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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Charlie Weis


    Happy 63rd birthday to Charlie Weis
    Born March 30, 1956 in Trenton, New Jersey
    Patriot coach, 1993-1996; offensive coordinator, 2000-2004


    New England Patriots History: Happy Birthday Charlie Weis - PatsFans.com

    Today in New England Patriots history we say happy birthday to Charlie Weis. He was part of the Pats coaching staff for eight seasons. Weis earned three Super Bowl rings as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator for Super Bowls 36, 38 and 39. He won another ring as part of Bill Parcells’ coaching staff when the Giants beat the Bills 20-19 in Super Bowl 25.

    Weis was a Patriot position coach for four years and offensive coordinator for five seasons. He owns four Superbowl rings and has 36 years of football coaching experience.

    [​IMG]

    Weis had 11 years of high school and college coaching experience when he joined Bill Parcells’ New York Giant staff in 1990. After three years with the Giants he rejoined Parcells in 1993 in New England. Weis was the TE coach in 1994 when Ben Coates was an All Pro, with career highs of 96 receptions and 1174 yards receiving. The following season Weis was the RB coach, when rookie Curtis Martin rushed for 1487 yards and 14 touchdowns. Then in 1996 as the WR coach, rookie Terry Glenn had a career-high 90 receptions, and 1132 yards receiving.

    [​IMG]

    Weis followed Parcells out of town the next year to spend three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Jets. Then in n 2000 Bill Belichick added Weiss to his newly formed staff in New England as offensive coordinator. As the OC Weis had a critical role in Tom Brady’s first NFL season as starting quarterback. That 2001 season of course culminated in the first of seven (and counting) Patriot Super Bowl victories. All his then-neophyte quarterback went on to accomplish was to become the best there ever was.

    [​IMG]

    Not a flash in the pan, Weis earned two more rings in Super Bowls 38 and 39. He left New England to become head coach of Notre Dame in 2005. Later he was the OC for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010, OC for the Florida Gators in 2011, and head coach at Kansas from 2012-14. Though he may be bored now that he is no longer working, his family should be set for generations thanks to buyouts.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Other March 30 Birthdays


    Aside from Charlie Weis there are a couple other March 30 birthdays.


    Happy 72nd birthday to David Chapple
    Born March 30, 1947 in Arcadia, California
    Patriot punter, 1974; uniform #10


    Chapple was a productive punter and kicker at the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 1966 he kicked ten field goals, which would have been an NCAA record at that time – but Jan Stenerud kicked 13 the same year. Chapple was an All-American and selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1969 draft. A slipped disc delayed his football career and he eventually signed with the Bills in 1971.

    The following year Chapple joined the Rams and was named to the Pro Bowl, averaging 44.2 yards per punt. Perhaps even more impressive is that his net average was almost the same, 42.1 yards per punt. In one game at Soldier Field he averaged over 50 yards on his five punts.

    Chapple’s punts started losing distance though, perhaps due to the bad back. He went from LA to New England in 1974. With the Patriots he averaged 35.4 yards on 26 punts, and did not play in the league again. In 40 NFL games he averaged 40.2 yards on his 162 punts.

    With his pro football career over, Chapple rediscovered a hobby from his youth: painting. Over the last 40-plus years he has been an accomplished artist, particularly in oil paintings and sculptures.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The Painting Punter

    Island International Artists - David Chapple

    A bout with rheumatic fever meant that the ten year old boy was confined to bed for many months. During this time he dreamed of the days he'd spent in the Sierras and studied many bird books. He had already won several school sponsored art contests and decided to use the time to develop his natural artistic talent. The books and his pencil were his constant companions.

    Like most young boys, Chapple dreamed of participating again in sports but was not permitted to exercise strenuously because of the illness. Eventually, it occurred to him that kickers did little running, and he saw that as the solution to his problem.

    As in drawing, Chapple found that 'practice makes perfect' in punting. After an appearance in the Sugar Bowl as a college senior, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49rs. Later, he was acquired by the Los Angeles Rams, and in 1972,as an All-Pro Punter, led the league in punting and set an NFL record for the longest punt.

    During the off season, Chapple pursued his interest in the wild by studying taxidermy. He has first- hand knowledge of bird anatomy that few can claim. And today he holds state collecting permits as he continues to gather specimens for the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Happy 43rd birthday to Chris Canty
    Born March 30, 1976 in Long Beach, California
    Patriot CB, 1997-1998; uniform #26

    Pats 1st round (29th overall) selection of the 1997 draft, from Kansas State

    In the first year of the Pete Carroll era the Patriots selected Canty with the 29th pick of the 1997 draft. That choice by Bobby Grier, with Bill Parcells no longer over his shoulder, would go down in infamy as one of the worst draft picks in the history of the franchise.

    Canty seemed to put more effort into his excessive celebrations over insignificant plays than in becoming a productive player. The Pats jettisoned the defensive back after just two seasons, and he was out of the NFL two years later. He later spent four years playing Arena football, but never made it back to the NFL.

    [​IMG]





    A couple other NFL players share today's birth date:

     
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  3. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hasselbeck.jpg It's Don Hasselbeck's birthday (one of the very first Pats players I recognized!)
     
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  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History


    Only one Patriot with an April 2 birthday.


    Happy 81st birthday to Oscar Lofton
    Born April 2, 1938 in McCall Creek, Mississippi
    Patriot tight end, 1960; uniform #86

    Lofton played all 14 games in the inaugural season of the Patriot franchise. The 6'6" alum from Southeastern Louisiana had four touchdown receptions that year. His first TD was the second in franchise history. That came on a 60 yard pass from Tom Greene against the New York Titans at the Polo Grounds on September 17, 1960. The Pats were down 24-7 at the time and the TD sparked a second half rally. That game culminated with Chuck Shonta's epic 52 yard fumble return for the game winning score as time expired, giving the Patriots a 28-24 victory over the team that would later be known as the Jets.

    Shonta finished the season with an average of 18.9 yards per reception, on 19 catches. His pro football career was derailed after being drafted during the Berlin Crisis, and he served in the military for two years. Lofton suffered a hamstring injury during the following Patriot training camp, and he never got back on the field after that.

    There's a great article on Lofton on the Patriots website for more info on his career:

    Alumni Spotlight: Oscar Lofton | Patriots.com (Nov 16, 2007)

    Oscar Lofton - Southeastern Athletics Hall of Fame

    [​IMG]










    April 2, 2015:
    Houston Antwine is selected to the Patriots Hall of Fame by the ten-person Senior Selection Committee. The good news was that an egregious oversight was finally corrected. The bad news was that it took so long to happen. Antwine never had a chance to enjoy the honor: he had passed away three and a half years earlier.


    4/2/2015: Houston Antwine elected into Patriots Hall of Fame | Patriots.com
     
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  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    AWTE

    There was an old blog that has since been devoured by defunct hard drives, but the fact that I actually received a response from Russ Francis was - and still is - a very cool thing to me.

    Happy Birthday, The One And Only, Russ Francis

    Russ Francis - All World Tight End

    http://atp.patsfans.com/2012/04/03/russ-francis-all-world-tight-end/


    Your comments from last year, on my birthday, were sent to me by a friend. I wanted to thank you both, John and Emerson, for your kind and funny thoughts and comments.

    It was a very special time in my life. While I had the time of my life both in New England and San Francisco, I started and ended in New England with the Patriots and those memories are etched in the bedrock of my soul as some of the most joyous and spectacular days and Monday nights of my life.

    Thank you both. And John, thank you for being the Paul Revere of Pats fans by keeping the past and present stories alive online so we can all enjoy and benefit from your good work. Aloha nui loa to you both, #81

    When I first saw that the AWTE had responded, I assumed somebody was just screwing with me.




