, 31.6).
Yards per Carry
(Minimum 100 attempts)
(5.1) - Jim Plunkett
(4.9) - Steve Grogan
(4.8) - Dion Lewis
(4.8) - Danny Woodhead
(4.6) - Robert Weathers
(4.5) - Sony Michel
(4.4) - Sammy Morris
(4.3) - LeGarrette Blount
(4.3) - Stevan Ridley
(4.2) - Corey Dillon
(4.2) - Laurence Maroney
(4.2) - Craig James
(4.2) - Carl Garrett
(4.2) - Mark van Eeghen
(4.2) - Kevin Faulk
(4.2) - Shane Vereen
(4.2) - Brandon Bolden
(4.2) - Babe Parilli
(4.1) - Don Calhoun
(4.1) - Alan Miller
Now back to our regularly scheduled program...
There were two pro football players born today with New England connections:
Happy 75th birthday to John Huard, who was born and grew up in Waterville, Maine.
Huard went to Waterville High School and then the University of Maine.
He was selected in the 5th round (113th overall) by Denver in the 1967 AFL draft.
Huard was the Broncos starting MLB from '67-'69, and he also later played for the Saints.
Bill Hutchinson was born March 9, 1916.
Hutchinson played his college football at Dartmouth. He then played for two seasons with the New York Americans of the American Football League - a pro football league attempting to compete with the NFL with a local franchise (Boston Bears) that existed from 1940-41. In 1940 Hutchinson was one of 11 players named to the AFL's All-League team. After the AFL folded Hutchinson was a backup HB/QB/P for the Giants in the NFL.
Today in Patriots History
The Cattle Rancher Lineman
Happy 37th birthday to Logan Mankins
Born March 10, 1982 in Catheys Valley, California
Patriot LG, 2005-2013; uniform #70
Pats 1st round (32nd overall) selection of the 2005 draft, from Fresno State
When the Patriots traded Mankins to Tampa Bay near the end of the 2014 training camp, Bill Belichick had this to say:
"Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached. Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate.
Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made - and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make - but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team."
A left tackle in college, Mankins immediately took over as a physical presence and leader at left guard in 2005, taking over the position vacated after Joe Andruzzi departed in free agency. Mankins started all 16 games in each of his first five seasons.
Mankins earned Pro Bowl honors six times in New England (2007, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13) before surprisingly being traded to Tampa Bay just before the 2014 season. A 2010 All-Pro, Mankins earned second-team All-Pro honors five times with the Patriots, and once in his final NFL season in Tampa Bay.
In 2011 Mankins tore his ACL in his right knee in the first game of the year. He played the entire season with the injury, then tore the MCL in his left knee in the playoff victory over Denver. Despite the injuries he still played in Super Bowl XLVI. Not to make excuses, but it would have been really nice for the Patriots if he had been healthy for that game - even more so after Stephen Neal had to leave early due to injury.
Logan Mankins is a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 2000s, and also the New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team. Next year he becomes eligible for voting for the Patriots Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Logan Mankins' retirement sparks memories of his time with the Patriots | Mike Reiss, espn
Happy 32nd birthday to Martellus Bennett
Born March 10, 1987 in San Diego
Patriot TE, 2016 and 2017; uniform #88
Signed as a veteran free agent after eight seasons with the Cowboys, Giants and Bears
9/22/2016: Why tight end Martellus Bennett may have been the steal of the off-season
11/14/2017: To sign with the Patriots, Martellus Bennett beat the system and got what he wanted
Happy 55th birthday to David Ward
Born March 10, 1964 in Helena, Arkansas
Patriot LB, 1989; uniform #94
Backup/special teams player from Southern Arkansas played in all 16 games under Raymond Berry.
Al Romine was born March 10, 1932 in Florence, Alabama
Patriot safety, 1961; uniform #46
Played college football at North Alabama and then Florida. Broke in with the Bears in 1955. Romine was with Chicago and Green Bay for a couple seasons, and also played in the CFL for two years. He was Denver's starting safety in the AFL's first season, then spent a short time with the Pats to finish his pro football career in '61 at the age of 29. Romine passed away in 2015 at the age of 83.
Other football players with New England connections born today:
David Ward (no relation to the linebacker above)
Born March 10, 1907 in Wynnewood, Oklahoma
The Native American was an end and defensive end for the Boston Braves in the thirties.
Oran Pape was born March 10, 1904 in Waupeton, Iowa
He was a wingback in the thirties for the Providence Steam Roller and Boston Braves.
Today in Patriots History
March 11 Birthdays
Happy 58th birthday to Milford Hodge
Born March 11, 1961 in Los Angeles
Patriot DE-NT, 1985-1989; uniform #97
Pats 8th round (224th overall) selection of the 1985 draft, from Washington State
Hodge did not make the Patriot roster initially, and was signed by New Orleans. The Saints cut him and the Pats re-signed him in '86. Hodge played in 49 games with eight starts for Raymond Berry's teams. He returned to Washington State and is now employed as the Cougars' Student-Athlete Mentor Programming Coordinator.
1982 Apple Cup and Washington State victory recharges a rivalry
Happy 44th birthday to Shawn Springs
Born March 11, 1975 in Williamsburg, Virginia
Patriot CB, 2009; uniform #29
2009 was the season of discontent, and Springs and Adalius Thomas were that team's primary malcontents. After the 2008 season Deltha O'Neal was moving on, and rookies Jonathan Wilhite and Terrence Wheatley were still raw (or injured). A first round draft pick in '97 and Pro Bowler in '98, by '07 the 34 year old Springs had lost a step or two - but Belichick wanted a veteran corner as insurance if neither Wilhite nor Wheatley progressed. Springs final NFL season was nothing special, with just one interception and four passes defensed.
New England Patriots release veteran CB Shawn Springs | espn
In signing a three-year deal last offseason, Springs landed a $2.7 million signing bonus and a $1.75 million base salary. So for $4.55 million, the Patriots received 12 games, 39 tackles, one interception and four passes defended.
Springs was due to earn $2.25 million this year, the ninth-richest salary among base salaries of Patriots players.
The selection of cornerback Devin McCourty in the first round of April's draft might have had something to do with releasing Springs at this time.
