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Today in Patriots History Thread

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

  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    An original Patriot and a pro wrestler

    Happy 81st birthday to Gerhard Schwedes
    Born April 23, 1938 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
    Patriot HB, 1960-61; uniform #44

    Pats territorial/bonus pick, 1960 AFL draft/allocation, from Syracuse

    The AFL's first draft | Pro Football Hall of Fame

    On November 22, 1959, not long after the American Football League was founded, the first AFL draft occurred. At the time, no front offices or coaching staffs were complete and no more than half of the eight teams even had any scouts or personnel staff.

    This draft certainly was unlike the NFL draft of today in which millions of people watch on television accompanied by large stacks of draft guides. This draft was held in secret and the merits of each player were determined during the selection process.

    To begin the draft, each of the eight teams received one territorial/bonus pick to help ensure every team had a regional draw to help the financial success of each franchise. These regional picks did not occur in any order. Instead, they were unanimously agreed upon by the other teams.

    Following the territorial picks, a consensus was determined as to who the top eight players at each position were – due to the rules of the time, college players were generally listed by their offensive positions only. The names of each position were then put into a box and drawn for by each club. This process continued until each team had 33 selections, or three offensive units.

    A second round of selections occurred two weeks later on December 2. The process was similar to the first selection meeting but consisted of only 20 rounds.

    Even though it was a consensus and territorial allocation, Schwedes is considered to be the answer to the trivia question of who was the first player "drafted" in the history of the Patriots franchise.

    (If you are interested in more detail on that first AFL draft, and the formation of the league prior to the first kickoff, I recommend this interesting, highly informative and very detailed account of what was happening with the eight owners back in 1959):

    -->> Demystifying the Inaugural American Football League Draft

    Ger Schwedes was an All-American and captain at Syracuse, playing halfback, safety and quarterback. In 1959 the Orange went undefeated and beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl to win the National Championship. Schwedes played a pivotal role in the game, throwing an 87-yard halfback option pass to RB Ernie Davis to score the game’s first touchdown on the third play of the game, and running for another TD himself in the third quarter. Schwedes finished ninth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.


    The Pats traded the German-born Schwedes to the Titans before the season began, then re-signed him in mid-season. Injuries derailed his pro career though. In seven games over two seasons with the Patriots, Schwedes rushed for 14 yards on ten carries and had one reception for 21 yards. After a stint in the Army where he rose to the rank of captain, he then moved to upstate New York, owning a small marketing company that specialized in motivational aids.

    Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame | Gerhard Schwedes

    His son Scott also went to Syracuse, setting school receiving records that lasted for 31 years. While the younger Schwedes was in high school he played against PatsFan Andy Johnson. Scott Schwedes was drafted in the second round by Miami; he was with the Dolphins from 1987-90 as their punt returner and backup WR.


    Happy 35th birthday to Quinn Ojinnaka
    Born April 23, 1984 in Seabrook, Maryland
    Patriot G/T, 2010; uniform #68

    The Pats picked up Ojinnaka near the end of the 2010 training camp from Atlanta, in exchange for a 2011 seventh round pick. He had previously been suspended for one week for an off season arrest, then replaced Marques Murrell on the roster. The Patriots cut Ojinnaka on September 30 to make room for RB Thomas Clayton, and then re-signed Ojinnaka a week later. He appeared in eight regular season games and one playoff games with the Patriots. In seven NFL seasons he played in 62 games with 20 starts.

    Ojinnaka is one of at least three former Patriots (Brennan Williams, Monty Brown) that turned to pro wrestling after their NFL careers ended. He goes by the name of Moose and is a former two-time Impact Grand Champion.

    Three years ago in an interview with Sports Illustrated, Ojinnaka had the following to say:

    “I’d love to give Goodell a spear,” said Ojinnaka, who is known in Ring of Honor as Moose. “Free Tom Brady.”

    The 6’5”, 300-pound former offensive lineman–who is about to become the biggest free agent in wrestling–is furious about Goodell’s treatment of the Brady suspension.

    “Goodell lost the battle,” said Moose. “Tom Brady played last year, and he is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, so why would the NFL not want to see him play? They’re making a lot of money off the guy, and I really thought we ended this last year.”

    “Playing under Bill Belichick helped me a lot with how I get ready for a match,” said Moose. “Bill Belichick got you better prepared than any other coach in the NFL, and that’s one of the reasons why I come so prepared to my matches. I watch tape of my opponent, I study my opponent and I go into the match knowing more about him than he knows about himself.”