    For those of you that are too young to see him, my condolences.

    Happy 66th birthday to Russ Francis.
     
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  6. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    I bought a Francis red throwback years ago...Russ if you read this post i need your autograph on it...
    :)
     
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  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Other April 3rd events


    April 3, 1995
    The Patriots publish the premiere issue of Patriots Football Weekly, the team's official newspaper.


    http://www.pfwonline.com/public/index.cfm?ac=introduction

    It is with mixed emotions that we must inform you that PFW will stop publishing at the completion of the 2018 season.

    After 24 seasons of PFW, it was a difficult decision to stop printing the newspaper, but as you know, how most fans consume their content has changed. Let's face it, keeping up with the fast-paced news cycle isn't easy with a weekly newspaper! To that end, the staff of PFW will be providing you with even more content on the various Patriots platforms including Patriots.com, the Patriots app and all of the Patriots social media accounts.

    Thank you for being a PFW subscriber and fan!

    Sincerely,
    The entire staff of Patriots Football Weekly​




    April 3, 2001
    In celebration of a long-standing construction tradition, the final beam was hoisted into place at CMGI Field to signify the "topping off" of the structure's steel.


    CMGI Field topped off | The Sun Chronicle

    Another milestone was reached in the building of the new CMGI Field when the final steel beam was hoisted onto the facility's upper northwest corner Tuesday.

    Adding a bit of drama to the “topping off” ceremony, a 12-foot long two-by-four that was holding in place a banner attached to the steel beam broke off once the almost 6,000-pound beam was near its final destination. The large piece of wood sailed down from the sky and landed in an area reserved for the media. Bryan Morry, editor of the Patriots Football Weekly, was slightly injured when the wood hit the top of his left leg, but he did not require hospitalization, according to Patriots' spokesman Stacey James.​




    Happy 75th birthday to Randy Beverly
    Born April 3, 1944 in Wildwood, New Jersey
    Patriot CB, 1970-1971; uniform #27

    Beverly played in 21 games with 4 starts for the Pats, with two interceptions. He was primarily a special teams player, and later spent a season in the WFL.

    He is best known for two plays in Super Bowl III.
    From Wikipedia:

    The Jets had managed a solid defense throughout the season, but going into Super Bowl III, the Jets passing defense was not considered particularly strong. With the Jets installed as an 18-point underdog, Beverly's small stature made him a main target of Colts' quarterback Earl Morrall. However, Beverly put together a remarkable performance, becoming the first player ever to record two interceptions in a Super Bowl.

    In the first quarter, the Colts drove down the field, seemingly fulfilling the predictions about their offensive prowess. Reaching the Jets' 10-yard-line, Morrall threw a pass into the end zone, but the pass bounced off a Jets lineman, then hit the shoulder pads of Colts tight end Tom Mitchell. Beverly tracked the ball and caught it in the end zone, ending the Colts first drive.

    The Jets defense continued to stymie the Colts for the rest of the first half, shutting them out and prompting the insertion of Colt legend Johnny Unitas at quarterback. Driving the Colts down the field and poised to score the team's first touchdown of the game, Unitas threw a crossing pattern to one of his wide receiver's in the end zone, but Beverly stepped in front and caught the ball in the end zone, downing it for a touchback. While the Colts managed to score a late touchdown, the Jets' 16-7 triumph is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in the history of professional sports in the United States.​

    [​IMG]

    From the 1971 Patriots Media Guide:

    Came to Pats as free agent early last season ... star of first AFL victory in the Super Bowl as starting cornerback for the New York Jets ... picked off two big interceptions on Baltimore pass plays ... starter for Jets in '68 and '69 ... traded to San Diego Chargers in 1970 for receiver Richard Trapp ... eventually waived by Chargers and claimed by Pats ... played well on special teams last year ... going into fifth pro season ... signed with Jets as free agent in 1966 ... has 10 pro career pass interceptions ... lettered in basketball and track and won Junior College All-America honors at Trinidad (Colo.) J.C. ... state broad jump champion at Wildwood (N.J.) H.S. ... returned kickoff 99 yards at Colorado State ... adds good depth to Pats' speedy cornerback corps.​




    Happy 70th birthday to Ralph Anderson
    Born April 3, 1949 in Dallas, Texas
    Died 12/20/2016 at the age of 67
    Patriot free safety, 1973; uniform #49


    Anderson played in 13 games for the Pats with 11 starts. He had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries in Chuck Fairbanks' first season as head coach for the Patriots.

    The Pats acquired Anderson in a September 1973 trade with Pittsburgh. The Steelers used that 4th round draft pick on WR John Stallworth - who they were initially going to select in the first round - but chose Lynn Swann instead.

    Stallworth went on to play 14 seasons in Pittsburgh, and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Anderson never played in the NFL again after that 1973 season.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Leon Gray is elected into the Pats Hall of Fame

    Whether it was by design or just coincidence, I find it fitting that Leon Gray is elected into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame on John Hannah's birthday.

    Leon Gray elected into Patriots Hall of Fame

    Gray was a third-round draft pick in 1973 by the Miami Dolphins as an offensive tackle out of Jackson State. He was cut by Miami before the start of the season and claimed off waivers by New England. By the 1976 season, he was viewed as arguably the best left tackle in the game. He was a key member of an offensive line that allowed a franchise-low 14 sacks in 1977. Gray teamed with Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Hannah to form what is generally considered one of the best guard/tackle tandems in NFL history. At the end of the 1976 season, Gray was selected to play in the Pro Bowl – the first of two such honors as a Patriot and the first of four trips to the Pro Bowl during his 11-year NFL career.

    In 1976, Gray helped power a Patriots rushing game that averaged 210.6 yards per game (which remains a franchise record) and led the Patriots to their first 11-win season in franchise history. In 1978, Gray once again paved the way as the Patriots surpassed their season rushing record with 3,165 yards, an NFL record that still stands 41 years later. Gray was named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, Pro Football Weekly and the PFWA. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    John Hannah


    Happy 68th birthday to John Hannah
    Born April 4, 1951 in Canton, Georgia
    Patriot LG, 1973-1985; uniform #73

    Pats 1st round (4th overall) selection of the 1973 draft, from Alabama

    • 9 Pro Bowls
    • 10 All Pro selections
    • Pats All-Decade Team of the 70s
    • Pats All-Decade Team of the 80s
    • Pats 50th Anniversary Team
    • New England Patriots Hall of Fame
    • Uniform #73 retired by Patriots
    • Pro Football Hall of Fame
    • NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
    • Anchor of offensive line for the 1978 team that set the NFL record with 3,165 yards rushing
    • Considered by many to be the best guard in the history of the NFL


    John Hannah | Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site

    In 'Offensive Conduct,' NFL Great Hannah Details His 'Living Nightmare'



    John Hannah says Bear Bryant 'brainwashed' him about the importance of practice

    John Hannah | American football player
     
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  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Jon Morris



    Happy 77th birthday to Jon Morris
    Born April 5, 1942 in Washington DC
    Patriot center, 1964-1974; uniform #56

    Pats 4th round (29th overall) selection of the 1964 draft, from Holy Cross

    Jon Morris | Patriots Hall of Fame

    Jon Morris played 11 seasons for the Patriots, appearing in 130 games from 1964-74. He earned seven consecutive All-Star appearances with six AFL-All Star games (1964 through 1969) and was an AFC Pro Bowl center in 1970. His seven league All-Star selections rank second in Patriots history behind Pro Football Hall of Famer John Hannah (9). Morris was the first Patriots’ player to be selected to the NFL Pro Bowl. Morris anchored an offensive line that opened holes for Jim Nance to amass a team-record 45 rushing touchdowns from 1965-71.​


    New England Patriots of the Past: Jon Morris | Last Word on Football

    Morris played in all 14 games of his rookie season, and immediately became known as one of the most dominating centers in football. Morris took home the team’s Rookie of the Year award in 1964, while also winning All-AFL honors and a spot on the AFL All-Star team.

