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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
    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.

    [​IMG][​IMG]




    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.

    [​IMG]




    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.

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  2. 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

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]




    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.
     
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    April 9



    Happy 60th birthday to Ken Toler
    Born April 9, 1959 in Greenville, Mississippi
    Patriot WR, 1981-1982; uniform #82
    Pats 7th round (185th overall) selection of the 1981 draft, from Ole Miss

    [​IMG]

    Toler played in 25 games over two seasons with the Patriots, primarily on special teams. He had seven receptions for 133 yards, averaging 19.0 yards per catch. He also caught two TD passes in the 1982 season.

    Both touchdowns came in the third quarter, and both gave the Pats the lead after being down 13-10. His first NFL touchdown was in week one of the '82 season at Baltimore, a 30-yard strike from Matt Cavanaugh. That turned out to be the winning points in a 24-13 victory over the Colts.

    Toler's other touchdown came in the final regular season game of '82. Buffalo had a 13-3 lead before the Patriots rallied. Toler was on the receiving end of a 33-yard pass from Steve Grogan that gave New England the lead. The Patriots went on to win 30-19 and claim a wild card spot in the playoffs, while the Bills were eliminated, one game behind the Pats.

    Toler later spent two seasons with Birmingham in the USFL, playing on a squad that went 27-9 in his two years on the Stallions.






    Happy 77th birthday to Dick Capp
    Born April 9, 1942 in Portland, Maine
    Pats 17th round (147th overall) selection of the 1966 AFL draft, from Boston College

    Capp grew up in Deering Maine before heading to BC. He was on the Pats taxi squad (now the practice squad) and played minor league football in Massachusetts. Vince Lombardi noticed Capp somehow and he signed with Green Bay as a tight end/linebacker in 1967. The Packers, coming off a Super Bowl I victory over Kansas City, were a veteran club so Capp didn’t play much. He played 14 games the following season for Pittsburgh, but that was the extent of his NFL career.

    [​IMG]

    Deering's Dick Capp had a very special Super Bowl moment

    “Even though it’s nothing like the press coverage and pomp and circumstance that it is today, it still was huge,” he said. “You know you’re playing in a big game. I got interviewed from someone on the New York Times. Me. I wasn’t even a starter. We were all going, ‘Holy smokes, if one of the subs was interviewed by the New York Times, it must be a big game.’ ”

    And Capp delivered. Green Bay led 13-7 late in the first half and was forced to punt from its 17. Oakland’s Rodger Bird attempted to catch Donny Anderson’s punt at midfield but muffed it. Capp – who was activated for the Super Bowl after not playing for months – recovered the ball at the Oakland 45 with 23 seconds left in the first half. The Packers got a field goal to go up 16-7 at the half. The NFL highlight video of that game points to that play as a turning point.

    Capp said he was fortunate to be the one who recovered the it.

    “There were three of us there, it just bounced up,” he said. “And I had pretty good hands.”

    But he jokingly never lets his former teammates know who made the play. “We have reunions in Green Bay a lot when we get together for a couple of days,” he said. “And I always kid the veterans that if it wasn’t for that play, they wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.”

    He made his mark playing special teams. “I was good at it; it was the only reason I made the Packers,” he said.

    Capp’s journey to Green Bay began at Deering, where he played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. He was tall and lean – about 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, he said, growing to 6-4, 240 in the pros – athletic, fast and smart. The Rams won the 1959 Class A football state championship his senior year.​




    One other player with a New England connection:

    Happy 56th birthday to Bob White
    Born April 9, 1963 in Fitchburg
    Alum of Lunenburg High School and the University of Rhode Island
    Center played in 24 games with 10 starts for the Dallas Cowboys from 1987-89
     
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Franchise Scoring Leaders


    The numbers and rankings below are through the 2018 season.
    All statistics solely reflect time with the Patriots.


    Points Scored, Career
    1. Stephen Gostkowski, 2006-2018 - 1,743
    2. Adam Vinatieri, 1996-2005 - 1,158
    3. Gino Cappelletti, 1960-1970 - 1,130
    4. John Smith, 1974-1983 - 692
    5. Rob Gronkowski, 2010-2018 - 482
    6. Tony Franklin, 1984-1987 - 442
    7. Stanley Morgan, 1977-1989 - 408
    8. Ben Coates, 1991-1999 - 302
    9. Randy Moss, 2007-2010 - 302
    10. Sam Cunningham, 1973-1982 - 294

    Touchdowns Scored, Career
    1. Rob Gronkowski - 80
    2. Stanley Morgan - 68
    3. Ben Coates - 50
    4. Randy Moss - 50
    5. Sam Cunningham - 49
    6. Jim Nance - 46
    7. Tony Collins - 44
    8. Gino Cappelletti - 42
    9. Irving Fryar - 42
    10. Larry Garron - 42

    Passing Touchdowns, Career
    1. Tom Brady - 517
    2. Steve Grogan - 182
    3. Drew Bledsoe - 166
    4. Babe Parilli - 132
    5. Jim Plunkett - 62

    Receiving Touchdowns, Career
    1. Jim Nance - 45
    2. Sam Cunningham - 43
    3. Corey Dillon - 37
    4. Steve Grogan - 35
    5. LeGarrette Blount - 34
    6. Tony Collins - 32
    7. Curtis Martin - 32
    8. BenJarvus Green-Ellis - 29
    9. Don Calhoun - 23
    10. Stevan Ridley - 22

    Kickoff Returns for a Touchdown, Career
    1. Raymond Clayborn - 3
    2. Ellis Hobbs - 3
    3. Kevin Faulk - 2
    4. Larry Garron - 2
    5. Bethel Johnson - 2
    6. Brandon Tate - 2
    7. Jon Vaughn - 2