Behind-the-Scenes Differences Possibly Led to Shawn Springs' Release | NESN
The marriage between the Patriots and cornerback Shawn Springs was a curious one.
Springs, who signed a three-year deal worth roughly $10 million in 2009, and head coach Bill Belichick didn’t seem to share the same beliefs when it came to football, and that’s never really the best thing for anyone involved. Springs believed he was best suited to play man coverage, but Belichick's defense requires a heavy dose of zone coverages from its cornerbacks. That clash probably had a lot to do with Springs' lack of playing time.
Springs also suffered a knee injury at some point last summer, and it showed up on the Patriots' injury report throughout every week of the season, yet Springs often denied that his knee was bothering him. He was inactive in four consecutive games from Weeks 10-13, but he had full participation in practice during every session in that time span. So, for whatever reason, Springs was really a healthy scratch during each of those four games.
Happy 78th birthday to Rex Mirich
Born March 11, 1941 in Florence, Arizona
Patriot DT, 1970; uniform #76
Mirich was selected 153rd overall by the Raiders in the 20th round of the 1963 AFL draft. He played with Oakland through '66 and then then spent three seasons with Denver.At the age of 29 he played his final pro football season with the 1970 Patriots. He played in seven games with two starts for the Pats.
Rex Mirich elected to the College Football Hall of Fame
Rex Mirich, San Manuel Alumni class of 1959, was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Arizona State College at Flagstaff (now NAU) Lumberjacks football team.
Rex played for the San Manuel Miner’s football team and earned a full ride scholarship to Arizona State College. Rex was a four year letterman for the Lumberjacks and was named the team captain his senior season. He earned first team NAIA All American honors his junior and senior years at two different positions, a unique accomplishment.
In 1962, Mirich was named to the first team as a defensive guard. He was All American offensive tackle in 1963. Rex was named to the NAU Athletic Hall of fame in 2006. He is the first athlete from Northern Arizona University to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Former Football Player Rex Mirich Named to College Football Hall of Fame
"I was totally surprised," said Mirich, who received notification from the National Football Foundation on Monday with an official Hall of Fame football. "It is quite an honor. I was never expecting it. I am proud to represent the school."
Accomplishing the rare feat of being a two-time NAIA All-America first-team selection at two different positions, Mirich was honored as a defensive guard in 1962 and repeated the honor as an offensive tackle the following season. Mirich, a graduate of San Manuel High School and native of Florence, Ariz., is the first Northern Arizona player to be chosen to the College Football Hall of Fame.
A four-year letterman for the Lumberjacks, Mirich was voted a team captain by his teammates for his senior season.
Happy 73rd birthday to Wayne Mass
Born March 11, 1946 in Portales, New Mexico
Patriot OT, 1972; uniform #75
Mass was a 4th round (99th overall) pick by the Bears in 1968. He played in 59 games over five seasons with the Bears, Dolphins, Patriots and Eagles. 1972 was his final season in the NFL, which included six games with the Patriots.
Other pro football players born March 11 with New England connections include:
Happy 36th birthday to Chris Gamble
Born 3/11/83 in Boston
1st round selection by Carolina in 2004 draft
Starting CB for Panthers from 2004-2012
Happy 42nd birthday to Dan Kreider
Born 3/11/77; went to the University of New Hampshire
Fullback played in 138 NFL games from 2000-09, mostly with Pittsburgh
Happy 43rd birthday to Doug Brzeinski
Born 3/11/76; went to Boston College
Guard was a 3rd pick by the Eagles in '99; spent six seasons in the NFL
Frank Morrissey was born on this day in 1899, in Boston
He went to Medford High School and Boston College
Was an NFL lineman in the twenties.
Happy 29th birthday to
Born March 12, 1990 in Lewisburg, Tennessee
For those curious about how much tread is left on the tires:
HT has played in 102 NFL games (including 15 in the postseason), after playing 44 games at Alabama. Hightower is entering his eighth season at the age of 29. Coincidentally that is the same amount of service time and same age as Jerod Mayo when he retired - though that truly means nothing, as many other at his position have played much longer.
Dont'a Hightower highlights - Patriots.com
Today in Patriots History
Happy 41st birthday to Lonie Paxton
Born March 13, 1978 in Orange, California
Patriot Long Snapper, 2000-2008; uniform #16
Paxton was a two-way lineman and long snapper at Sacramento State. The Patriots signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2000. He went on to become an incredibly dependable special teams player for the Patriots. Paxton snapped on many game winning field goals with the Patriots, including Super Bowl 36 and 38.
The iconic and often repeated image of a player making a snow angel after a game winning score began in the Snow Game, aka the Tuck Rule Game. The player making that snow angel was Paxton, and he repeated the scene a few weeks later in the Silence of the Rams super bowl victory - in confetti this time, rather than in snow.
Lonie Paxton Retires A Patriot - Patriots.com video, 0:26
Patriots Today - Catching up with Lonie Paxton - Patriots.com video, 1:41
Throwback Thursday: Lonie Paxton's House Tour - Patriots.com video, 5:38
Lonie Paxton Retiring As A Patriot; Reflects On His Famous Snow Angel Celebration - CBS Boston
Lonie Paxton explains the roots of the 'Snow Angel' and why he doesn't remember much about it - weei.com
Happy 81st birthday to Joe Bellino
Born March 13, 1938 in Winchester, MA
Patriot HB & KR, 1967; uniform #27
Pats 19th round (146th overall) selection of the 1961 AFL draft, from Navy
Bellino was a college sensation, winner of the Heisman Trophy in 1960. The only reason he was drafted so late was because of the four-year commitment to join the Navy following graduation.
1965 Wire Photo: Joe Bellino reported to Boston Patriot's coach Mike Holovak
Ten Questions: Joe Bellino | HistoryNet
What can you tell us about playing pro football with the Boston Patriots?
BELLINO: That was the summer of ’65, and I accepted a contract at Patriot camp, resigned my active commission from the Navy, but stayed in the Reserves.
I played with the Patriots for three years; but unfortunately, the first two years I had a broken ankle. My last year, I was healthy and did very well on punt returns and was also a wide receiver and running back. In my third year, I was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals in the expansion draft, but at age 30 I was not keen on moving my young family to Cincinnati.