    The Holy Cross product would go on to show that he was no one-year wonder, either. Morris was selected to every AFL All-Star team from 1965-1969, being named All-AFL each year. The center was an absolute iron-man, as he never missed a game during his AFL tenure.

    The AFL merged with the NFL prior to the 1970 season, and Morris went down as one of the best players in the AFL’s history. His great play and long list of accomplishments earned him the honor of being named Second-Team, All-Time All-AFL. The First-Team selection, Oakland Raiders center Jim Otto, played four more AFL seasons than Morris.

    Much like fellow Boston Patriot Gino Cappelletti, Morris remained connected to the Patriot football scene after his retirement. Starting in 1979, Morris served as the primary color commentator for the Patriot radio games. Morris would eventually relinquish the post in 1987 after receiving a better offer with NBC Sports.

    Morris had an incredible impact with the Patriot organization, both on and off the field.



    Jon Morris Elected to Patriots Hall of Fame | CBS Boston

    “It was overwhelming,” said Morris of his reaction to the call from Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “I thought my days were numbered. This announcement came as a complete surprise. I consider this the crowning achievement of my football life and I am so thankful to the Kraft family and the selection committee for allowing me to experience this feeling.”

    “I give the Krafts all the credit for making the alumni feel so special and I look forward to being a part of this year’s hall of fame ceremony,” Morris added.



    Welcome to Pats Hall, Jon Morris | Mike Reiss, espn - New England Patriots Blog

    Morris' selection was made by the newly formed Senior Committee. Morris will be joined this year as an inductee by one of three yet-to-be-announced finalists.

    A member of the Patriots' 50th anniversary team, 35th anniversary team, and 1960s all-decade team, Morris was a six-time AFL all-star. He had been a finalist for induction in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

    The Senior Committee, a 10-person group consisting of some of the most tenured Patriots beat writers and staff, felt it was time that Morris' wait officially ended. The establishment of the committee was to ensure that early-era players who are deserving of induction are given that consideration.​

    [​IMG]


    Jon Morris on his Induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame | Tales from the AFL

    Believe it or not, Jim Otto was not the only man to play center in the American Football League! As incredible and enduring as we was (and he was both), Jim Otto garners nearly 100% of the attention when the center position is brought up in regards to the AFL. But there were other very fine centers through the league, Sam Gruneisen, Jon Gilliam and Al Bemiller, to name a few.

    From 1964-1974, Jon Morris played center for the Boston Patriots. Drafted out of Holy Cross in the second round of the 1964 AFL Draft, Morris won the Patriots’ Rookie of the Year honors in ’64, and settled in for his 11-season stay as leader of the Patriots offensive line.

    In 2011, after many near misses, Jon Morris was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
    [​IMG]


    Boston Patriots | Remember the AFL

    Jon Morris was a sensational three sport athlete in high school and played center and linebacker for three seasons at Holy Cross College, where he was the New York Daily News' "Athlete of the Year" in 1960 and Varsity Club Athlete of the Year and Lineman of the Year in 1963.

    Morris was selected All-East and All-America in his senior year, played in the College All-Star Game and captained the Senior Bowl. He was inducted into the Holy Cross Hall of Fame in 1973.


    The Packers were unable to lure him as a No. 2 draft choice and the Patriots signed him as their third pick. Morris was the Patriots' team Rookie of the Year in 1964, and their Unsung Hero in 1965.

    He was an American Football League All-Star six times, 1964 through 1969, and played 128 games for the Patriots (eighth best individual record in club history). Morris was named to the second team, American Football League All-Time Team.

    * Note: At the time Morris actually ranked 7th in the history of the Patriots in number of games played with 130. He now ranks 35th, tied with Logan Mankins in that category.


    Why '10 voting for Patriots HOF is so big | Boston.com

    Do you feel, Jon Morris, it’s tougher for American Football League players to get recognition? Seems I set him off a little:

    “I had this conversation with someone the other day — I think it’s a disgrace that the all-time leading scorer in the American Football League is not in the NFL Hall of Fame,” Morris said, referencing Gino Cappelletti. “And I just wonder if that has something to do with it.”

    And that led us down another road.

    “I don’t know if any politics are involved in terms of the old AFL-NFL rivalry. I think that’s long gone, don’t you?” Morris continued. “I just think the longer you’re away from football, the easier it is to forget.​


    Boston Patriots Near Forgotten Heroes Live with CTE - Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute

    Several other former Patriot players have been diagnosed with CTE. Aaron Hernandez most recently, Junior Seau, Mosi Tatupu and Kevin Turner also played for the Patriots. These men or their relatives are part of the group of 5,000 retired football players involved in a class action lawsuit against the NFL.

    Other retired players from the 1970’s like Jon Morris, a former team captain and a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame, awaits the findings of baseline examinations. Morris played 11 seasons with the Patriots and snapped the ball to at least two quarterbacks, Jim Plunkett and Joe Kapp, who suffer from neurological disorders.

    Marty Schottenheimer, now 74 and a coach with an outstanding history, reports that he is struggling with Alzheimer’s. Bill Johnson, who played defensive back with Schottenheimer, lives with Alzheimer’s and has pledged his brain for research.

    The heroes of 1960’s and 70’s played football in a time when salaries were low and players relied on off-season work to make ends meet. Little was known about concussion and players were coached to lead with their heads. Concussion awareness in that era was low allowing players to be returned to the game often after a violent collision.

    Billy Johnson suffered a subdural hematoma attempting to take down Larry Csonka, a Dolphin’s running back in 1970. Johnson has no memory of the game but he participated in the next practice and played in the next game. He contemplates committing suicide as he lives with cognitive deficits and memory loss.

    John “Bull” Bramlett was known as “The Meanest Man in Football” joined the Patriots in 1969, He helped the team develop a reputation and earned much recognition for his ferocity of the field. He died at 73 from the complications of Alzheimer’s.

    Bill Lenkaitis studied dentistry in the off-seasons; joining the Patriots in 1971 he earned a spot on the Patriots All-Decade team. By his late 60’s he lost interest in his dental practice and according to his wife he was showing the signs associated with CTE. Lenkaitis died in 2016 from Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, but the toll of concussions was showing long before that.

    Dennis Wirgowski played football in high school and college and excelled in other sports, he joined the Patriots in 1970 and was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973. As he aged he lost the athleticism that had marked his life and following an orthopedic injury was confined to a wheelchair.He spoke with his football friends about his increasing depression and began to collect articles about former football players who committed suicide. On January 25, 2014 he killed himself with a borrowed shotgun.

    Many of these heroes of football are now out of sight as they live with disability or have died. It is important that we understand how multiple concussions changed their lives as we look for ways to increase concussion awareness and build greater safety into the game.​
     
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  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Other April 4-5 events


    April 4, 1970:
    Foxborough is selected to be the new playing site for the Patriots.


    4/4/2000: Patriots reach 30 years in Foxboro | Patriots.com

    On April 4, 1970, the organization announced its move to the town after playing 10 years in Boston. The official ground-breaking for a new stadium, which was later named Schaefer Stadium, was held five months later on Sept. 23, and the park was opened nearly one year later.