    Punt Returns for a Touchdown, Career
    1. Julian Edelman - 4
    2. Troy Brown - 3
    3. Irving Fryar - 3
    4. Mike Haynes - 2
    5. Roland James - 1
    6. Dave Meggett - 1
    7. Stanley Morgan - 1

    Interception Returns for a Touchdown, Career
    1. Ty Law - 6
    2. Tedy Bruschi - 4
    3. Asante Samuel - 3
    4. John Charles - 2
    5. Ronnie Lippett - 2
    6. Prentice McCray - 2
    7. Willie McGinest - 2
    8. James Sanders - 2
    9. Otis Smith - 2
    10. Bob Suci - 2
    11. Don Webb - 2

    Fumble Returns for a Touchdown, Career
    1. Randall Gay - 2
    2. Cedric Jones - 2
    3. Willie McGinest - 2
    4. Johnny Rembert - 2
    5. Andre Tippett - 2
    6. Brent Williams - 2

    Safeties, Career
    1. Don Blackmon - 2
    2. 18 other players with one each

    Other returns for TD (blocked kick, blocked FG, missed FG)
    1. Kyle Arrington - 2
    2. 15 other players with one each

    Field Goals Made, Career
    1. Stephen Gostkowski - 367
    2. Adam Vinatieri - 263
    3. Gino Cappelletti - 176
    4. John Smith - 128
    5. Tony Franklin - 93

    Extra Points Made, Career
    1. Stephen Gostkowski - 642
    2. Adam Vinatieri - 367
    3. Gino Cappelletti - 342
    4. John Smith - 308
    5. Tony Franklin - 163

    Two-Point Conversions, Career
    1. Gino Cappelletti - 4
    2. Julian Edelman - 3
    3. Troy Brown - 2
    4. Jim Colclough - 2
    5. Jim Crawford - 2
    6. Curtis Martin - 2
    7. Dave Meggett - 2
    8. Danny Woodhead - 2

    Points Scored, Single Season
    1. - 158, Stephen Gostkowski, 2013
    2. - 156, Stephen Gostkowski, 2017
    3. - 156, Stephen Gostkowski, 2014
    4. - 155, Gino Cappelletti, 1964
    5. - 153, Stephen Gostkowski, 2012
    6. - 151, Stephen Gostkowski, 2015
    7. - 148, Stephen Gostkowski, 2008
    8. - 147, Gino Cappelletti, 1961

    Touchdowns Scored, Single Season
    1. - 23, Randy Moss, 2007
    2. - 18, LeGarrette Blount, 2016
    3. - 18, Rob Gronkowski, 2011
    4. - 17, Curtis Martin, 1996
    5. - 15, Curtis Martin, 1995
    6. - 13, eight times by six players

    Passing Touchdowns, Single Season
    1. - 50, Tom Brady, 2007
    2. - 39, Tom Brady, 2011
    3. - 36, Tom Brady, 2010
    4. - 36, Tom Brady, 2015
    5. - 34, Tom Brady, 2012
    6. - 33, Tom Brady, 2014
    7. - 32, Tom Brady, 2017
    8. - 31, Babe Parilli, 1964

    Receiving Touchdowns, Single Season
    1. - 23, Randy Moss, 2007
    2. - 17, Rob Gronkowski, 2011
    3. - 13, Randy Moss, 2009
    4. - 12, Rob Gronkowski, 2014
    5. - 12, Stanley Morgan, 1979
    6. - 11, Rob Gronkowski, 2012
    7. - 11, Rob Gronkowski, 2015
    8. - 11, Randy Moss, 2008
    9. - 10, Jim Colclough, 1962
    10. - 10, Stanley Morgan, 1986
    11. - 10, Rob Gronkowski, 2010

    Most Touchdowns in a Single Game
    1. - 4, Jonas Gray at Indianapolis, 11/16/2014
    2. - 4, Randy Moss at Buffalo, 11/18/2007

    Most Field Goals Made, Single Game
    1. - 6, Gino Cappelletti vs Denver, 10/4/1964
    2. - 5, Stephen Gostkowski vs Cincinnati, 10/5/2014
    3. - 5, Adam Vinatieri vs Buffalo, 11/14/2004
    4. - 5, Adam Vinatieri vs Jacksonville, 11/22/1996
    5. - 5, Jason Staurovsky vs Indianapolis, 12/3/1989
     
  5. 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 arguably more deserving than these two legends though. Buoniconti is more well known for his championships in Miami rather than his seven seasons with the Patriots. And 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.
     
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  6. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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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
     
  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Other April 11 birthdays


    Aside from Houston Antwine there are five other April 11 Patriot birthdays.


    Happy birthday to Justin Canale
    Born April 11, 1943 in Memphis
    Died October 11, 2011 at age 68
    Patriot G/K, 1965-68; uniform #63

    Pats sixth round (47th overall) selection in the 1965 draft, from Mississippi State

    [​IMG]
    Canale appeared in all 56 games during his four years with the Patriots, and was the starting LG in '68. He later played for the Bengals, then five years in the CFL and three seasons in the WFL. His brother Whit was a Patriot DE in '68, making them the first of four Pats brother-tandems. In '66 Canale kicked 21 touchbacks, a team record that would stand until 2010.

    [​IMG]

    Ode to Justin Canale: A Gentle Giant of Sport is Dead




    Happy 70th birthday to Tom Reynolds
    Born April 11, 1949 in Pasadena, CA
    Patriot WR, 1972; uniform #21
    Pats 2nd round (49th overall) selection of the 1972 draft, from San Diego State

    The 6'3, 200 lb receiver was in Foxboro for only one season, appearing in twelve games with just eight receptions for 152 yards and two TD. In 1973 Chuck Fairbanks took over, and he jettisoned Reynolds after drafting Darryl Stingley. Reynolds lasted just one more season in the NFL, with seven receptions in nine games for the Bears in '73.