Joe Bellino | Heisman
Joe Bellino, the “Winchester Rifle” is the first Naval Academy football player to win the Heisman Trophy.
Born and raised in Winchester, Mass., Bellino was a three-sport star for Winchester High. He was good enough in baseball to be offered a contract out of high school by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he chose to play football for Navy despite offers from Notre Dame and several Big Ten schools.
After a year in prep school, Bellino became an instant star for the Midshipmen. In his three years at Navy, he scored 31 touchdowns, rushed for 1,664 yards on 330 carries, returned 37 kicks for 833 more yards and altogether set 15 Naval Academy football records.
In 1960, Bellino rushed for 834 yards and 15 touchdowns and scored another three TDs via pass receptions. He was a unanimous All-America selection and also the winner of the Maxwell Award. He won the Heisman handily over Richie Lucas of Penn State, totaling 1,929 points to Lucas’ 613.
In addition to his football exploits, Bellino was an outstanding catcher and outfielder on Navy baseball teams. He hit .428 in 22 games in 1959 and led the Eastern Intercollegiate League in stolen bases. He had a .320 average in 1960 and was the baseball team captain in 1961.
Boston Patriot players Joe Bellino, Ed Toner, Bobby Nichols and Ray Ilg
Bill Belichick can draw up a play from 1959 from memory because of course he can: Belichick sat down with Leslie Visser and Joe Bellino to talk about his father and Navy football - CBS Sports
In a segment for CBS Sports Network produced ahead of this weekend's Army-Navy football game, Belichick sat down with Leslie Visser and former Navy halfback (and Heisman Trophy winner) Joe Bellino, and Belichick drew up the exact diagram for Navy's 27 F Trap, from memory, complete with the route Bellino would usually take -- through the seven hole, then to the outside, then up the field -- when running the play.
Some Bellino memories from our own PatFanKen:
God I'd love he hear the rest of clip from that show.
I have one Joe Bellino Story though. When I signed with the Quincy Giants I had to go Joe Bellino's office to do the playerwork. In his office he introduced himself to me and shook my hand, and then pointed out his Heisman Trophy. It then took about 2 minutes to finish up and I was out the door with the next guy coming in. He seemed like a pretty nice guy, and it was many years later before I met him again. But I still remember walking out the office with a copy of my contract (which paid me $250/game) and remembering him pointing out the Heisman so proudly and thinking to myself, "what a douche"
I can't recall ever seeing him again that season, or for over a decade. Joe lived in Winchester and so did one of my weekly poker buddies. On night Joe showed up for poker night and he was great. Great stories, Great laughs, and he was a bad player. . Since then I've always felt a little bad for my initial reaction that summer night in August of 1969...
Joe Bellino and Boston Patriots president Bill Sullivan pose for a photo after Bellino signed with the team on July 2, 1965.
Of the other pro football players with New England connections that were born today, none played for more than two seasons:
Cole Toner turns 25; born March 13, 1994.
OT for the Cardinals and Chargers went to Harvard.
Brian Saxton turns 47; born March 13, 1972.
TE for the Falcons and Giants went to Boston College.
Bill Kennedy was born March 13, 1919 out in Lee, Massachusetts.
Played in the NFL before and after WWII, and was the starting LG for the 1947 Boston Yanks.
Julius Archoska was born March 13, 1905.
He was born and raised in Lynn, and was the first of six Lynn Classical High School graduates to go on to play pro football.
Harold 'Pinky' Lester was born March 13, 1900 in New London CT.
He grew up and spent most of his life in Providence, and was an End for the Providence Steam Roller in the twenties. Lester is one of just two East Providence High School alumni to play in the NFL.
Edgar 'Spike' Staff was born March 13, 1892 in Brockton MA.
Staff went to Brockton High School and Brown University.
He too played briefly for the Providence Steam Roller.
Today in Patriots History
Happy 61st birthday to Don Blackmon
Born March 14, 1958 in Pompano Beach, Florida
Patriot OLB, 1981-1987; uniform #55
Pats 4th round (102nd overall) selection of the 1981 draft, from Tulsa
Blackmon was an extremely underrated player. With he and Andre Tippett on the outside, Steve Nelson inside (plus Clayton Weishuhn, Johnny Rembert, and Larry McGrew) the Patriots had one of the very best linebacking corps in the NFL in the 80's.
It's unfortunate that Blackmon's career ended prematurely due to injury (and Weishuhn's as well). On the bright side he didn't end up paralyzed like Darryl Stingley; coincidentally both career-ending plays came against the Raiders.
Blackmon played in all but four games, up until the career-ending injury. He started in 72 of those 89 games. Blackmon finished his career with 541 tackles, 30½ sacks and five interceptions. He also took part in six playoff games, with four sacks.
Don Blackmon is a well deserving member of the New England Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1980s.
After the injury he joined the Pats coaching staff for three seasons. From 1988 to 2007 he coached for several NFL teams, primarily as a linebacker coach.
New England Patriots linebacker Don Blackmon, who lay paralyzed...
Blackmon, an outside linebacker, was overshadowed by fellow linebacker Andre Tippett and never reached the Pro Bowl in his seven seasons. Blackmon was frequently mentioned as one of the NFL's most underrated players.
'He was one of the premier linebackers in the game,' Patriots Coach Raymond Berry said.
Squish the Fish: 1985 Patriots Run One of the Greatest in NFL History
“We had a great defense,” said (John) Hannah. “We had Andre Tippett and Donnie Blackmon as bookends. You couldn’t double-team one and leave the other unblocked. There was no getting outside on those two guys. They were the best outside linebackers I’ve ever seen put on a team.”
Some Pats History Trivia: 1982 was a strike-shortened season. Teams were playing their sixth game of the year on December 12. With the regular season consisting of just nine games, every win or loss became far more critical than it would in a typical season.
December 12, 1982 is the date of the Snowplow Game. John Smith had just kicked a 33-yard field goal to give the Patriots a 3-0 lead with 4:45 left to play, causing Don Shula to nearly have a stroke. On the following possession Miami was fired up and drove the ball deep into Patriot territory for what would have been a game-winning touchdown. It was Don Blackmon who picked off David Woodley's pass at the flag on the goal line to secure that historical win.