    Before the Patriots played at Gillette Stadium | Boston.com

    [​IMG]
    The Foxborough Bay State Raceway was the proposed site of a new Patriots stadium in 1970. The Boston Patriots had played in various venues in the city for their first 11 seasons, including Fenway Park from 1963 to 1968.

    [​IMG]
    The exterior of the Patriots' new stadium, Schaefer Stadium, in 1971. The stadium was built in just 327 days at a cost of $7.1 million.




    Happy 68th birthday to Arthur Moore
    Born April 4, 1951 in Daingerfield, Texas
    Patriot DT, 1973-1976; uniform #75

    Yes I Can

    During the prime of his NFL career, Art's life took an unexpected, near-fatal turn.

    "Going into my sixth year in the league, I was living in Jacksonville, Fla., and some people conspired to kill me by putting arsenic, lye and Drano in my drink," Art explains. "This drink destroyed my life. It tore up my entire digestive tract to the point that I couldn't even digest an aspirin. I was forced to take medical leave from the Patriots. Doctors in hospitals all around the country were telling me that I wasn't going to make it.​


    Former New England Patriot Works To Change Lives

    Former professional football player Art Moore has done charity work all over the country. He recently moved to South Mississippi from Baton Rouge, LA. Now, he's looking to spread his message of hope and inspiration across the coast.

    Standing 6'6", in the 1970s, Art was known as one of the most dominant defensive lineman in the NFL.

    "They say I hold the most single season tackles against OJ Simpson," Art said. "I played against the Namaths and the Terry Bradshaws."

    Art spent six seasons with the New England Patriots when he said his career was cut short after a near death experience. That experience led to a life changing encounter. ...

    Art and Gail's Yes I Can Ministry is partnered with Mike Alise, of Gulf Coast Produce. This weekend, they're teaming up to provide 500 meals for Pine Belt tornado victims and volunteers at East Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.​

    [​IMG]




    Happy 72nd birthday to Eddie Ray
    Born April 5, 1947 in Vicksburg, Mississippi
    Patriot RB, 1970; uniform #36
    Pats 4th round (83rd overall) selection of the 1970 draft, from LSU






    Happy 48th birthday to Bob 'Scooby' Kuberski
    Born April 5, 1971 in Chester, Pennsylvania
    Patriot DT, 1999; uniform #93

    Kuberski served in the Navy for two years before playing in Green Bay for four years. He earned a Super Bowl ring there when the Packers defeated the Patriots in the 96-97 season. Kuberski played in five games with the Pats in what was his final NFL season.

    Kuberski has enjoyed a very successful post-football career. Following his rookie season in Green Bay he worked as an intern at Associated Investment Services. He then worked as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, ten years as Regional VP for Invesco, and head of retail sales for Ridgeworth Capital Management. Kuberski is now the Director of Global Relationship Management at Eaton Vance Investment Managers.

    12/5/1992: Navy Defensive Lineman Contemplates NFL | LA Times

    10/1/2018: One Year In, a Top Sales Vet Rises at Eaton Vance

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  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    April 6 Events

    April 6, 1979
    Francis "Bucko" Kilroy is named General Manager
    Former Patriot offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt is named Head Coach

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    7/11/07: Legendary NFL player and executive Bucko Kilroy dies at 86 | Patriots.com

    Kilroy was a member of the New England Patriots organization for the past 36 years, serving as personnel director (1971-78), general manager (1979-82), vice president (1983-93) and scouting consultant (1994-2007). He was a contributor to 14 of the club’s 15 playoff seasons, including all five of the franchise’s trips to the Super Bowl.

    As personnel director of the Patriots, Kilroy was responsible for selecting the team’s two Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, John Hannah (1973) and Mike Haynes (1976). He is credited with building some of the best teams in Patriots’ history, drafting Julius Adams, Hannah, Sam Cunningham, Steve Nelson, Russ Francis and Steve Grogan during his first five years as personnel director (1971-75). Over the next three years (1976-78), the Patriots compiled a 31-13 record (.705), including two playoff appearances.​


    Speak My Language

    The backbone of the Erhardt-Perkins system is that plays — pass plays in particular — are not organized by a route tree or by calling a single receiver’s route, but by what coaches refer to as “concepts.” Each play has a name, and that name conjures up an image for both the quarterback and the other players on offense. And, most importantly, the concept can be called from almost any formation or set. Who does what changes, but the theory and tactics driving the play do not. “In essence, you’re running the same play,” said Perkins. “You’re just giving them some window-dressing to make it look different.”

    The biggest advantage of the concept-based system is that it operates from the perspective of the most critical player on offense: the quarterback. In other systems, even if the underlying principles are the exact same, the play and its name might be very different. Rather than juggling all this information in real time, an Erhardt-Perkins quarterback only has to read a given arrangement of receivers. “You can cut down on the plays and get different looks from your formations and who’s in them. It’s easier for the players to learn. It’s easier for the quarterback to learn,” former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said back in 2000. “You get different looks without changing his reads. You don’t need an open-ended number of plays.”​




    Happy 81st birthday to Charlie Long
    Born April 6, 1938 in DeKalb, Alabama
    Died 12/16/89 at the age of 51 in Framingham
    Patriot LG/LT, 1961-1969; uniform #76

    Pats 8th round (59th overall) selection of the 1961 draft, from Tennessee-Chattanooga

    Long became a starter at left tackle his rookie season and was an immediate upgrade at the position, replacing George McGee. He was named to the AFL All-Star team at LT in '62. The following year the Pats had a hole at left guard, and he moved inside to man that position. The transition went smoothly as the Pats made it to the AFL championship game, and Long was again named to the All-Star team.

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    Charlie Long was a steady and reliable performer for the Patriots, missing just two games over his nine seasons with the Patriots. Along with his two All-Star selections he was also awarded inclusion to the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1960s.

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    Boston Patriots | Sports Illustrated - September 12, 1966

    There is a strong suspicion that the most valuable member of the Patriots last season was Bill Bates. Bates does not run, pass, kick, block or tackle. He tapes. As the team trainer, Bates taped the Patriots to a 4-8-2 record, worst in Boston history. But, in retrospect, it is difficult to understand how he and the team did that well.

    Due to injuries, Boston played much of the year without its only experienced running back (Larry Garron), its best pass receiver (Art Graham), an All-League linebacker (Tom Addison), a starting offensive guard (Charlie Long) and a starting cornerback (Tom Hennessey). Graham had tendonitis, which is unusual enough. But Addison and Long were affected all year by early-season cases of mumps. Not even Bates had the answer to that.​




    Happy 47th birthday to Chad Eaton
    Born April 6, 1972 in Exeter, New Hampshire
    Patriot DL, 1996-2000; uniform #90

    Eaton worked his way up from being a practice squad player cut by three other teams, to a starter on the Patriot defensive line. He was good enough that it paid off with a $10 million free agent contract in 2001 - though that also meant that Eaton missed out on the glory of Super Bowl 36.

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    For more on Eaton, I highly recommend this article:
    Ex-NFL player Eaton bringing attitude to CSU | Dayton Daily News

    The following season he was picked up by New England, which is where he teamed with Ben Coates, the Pats’ standout tight end who is now the CSU offensive coordinator.

    He became popular with Patriots fans because of his blue-collar play and colorful ways.

    “I had gotten all the tattoos and did the wild stuff on the field because I thought it made people think I was a tough guy and crazy, so don’t mess with me,” Eaton said. “Then I realized I was tough enough and didn’t need all that.”