    Happy 53rd birthday to David Richards
    Born April 11, 1966 in Staten Island, NY
    Patriot G/T, 1996; uniform #62

    Richards was an 8-year NFL starting offensive lineman with San Diego, Detroit and Atlanta before being picked up by the Pats in his final pro football season. He is one of several players who sued the NFL over 'Plan B' free agency, winning the largest settlement from that group. He now works in commercial real estate in Dallas, with high school road trips a distant memory.

    [​IMG][​IMG]




    Happy 45th birthday to Dietrich Jells
    Born April 11, 1972 in New York City
    Patriot WR, 1996-97; uniform #83

    Jells was drafted late by KC in '96, and the Patriots picked him up after he was cut before the season began by the Chiefs. In two seasons with New England Jells appeared in 18 games, mostly on special teams. The former Pitt Panther had two receptions for 14 yards with the Pats, and was then traded to Philadelphia for a 7th round 2000 pick. That pick was eventually part of a trade with Detroit that resulted in the Pats drafting Matt Light. Jells finished his NFL career with 14 receptions for 247 yards and two touchdowns in 41 games played over four seasons.




    Happy 30th birthday to Donald Brown
    Born April 11, 1987 in Atlantic Highlands, NJ
    Patriot RB, 2016 offseason; uniform #34

    Brown was a first round (27th overall) selection out of UConn by the Colts in 2009. He spent five seasons with Indy and two with San Diego prior to signing with the Patriots. His final season with the Colts was his best, averaging 5.3 yards per carry and a total of 8 touchdowns and 751 yards from scrimmage. He was signed by the Patriots in March of 2016 to a $965,000 contract with $300,000 guaranteed.

    The Pats released Brown on August 23, 2016, and he never caught on with another team after that. He finished his NFL career with 3,895 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns in 88 games played.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    April 12 Birthdays




    Happy birthday to Tom Addison
    Born April 12, 1936 in Lancaster, SC
    Died June 4, 2011 at the age of 75
    Patriot LB, 1960-1967; uniform #53


    Addison was an All-Star for five straight seasons, and a member of the Pats' All-Decade team for the 1960s. He played in 107 games for the Patriots, with 16 interceptions. Addison was also the first president of the AFL's player association, which in turn helped give players confidence to sign with the new league and helped the league improve and eventually merge with the NFL.

    [​IMG]

    Former Boston Patriot Addison Dies

    A 6-foot-2, 230 pound linebacker, Addison was originally drafted out of the University of South Carolina by the Baltimore Colts in 1958, but signed with the newly-formed Boston Patriots in 1960.

    Addison played his entire career with the Patriots (he retired in 1967), and was quickly a standout player. According to pro-football-reference.com, he snagged 16 interceptions in his career, one of which he took back for a touchdown (the site does not have tackle numbers). In 1960, he received All-AFL honors; the next year, the league formed its All-Star game, and Addison played in the exhibition every year from 1961-64.

    In 1971, fans voted Addison to the Patriots all-decade team for the 1960s.

    Addison wasn’t just a leader on the field: he was voted the first president of the AFL Players’ Association by his peers when the union was formed in 1964. His contributions as president played a significant role in the development and competitiveness of the league.

    A member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, Addison will be buried in his hometown of Lancaster, S.C. on Friday.




    Happy 31st birthday to Nate Solder
    Born April 12, 1998 in Denver
    Patriot LT (2012-2017), RT (2011)
    Pats 1st round (17th overall) selection of the 2011 draft, from Colorado

    With Matt Light reaching the end of the line in 2011, the Pats used a first round pick on an offensive tackle. Solder started immediately on the right side with Sebastian Vollmer sliding over to left tackle. The following year Solder took over on the blind side and was a steady performer at LT for six seasons. While never an All-Pro, Solder played well enough to earn a contract extension - and two Super Bowl rings.

    [​IMG]

    In 2018 the Patriots let Solder walk away with a four-year $62 million free agent contract from the New York Giants, with $35 million guaranteed. The Giants finished the season 5-11, while the Patriots won the Super Bowl with a left tackle practically given away by San Francisco.




    Happy 52nd birthday to Bobby Abrams
    Born April 12, 1967 in Detroit
    Patriot LB, 1995; uniform #50

    Abrams was a career backup and special teams player, appearing in 74 NFL games over six years with five teams. New England was his last stop, where he played in nine games with one start. Since then he has worked as an educator and is now a high school principal in Montgomery Alabama.




    Happy 55th birthday to Perry Williams
    Born April 12, 1964 in Cartersville, Georgia
    Patriot DB, 1987; uniform #38

    Williams was one of the replacement players during the 1987 strike. In the season opener of the 1985 season at Clemson, Williams had five pass deflections in a 20-17 victory at Virginia Tech.



    Other pro football players with New England connections:

    Fred Wallner (4/12/1928-11/4/1999)
    Greenfield Mass. native was an All-American under Frank Leahy at Notre Dame. Wallner was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals and was a Pro Bowl linebacker in 1955. In 1960 he was a player coach with the Houston Oilers, who won the first AFL championship. Wallner continued coaching in the college ranks and with minor league teams. He was the head coach of the Hartford Knights of the old Atlantic Coast Football League.


    Walter Tullis (4/12/1953)
    Tullis is from Hartford CT and was a late draft pick by Washington in 1976. The wide receiver appeared in 32 games with the Packers, catching ten passes and one touchdown. His biggest play though was off the field, helping to rescue a mother and two children trapped in an early morning fire.
     