    Moose explained that Belichick treated him in the same manner that he treated every other player.

    “On the field, Belichick was an a--hole to everybody,” said Moose. “At the end of the day, all he cared about was winning.”

    Happy 77th birthday to Jim Kelly
    Born April 23, 1942 in McKeesport, PA
    Pats 2nd round (13th overall) selection of the 1964 AFL draft, from Notre Dame

    The Notre Dame tight end was also a second round pick by Pittsburgh, and he signed with the Steelers rather than the Pats. Kelly only lasted three seasons in the NFL, totaling 31 receptions for 531 yards and five touchdowns.

    Other pro football players with New England connections:

    Shawn Halloran turns 55 (born 4/23/1964)
    Halloran was born in Gardner and is an alumnus of Oakmont Regional High School in Ashburnham. He then went to Boston College and fared well in the unenviable role of following Doug Flutie as the quarterback at BC. Halloran threw for 5,252 yards and 30 touchdowns and was the starting QB in '85 and '86 with the Eagles. In their 9-3 1986 season his touchdown pass in the final seconds of play gave BC a 27- 24 victory over Georgia in the 1986 Hall of Fame Bowl.

    In 1987-88 Halloran backed up Neil Lomax with the Rams. He made only three NFL appearances, going 1-1 in his two starts. Since then he has moved around in various ranks as a college football assistant coach. Halloran is now the athletic director at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas.

    Tony Elliott, 4/23/1959 - 12/31/2007 (49)
    Elliott is from Bridgeport, where he graduated from Harding High School. The nose tackle was drafted by New Orleans in the fifth round of the 1982 draft. Elliott played in 85 games with 61 starts for the Saints from 1982 to 1988. He once said that he 'had three loves: football, cocaine and booze'. In 2000 he was shot and paralyzed by an alleged drug dealer. For more on his life, see this 2008 espn column: Tony Elliott's life, death took tragic turns.

    Scott Lutrus, 31 (4/23/1988)
    The Brookfield CT native stayed local, moving 65 miles to UConn. The linebacker was originally signed by Jacksonville, and then was part of the Rams practice squad. Indy signed him late in the 2011 season, and he appeared in four games. He spent 2012 on IR and was waived/injured by the Colts in 2013. He later played in the short lived Fall Experimental Football League, until it folded in 2015.

    Kyle Juszczyk, 28 (4/23/1991)
    "Juice" was a tight end at Harvard, and drafted in the fourth round (130th overall) by the Ravens in 2013. He has been a fullback since entering the NFL, and made the Pro Bowl three years in a row. As a free agent Juszczyk signed a four year, $21 million contract with the Niners in 2017, making him the highest paid fullback in NFL history.
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  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    April 24 Events

    April 24, 2012:
    The Patriots officially placed 33 year old LT Matt Light on the reserve/retired list. After being selected in the second round of the 2001 draft Light played his entire pro football career with the Patriots, serving as quarterback Tom Brady's blind side protector. Light was a first-team All-Pro in 2007 and a member of the AFC Pro Bowl team in 2006 and '07. He played his college football at Purdue, where he was left tackle for another future Hall of Fame quarterback: Drew Brees.

    Happy 71st birthday to Jim Massey
    Born April 24, 1948 in McMinnville, Oregon
    Patriot CB, 1974-1975; uniform #47

    Massey had an unusual path to the NFL. He went to tiny Neah-Kah-Nie High School (enrollment of 230 students) on the north Oregon coast. He enrolled at the University of Oregon but felt out of place at such a comparatively large school. Massey transferred to Linfield College, which was an NAIA school (now Division III). He rushed for 1,709 yards and scored 21 touchdowns, earning the nickname "The Mule" for his toughness.

    The Rams drafted Massey in the tenth round (251st overall) but he was cut after the sixth preseason game. He spent one season with the CFL's BC Lions and then signed with the Patriots in April of 1974. He played in one game but then went on IR with an ankle injury. Massey was a standout on special teams, playing in all 14 games in 1975 with one start. He missed all of '76 with another injury and retired in 1977. After returning to school to get his masters, Massey worked as a data processing manager.