    He had some highlight games with the Pats — he sacked Kordell Stewart three times in one game, blocked two Buffalo field goals in another, returned a fumble 23 yards for a score against Baltimore — then became an unrestricted free agent in 2001 and went back home to Seattle, where he signed a four-year deal worth $10.7 million.​

    At the time the Eaton article was published in 2011, it created a buzz and 'tsk tsk' finger-pointing for this snippet:

    “That first season I was cut by three teams (the Jets and Ravens, too) and finally ended up on Cleveland’s practice squad.”

    His grit and energy caught the interest of head coach Bill Belichick and they forged a pact.

    “If practice was going slow, he’d look at me and just say, ‘It’s time,’ ” Eaton said. “He wanted me to get on somebody’s (case) and start a little fight. I was known for that and it paid off on Fridays. There’d always be some extra money in my locker. Practice players don’t make much, so I really appreciated it.”​




    Happy 30th birthday to Jeremy Ebert
    Born April 6, 1989 in Hilliard, Ohio
    Patriot WR, 2012-2013; uniform #80
    Pats 7th round (235th overall) selection of the 2012 draft, from Northwestern

    Ebert caught 137 passes for 2,013 yards and 19 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Northwestern. The Pats cut him at the end of the 2012 training camp, and the Eagles signed him to their practice squad. He rejoined the Pats in November, signed to the practice squad after James Develin was promoted to the 53-man roster. The Patriots released Ebert following the 2013 draft, after selecting Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, and then signing undrafted rookie free agents TJ Moe and Kenbrell Thompkins for the wide receiver position.

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    In 2013 Ebert bounced back and forth between Jacksonville's 53-man roster and their practice squad, Ross Ventrone-like on an almost weekly basis. Ebert finished his NFL career with three receptions for 18 yards.

    Patriots Today: Meet Jeremy Ebert | Patriots.com video




    Happy 30th birthday to Cyhl Quarles
    Born April 6, 1989 in Tucker, Georgia
    Patriot safety, 2012; uniform #49

    The Ravens signed Quarles as an undrafted rookie out of Wake Forest in 2012. He did not survive final roster cuts at the end of training camp, and the Patriots signed him to their practice squad on September 12. Quarles was released two weeks later to make room for DL Marcus Forston.

    The Pats re-signed Quarles to their practice squad in December. After the 2012 season ended and practice squad players become free agents, he signed with Chicago. Quarles was cut before the end of the 2013 training camp, thus ending his NFL career. He now works as an account executive for Ricoh in Baltimore.

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    Happy 80th birthday to Frank Robotti
    Born April 6, 1939 in Stamford, CT
    Died 8/14/71 at the age of 32
    Patriot LB, 1961; uniform #51


    Robotti was a linebacker and fullback for Mike Holovak at Boston College, where he was also a standout baseball player. He played in 12 games for the Pats with two interceptions before chipping a bone in his right ankle on December 5, 1961. The Patriots drafted Nick Buoniconti the following off season and signed him to a no-cut contract, and Robotti's playing days with the Pats were over.

    This is a great article on Robotti, well worth taking the time to read:

    Frank Robotti: The man behind the trophy | Stamford Advocate

    Robotti moved to Florida, got married, did some coaching and worked for Coca-Cola.

    The gang from Stamford stayed in touch until August 14, 1971 when Robotti was age 32.

    "Frank was still close to all of us. But there was a car accident," said Gene Bonina. "Frank died. We were all shocked."

    "There were two little girls in the car with Frank. There were no seat belts then," said Dom Lacerenza. "It was a two lane highway. A young kid, drunk driver swerved across the yellow line. He hit Frank's car head on but walked away without a scratch.
    Frank threw his body over the two girls and took the entire crash force. He saved their lives."




    Happy 55th birthday to Adrian White
    Born April 6, 1964 in April Park, Florida
    Patriot safety, 1993; uniform #38

    White was a career backup and special teams player. He re-joined with Bill Parcells in '93 after five NFL seasons, the first four having been with the Giants. He played in each of the first five games of the '93 season for the Patriots, with four starts.

    From 1999 to 2000 White coached football at various levels, primarily as a defensive backs position coach. He was in the WLAF/NFL Europe for 11 years, Southern Illinois University for two seasons and Indiana State for one. White was also with the Buffalo Bills from 2008-2012, and spent one year in Arena football.

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    Happy 55th birthday to Jon Sawyer
    Born April 6, 1964 in Hialeah, Florida
    Patriot safety, 1987; uniform #31

    The former University of Cincinnati Bearcat was a replacement player during the '87 strike season under Raymond Berry.

    30 years ago this month, replacement football came to Foxborough | Boston Sports Journal - Christopher Price
     
  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    April 7 Birthdays



    Happy 47th birthday to Lovett Purnell
    Born April 7, 1972 in Seaford, Delaware
    Patriot TE, 1996-1998; uniform #48, #85
    Pats 7th round (216th overall) selection of the 1996 draft, from West Virginia

    Purnell played in 34 games with seven starts over three seasons with the Pats. He had five touchdowns on 19 catches for 159 yards, averaging 8.4 yards per catch. He also had two receptions in three playoff games with the Patriots.

    In 2007 Purnell was inducted to the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.

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    Happy 29th birthday to Tim Wright
    Born April 7, 1990 in Wall Township, New Jersey
    Patriot TE, 2014; uniform #81

    Wright is most well known for being the player that the Patriots received when Logan Mankins was traded to Tampa. Overlooked at the time was the fact that New England also received a 4th round draft pick, which turned out to pay better dividends: that was used to select Trey Flowers.

    Tim Wright had six touchdown receptions with the Pats in 2014, appearing in all 16 games with 8 starts. He had 26 receptions for 259 yards (10.0 ypc), but was waived prior to the start of training camp the following year.

    The Bucs re-signed Wright, then traded him to Detroit prior to week one in 2015. He didn't do much with the Lions (9 receptions for 77 yards and 2 TD) in '15, and spent 2016 on IR. KC signed him in 2018, but he did not make the 53-man roster. His career NFL stat line is 907 yards on 89 receptions, with 16 touchdowns in 41 games. He also has a ring from the Pats Super Bowl victory over Seattle.

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    Happy 80th birthday to Bob Suci
    Born April 7, 1993 in Flint, Michigan
    Died 12/21/15 in Grand Blanc, MI
    Patriot CB/PR, 1963; uniform #21


    Suci spent four seasons in the AFL with the Oilers and Patriots, but unfortunately a knee injury cut his career short. In 1963 he appeared in all 14 games for the Patriots, averaging 9.3 yards on 25 punt returns and 21.2 yards on 17 kickoff returns. That same year Suci led the AFL in pick-sixes (2) and interception return yardage (277).

    Suci was in on nine turnovers for that Patriot defense, with seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries. The Pats ranked first in yards allowed and second in points allowed that year, claimed the franchise's first title (AFL East) and playoff victory in a 26-8 victory at Buffalo.

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    Legend of former Michigan State, AFL player Bob Suci still lives on after death

    Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame




    Happy 69th birthday to Kenny Price
    Born April 7, 1950 in Houston
    Patriot LB, 1971; uniform #54

    Price appeared in just one game with the Patriots. On December 19, 1971 John Mazur's squad upset John Unitas and the Baltimore Colts 21-17. The winning points came on an 88-yard 4th quarter touchdown pass from Jim Plunkett to Randy Vataha; that was the second Plunkett-to-Vataha TD connection of the day.

    That was the final regular season game in '71, with the Pats finishing 6-8: a four-win improvement over the previous season. It was also Kenny Price's one and only NFL game.