Happy 46th birthday to Chris Sullivan
Born March 14, 1973 in North Attleboro, MA
Patriot DE, 1996-1999, 2001; uniform #74
Pats 4th round (119th overall) selection of the 1996 draft, from Boston College
The local guy received a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots, but the more interesting, and inspiring story is how he managed to turn his life around in a positive way after his NFL career was over.
Former Patriot Chris Sullivan scores against addiction
Taylor's Message - About Chris Sullivan
Happy 47th birthday to Antowain Smith
Born March 14, 1972 in Millbrook, Alabama
Patriot RB, 2001-2003; uniform #32
When the Pats signed Smith as a veteran free agent, hopes were tempered. Many thought he was over the hill at age 29, overused after rushing the ball 300 times in 1988 for Buffalo.
Smith and Troy Brown were virtually the entire offense on that Super Bowl winning team. Antowain rushed for 12 touchdowns (the rest of the team combined had 3) and 1,157 yards (Kevin Faulk was 2nd, with 169). Smith led the team with 13 touchdowns (nobody else had more than five) and he represented more than a quarter of the total offense, with 1,349 yards from scrimmage. The twelve rushing touchdowns and 13 total touchdowns both rank as the sixth most in a single season in franchise history.
Although he was only with the Patriots for three seasons - and not in the prime of his career - Smith ranks 11th in Patriot history with 21 career rushing touchdowns, and 12th with 2,781 yards rushing. The bulk of that came in 2001-02, when he had 2,574 yards from scrimmage and 21 total touchdowns.
Antowain Smith played the best when the stakes were the highest. He rushed for 204 yards in the 2001 playoff run. That included 5.1 yards per carry for 92 yards in the Super Bowl 36 Silencing of the Rams. Two years at the age of 31 his playing time had dwindled, but he came through in the clutch again. He scored a touchdown in the 17-14 division round victory over Tennessee, ran for 100 yards in the AFCCG versus Indy, and then had 26 carries and another touchdown in the Super Bowl win over Carolina. Smith was a perfect 6-0 with the Patriots in the playoffs, rushing for 456 yards.
March 1, 2002: Pats re-sign running back Antowain Smith | Patriots.com
Smith, 29, set a career-high with 1,157 yards rushing on 287 attempts (4.0 avg.) and caught 19 passes for 192 yards (10.1) during the 2001 season. He became only the ninth player in Patriots franchise history to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark and his 1,157 yards ranks seventh in Patriots history. Smith also set a career-high with 13 touchdowns (12 rushing-1 receiving) last season and tied the third-highest total in franchise history. His 13 scores ranked third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL. The Patriots were 8-1 in games during the 2001 season when he rushed for a touchdown.
Smith led the Patriots with 204 yards rushing on 53 carries (3.8 avg.) during the playoffs. He led all rushers with 92 yards on 18 carries (5.1 avg.) during the Patriots 20-17 victory in Super Bowl XXXVI.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 230-pound running back has gained 4,089 yards on 1,047 carries (3.9 avg.) and 38 touchdowns during his five-year career. Smith has rushed for 100 yards or more in 11 games during his career, including four last season with the Patriots. It was the highest single-season total since Robert Edwards recorded four in 1998. Smith’s teams have a 10-1 record when he reaches the 100-yard mark, including the Patriots 4-0 record in 2001.
Life After Football: The Story of Antowain Smith
Smith was offered scholarships but decided to put college on the back-burner and took two years off to work in a material dyeing factory to take care of his grandparents who had fallen ill.
“It was my way of giving back to them something they had gave to me all their lives,” Smith said. “Which was to take care of me, make sure I went to school and good clothes and it was my time to give back to them, so I put my dreams on hold.”
On her deathbed, Smith’s grandmother’s final wish was for him to go back and do what he loved to do.
“That last night that has always stuck in my mind that she told me was ‘go to school so you don’t live on the streets,'” Smith said. After she passed, I had a tryout at East Mississippi where I did my 40-time and the broad jump and they offered me a scholarship right there.”
At 21 years old, Smith entered his freshman year of college chasing his dream that his grandmother wanted him to catch.
“I tell [people] my story and I tell them ‘It’s never too late to accomplish anything in life that you want to accomplish,'” Smith said. “‘You just have to stick to it and there’s going to be trials and tribulations though you know across the path that you’re going that’s for anyone, tough people last, tough times don’t.'”
Happy 67th birthday to Garry Puetz
Born March 14, 1952 in Elmhurst, Illinois
Patriot G, 1979-1981; uniform #77
Puetz was the 300th player selected in the 1973 draft, from Valparaiso. He had been a starter for the Jets and Bucs before the Pats picked him up as a backup. Puetz appeared in 36 games with the Patriots, with four starts. In his final NFL season he earned a Super Bowl ring with the 1982 Washington Redskins.
After retiring from pro football Puetz spent 25 years in the school transportation field, including 16 years as Director of Transportation in Forsyth County, Georgia.
Puetz on ballot for College Football Hall of Fame
Happy 58th birthday to Dave Windham
Born March 14, 1961 in Mobile, Alabama
Patriot LB, 1984
Pats 9th round (251st overall) selection of the 1984 draft, from Jackson State
Windham did not survive training camp roster cuts, and never played in any real games with the Patriots. Three years later he was a replacement player during the strike for Washington. The Skins went on to win the Super Bowl that season, and eventually all the replacement players - including Windham - received a Super Bowl ring for their contributions.
Thirty years later, Redskins replacement players receive Super Bowl rings - The Washington Post
“It was just the right amount of weight to level off my body. It was just a little light for 30 years,” joked former linebacker David Windham, who was drafted by the New England Patriots and played a Thursday game with the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders before suiting up for the Redskins three days later.
For Windham, the ceremony felt more like validation. For Jackson, it represented “vindication.” Meanwhile, Kevin “Tony” Robinson, who quarterbacked the Redskins to a 13-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on “Monday Night Football,” called it “one of the happiest days of my life.” And all of them agreed that it was a surreal experience that had exceeded their expectations.