    Linfield Wildcats Hall of Fame member Jim Massey

    Wildcatville: Jim Massey's NFL experience

    One other pro football player with a New England connection:

    Happy 66th birthday to Mike Esposito
    Born April 24, 1953

    Esposito was born in Everett and grew up in Wilmington. He went to Boston College and set school records for single season rushing yards, career rushing yards and touchdowns. The Falcons drafted Esposito in the 7th round (159th overall) in 1975. He played for the Falcons until 1978, primarily on special teams and as a fullback, appearing in 42 games with two touchdowns.

    A photo taken at a hospital prior to the 1974 East-West Shrine Game with Esposito in it is still used today as the game's official logo.


    Michael Esposito - Boston College Athletics, Varsity Club Hall of Fame

    Ex-Wilmington High football star's invention is on the level | Lowell Sun

    Story Behind the Logo | Shrine Game

    After all of these years, Mike Esposito is still a very big deal in Wilmington - The football career and story of the greatest Wildcat player
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  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    It is Draft Day: Time to Overreact!!!!!

    April 25, 1993:
    Thanks to a strength of schedule tiebreaker (and blowing a winnable final game of the 1992 season), the Patriots have the first pick in the 1995 draft rather than Seattle.

    The Pats dodge a bullet and select Drew Bledsoe rather than Rick Mirer.

    Happy birthday to Bill Brown
    Born April 25, 1936 in Mount Kisko, New York
    Died April 18, 1989 at the age of 52
    Patriot LB/C, 1960; uniform #54

    Bill Brown went to the University of Bridgeport and then transferred to Syracuse, where he graduated in 1958. He was the defensive captain for the Orange, who were a top ten team back then.

    Brown was a middle linebacker for the Patriots in 1960, appearing in all 14 games. He then became a high school football coach on Long Island, with his teams finishing undefeated four times. After that Brown served on the coaching staffs at C.W. Post and Hofstra University, before dying from cancer at age 52.


    Happy 30th birthday to Markus Zusevics
    Born April 25, 1989
    Patriot OL, 2012-13; uniform #66

    At the 2012 combine Zusevics tore a pectoral muscle while participating in the bench press, and as a result went undrafted. In May the Patriots signed him and he began the year on the reserve/non-football injury list. The 6'5, 300-pound former Iowa Hawkeye was later added to the 53-man roster due to injuries on the offensive line, but never appeared in a regular-season game with the team. At the end of training camp in 2013 Zusevics landed on IR due to another pec injury, and was waived in March of 2014. The Jets signed him in May after a tryout during their rookie minicamp. He was released near the end of their training camp and never did appear in a regular season NFL game.


    Happy 34th birthday to Jacob Bender
    Born April 25, 1985 in Mayo, Maryland
    Patriot OT, 2008

    Similar to Zusevics, Bender is an offensive lineman who never appeared in any games for the Patriots. The 6'6, 316-pound product of Nicholls State was on the New England practice squad in 2008, from September 1 to November 19. Bender was a 6th round draft pick by the Jets in 2007, and the Pats picked him up after their final roster cuts of training camp in '08. San Francisco later signed Bender to their roster off New England's practice squad, then waived him just before the start of the 2009 season. Bender also spent time with the Giants, New Orleans, Washington and Carolina, but appeared in only two NFL games.


    4/14/2014: Edgewater native hopes to turn life around on football field, return to NFL

    12/8/2018: Former Jets draft pick arrested on drugs, weapons charges

    Fortunately for Bender his legal issues are nothing compared to the next player born today.

    Unhappy 49th birthday to Corwin Brown
    Born April 25, 1970 in Chicago
    Patriots SS, 1993-96; uniform #30
    Patriot DB coach, 2010

    Pats 4th round (110th overall) selection of the 1993 draft, from Michigan

    Brown started 12 games as a rookie but served mostly as a backup and on special teams the following three seasons. In four years with the Patriots he played in 61 games with 14 starts, making 91 tackles with three fumble recoveries. In '97 Brown followed Bill Parcells to the Jets, and then spent 1999-2000 in Detroit.

    (6/17/2010) Early coaching tendencies: Brown wanted to play, then analyze

    The following year Brown reunited with former Patriot coach Al Groh, as the special teams coach at the University of Virginia. He later spent three seasons as the defensive backs coach for the Jets, and then was the DC for Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. In 2010 Bill Belichick hired Brown as a defensive backs coach but he lasted only one season. Reportedly Brown "just wasn't a good coach".


    Things went disastrous for Brown after that. In 2011 a SWAT team was called in after neighbors reported a domestic disturbance and authorities heard gunfire. Corwin - who may have suffered from brain trauma - was hospitalized with a self inflicted gun wound and in 2012 he was sentenced to a suspended four-year sentence for hitting his wife, and pleading guilty but mentally ill to felony confinement and domestic battery.