    Happy 29th birthday to Jemea Thomas
    Born April 7, 1990 in Fitzgerald, Georgia
    Patriot CB, 2014; uniform #21
    Pats 6th round (206th overall) selection of the 2014 draft, from Georgia Tech

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    Patriots Found Upside in Georgia Tech Do-It-All Jemea Thomas | NEPatriotsDraft.com


    8/26/14: Patriots Cut Six, Including Sixth-Round Pick Jemea Thomas | NESN

    The New England Patriots already cut ties with a 2014 sixth-round draft pick, cornerback Jemea Thomas.

    The Patriots whittled down their roster to 75 players Tuesday by waiving Thomas, defensive lineman Ben Bass, defensive back Travis Hawkins, wide receivers Derrick Johnson and Wilson Van Hooser and linebacker Deontae Skinner. The Patriots also placed running back Tyler Gaffney and linebacker Cameron Gordon on injured reserve.
    Thomas was picked up by the Cowboys, and then the Rams and Titans. He appeared in 28 special team snaps over two games in 2014, one each with St. Louis and Tennessee. he has not played any pro football since being cut by the Titans at the end of training camp in 2015.
     
  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History



    April 8, 1980
    Billy Sullivan, President of the New England Patriots, is re-elected as Chairman of the Board of NFL Properties. No word on whether this experience influenced the Sullivans to branch out into other business ventures, such as bankrolling concert tours.




    Happy 62nd birthday to Fred Smerlas
    Born April 8, 1957 in Waltham
    Patriot NT, 1991-1992; uniform #76

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    Long before he became a fixture on Boston sports talk radio Smerlas, was an excellent local gridiron talent at Waltham High School and Boston College. He was the 32nd overall draft pick by the Bills in '79, and was named to five Pro Bowls. The Pats picked him up when he was past his prime at the age of 34, but he did not miss a single game with the Patriots.

    Smerlas played in 200 regular season and six postseason NFL games. He is a member of the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame, Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame, and holds the NFL record for most consecutive starts at nose tackle with 110.

    11/14/88: A Wild and Crazy Guy | Paul Zimmerman - Sports Illustrated

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    Happy 55th birthday to Frank Sacco
    Born April 8, 1964 in Yonkers, NY
    Patriot LB, 1987; uniform #95

    The Pats went undefeated when Sacco played. The Fordham Flash appeared in two games as replacement player during the '87 strike.




    Happy 52nd birthday to Pat Coleman
    Born April 8, 1967 in Cleveland, Mississippi
    Patriot WR/KR, 1990; uniform #47


    Coleman appeared in only one game for the Pats, with two kickoff returns on the stat sheet. He was originally drafted in the ninth round by the Oilers, and returned to Houston for the next four seasons.
     
  15. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Remembering Houston Antwine


    Houston Antwine was born on April 11, 1939; he would have been 80 today. He was one of the best players in football history that is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Antwine is also the greatest player in Patriot history that most Pats fans don’t know about.


    Antwine played in 142 games over eleven seasons for the Patriots. 270 pounds may not be big by today’s standards, but in 1961 it was. Houston Antwine was a man among boys, constantly commanding double or even triple teams by opposing offenses. He wasn’t just some big slug though; Antwine was extremely athletic, using skills he had acquired as a collegiate wrestling champion. ’Twine was not only strong but also very quick on his feet, and nearly impossible to move out of the middle. He was also a well-rounded, versatile player; not only devastating against the run, but also tenacious on his pass rush, totaling 39 sacks in his career and leading the Pats in sacks three straight years.


    “Houston Antwine was the kind of football player you don’t forget if you ever saw him, but he’s the kind few remember today because he did his playing before ESPN highlight shows existed. If they had, ‘Twine would have been a staple because he was everything you wanted in a defensive tackle — Warren Sapp before there was a Warren Sapp, but without the need for volume control.”


    Antwine was an AFL All-Star six straight years, and was named to the All-Time All-AFL Team. Now stop and think about that for a moment. If a player that was named to the NFL’s all time team of the decade for say the 1990’s or 2000’s that also went to six consecutive Pro Bowls, would there even be any discussion as to whether or not he should be voted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Probably not. Yet Antwine earned identical honors that just so happened to be at an earlier time. Why was he be penalized for that?


    Perhaps the biggest reason is because it took far too long for his own team to honor him. The Pats set up their team Hall of Fame in 1991. John Hannah was the original inductee, in the same year he became the first Patriot enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The following year Nick Buoniconti and Gino Cappelletti got their bust at Patriot Place. Antwine was more deserving these two legends though. Buoniconti is more well known for his championships in Miami rather than his seven seasons with the Patriots. As good as Cappelletti was he was never the league’s premier player at a position the way Antwine was.


    Legitimate cases can be made for those three over Antwine, but not for the next group. In 1993 the Pats’ HoF added three more players from the sixties. Nothing against Bob Dee, Jim Lee Hunt or Babe Parilli, but Houston Antwine was a far more dominant football player. In terms of the Hall of Fame the Patriots were ‘on to the seventies and eighties’ after that, for all intents done with AFL-era players.


    Yes, the Patriots eventually did add Antwine to the hall in 2015. Sadly it was four years after he passed away. He deserved to go in twenty-plus years earlier, while he was still alive. So why did that not happen? His play on the field was such that he deserved to be the first player after John Hannah to enter the Patriot Hall of Fame.


    Rumor has it that some of the old time writers did not care for him. Maybe he wasn’t friendly enough with the old guard and they held a grudge. He was one of 22 players to boycott the 1965 AFL all star game in New Orleans, where Jim Crow laws and blatant racism still prevailed; maybe that protest against conditions there had something to do with it.


    Regardless of the reason, it started a vicious circle. The thought process was that if Antwine’s own team would not honor him, he couldn’t have been good enough for the Pro Football Hall of Fame – who already were showing an obvious bias against consideration for AFL players.


    More time passed, and fewer and fewer writers and fans were old enough to remember or appreciate Antwine. The thinking of those nominating and voting for for the Patriot Hall of Fame mirrored that of those voting for enshrinement to Canton. On the rare occasion his name was brought up it was quickly dismissed. The sentiment was that ‘he couldn’t have been that good if all these other old timers are in and he is not’.


    Commencing in 2011 a ten-person senior committee was formed. They were scheduled to convene and have the option of adding one Patriot that had been retired for at least 25 years. It seemed like such a no-brainer; Antwine surely would finally be honored in Foxboro. He had already been a finalist three times, futily up against more recent and recognizable players. Incredibly his election still did not happen. Jon Morris was a good guy with a nice career but he was not close to the same level of player as Houston Antwine. Apparently the old time writers refused to let go of whatever grudges they were holding on to.


    In December of 2005 Antwine was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The disease was allegedly caused by repeated blows to the head from his playing days, back when concussions were just “dings” and players were expected to just shake it off and keep going. Houston Antwine passed away in December of 2011 at the age of 72, a few months after Morris was inducted to the Pats Hall of Fame. The senior committee must have felt a bit of remorse; they then voted Antwine in the next time they met.


    Fan voting for the Patriots Hall of Fame will commence in the next few days. Hopefully Pats fans will carefully consider “forgotten” players, and not simply cast their ballot for the most recently retired nominee.



    Happy birthdays to Houston Antwine, Justin Canale, Tom Reynolds, David Richards, Dietrich Jells and Donald Brown
     
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  16. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    i would have loved to be at least once at Schaefer-Sullivan-Foxboro stadium in person

    pity that i have not been able to do that
     
  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Super one-year rentals



    Happy 26th birthday to Trent Brown
    Born April 13, 1993 in Albany, Georgia
    Patriot LT, 2018; uniform #67

    New England acquired Brown and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick (Ja'Whaun Bentley) in exchange for the Pats 2018 3rd round pick (95th overall, Tarvarius Moore) from San Francisco on April 27, 2018.