Happy 76th birthday to Charlie Green
Born March 14, 1943 in Dayton, Ohio
Patriot QB, 1965
Pats 13th round (103rd overall) selection of the 1965 AFL draft, from Wittenberg
Charlie Green (2002) - Hall of Fame - National Football Foundation
In three years as Wittenberg's starting quarterback, 1962-1964, Charles Green led his school to a 25-0-1 record and three championships in the Ohio Athletic Conference. In 1964 he was named Little All-America and the Ohio Athletic Conference offensive player of the year. In 1963 and 1964 he led the conference in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and total offense. He finished his career with 5, 575 passing yards and 61 passing touchdowns. He played on Wittenberg's basketball team and was named most valuable player on the baseball team. He played four pro seasons with the Boston Patriots and Oakland Raiders.
Charlie Green was perhaps the finest quarterback, in his undergraduate days, in Wittenberg football history. Green was named All-Ohio Conference from 1962 through 1964, and was also the Mike Gregory Award winner (presented to the best back in the conference) in both 1963 and '64. He was the co-captain for the 1964 national championship squad, and he led the Tigers to the national championship in 1962 as well. During his career, Green established 14 OAC records, several of which still stand, including 5,575 yards passing for a career, 2,182 passing yards in a season and 61 touchdown passes for a career.
One other birthday with a New England connection:
Doug Dubose (3/14/64) turns 55
Born in New London CT, went to Montville HS
RB/KR for 49ers in '87-'88; got a ring under Bill Walsh in 20-16 SB22 victory over Cincy.
Today in Patriots History
March 19 Birthdays
Tavon Wilson turns 29
Jonathan Fanene turns 37
Marty Moore turns 48
Ray Costict would have been 64, RIP
Leon McQuay (see next post), RIP
Joe Kapp turns 81
[Also, happy 49th birthday to Rick Mirer. Hard to imagine now that back then the public and media were split on whether he or Drew Bledsoe should go #1 in the 1993 draft.]
Today in Patriots History
Leon 'X-Ray' McQuay
Born March 19, 1950 in Tampa
Died November 29, 1995 at the age of 45
5'9, 200 pound Patriot RB and KR, 1975; uniform #31
A historical look at the uniform numbers for the new Patriots: #31
The Giants selected McQuay out of the University of Tampa – two seasons before the Spartans ended their football program – with the 119th overall pick in the fifth round of the 1973 draft. McQuay was the first African-American athlete to receive a football scholarship at the University of Tampa, which was still segregated at that time. ‘X-Ray’ McQuay rushed for 3,039 yards and scored 37 touchdowns, and was a two time small college All-American in three seasons at UT. As a junior he rushed for 1,362 yards and scored 22 touchdowns; McQuay, Freddie Solomon and John Matuszak led the Spartans to a 10-2 record and a victory over Jack Lambert and Nick Saban in the Tangerine Bowl. Enticed by cash and thinking he had nothing left to prove as a college player, McQuay then skipped his senior year to play in the Canadian Football League, where he averaged 7.1 yard per carry and went to the Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts.
McQuay spent three years in the CFL before joining the Giants. Thought to be too small at 5’9″ to be an every down player, he was their kick returner, averaging 27.6 yards on 25 returns, and added another 299 yards from scrimmage as their third down back. On August 21, 1975, the Patriots traded their sixth round 1976 draft pick to the Giants for McQuay. He played in 13 games for the Pats, returning 15 kicks, with limited time at running back (74 yards from scrimmage). With three fumbles he landed in Chuck Fairbanks’ doghouse though, and the following spring McQuay was traded to Oakland for the Raiders’ 10th round draft choice in 1977.
McQuay played four games for the Saints in ’76, then returned to Toronto and the CFL the next year. He tried making a comeback with his hometown Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL in 1982, but was cut during training camp. In 1983 McQuay was inducted into the University of Tampa Athletic Hall of Fame. He then became a licensed auto mechanic and an ordained minister, but died of a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 45.
His grandson, Leon McQuay III, was a safety at Southern Cal and was drafted by the Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2017 draft. He has bounced back and forth between KC's active roster and practice squad the last two seasons.
The Saga of Leon McQuay
Leon McQuay III has a legacy to live up to.
Today in Patriots History
Team is renamed the New England Patriots
On March 21, 1971 our favorite NFL franchise was renamed the New England Patriots.
For those of you too young to remember, the most previous name was not the Boston Patriots. For a brief period of time the club was the Bay State Patriots.
While Billy Sullivan meant for the name "Bay State Patriots" to be a jab at the city when Boston would not build a stadium for the Patriots, his move backfired. Sullivan overlooked the fact that the new name for his team would be shortened in headlines to the B.S. Patriots.
Thankfully the name of the team was soon changed to the New England Patriots.
Patriot Names: Boston, Bay State and New England
In 1971 the Boston Patriots were moving to Foxboro, Massachusetts, after playing eleven seasons in various Boston venues. The move prompted the team's board of directors that a name change was in order and on or about February 18, 1971, they voted to change the name to the Bay State Patriots. The club even issued a press release announcing the name change to the local and national media.
However public resistance caused the reversal of the new name and the board voted to officially change the name to the New England Patriots and that name was approved by the rest of the NFL owners. So, the Bay State Patriots were short-lived, about 35 days. Whew, Another close call.
Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About the New England Patriots - TIME
Moving out of their Boston-based digs and into a brand-new home in Foxborough, Mass., the team was renamed the Bay State Patriots — for just over a month, at least. But the name was rejected by the NFL, and for good reason: it was quickly pointed out to the Patriots' management that the name would be abbreviated B.S. Patriots, a bit of bad branding that the team was not keen on. So, in reverence to Foxboro's location between Boston and Providence, the Patriots were renamed the New England Patriots, underscoring the team's importance to the region as a whole.
Boston Patriots and New England Patriots sound good but how can you simply think to call Bay State Patriots...
Hey @jmt57 you're doing an amazing job with this. Thank you.
It's incredible the amount of information you've packed into this thread including a quote from patfanKen. Wow
Today in Patriots History
Happy 69th birthday to Richard Bishop
Born March 23, 1950 in Cleveland
Patriot DE and NT from 1976-1981; uniform #64
Died 9/2/2016 at the age of 66
After high school Bishop spent two years in junior college before transferring to Louisville. He was selected in the 5th round of the 1974 draft by Cincinnati but never played for the Bengals. Bishop spent two seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Rough Riders before finally signing with the Patriots as a free agent at the age of 26 in 1976.