  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Super one-year rentals


    April 13, 1970:
    At their high school gym, the town of Foxborough gave formal approved on a proposal that E.M Loew, the movie theatre chain owner and president of Bay State Raceway, would give the Boston Patriots land to build a stadium next to the horse race track on Route 1, in exchange for a cut from the parking revenue. The proposition was approved by a vote of 1,852 to 84.



    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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    Happy 28th birthday to Josh Gordon
    Born April 13, 1991 in Houston
    Patriot WR, 2018-present; uniform #10

    Consider this: Josh Gordon is the only player with back-to-back 200-yard receiving games in NFL history, and he led the NFL in receiving yards at 22 years old while playing in just 14 games and catching passes from Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer!.

    Fast forward past not one, but two entire seasons in his prime lost to substance abuse suspensions. (Why the NFL feels compelled to still buy into Reefer Madness/Reagan Era policies that ignore 'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness' regarding what citizens do in their free time - all while state after state comes to their senses regarding what one does in their one free time.... but I digress).

    Entering the 2018 season the Patriots had an issue at wide receiver. Brandin Cooks had been traded, and Julian Edelman was not only coming off an entire season missed due to injury, but was also suspended for the first four games. That left a returning WR corps consisting of Danny Amendola (61 receptions for 659 yards in 2017), Chris Hogan (34/439) and Phillip Dorsett (12/194). Yikes.

    The Pats attempted to reload at the position in the offseason but struck out. Veteran wide receivers Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell and Eric Decker failed to make the week one roster, as did about a dozen rookies. In week one the Patriots totaled 96 yards from the WR position, with 13 of those yards coming on three running plays. Depth was so slim that Riley McCarron had not only made the roster, he was getting playing time.

    9/18/2018 - Josh Gordon's tenure in Cleveland ends with trade to Patriots | espn

    Gordon was able to pick up the Patriot offense immediately, unlike other wide receiver failures like Joey Galloway and Chad Johnson. He had 40 receptions for 720 yards in 11 games, averaging 18 yards per reception. Although Gordon was not available for the playoffs, he was an important part of the Pats being able to go 11-5 and become 2018 NFL champions.

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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.

     
  10. 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.

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    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.

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    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:

    Phillip 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.
     
  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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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.

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    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.
     
  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Happy Birthday Bill Belichick


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  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Thank You, Dick Rehbein

    April 16, 2000:
    "In the sixth round with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft, the New England Patriots select Tom Brady, quarterback from the University of Michigan."



    This coach convinced Bill Belichick to draft Tom Brady


    [​IMG]
    Betsy and her younger sister Sarabeth with their father Dick Rehbein when he was an assistant with the New York Giants in 1999.


    Rehbein was a soft-spoken man, but he would tell anyone about Brady, the kid from Michigan. Boy, was he slow. Gosh, was he skinny. But, man, was he smart and reliable and fearless.

    "This is the kid," Rehbein told Kyle O'Brien, then an intern in the Patriots' personnel department. "I just believe in this kid. I really believe in him as a person."

    Brady was witty and quick, but his college football experience was confusing. For a while at Michigan, he split practice snaps with Drew Henson, and Coach Lloyd Carr took an unusual approach to declaring a game starter: One of them would start the first quarter, the other would go in for the second quarter, and whoever played better would play the second half.

    Rehbein took note that Brady won 20 of the 25 games he started and led the Wolverines to five comeback victories in 1999. But he ran like a newborn horse, and his passing mechanics needed an overhaul. So only one scout came to see Carr about Brady, and that scout, Bobby Grier, happened to work for the Patriots, who happened to have a quick and witty and open-minded quarterbacks coach named Dick Rehbein.

    Rehbein liked a project, and Brady was a blank canvas. "He was just excited about possibilities," Pam recalled.

    According to New England lore, the Patriots were interested in drafting a reserve quarterback in the late rounds, and at one point before the draft, Belichick asked Rehbein to choose: Louisiana Tech's Tim Rattay or Brady, as if he really had to think about it.
     
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  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Other less significant April 16 events


    Happy 27th birthday to Joe Cardona
    Born April 16, 1992 in El Cajon, California
    Patriot LS, 2015-present; uniform #49
    Pats 5th round (166th overall) selection of the 2015 draft, from Navy

    The Navy alum has played in all 75 regular and postseason games since being drafted. The fact that you never hear his name is a good thing based on his position. The Pats are 9-2 in the playoffs with Cardona on their roster, and he owns two Super Bowl rings.

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    Happy 69th birthday to Ron Bolton
    Born April 16, 1950 in Petersburg, Virginia
    Patriot CB 1972-1975; uniform #27

    Pats 5th round (124th overall) selection of the 1972 draft, from Norfolk State

    The 6'2 Virginian started 45 games at right corner in four seasons with New England. He had 18 interceptions during that time before moving on to the Cleveland Browns for seven more NFL seasons. Bolton is now the Recruiting Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach at Howard University.

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    Happy birthday to Jerry Green, who would have been 83 today
    Born April 16, 1936 in Atlanta
    Died December 12, 1994 at the age of 58
    Patriot End, 1960; uniform #45


    Green played in the first two games of Patriot franchise history, with three receptions for 52 yards. In the week two comeback over the New York Titans Green had two catches, including one for 31 yards as the Pats came back from a 24-7 second half deficit to win 28-24 on the final play of the game.

    Jerry Green Career Highlights

    Green, Jerry

    Jerome Albert Green

    Green played football at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and in the American Football League (AFL).