    The 49ers felt Brown's conditioning and offseason work ethic was suspect. After ending 2017 with a shoulder injury the Niners used the ninth overall pick on Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey. Brown had only one year left in his contract, so GM John Lynch got what he could for the right tackle. The Patriots were very thin on the offensive line after Nate Solder had signed with the Giants, so the trade was viewed as a win for both sides.

    Initially Brown was viewed by many as backup depth. LaAdrian Waddle, John Ulrick, Isaiah Wynn and Antonio Garcia were perceived to have a better shot at filling the gap at left tackle. At minimum Brown was veteran insurance for the rookie Wynn, the 23rd overall pick of the draft.

    Unlike his tenure in San Francisco, Brown dominated training camp. His dynamic skills earned him the starting left tackle position, answering the Pats top offseason question mark. Over the course of the 2018 season Brown continued to excel, and was arguably the best tackle in the NFL playoffs.

    While that performance was great for the 2018 Super Bowl winning team, it also meant that Brown would become one of the most coveted free agents in 2019. On March 11 he signed with the Raiders and became the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history.

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    Happy 51st birthday to Ted Washington
    Born April 13, 1968 in Tampa
    Patriot NT, 2003; uniform #92

    'Mount Washington' had been a four-time Pro Bowler with Buffalo and Chicago - but was 35 years old and coming off a year where he missed all but two games due to a fractured leg and torn ligament in his foot. As a result the Pats were able to obtain him for just a 2004 4th round pick, which turned out to be a bargain. Washington was superb, and a key element of that incredible defense that led the Patriots to their second Lombardi trophy. That performance and Super Bowl ring led to nice free agent payday - ironically also with the Oakland Raiders.

    Ted Washington played in 236 games over 17 seasons in the NFL, plus another 13 playoff games. He finished his career with 755 tackles (603 solo) and 34½ sacks. In addition to his Super Bowl ring, Washington was named to four Pro Bowls and was an All Pro in 2001. In his spare time Washington now coaches high school football in South Carolina.

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    Two other April 13 Patriot birthdays:

    Happy 47th birthday to Dave Wohlabaugh
    Born April 13, 1972 in Hamburg, New York
    Patriot C, 1995-1998; uniform #64
    Pats 4th round (112th overall) selection of the 1995 draft, from Syracuse

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    Wohlabaugh started 57 games at center with the Pats, and is a member of the Patriots' All-Decade Team for the 1990s. After the '98 season he signed as an unrestricted free agent with Cleveland, in what was then the largest contract ever for an NFL center. He ended up playing in 128 games over nine NFL seasons, plus eight playoff games.

    The free agency loss of Wohlabaugh and three other players is what resulted in the Pats receiving a 6th round compensatory pick in the 2000 draft (Tom Brady) - though the departure of Wohlabaugh is more aligned to the Pats gaining a 4th round pick in that draft.

    Dave Wohlabaugh now works as a financial consultant in Cleveland.




    Happy 49th birthday to Monty Brown
    Born April 13, 1970 in Bridgeport, Michigan
    Patriot LB, 1996; uniform #93

    In '96 Brown appeared in 11 games with 7 starts for the Pats. After three seasons in Buffalo he signed with New England as a restricted free agent primarily because he wanted to be closer to WWF headquarters in Stamford CT. (Geography lesson here Monty: the Giants or Jets would have been a more suitable choice if that was your motive.)

    A year later Brown quit pro football and began training full time to become a pro wrestler. After the death of his sister he decided to retire from pro wrestling in order to spend more time at home taking care of his extended family. Since then Brown has operated Alpha-1 Fitness in his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan.

     
  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    April 14 Birthdays




    Happy 38th birthday to Tracy White
    Born April 14, 1981 in Charleston, South Carolina
    Patriot LB, 2010-2012; uniform #58

    Over ten years White appeared in 136 games with five NFL teams, primarily on special teams. In early September of 2010 the Patriots acquired White and a 7th round pick from Philadelphia in exchange for a 6th round pick. White played in 42 regular season games with two starts in New England, registering 65 tackles (46 solo). He also took part in all six playoff games with the Pats in his three seasons in Foxborough.

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    On a side note, the draft pick the Pats received in the trade with Philly along with White had a very curious route. It was included in the trade that sent Randy Moss to Minnesota on October 6, 2010. (The Patriots received a 3rd round pick, 74th overall, and used it to select Ryan Mallett.) The Vikings then traded that 7th round pick to Detroit. The Lions also sent a 4th round pick in that trade to the Vikings. That 4th round pick was one of four draft picks the Vikings traded to New England in exchange for the Pats number one draft pick - used to select Cordarrelle Patterson. In exchange the Pats used draft picks on Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan and Josh Boyce. A fourth draft pick was traded again, and eventually ended up being used to land LeGarrette Blount.

    White retired from the NFL after his three seasons in Foxborough. He now coaches high school football in his hometown of North Charleston, South Carolina.

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    2/2/2012: An unlikely journey: Tracy White started out in St Stephen and ended up in the Super Bowl

    Throughout his career, White has earned a reputation as a solid citizen and positive influence in the locker room.

    “There’s no slacking off and there’s only one goal -- to get to the Super Bowl,” he said. “Every team has that goal to get there, but the rest of the teams ... the key is getting everyone to buy into it.”

    With little football recruiting attention coming his way at Timberland, White considered joining the U.S. Army after high school. When an Army recruiter called the house one day, White’s mom, Patricia, answered the phone and was surprised to hear of his plans.


    “She was shocked,” White said in 2004. “I was actually going to go up there and sign up later that week on Saturday. I didn’t tell her anything about it. I had a brother already in the Army. She told me to wait and finish my senior year at Timberland before I signed up and made any definite plans.”

    Good advice, because a scholarship offer from Howard came through after his senior year. There, White was a three-time all-MEAC selection and named the Black College Defensive Player of the Year in 2001.

    White hasn’t forgotten about the folks back home. Through his career, he’s worked on building a “Hope Center” in St. Stephen, a place for kids to swim and play football and basketball.​

    8/13/2013: Former Patriots linebacker joins Fort D's coaching staff | WCIV

    It's amazing to think, before walking into Steve LaPrad's office, White had walked out of Bill Belichick's office with the New England Patriots.

    "I ended on my terms. I wanted to get to 10 (years). Before the season, I told my parents and family it was going to be my last year. I'm happy with what I did when I played in the league. I'm ready to start a new chapter in my life," said White.

    Making the NFL was a long shot for the Timberland High and Howard University grad. Sticking for a decade in the league certainly will catch the attention of his new players.

    "I get asked 'How many years were you in the league?' How old am I? I guess they're amazed I'm retired at 32. It's a fun atmosphere here," he said.

    White loves to talk about his new career. He doesn't talk a lot about his former one, but he's quick to point out his favorite NFL memory.

    "Automatic, starting in the Super Bowl. The greatest feeling, my Super Bowl appearance. Coach Belichick gave me the opportunity to start," said White.

    The lessons he learned are now the lessons he teaches.

    "I tell them to get as much as they can. Make themselves better. Ask questions about improving things. I give everything I know, if they have questions, I'm their tool, use me if they want," he said.​




    Happy 50th birthday to Tim Roberts
    Born April 14, 1969 in Atlanta
    Patriot DE, 1995; uniform #94

    Roberts was a 5th round choice from Southern Miss by Houston in '92. The Pats signed Roberts early in '95 after three seasons with the Oilers. He appeared in 13 games with 12 starts for New England, with 53 tackles (35 solo).