    Ex-Notre Dame coach Corwin Brown to remain on probation

    One player with New England roots born today:

    Dave Rozumek, 63 (4/25/1954)
    Rozumek was born and raised in Lawrence, and he is one of ten players from the University of New Hampshire that went on to become a starter in the NFL for at least one season. The Chiefs selected Rozumek in the 15th round (415th overall) in the 1976 draft. He started all 16 games at inside linebacker for Kansas City in 1978, and appeared in 45 games overall with the Chiefs from 1976-79. After a career-ending shoulder injury he returned to New England, as head coach at Salem (NH) High School. In 1985 Rozumek was one of a group of four people to split the winnings of a $5.3 million Megabucks jackpot.
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  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Steve Nelson, Julius Adams and Mosi Tatupu

    April 26 is a mega-birthday date in New England Patriots history. On this date Pats legends Julius Adams, Steve Nelson and Mosi Tatupu were born.

    Happy 68th birthday to Steve Nelson
    Born April 26, 1951 in Farmington, Minnesota
    Patriot LILB, 1974-1987; uniform #57 (retired)
    Pats 2nd round (34th overall) selection of the 1974 draft, from North Dakota State

    Even though Nelson was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame way back in 1993, he may be one of the Pats' and pro football's most overlooked players. Had Ben Dreith not robbed the Patriots of a 1976 Lombardi trophy (or Billy Sullivan's cheapness derailed a multi-year run), Nelson would be far more well known by football fans across the country.

    Including the playoffs he started 178 games for the Patriots, with an appropriate 1776 tackles - 10.2 per game. In one 1982 game against the Jets he made 22 tackles! Nelson was voted to three Pro Bowls and named as a first team All Pro by Pro Football Weekly and The Sporting News in 1980. He had 17 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries, and 100+ tackles in nine of his 14 seasons. The 17 picks is second most by a linebacker in franchise history, trailing only Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti; it is also tied for 15th most overall in club history. Nelson's 174 regular season games played is 11th most in Patriot history, and the 16 fumble recoveries ranks second to Hall of Famer Andre Tippett's 19.

    Steve Nelson was also named to the New England Patriots 1970s All-Decade Team, 1980s All-Decade Team, the 35th Anniversary Team, the 50th Anniversary Team, and the 2000 Team of the Century. He played 14 consecutive seasons for the Patriots, the most in team history for a defensive player and fourth most overall.

    Meddlesome Man in the Middle: Few people outside of Foxboro, Mass. have heard of Steve Nelson, the Patriots' inside linebacker, but he may be the best in the NFL | Sports Illustrated, 1978

    Patriots HOFer Steve Nelson Interview (2012)

    Happy birthday to Julius Adams, who would have been 71 today
    Born April 26, 1948 in Macon, Georgia
    Died March 24, 2016 at the age of 67
    Patriot RDE, 1971-1987; uniform #85

    Pats 2nd round (27th overall) selection of the 1971 draft, from Texas Southern


    With Raymond Clayborn finally getting his long overdue acknowledgement, nobody other than Julius Adams is more deserving of induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Similar to Nelson, Adams suffers from lack of national recognition due to no fault of his own; despite his superb effort, his teams never won a Superbowl.

    Adams spent his entire career with the Pats, playing in a total of 212 games - most in team history for a defensive player, and third most overall. His 79.5 career sacks rank second to only Andre Tippett in career franchise history - though that number could be more since sacks were not accurately tracked until 1982.


    Julius Adams is also a member of the New England Patriots 1970s All-Decade Team, 1980s All-Decade Team, the 35th Anniversary Team, the 50th Anniversary Team, and the 2000 Team of the Century.

    Pro Football Journal: R.I.P. Julius "The Jewel" Adams

    When Jack Youngblood arrived in Chicago for the 1971 College All-Star game practices he thought he was in the wrong place....

    Also in camp was Julius Adams, who Youngblood had never heard of before, but he saw a 6-3 260-pound man with amazing natural strength and quickness. At that point, Youngblood, at 242 pounds, felt like "someone's kid brother".