    Birth and Death Dates:
    b. April 16, 1936 - d. December 12, 1994

    Career Highlights:
    Green played as an end for Georgia Tech in the mid-1950s. In 1956, Tech had a terrific season, ranked No.4 in the nation with a record of 10-1-0 (7-1-0 in SEC). They outscored their opponents 248-47; their only loss was to No. 2 Tennessee. Tech played in the Gator Bowl, where they defeated No. 12 Pittsburgh, 21-14. During Jerry's next two seasons, Tech had a combined record of 9-8-3 and did not play in any bowl games.

    Green graduated in 1959, and played for the Boston Patriots of the newly-formed American Football League in 1960. ​




    Happy 58th birthday to Darryl Lewis
    Born April 16, 1961 in Mt Pleasant, Texas
    Patriot TE, 1983

    Pats 5th round (128th overall) selection of the 1983 draft, from the University of Texas at Arlington

    Lewis never saw the playing field with the Patriots, but did get into two games with the Browns in '84. His brother Gary was also a tight end, with the Packers from '81 to '84.




    One other pro football player with a New England connection:

    Happy 71st birthday to John Fitzgerald
    Born April 16, 1948 in Southbridge, MA
    Fitzy is a graduate of Southbridge High School and Boston College. He was a 4th round pick in the 1970 draft and a two-time Super Bowl champion. Fitzgerald played 137 games at center for the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 1980, plus another 19 games in the postseason.

    After his pro football career ended Fitzgerald became a partner in Dexter & Company, an insurance and risk management firm that was founded in 1876.

    [​IMG]
    John Fitzgerald - Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame
     
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  15. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Wrong End of Famous Games



    Happy 55th birthday to Darrell Fullington
    Born April 17, 1964 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida
    Patriot FS, 1991; uniform #29

    A native of the shark bite capital of the world went to the University of Miami. As a Hurricane he was one of the end zone defenders that missed Doug Flutie's Hail Mary touchdown pass.

    The previous year Fullington was again on the wrong end of another improbable comeback. Miami was up 31-0 at halftime. Being who they were at that time the Canes were arrogant and full of trash talk. Frank Reich came in off the bench to lead Maryland to the biggest comeback in college football history, winning 42-40. Late in the game a long Reich pass bounced off Fullington's hands into Greg Hill's arms for the go-ahead score.


    Fullington was drafted in the fifth round by the Vikings in 1988, and appeared in five games with the Pats in '91. He was waived during final roster cuts in '92. Over five NFL seasons he appeared in 79 games, with ten interceptions; he also played in three playoff games with the Vikings.

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    Happy 76th birthday to Barry Brown
    Born April 17, 1943 in Boston
    Patriot TE/OL, 1969-1970; uniform #66 & #86

    Brown was born in Boston but grew up in Michigan. He graduated from the University of Florida, and in the 1966 Sugar Bowl had nine receptions from quarterback Steve Spurrier. A late (266th overall) pick by the Colts, he primarily played on special teams as well as a backup linebacker.

    After one season at linebacker with the Giants, Brown switched teams and positions. Brown played in 21 games for the Patriots with ten starts at tight end, replacing Jim Whalen as starter at that position in 1970 when Joe Kapp was the QB. Brown caught 21 passes for 214 yards in 21 games as a Patriot, averaging 10.2 yards per catch.

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    Today's list of birthdays is unusual in terms of the volume of New England natives that made it to the NFL.

    Joe Todd turns 50 (4/17/1979)
    Born and raised in Mansfield MA, Todd was a linebacker with the Jets in 2001 and Bucs in 2002. He has spent several years coaching at the high school and college football levels and is now linebackers coach at the University of Rhode Island.

    James Hamilton turns 45 (4/17/1974)
    Hamilton was born in Hartford but went to high school in North Carolina. The linebacker was a third round pick by Jacksonville in 1997. He was primarily a special teams player that was done in by injuries, appearing in 17 games over two seasons.

    Gordon Laro turns 47 (4/17/1972)
    Born in Lynn, Laro went to Lynn English High School and Boston College. The tight end played for Jacksonville in 1995.

    Lance Olssen turns 72 (4/17/1947)
    The Boston-born Purdue graduate was a third round pick by the 49ers in 1968. He spent two seasons in SF as a tackle and center.

    Fran O'Brien (4/17/1936 - 10/21/1999)
    O'Brien was born in Springfield and grew up in Holyoke. He spent ten years in the NFL, mostly as a right tackle for the Sonny Jurgensen-era Redskins. He later became more well known for his restaurants, particularly in the DC area.

    Walt Kowalczyk (4/17/1935 - 11/7/2018)
    The Westfield native won the Harry Agganis Award in 1954 for the best high school athlete in New England. Kowalczyk was the sixth overall pick in the 1958 draft. He played for the Eagles, Cowboys and Raiders but was more well known for his days at Michigan State. "The Sprinting Blacksmith" was an All American halfback, scoring nine touchdowns and leading the Spartans to a number three ranked 8-1 record.

    Former Michigan State All-American Walt Kowalczyk dies at age 83

    Kowalczyk was a three-year letter-winner under coach Duffy Daugherty and a consensus All-American as a senior in 1957, helping Michigan State to an 8-1 record and a share of a national championship. He rushed for 545 yards and nine touchdowns on 101 carries that season and finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, which remains tied for the best finish ever for a Spartan.

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  16. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Annual Off-Season - Preseason Hall of Fame Award


    Happy 30th birthday to Zach Sudfeld
    Born April 18, 1989 in Santa Cruz
    Patriot TE, 2013; uniform #44

    The 6'7 phenom was an undrafted free agent signing out of Nevada in 2013. Initially he was considered to be nothing more than camp fodder, stuck on the depth chart behind Gronk, Aaron Hernandez, Michael Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells and Jake Ballard. Sudfeld impressed in the offseason and in preseason games - including a TD and two-point conversion in week two. With AH infamously released, Sudfeld went from nobody to fan favorite and survivor of final roster cuts.