    Unfortunately I am having difficulty finding much information on this former Patriot because the internet wants to either lead me to the founder of Multiplex, a University of Buffalo safety, or other namesakes.

    [​IMG]




    Happy 68th birthday to Gail Clark
    Born April 14, 1951 in Bellefontaine, Ohio
    Patriot LB, 1974

    As a junior at Michigan State, Clark led the Spartans in tackles and assists, forced three fumbles, broke up six passes and had one interception. After knee surgery not much was expected from him the following season. As a senior though he came through and again led the team in tackles and assists, with three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one pick.

    The Lansing State Journal gives Clark an 'Honorable Mention' as one of the best players from Ohio to ever play for Michigan State.

    Clark was selected in the 4th round (102nd overall) in the 1973 draft by Pittsburgh. He didn't stick with the Steelers, who were loaded at linebacker at that time. Clark landed in Chicago and appeared in 11 games with three starts for the Bears. The following season he was signed by Chuck Fairbanks and appeared in eight games for the Patriots in '74, primarily on special teams.

    That was the end of Clark's NFL career, presumably ending so soon in part due to injuries. He was one of the 4500 players that was part of the NFL's Concussion Lawsuit Settlement.




    Happy 41st birthday to Rohan Davey
    Born April 14, 1978 in Clarendon, Jamaica
    Patriot QB, 2002-2004; uniform #6
    Pats 4th round (117th overall) selection of the 2002 draft, from LSU

    Maybe Tom Brady saw the Pats utilizing that early of a draft pick on a quarterback as a slight after having just won the Superbowl, and used that to fuel extra incentive and motivation. The Pats moved up in the draft to grab Davey, trading their 4th (131st overall) and 5th (144th) to Denver for the Broncos 117th overall draft pick. Davey appeared in garbage time in just seven games over three seasons with the Patriots, completing 8 out of 19 passes for 88 yards and no touchdowns.

    In 2004 Davey did have a record setting season while on loan to the Berlin Thunder in NFL Europe, winning the World Bowl and being named Player of the Year. However Doug Flutie beat out Davey for the backup QB position in 2005, and Matt Cassel was considered to be the better prospect as the third stringer after outperforming Davey in training camp and preseason games. The Pats released Davey on August 29, 2005.

    [​IMG]

    A month later Arizona signed Davey to be their third string QB, and he remained on the Cardinal roster throughout the '05 season. The Cardinals cut Davey at the end of the 2006 training camp, ending his NFL career. He later played in the Arena Football League, where he was able to show off his two Super Bowl rings.

    11/9/2015: Q&A with Rohan Davey: Former LSU QB recalls Arkansas breakout game | nola.com

    These days, Davey lives in Baton Rouge, follows the (LSU) Tigers and dabbles in different ventures. We works for Quality Concrete Company, but also has a catering business on the side that specializes in Jamaican food, he trains quarterbacks ages 8-18 and does a little coaching. He has three children: an 18-year-old daughter, Jasmine, a student at Florida A&M; a 12-year-old son, Micah, and a 10-year-old daughter, Rhaia, in grade school in Baton Rouge.












    Other NFL players with New England connections:

    Philip Gaines, 28 (4/14/1991)
    Kansas City CB was born in Concord MA.

    Shawn Regent, 56 (4/14/1963)
    BC alum was a replacement center for Raiders during 1987 strike.
     
  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Today in Patriots History
    JAGs and Relatives



    Happy 39th birthday to Billy Yates
    Born April 15, 1980 in Fort Worth
    Patriot G, 2004-2009; uniform #74

    After being undrafted out of Texas A&M, Yates was originally signed by Miami. He played in three games with the Dolphins in '03. The Pats signed him to their practice squad in '04, then activated him for Super Bowl 38. He spent most of '09 on the practice squad before being promoted when Dan Koppen went on IR with a shoulder injury.

    Yates appeared in 22 games with 11 starts with the Patriots from 2005-2008, including seven starts in '08 when Stephen Neal was injured.

    [​IMG]

    Detroit Lions - Billy Yates
    Billy Yates joins the Lions for his first season in the William Clay Ford Minority Coaching Assistantship role. After working as the assistant strength coach at Texas Tech from 2013-15, he was named head of strength and conditioning at Bowling Green State University in 2016 before entering the NFL coaching ranks.​

    Bowling Green - Billy Yates
    Billy Yates was named head strength and conditioning coach for the BGSU football program in January, 2016. Yates had previously served as the assistant strength coach at Texas Tech for three years.

    After a playing career at Texas A&M, Yates enjoyed an eight-year career in the National Football League. During his eight seasons, Yates played for three different franchises including a five-year stint with the New England Patriots where he helped them to a Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XXXIX. He spent his final two seasons with the Cleveland Browns before retiring in 2010. Yates made 14 starts and played in 41 total games during his eight seasons in the league.

    After retiring from the NFL, Yates began his career as a strength and conditioning coach at Texas A&M. After one season with the Aggies, Yates spent three seasons in Lubbock.



    Happy 50th birthday to Steve Gordon
    Born April 15, 1969 in Fort Ord, California
    Patriot C, 1992-1993; uniform #64

    Pats 10th round (277th overall) selection of the 1992 draft, from Cal

    Gordon has no stat line with the Patriots. He was presumably cut at the end of training camp, or perhaps on the Pats practice squad. Gordon later spent time with San Francisco, Denver and Cleveland. He appeared in 13 NFL games, all with the Niners in 1998.

    According to LinkedIn, since his NFL days ended Gordon has been a Major Account Manager with Sharp, a Regional Manager for Konica Minolta, Branch Manager with Ray Morgan and now is the Regional Sales Manager for CenterVue for northern California, Nevada and Utah.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017: Steve Gordon

    Gordon’s prowess on the offensive line earned him a scholarship to play at the University of California, Berkeley, where he shifted to center and was a starter for four years. While at Cal, Gordon helped the Bears to a Copper Bowl championship in 1990 and a Citrus Bowl title in 1991. He was named an All-American in 1991 and was also earned the “Tiny Bates Award” which is awarded by the University Alumni Association and given to Cal football’s to the Most Outstanding Player of the Year.

    In 1992, Gordon was drafted in the 10th round by the New England Patriots. He would bounce around the NFL for eight years, eventually landing with the 49ers where he garnered substantial playing time and a handful of starts. He wrapped up his playing career in 2000 with the Cleveland Browns.

    After his playing days concluded, Gordon couldn’t stay away from the field and dabbled in coaching. He coached for the Folsom Junior Bulldogs program for eight years, winning seven championships along the way. He also spent a year coaching offensive line at Rocklin High School, and logged five years coaching his daughter in AAU youth girls basketball.



    Now for some relatives:

    Brock Huard turns 42 (4/15/76)
    The QB went 0-4 in 8 games from 2000-03. the 3rd round pick of the '99 draft is the brother of Damon Huard, Patriot QB from 2001-2003.

    Tom Graham was born 4/15/50.
    The linebacker spent seven seasons in the NFL and is the father of former Patriot TE Daniel Graham.

    Andre Caldwell turns 34 (4/15/85)
    The Bengal and Bronco WR is the brother of bug-eyed former Patriot WR Reche Caldwell.




    A couple other players with New England connections:

    Amari Spievey (4/15/1988)
    Middleton CT native started 26 games at strong safety for Detroit from 2010-12.

    Jeff Williams (4/15/1955)
    Williams is a graduate from Gloucester High School and the University of Rhode Island. The offensive lineman was a 5th round draft pick by the Rams in 1977 and played in 56 NFL games from 1977-82.
     

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