Bishop was an impact player as a rookie, helping the Pats make the playoffs for the first time in thirteen years. He played a major role in one of the most famous (or more appropriately, infamous) plays in franchise history. That ’76 team was a juggernaut, finishing the season on a six-game winning streak. The offense averaged 27 points per game and 5.0 yards per carry and the defense was equally productive, forcing 50 turnovers. The Patriots made the playoffs as an 11-3 wild card team, and met Oakland in the playoffs; the Pats had pummeled the Raiders earlier in the year, 48-17.
The officiating in the game was a travesty. Oakland was permitted to get away with one non-call after another. All world tight end Russ Francis was the primary target for the Raiders. On one play George Atkinson broke Francis’ nose with no flag thrown, and on another key play he was so blatantly held by Phil Villapiano that he could not raise either arm – again with no penalty called. On the other side of the ball center Bill Lenkaitis - who had not been called for holding even once in the entire season - was flagged an inexplicable three times during this game.
The latest non-call on Francis led to a long missed field goal with the Patriots up by four with four minutes remaining. Oakland drove but after a Mel Lunsford sack and two incompletions the Raiders were faced with a 3rd-and-18. The defensive play call was for a stunt with Bishop drawing defenders and leaving an open lane for Ray Hamilton. Ken Stabler got the pass off just as he was about to be sacked, but referee Ben Dreith flagged Hamilton for an egregious roughing the passer penalty, even though replays showed that was the incorrect call. Stabler himself later stated that there was no foul on the play and there should have been no flag.
Roughing the Passer: The Patriots-Raiders Game You Should Know About
Patriots defensive end Mel Lunsford – who was drafted by the Raiders in ’72 – sacked Stabler for an eight yard loss and Pats fans were feeling pretty fancy with just 1:24 left to play.
Stabler misfired on the next two passes and the Raiders were faced with a third and 18 from their own 28 yard line. The Patriots were seemingly poised to pull off a playoff win in enemy territory.
The Snake then dropped back to pass and Patriots defensive tackle Ray "Sugar Bear" Hamilton came charging in on him. Hamilton got a piece of the ball on a pass intended for former Patriot halfback/kick returner Carl Garrett down at the goal line. Pass incomplete.
Game. Set. Match.
Not quite. The most horrible thing happened next. The most backbreaking, heartbreaking call you could imagine.
Referee Ben Dreith called a highly-questionable roughing-the-passer penalty on Hamilton that gave the Raiders new life. Dreith said Hamilton came down on Stabler with excessive force, which forced him to throw the flag.
“It goes incomplete on our sideline,” Patriots broadcaster Gil Santos told NFL Network in a look back at the game. “And then we see the flag. And then they call roughing the passer and I look at the replay and I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me.’”
Hamilton could not believe the call was going to be on the Patriots.
“I just figured that someone had held one of our guys,” Hamilton told NFL Network. “I just knew that’s what it was. It couldn’t have been anything else. I was totally shocked. It was just a phantom, bogus call.”
And the Raiders took advantage of it as Stabler snaked into the end zone behind guard Gene Upshaw to score the winning touchdown with 10 seconds remaining to advance by a final score of 24-21.
“With the Ray Hamilton penalty, we kind of lost our composure and they easily walked down the field,” Patriots Pro Bowl defensive back Mike Haynes would later admit.
Penalties were a factor all game, with the Raiders getting flagged 11 times for 93 yards, while the Patriots had 10 penalties for 83 yards. But the only call that mattered in the end was the roughing the passer infraction that cost them a chance to live another week.
“I seldom have walked away from a game with a feeling of anger and bitterness to equal the sensation that overcame me following the events of Dec. 18, 1976, when the New England Patriots had a playoff game stolen from them by the Oakland Raiders and by an officiating crew for whom there should be reserved a special place in athletic Hades…,” the Globe’s Bob Ryan wrote in 2002. “My conclusion was that the Patriots wuz robbed. I had seen a great injustice, and it bothered me. Worse yet, those damnable Al Davis Raiders went on to win that Super Bowl.”
The Globe’s Will McDonough caught up with Stabler in 2002 and The Snake admitted the call was lousy.
"That should have never been a penalty," Stabler told McDonough. "I got hit a lot worse than that in my career and it was never called. Hamilton just went for the ball and landed on me. That's all that happened."
Back to Richard Bishop. He was a very solid player for the Pats, appearing in 86 games with 51 starts from 1976-81. While he is not a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1970’s, to me he was good enough to earn at least an honorable mention.
In 2014 Bishop was one of fifteen players to file a federal lawsuit against the NFL for negligence and purposeful concealment of knowledge that a direct relationship existed between concussions and the development of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and ALS. Richard Bishop passed away three years ago at the age of 66.
Former Patriots DT Richard Bishop passes away | Patriots.com
Bishop started 51 of the 85 games played during his six seasons with the Patriots after joining the organization as a free agent in 1976. He appeared in every game for the Patriots in 1976 and 12 games of the 14 games in the 1977 season. He earned a starting role at defensive end in 1978, starting 15 of 16 games for the eventual AFC East division champions. That season, he led the team in quarterback pressures (27), finished second in sacks (7) and third in tackles (75). His 1978 performance earned him the Jim Lee Hunt Memorial Award as the team’s most outstanding lineman.
Today in Patriots History
March 24 Birthdays
Only one March 24 Patriot birthday to report.
Don McComb was born March 24, 1934.
The Defensive End had been a 21st round pick by the Giants in 1956.
Number 85 appeared in one game with the 1960 Boston Patriots.
There were also four other March 24 New England area birthdays: one that played in the NFL in the 21st century, and three that were born more than 100 years ago.
Khairi Fortt was born and raised in Stamford CT.
A 2014 4th round pick by the Saints, the OLB was signed and cut by six teams, he played in three NFL games.
John Ambrose was born 3/24/1910 in Three Rivers MA, and grew up in Worcester.
He was a center for the 1932 Brooklyn Dodgers.
Gordon Patterson was born 3/24/1900 in St Johnsbury VT.