    The fairy book tale didn't last long though. In week one a pass bounced off his hands for an interception. After being inactive for a game, in week three a pass thrown his way in the end zone was picked off. Then in week four he fumbled away an onside kick and his New England Patriot career was over.

    In three games with the Patriots Sudfeld had zero receptions on three targets, with two of those passes resulting in interceptions.

    Rex Ryan couldn't help himself and of course claimed Sudfeld off waivers. He appeared in 27 games for the Jets in 2013-14, totaling ten receptions for 148 yards and zero touchdowns. He spent 2015 on IR after tearing his ACL in minicamp, and was released at the end of training camp in 2016.

    His legacy lives on, however. Patriot fans now have the Zach Stud-feld/Markell Carter Award, given to a new player who is wildly overrated by fans and the media during training camp and preseason games.

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    Happy 47th birthday to David Green
    Born April 18, 1972 in Mount Kisco, New York
    Patriot RB, 1995; uniform #38

    Green went to Boston College and rushed for 1018 yards at 5.1 yards per carry his senior year. In the 1994 Aloha Bowl he rushed for 127 yards in a victory over #8 Kansas State. Green appeared in the first two games of the 1995 season for the Patriots on special teams, but never got a chance to touch the ball.

    David Green is most well known for a play he wishes everyone would forget. In 1993 #17 BC defeated #1 Notre Dame 41-39 in what is arguably - despite the legend of Hail Flutie - the greatest football game in BC history. The following week the Eagles moved up from #17 to #11 in the national rankings. The next game was a winner take all showdown for the Big East title with undefeated #5 West Virginia at Alumni Stadium. The Eagles dominated the game but were unable to put the Mountaineers away. BC was driving for a clinching TD, already up 14-10 - but a fumble by Green at the 37 yard line with under 2 minutes left gave West Virginia lfe. The Mountaineers drove down the field to score a go-ahead touchdown, denying the Eagles their first New Year's Day bowl game, and a Big East title.




    Other pro football players with New England connections born today:

    Walt Sweeney (4/18/1941 - 2/2/2013)
    Sweeney is one of only two pro football players from Cohasset. He played his college ball at Syracuse and was the second overall pick in the 1963 AFL draft by San Diego. Sweeney was a nine-time Pro Bowl and two-time All Pro right guard for the Chargers. He played for 13 years and missed just one game during that time, in his final season. The hard living Sweeney probably suffered from the old guard bias that prevented many AFL players from being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Merlin Olsen once said that if he had to play against Sweeney every week, "I'd rather sell used cars."

    John Sinnott, 61 (4/18/1958)
    Sinnott was a left tackle who spent four seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants. He appeared in nine games with seven starts for the Colts in 1982. Sinnott graduated from Dedham High School and Brown University, with a degree in civil engineering. He is now a vice president and Business Unit Leader at Gilbane Building Company.

    Steve Cheek, 42 (4/18/1977)
    Cheek attended UMass and was a punter in 2004 with the Kansas City Chiefs. He also spent time with the Eagles, Giants, Texans, Niners and Panthers. Cheek was also in NFL Europe for two years.

    James Marten, 35 (4/18/1984)
    Marten is a left guard and left tackle from Boston College. He was selected by the Cowboys in the third round (67th overall) in the 2007 draft. He spent time with the Cowboys, Raiders, Bears and Dolphins from 2007-2010, but appeared in only one NFL game.
     
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  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Pat Patriot and a Pats Hall of Famer


    April 19, 1960
    Cartoonist Phil Bissell drew what would become known as Pat Patriot as part of his newspaper duties.

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    Pat gets his name from that first cartoon. Courtesy Phil Bissell

    Great article on Bissell with some Patriot history here:
    The Story Behind Patriot Pat from the Cartoonist Who Created Him

    In 1960, Boston Globe cartoonist Phil Bissell, working for $25 a day, was handed an assignment that would change his life—and the lives of fans of the brand-new AFL football team coming to Boston.

    “Sports editor Jerry Nason came to me and he said, ‘They’ve decided to call the team the Boston Patriots. You better have a cartoon ready for tomorrow’s edition.’ I sat down, I drew that cartoon original of Pat in about 45 minutes,” Bissell said. “I thought about it for about two minutes and went to work. I had to get the day’s work out.”

    The whereabouts of that original drawing are a source of some consternation for Bissell.

    “In those days, I was told I worked for the paper, they owned everything I did, and that was all there was to it,” he said. “And I told them at that time, a cartoonist should be able to get his material back, and what they were being paid—what I was being paid—should just be for use of that cartoon.”

    After submitting it for publication, Bissell never saw the original drawing again.

    “When the cartoon appeared in the paper, Nason took it, he gave it—G-A-V-E—he gave it away to Billy Sullivan, who was the owner of the Patriots,” Bissell said.

    To make matters worse, the drawing would meet an untimely demise. As Bissell describes it, “It went up in flames in Billy Sullivan’s summer home on Cape Cod with all the original cover programs.”

    That said, Bissell describes his relationship with Sullivan, who owned the Patriots from 1960 to 1988, as one of the best he’s ever had.

    “When he got the cartoon, he wrote me a very nice letter thanking me because Jerry said I gave my permission for them to have it. It never happened,” Bissell said.

    Upon learning about this miscommunication, Sullivan called Bissell into his office and not only paid him $100 for the use of his illustration, but hired him to create the artwork for the team’s now-famous program covers—placing an inordinate amount of trust in the cartoonist.