    Happy birthday to Mosi Tatupu, who would have been 64 today
    Born April 26, 1955 in Pago Pago, American Samoa
    Died February 23, 2010 at the age of 54
    Patriot RB/ST ace, 1978-1990; uniform #30

    Pats 8th round (215th overall) selection of the 1978 draft, from USC

    The fan favorite had his best game in the historic Squish the Fish game. Tatupu memorably placed a bone jarring hit on a Miami kick returner, causing a fumble that led to a Patriot touchdown. Later in the second half Tatupu bulled his way in for a touchdown that essentially clinched the victory, which put the Patriots in their first ever Superbowl. Sadly he died far too young, probably from CTE that came about from his selflessly reckless style of play.

    The legacy of his special teams play lives on. The Mosi Tatupu Award is given annually to the College Football Special Teams Player of the Year by the Maui Quarterback Club and the Hula Bowl.

    Although he was not a starter, Tatupu ranks 16th in Patriot history with 2,415 rushing yards and 14th with 18 rushing touchdowns. Tatupu missed only 14 games in 13 years with the Patriots, with half of those coming after a 1982 injury.His 194 regular season games played ranks fifth all time in franchise history, behind only Tom Brady, Bruce Armstrong, Julius Adams and Stephen Gostkowski.

    Happy birthday to Rod Shoate, who would have been 66 today
    Born April 26, 1953 in Spiro, Oklahoma
    Died October 4, 1999 at the age of 46
    Patriot ROLB, 1975-1981; uniform #56

    Pats 2nd round (41st overall) selection of the 1975 draft, from Oklahoma

    Shoate played for Chuck Fairbanks at Oklahoma, and the two reunited in Foxboro. He was a good starter for four seasons but things badly unraveled after an injury that led to the end of his career - and then a fatal downward spiral.

    Rod Shoate played in 79 games with 64 starts over six seasons, all with the Patriots. He had five interceptions and seven fumble recoveries. Shoate's one pick-six came in the third quarter of a 1980 game against Bert Jones and the Colts. His 47-yard return gave the Pats a 17-0 lead, and what had been a close game turned into a 47-21 rout. The Pats improved to 8-4, but the offense sputtered the next two games, and ended up missing the playoffs by one game.


    Rod Shoate's College Football Hall of Fame Election a blessing for his family

    Rod Shoate (2013) - College Football Hall of Fame

    Happy 29th birthday to Sealver Siliga
    Born April 26, 1990 in West Jordan, Utah
    Patriot DT, 2013-2015; uniform #71 ('13), #96

    The Pats signed the former Denver Bronco to their practice squad in October of 2013, and he later started four games that year. In three seasons he appeared in 25 regular season games with 13 starts. He had 95 tackles (41 solo), 8 tackles for a loss, 6 QB hits, 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

    Siliga also played in seven Patriot playoff games, including a start in Super Bowl 49. He later played briefly for the Seahawks and Buccaneers - where he generously left a $1000 Christmas Eve tip at an Applebee's.

    Happy 55th birthday to Tim Jordan
    Born April 26, 1964 in Madison, Wisconsin
    Patriot OLB, 1987-1989; uniform #93
    Pats 4th round (107th overall) selection of the 1987 draft, from Wisconsin

    In three seasons Jordan appeared in 30 games, with ten starts when Andre Tippett was injured. He had three sacks, an interception and three fumble recoveries. He is now a project manager with JP Cullen, a Wisconsin construction management firm.

    Happy 69th birthday to Bob McCall
    Born April 26, 1950 in Sarasota, FL
    Patriot RB, 1973; uniform #24

    McCall was a Cincinnati fifth round draft pick out of Arizona in '73, but never played in any games for the Bengals. His first NFL appearance came in week 7, and McCall went on to play in eight games with one start in Chuck Fairbanks first season as Pats HC. His stat line reads 10 carries, three receptions, two kickoff returns - and four fumbles - which explains the brevity of his pro football career.

    Happy 43rd birthday to Jeff Paulk
    Born April 26, 1976 in Phoenix
    Patriot FB, 2000; uniform #46

    A third round pick by Atlanta in 1999, Paulk barely had a cup of coffee in the NFL. He played in one game in Bill Belichick's first season as head coach in Foxboro and is now a firefighter back in his native Arizona.