He was an end with the 1921 Washington Senators.
Dave Hayes was born 3/24/1896.
Hayes was an end with the Packers and Rock Island Independents in 1921-22.
March 24 is also the birth date of Hall of Famer Larry Wilson.
The Cardinal safety had 52 career interceptions, and was named to 8 Pro Bowl and 6 All Pro teams.
In a bit of irony the Big Forehead and his liquored up kicker share March 24 birth dates.
Today in Patriots History
Happy 85th birthday to Gino Cappelletti
Born March 26, 1934 in Keewatin, Minnesota
Patriot K/WR/CB 1960-1970; uniform #20
Pats radio color commentator, 1972-2011
Happy Birthday to The Duke, Gino Cappelletti – Mr. Patriot
Happy Birthday to The Duke, Gino Cappelletti. Mr. Patriot turns 85, born on this day in 1934 in Keewatin Minnesota. With all due respect to the GOAT, nobody embodies the entire history of the Patriot franchise more than this legend. His absence from the Pro Football Hall of Fame is shameful, something that will hopefully be rectified before it is too late for him to be honored in person.
After a two year stint in the Army a few years playing football in Canada, Cappelletti was one of hundreds of players to tryout for the Boston Patriots. On September 9, 1960 he kicked a field goal at Nickerson Field for what would be the first points scored in an American Football League game.
When he retired eleven years later he had scored an AFL record 1,130 points. At that time the only NFL player with more career points were Hall of Famers Lou Groza and George Blanda.
Cappelletti was incredibly versatile. In that 1960 season he was a starting cornerback. For the next three years he was the Pats starting split end, and then was the team’s starting flanker for the next four years. Of course he handled the kicking duties as well from 1960-1970. Cappelletti caught 292 passes for 4,589 yards and 42 touchdowns, picked off four passes and kicked 176 field goals in his storied career.
For those who played prior to the 16-game schedule Gino holds the second and third most points in a single season. Those 155 points in 1964 and 147 points in 1961 are the most in AFL history, and still to this day rank in the top 25 in NFL history - despite that two-game handicap. He also holds the AFL record of 28 points scored in a single game. Cappelletti holds the pro football record for points per game over six consecutive seasons (9.5), points per game over 11 seasons (7.5), and percentage of a team’s points over eight seasons (34%).
The Duke was a five-time All-Star and AFL MVP in 1964. His productivity and skill is perhaps best exemplified by a milestone that will never be broken. In 1960 he ran for a two-point conversion, completed a pass for a two-point conversion, caught a pass, intercepted a pass, returned a punt and returned a kickoff. Nobody in pro football history has ever before or since accomplished that feat. In 1992 Cappelletti became the second player to be enshrined to the Patriots Hall of Fame, and his number 20 is now retired.
His contributions to football did not end with his retirement at age of 36 prior to the 1971 season. Mr. Patriot became the voice of the Pats, providing the commentary for Patriot radio broadcasts for 28 years. He also did Boston College games, and was the voice famously proclaiming ‘he caught it, he caught it, I don’t believe he caught it!‘ on Doug Flutie’s miracle Hail Mary touchdown pass against the Miami Hurricanes in 1984.
Considering all of this, can anybody honestly justify how people like Jerry Jones, Bill Polian or Kurt Warner are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame – but Gino Cappelletti is not?
I didn’t think so.
Today in Patriots History
Kyle Van Noy
and other March 26 Birthdays
Happy 28th birthday to Kyle Van Noy
Born March 26, 1991 in Reno, Nevada
Patriot LB, 2016-present; uniform #53
Van Noy represents one of the most lopsided trades in recent NFL history. The linebacker was acquired by the Patriots (along with a 7th round draft pick) on October 25, 2016 from Detroit in exchange for the Pats 6th round (215th overall) selection of the 2017 draft.
That selection was used on Brad Kaaya, who has bounced between the Lion, Panthers, Lions again, Colts and Bengals. Kaaya has yet to play a single snap in the NFL.
By comparison Van Noy has been a valuable starter on teams that have won three conference championships and two Super Bowls in the three seasons since that trade.
Van Noy was a versatile high school athlete who lettered in four sports. His senior year he had ten tackles for a loss, six forced fumbles, 14 sacks and a pick six. Van Noy also caught 35 passes 731 yards and 18 touchdowns. After leading his team to a 14-0 record and state championship he was recruited by more than a dozen colleges, choosing BYU.
At Brigham Young he registered 226 total tackles, 62 tackles for loss, 26 sacks, 17 forced fumbles and seven interceptions. The Detroit Lions drafted him in the second round of the 2014 draft, 40th overall. Things got off to a bad start almost immediately.
Van Noy suffered the first injury of his football career in training camp. After undergoing surgery he missed the first eight games of the season. Upon return he was used sparingly. Van Noy was on the field for a mere 54 defensive snaps the final nine games of the season (including a playoff game) and finished the season with six total tackles.
The writing was on the wall. At the following year’s combine Detroit GM Martin Mayhew had this to say when asked about Van Noy’s future:
“That’s totally up to him. He can have a huge role if he has a great offseason and plays great. If he doesn’t have a great offseason, and doesn’t play great, then his role won’t be as big.”
“I think a lot of times with young players, not him specifically, but they come from a place where they’ve been great players and super stars and then they come into a new team and now they have to work their way up and play special teams and do things they didn’t do in college. Sometimes that’s an adjustment. But really, it’s totally up to him as to how he performs and how he is feeling and all those things.”
A Detroit beat writer speculates that due to injuries to DeAndre Levy and other Lion linebackers, Van Noy was asked to do too much too soon. After seven games with varying roles Van Noy was traded to New England on October 25, 2016. The Patriots gave up virtually nothing for the linebacker. The Pats only had to move down slightly (24 spots) very late in the draft for his services. Detroit received just a sixth round pick (215th overall) in exchange for Van Noy and a seventh rounder (239th overall).
Van Noy began his tenure with the Pats as a healthy scratch behind Shea McClellin while learning a new defense. Just over three months after being unceremoniously dumped, he was celebrating a Superbowl victory. By season end Van Noy was on the field for as much as 82% of the snaps, and recorded six tackles and half a sack in the playoffs.