    “Billy Sullivan told me, ‘I don’t want to see any of your covers until I enter the stadium, because when I see the covers in the hands of the people, and they are getting a smile out of it, I know the cartoons have been successful,'” Bissell said. “And that’s the way Billy Sullivan worked. He was an awful good egg.”

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    I was going to check out his book, but $599 for a used paperback?!!!
    Maybe it was a typo and supposed to be $5.99.

    PatsPa!: 65 Years of Cartoons, Caricatures & Creating a Football Icon | Amazon




    Gil Santos
    Born April 19, 1938 in Acushnet
    Died April 19, 1938 in Raynham

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    Patriots Hall of Fame: Gil Santos

    Gil Santos was the voice of the Patriots for 36 seasons – touching five decades. The venerable Santos called 743 career Patriot games and earned the moniker “Voice of the New England Patriots.” Patriots owner and CEO Robert Kraft surprised Santos with the announcement that the legendary radio broadcaster would become the 20th person to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame and just the second non-player to earn the honor as a contributor for his off-field contributions to the team. It is the highest honor the team can bestow an individual.

    Santos began calling games for the Boston Patriots at Fenway Park in 1966. For the first five seasons, he provided color analysis alongside veteran play-by-play man Bob Starr. When the team moved to Foxborough in 1971, Santos moved into his current role as play-by-play voice of the Patriots (1971-79).

    WBZ lost the Patriots radio rights in the 1980s, but got them back in 1991 at which time it returned Santos to his natural position as Voice of the New England Patriots, a position he held for the 22 more seasons until his retirement following the 2012 season. The veteran play-by-play broadcaster was also the sports director of WBZ News Radio in Boston, where he earned dozens of awards and honors for his reporting, sportscasting and play-by-play excellence.

    He retired from WBZ after 38 years in 2009 and was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame that year. In addition to his work at WBZ, the skilled play-by-play broadcaster also called basketball games for the Boston Celtics and Providence Friars, as well as football games for the Penn State Nittany Lions, Boston College Eagles, Brown Bears and Boston Breakers of the USFL. Inducted 2013.







    Happy 67th birthday to Mark van Eeghen

    Born April 19, 1952 in Cambridge
    Patriot FB, 1982-1983; uniform #34

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    Mark van Eeghen was born in Cambridge Mass, grew up in Cranston RI, and went to college at Colgate. While he spent his last two NFL seasons in Foxboro, van Eeghen is primarily known as an Oakland running back. The Raiders released him when they drafted Marcus Allen, and the Pats picked him up at the age of 30.

    In his time with the Patriots van Eeghen appeared in 24 games with 16 starts, totaling 860 yards from scrimmage with three touchdowns. A bit of trivia: his daughter Amber was a Patriot cheerleader, and later married Dan Koppen. In his post-NFL career van Eeghen returned to Rhode Island, working in commercial insurance.

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    2/14/05: A Patriots cheerleader: Catching up with Mark van Eeghen | Boston.com


    “I definitely enjoyed coming back to (New England) to play,” said Van Eeghen. “I went out to California and had a wonderful experience there, but that being said home is home. When things were winding down out there the opportunity became available here in New England and it just was an awesome opportunity.

    “Those were the Ron Meyer years and it was a chance to play with some truly great players and great individuals. Also, the ability to get into my car and be thirty minutes from home was a very good experience.”

    “I’m so excited and it’s been a wonderful thing to watch and develop from 2001 when they upset the Rams,” said Van Eeghen. “Little did we know back then they were laying the foundation for what has developed. The consistency is what’s huge to me and they rarely lay an egg, especially in a game that means something. That’s a tough thing to do in sports, especially at that level.”

    Jim Donaldson: Mark van Eeghen remains loyal to his Raider roots

    Mark van Eeghen, Raiders Fullback January 2, 1978




    One other pro football player with New England connections:

    Joe Scibelli was born April 19, 1939 in Springfield MA
    Died December 11, 1991 at the age of 52 in Boston

    Scibelli was a western Mass native: born in Springfield, graduated from Springfield Cathedral High School, and attended American International College in Springfield. He transferred to Notre Dame and then spent 15 years at right guard for the Los Angeles Rams. Scibelli played in 202 NFL games, plus six playoff games.

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  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Just a little something to keep in your back pocket when the inevitable 'AFC East is crap' point is brought up by a fan of another team, now that the new schedule has been released.



    Of course, said fan will either keep grasping at straws for other stats, or somehow claim the Patriots beat non-division teams because they play in the AFC East o_O - or just flat out ignore the data and keep repeating the same line.
     
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  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Two Rings, Zero Games




    Happy 28th birthday to Tyler Gaffney
    Born April 20, 1991 in San Diego
    Patriot RB 2014-2017
    Uniform #31 ('14), #36 ('15), #35 ('16)


    Gaffney earned a scholarship to Stanford after scoring 99 touchdowns in high school. He was a very good baseball outfielder as well, and left school for a year to play minor league baseball in the Pirates organization. Despite batting .297 with an on base percentage of .483, Gaffney elected to return to Stanford to focus on football.

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    The Panthers took Gaffney in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. He was Carolina's third running back on their depth chart, but his rookie season ended due to a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee during training camp. Thinking nobody would waste a roster spot on a player out for the season, Carolina cut Gaffney with the expectation of re-signing him after clearing waivers to their injured reserve list. The gamble backfired as the Pats claimed the running back. After spending the season on IR Gaffney received a ring for the Pats victory over Seattle in Super Bowl 49.