    1996 Sun Devils Prove There Is Life Beyond Football

    Happy 35th birthday to Thomas Clayton
    Born April 26, 1984 in Alexandria, Virginia
    Patriot RB, 2010; uniform #22

    Clayton was signed and released three times by the Patriots in 2010, bouncing back and forth between the Pats and the Browns. His only appearance with New England was in the final game of the 2010 season when he had six carries in a 38-7 victory over Miami. press releases:
    6/11/2010 - Patriots sign RB Thomas Clayton; Release Three
    8/11/2010 - Patriots re-sign RB Thomas Clayton; Release G Darnell Stapleton
    9/30/2010 - Patriots sign RB Thomas Clayton; Release OL Quinn Ojinnaka

    Happy 34th birthday to Corey Hilliard
    Born April 26, 1985 in New Orleans
    Patriot OT, 2007 (offseason); uniform #63
    Pats 6th round (209th overall) selection of the 2007 draft, from Oklahoma State

    The offensive tackle from Oklahoma State did not make the roster, cut on September 1. From 2007-14 he appeared in 47 games with 12 starts for the Colts and Lions. He was also with the Browns at one point, and retired in 2015 six weeks after signing with the Jets.

    5/16/2007 - Meet the Rookies - OL Corey Hilliard |

    Happy 71st birthday to Phil Olsen
    Born April 26, 1948 in Logan, Utah
    Patriot DT, 1970
    Pats 1st round (4th overall) selection of the 1970 draft, from Utah State

    Never as good as older brother Merlin, Phil refused to play for the Patriots. In some ways I can't blame him, but who the hell was he to think that way? After the draft Olsen suffered a knee injury getting ready for the College All-Star Game. That resulted in his sitting out his entire rookie season due to the injury. His contract then became void because of a loophole in his contract regarding an option clause. He was picked up by the Rams, who gave the Patriots their first-round pick the following year in exchange for Olsen.

    One other NFL player with New England roots:
    Damik Scafe, 31
    The defensive end is a native of Windsor CT and went to Boston College. Scafe was with the San Diego Chargers from 2011-14, appearing in two games in 2012.
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  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    A Day of Head-Scratching Draft Picks

    April 27, 2012 was not the greatest of draft days in Patriot history.

    - In the second round with the 48th overall pick, the Patriots draft Illinois S Tavon Wilson.

    Wilson was projected to be a 6th or 7th round draft pick, or possibly go undrafted. He had not even been invited to the NFL draft combine. He started some as a rookie and got a decent amount of playing time (464 defensive snaps, 42%) in 2012, but he wasn't particularly impressive. He was better on special teams, but why draft a ST player so early? If the team wanted a safety they should have traded up (for Harrison Smith or Mark Barron), waited (George Iloka was available in the fifth round; he has started 79 games at safety) - or just selected Wilson if he was still available in the sixth or seventh?

    The Patriots are known for drafting down or into the following year. Why not do that here, rather than drafting a special teams ace?

    - Patriots traded their second (62nd overall) to Green Bay for a third (90th overall) and a fifth (163rd overall).

    In the 3rd round with the 90th overall pick, the Patriots drafted Arkansas DE Jake Bequette.

    In his rookie season Bequette was on the field for 29 snaps over three games, primarily in garbage time. The next year Bequette was on the field for 11 defensive snaps in a blowout versus the Bucs, plus three more snaps a couple weeks later. He also appeared in 36 special team snaps, with about half coming in the game against the Saints.

    In 2014 Bequette was a training camp cut. He was re-signed to the practice squad and managed to remain there for the entire season - thus receiving a Super Bowl ring despite never being on the 53-man roster. Somehow Bequette was still not shown the door, as the Pats attempted to convert him to tight end in the 2015 off season. He was mercifully released before the start of the 2015 season, becoming a free agent. None of the 31 other teams ever brought Bequette in for even a workout, ending his pro football career.

    Meanwhile the Packers selected Vanderbilt corner Casey Hayward with the draft pick they received from New England. Hayward had immediate impact with six interceptions his rookie season. Since then he has gone to two pro bowls, once led the NFL in interceptions, and is still to this day a solid starting CB.

    Happy 44th birthday to Rabih Abdullah
    Born April 27, 1975 in Martinsville, Virginia
    Patriot RB, 2004; uniform #27

    Abdullah went undrafted out of Lehigh, but made Tampa Bay's 1998 roster after rushing for 280 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason. He appeared in 83 NFL games and was a special teams standout, registering 90 career ST tackles. The Patriots signed Abdullah on September 11, 2004 and he was active for seven of the next eight games before being waived on November 22. The Pats resigned him a month later, and he earned a ring in Super Bowl 39.