"Kyle has good skills. He’s athletic, runs well, tackles well, can rush the passer, play in pass coverage, does a good job playing the run. ... So, he has a good skill set, which is what you need to be out there in different situations. ... He’s a smart guy, understands concepts well, understands the defense, does a good job of it."
- Bill Belichick, 2017
2017 was KVN's second season with the Patriots. The coaching staff had so much faith in his work that he was on the field for every single defensive snap for the first four games. A late season injury sidelined him for three games and limited his playing time in two more, but he still finished with 73 tackles (58 solo), 7 tackles for a loss, 9 quarterback hits and 5½ sacks. Healthy again for the playoffs, KVN was a key contributor in the come-from-behind AFCCG victory over Jacksonville. Van Noy finished the game with a team-high nine tackles, a 9-yard sack of QB Blake Bortles on Jacksonville’s final last-minute drive, a pass defensed and a forced fumble.
Last year Van Noy led the Pats in tackles (92) and fumble recoveries (2). His 29-yard touchdown of a blocked punt gave the Pats the lead late in the third quarter at Chicago, and was a critical turning point in the 38-31 victory over the Bears. That was one of two touchdowns he scored in 2018; the other being a 46-yard fumble return against the Jets.
KVN once again came up big in the AFCCG. Van Noy led the Patriots with a team-high ten tackles, two sacks (for a combined loss of 29 yards) and one forced fumble, and also contributed a quarterback hit and a TFL. He followed that up with four tackles, three quarterback hits, a sack for a loss of yards and a QB hit in the 13-3 Super Bowl win over the Rams.
Kyle Van Noy Stats & Bio | Patriots.com
From Doug Kyed on February 5, 2019:
Kyle Van Noy is Patriots' Biggest Steal in Bill Belichick Era | NESN
Happy 32nd birthday to Eric Kettani
Born March 26, 1987 in Kirtland, Ohio
Patriot FB 2009-2012, 2015; uniform #44, #34, #36
The 5’9″ 240 pound back was one of three players from Navy that the Patriots signed as undrafted free agents in May of 2009. All had to fulfill their military commitments first, and Kettani was activated from the Pats’ Reserve/Military list in May of 2011. He was released as part of the final camp cuts that September, then signed to the practice squad after clearing waivers.
In October of 2011 he was denied leave from the Navy and had to return to active duty, but the Patriots re-signed him the following spring. Kettani was then cut again at the end of camp in 2012. The Pats added him to the practice squad on September 1, but released him four days later to make room for OL Jeremiah Warren. Kettani later spent time on practice squads with Washington, Kansas City and Jacksonville.
The Patriots re-signed Kettani in August of 2015, but was let go later that month as part of roster cutdowns. Kettani rejoined the Naval Academy in 2015, working in the Public Affairs Office. He also paints, selling his artwork online.
From Jan 20, 2019 | "Against All Enemies"
Where Are They Now? Former Navy and Patriots Fullback Eric Kettani
Happy 72nd birthday to John Cagle
Born March 26, 1947 in Anderson, South Carolina
Patriot DE, 1969; uniform #62
Pats 14th round (344th overall) selection of the 1969 draft, from Clemson
Cagle was a first team All-ACC defensive tackle at Clemson in 1968. The Patriots took a flyer on 6’3″ 260 lb lineman, drafting him 344th overall in the 14th round of the 1969 draft. Clive Rush originally planned on converting Cagle to guard or linebacker and he impressed enough to end up on the taxi squad. Half way through the season he was promoted to the active roster and appeared in six games at defensive end. Cable returned for the 1970 training camp, but those six games were the extent of his NFL career.
Happy 73rd birthday to Bill Murphy
Born March 26, 1946 in Montclair, NJ
Patriot WR, 1968; uniform #31
Murphy attended Cornell, where he set Ivy League single-season records with 50 receptions for 853 yards and nine touchdowns. He was Cornell’s MVP in 1967, and his 163 yards receiving against Harvard was a school record that stood for 25 years. The Patriots signed Murphy in 1968 as a rookie free agent but he was released in training camp. He joined the the Lowell Giants of the old Atlantic Coast League. With things going south in his final season as head coach, Mike Holovak signed Murphy to the roster.
Although not blessed with blazing speed, Murphy had good moves and sure hands. Murphy played the final six games of the 1968 season for the Patriots, starting five times. He ended up with 18 receptions for 268 yards, averaging 14.9 yards per reception. In week ten he had four receptions for 72 yards at Kansas City, and followed that up the next week with four catches for 74 yards against Miami. Murphy returned the following summer but did not make the 1969 roster.
With his pro football career over Murphy put his Ivy League education to good use. He worked on Wall Street, specializing in commodities futures and later opened his own brokerage firm. In 1998 he co-founded the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, where he is the chairman. That organization was organized to expose, oppose, and litigate against collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial instruments. Murphy still works as a financial adviser, specializing in investments in gold and silver.
Happy 73rd birthday to Jimmy Raye
Born March 26, 1946 in Fayetteville, NC
Patriot Offensive Coordinator, 1990
Raye had a very brief NFL career, appearing in two games over two years with the Rams and Eagles. He then spent six years as a college assistant coach. In 1977 he began a 37-year career as an NFL coach. Over that time he changed teams fifteen times with titles ranging from position coach to offensive coordinator to senior offensive assistant.
1990 was the bottom of the abyss in the history of the Patriots. Raye was the OC of a team that went 1-15, distracted by the Lisa Olson scandal. With Raye in charge of the offense that squad finished dead last or near the bottom in nearly every offensive category.
Somehow he kept finding employment with one team after another, despite the fact that his offenses were more often than not below average. The highest rank his teams ever had as an OC in total yards was 10th, while ranking 20th or worse nine times.
Incredibly that is not the most embarrassing mark on Raye’s résumé. Since 2014 he has been a senior adviser to Roger Goodell’s right hand man and mouthpiece, NFL vice president Troy Vincent. How he lives with himself, I do not know.
Reminiscing on anniversary of day the Patriots introduced their new logo
Met and talked with Cappelletti and Santos in London...both were so nice
Auguri buon compleanno Gino
Put Gino in the Hall where he belongs, or...
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