    Still not 100% healthy, Gaffney was waived in mid-August of 2015. As a result of going unclaimed he spent his second straight season on IR. In September of 2016 it was the same story: waived/injured, cleared waivers and re-signed. He was released with an injury settlement, but later that season re-signed to the Pats practice squad. Gaffney was promoted to the 53-man roster for the week 8 victory at Buffalo, but did not play. After the bye week he ended up back on the practice squad. At the end of the season he received a second ring, for the 28-3 Super Bowl.

    8/13/2016: Playing in the NFL has been a long time coming for Patriots' Tyler Gaffney

    The Patriots released Gaffney prior to the draft in 2017. With James White, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, James Develin and DJ Foster already on the roster it made more sense to just add an undrafted rookie with healthy knees as training camp fodder. Gaffney eventually signed with Jacksonville, but once again he was waived/injured, ending his NFL career. At that point he returned to baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates and he had another good minor league season at the single-A level in 2018. However he couldn't bat his weight once promoted to double-AA ball, and retired from pro baseball.

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    Happy 41st birthday to Omare Lowe
    Born April 20, 1978 in Seattle
    Patriot safety, 2004; uniform #23

    According to his Washington Huskies bio, in high school Lowe was an option QB with 15 TD and over 900 yards rushing. His best sport though was track; at the 1997 state championships he won the 110 high hurdles (14.52), the 300 intermediate hurdles (37.94) and was part of championship 1,600-meter relay team (3:23.07).

    From 2002-08 Lowe was at some point signed with the Dolphins (who drafted him in the fifth round in 2002), Titans, Jets, Vikings, Redskins, Patriots, Seahawks, Falcons, Seahawks again, and Jaguars. Lowe appeared in 43 NFL games with 32 of those in 2005-06 with Atlanta; most of the rest of his NFL days were on practice squads.

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    Lowe spent two weeks in November of 2004 on the Pats practice squad and then played in three games for the Patriots late in the 2004 season. He too received a Super Bowl ring from the Patriots, though at least Omare was wearing a uniform during a real game. Omare was part of the patchwork defensive secondary that was pieced together after Ty Law, Tyrone Poole and Guss Scott all went on injured reserve.

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    12/28/14: Patriots Re-Sign S Je'rod Cherry; S Omare Lowe Re-Joins Practice Squad

    The New England Patriots re-signed safety Je'Rod Cherry to the 53-man roster today. The team subsequently announced that safety Omare Lowe cleared waivers last night and was re-signed to the Patriots practice squad today.

    Lowe, 26, re-joins the practice squad after having spent three stints on the Patriots' active roster this season. He was recently signed from the practice squad to the active roster (Dec. 25) and participated in the Patriots' 23-7 victory over the Jets last Sunday before being waived the following day.

    The 6-foot-1-inch, 195-pounder has played in a total of six NFL games in his career and recorded one special teams tackle. He has played in three games for New England in 2004, participating against Baltimore on Nov. 28, at Miami on Dec. 20 and at the New York Jets on Dec. 26. The University of Washington product was originally drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round (161st overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft.

    Lowe has also spent time on the active rosters of the Miami Dolphins (2002) and the New York Jets (2003), while also seeing time with the practice squads of the Tennessee Titans (2003) and Minnesota Vikings (2004). He played in two games for the Jets last season and saw time in one game with Miami as a rookie in 2002.​





    John Simerson was born April 20, 1935 in Honolulu
    Died August 2, 1992 at the age of 57
    Patriot C/G, 1961; uniform #75


    The 6'3" 275 lb Simerson was born and raised in Hawaii. He was a tackle at Purdue but converted to center in the pros. Simerson was a late (254th overall) draft pick by the Eagles in 1957. He played in a total of 43 games with Philly, Pittsburgh, Houston and the Pats.

    Keeping the championship ring theme going, Simerson appeared in all 14 games for the Oilers when Houston became the first team to win an American Football League title. The following season Simerson played in ten games for the Patriots backing up former Boilermaker teammate Walt Cudzik.

    John Simerson Photo at Purdue

    John Simerson Obituary

    After a knee injury ended his football career, Simerson went to work for Willig Co., one of the largest freight lines on the West Coast. Simerson worked his way up the company, and had served as president and chief executive officer for the past ten years.​




    Other pro football players with New England connections:

    Luke Kuechly turns 28 (born 4/20/1991)
    The linebacker was a two-time All-American at Boston College; his #40 jersey was retired by BC in 2016. He was drafted ninth overall in the 2012 draft by Carolina. Kuechly has been named to the Pro Bowls four times and is a three time All Pro. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Kuechly was plagued with concussions in recent years, but bounced back nicely with a 2018 season that resulted in his being named to the All-Pro team.

    Ernie Stautner, 4/20/1925-2/16/2006 (80)
    The German-born Stautner is another alumnus of Boston College. Stautner was a guard on offense and defensive tackle and end on defense. He played for the Steelers from 1950 through 1963, remarkably missing just one game in those 14 years. Stautner was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969. He then went on to became the defensive coordinator under Tom Landry for the Dallas Cowboys from 1973 to 1988.




    With today being 4/20, who goes into the Patriots all-time 420 team?

    Nominees include Willie Andrews, Josh Gordon, Bob Gladieux, Tony Collins, Mack Herron, Terry Glenn, LeGarrette Blount, Randy Moss, Kevin Faulk, Brandon Browner, AH, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Brian Tyms, Brandon Bolden and Wes Welker.
     
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  20. 1960Pats

    1960Pats PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I really enjoyed the part about the relationship between Phil Bissell and Billy Sullivan concerning the original Pat Patriot. I always liked and appreciated Sullivan and wish that more Pats fans felt the same way.
     
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