    Abdullah scored one touchdown with the Patriots. On 10/10/2004 his one-yard rush gave the Pats a 24-7 lead midway through the third quarter against Dave Wannstedt and the Miami Dolphins. That game is most notable for being when Wes Welker caught Bill Belichick's attention. Welker was the lone bright spot for Miami, with five kickoff returns (101 yards), five punt returns (41 yards), one tackle, 1-1 of field goals, 1-1 on extra points, and three good kickoffs.

    Unfortunately for Abdullah he has had some legal troubles in his post-NFL life, with a DUI in 2004, followed by a 2006 arrest for DUI, gun and marijuana charges, and then a 2008 violation for driving on a suspended license.


    Happy 59th birthday to Mike Kerrigan
    Born April 27, 1960 in Chicago
    Patriot QB, 1983-1984; uniform #19

    Kerrigan was a three-year starter at Northwestern, and at that time ranked second as their all-time leading passer. The Pats signed him as an undrafted rookie in 1982, but after a preseason concussion he spent the year on IR. Kerrigan saw very little playing time, backing up Steve Grogan and Tony Eason on Ron Meyer's 1983 team, and Meyer/Raymond Berry's club in '84. His career stat line was 7/15 for 85 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, with the Pats going 1-1 in those games.

    Kerrigan went on to have a successful career in the Canadian Football League. In his first season he led the Hamilton Tiger Cats to a 39-15 Grey Cup championship, despite entering the game as 12-point underdogs. Kerrigan played in three Grey Cups (winning two). He was a two-time CFL All-Star, and named the MVP of the 1986 Grey Cup.

    Inside the most exciting game in CFL history

    With 44 seconds left in the fourth frame, Mike Kerrigan threw a nine-yard TD pass to a leaping, twisting Tony Champion to help Hamilton create a 40-40 tie. Champion made that remarkable catch while shrugging off the extreme discomfort of broken ribs.

    Undaunted, Austin moved Saskatchewan into field-goal range, whereupon Dave Ridgway settled matters from 35 yards away with two seconds remaining in the greatest of all 104 Grey Cup games.

    Happy 29th birthday to John Hughes
    Born April 27, 1988 in Columbus, Ohio
    Patriot DT, 2016; uniform #94

    Hughes was a third round pick by Cleveland in 2012. The Browns released Hughes 18 months after signing him to a four-year, $14 million contract extension. On the Tuesday preceding week 4 of 2016 the Pats signed Hughes, to replace the roster spot vacated after releasing DL Anthony Johnson. Four days later Hughes was waived, to make room for TE Greg Scruggs. After that Hughes bounced around between Tampa, New Orleans and Buffalo. He finished his NFL career with 66 games played, with 55 of those (and all ten starts) coming during his time in Cleveland.


    Happy 59th birthday to Ricky Williams
    Born April 27, 1960 in Santa Monica
    Patriot RB, 1983
    Pats 9th round (233rd overall) selection of the 1983 draft, from Langston

    The first of three NFL running backs named Ricky Williams never played for the Patriots, but did appear in three NFL games for the Raiders. It is a challenge to find much information on this Williams, due to his having the same name as the more well known former Miami Dolphin, going to an NAIA college in Oklahoma, and playing for such a brief period of time, pre-internet.

    8/28/82: New Langston Coach Unsure What To Expect

    Happy 78th birthday to Lee Roy Jordan
    Born April 27, 1941 in Excel, Alabama

    Pats 2nd round (14th overall) selection of the 1961 AFL draft, from Alabama

    Jordan also never played for the Patriots, but that is where his similarity to Williams ends. The five-time All Pro played middle linebacker in Dallas for 14 seasons. It is a mystery why the Pats wasted a second round pick on such a high profile player, a southern native who was obviously going to choose the NFL over an upstart low-budget cold weather AFL team.

    Lee Roy Jordan’s storied performance in 1963 Orange Bowl sparked Alabama’s lone win over Oklahoma

    Warm Weather Led Lee Roy Jordan to Cowboys
    Alabama linebacker Lee Roy Jordan was the second first-round NFL Draft pick in Dallas Cowboys history. He had the choice of going to Dallas or Boston. It was a no-brainer, he said.

    Lee Roy Jordan Lumber Company
    Lee Roy Jordan leads the industry as one of the largest suppliers of Redwood and other fine specialty woods in eight states. A successful businessman and former Dallas Cowboy, Lee Roy Jordan's determination to be the best continues into the 21st century.

    In fourteen years as a Dallas Cowboy, Lee Roy Jordan competed in three Super Bowls, was named All-Pro twice and participated in the Pro Bowl four times. As a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, the National College Hall of Fame, and the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame, Lee Roy was also inducted into the Dallas Cowboy Ring of Honor in 1990.

    After a successful career in football, Lee Roy purchased "Redwood Lumber Company of Dallas", the largest exclusive dealer of redwood in the southwest that began in 1952. In 1977, after the purchase, the name was changed to "Lee Roy Jordan Redwood Lumber Company". A proven leader in Redwood products, Lee Roy Jordan has maintained the quality and diversity for not only Redwood, but other specialty woods as well.

    Other pro football players with New England connections:

    Ethan Brooks turns 47 (4/27/1972)
    Brooks was born in Hartford, raised in Simsbury and is a graduate of Williams College in Amherst. The Falcons selected Brooks in the 7th round of the 1996 draft, and Atlanta converted him from DT to OT. Over nine years Brooks played with the Falcons, Rams, Cardinals, Ravens and Cowboys, appearing in 76 games with 26 starts. He returned to his alma mater where he now works as a strength and conditioning coach.

    Great off-field story about Brooks from the Baltimore Sun, back in 2002:
    Ravens' Brooks blocks pain, too

    Emmett Cleary turns 29 (4/27/1990)
    The offensive tackle was a BC Eagle, graduating in 2012. Over the next two years he spent offseasons with the Colts and Raiders, and was on the practice squad for the Bucs and Bengals. Cleary signed with the Giants in 2015, finally making it to an active roster in November. He played in 13 games for Dallas in 2016, and seven for Detroit in 2017. Cleary retired in 2018 with plans to attend medical school at the University of Southern California.

    Greg Meehan turns 56 (4/27/1963)
    Meehan's New England roots are very minimal: he was born at Otis Air Force Base. The wide receiver from Bowling Green signed with San Diego after going undrafted, but was cut during training camp. He started three games in 1987 for Cincinnati as one of the replacement players. Meehan is now the Vice President and General Manager of the Continuous Glucose Monitoring business at Medtronic Diabetes, a global medical technology device company.
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  6. Actual Pats Fan

    Actual Pats Fan Supporter Supporter

    May 26, 2016
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    Nobody other than Adams is more deserving of induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

    Similar to Nelson, Adams suffers from national recognition due to no fault of his own:

    Ben Dreith and the officials on December 18, 1976.

    He spent his entire career with the Patriots: 16 years.

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  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Patriots Draft A Rugby Player

    A tip of the hat to anyone that remembers even just one of these former Patriots that were born on April 28:

    Happy 38th birthday to Christian Morton
    Born April 28, 1981 in St Louis, Missouri
    Patriot CB, 2004; uniform #25
    Pats 7th round (233rd overall) selection of the 2004 draft, from Illinois

    Staring in 2004 many Bill Belichick detractors shouted that BB was incapable assessing defensive backs, and Morton was part of that initial draft class. In the hoodie's defense, Morton was an extremely late pick in the 2004 draft: the very last selection prior to supplemental picks. Regardless, Morton was lumped in with safeties Guss Scott and Dexter Reid as evidence that Belichick was a horrible GM by the naysayers. Morton never played a single down for the Pats other than in the preseason; the Pats cut him after training camp on September 5. From 2004 to 2009 he bounced around the league between Cleveland, Atlanta (twice), Washington (twice), Carolina, Denver and Tennessee. Morton appeared in a total of 14 NFL games with one interception, four passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

    8/18/04: Rookie Spotlight: CB Christian Morton |

    Happy 62nd birthday to Ken Hartley
    Born April 28, 1957 in Hamilton, Bermuda
    Patriot punter, 1981; uniform #7

    Though he was born in Bermuda, Hartley was actually a local: he went to King Philip High School in Wrentham, and Dean Junior College in Franklin. In Ron Erhardt's final season as head coach for the Patriots the team had plenty of positions that needed an upgrade, and punter was no exception. The season began with Mike Hubach handling the duties, but after five games and a 38.2 yard average he was let go. Things got worse with Hartley, who lasted only two weeks. In his first game a partially blocked punt led to a touchdown in a 28-24 loss to the Jets. The following week against the Oilers Hartley punted for 50 yards - not an average, but a total for his two punts. In total Hartley had nine punts for 266 yards and a long of 41, averaging 29.6 yards per punt. He was replaced by Rich Camarillo, who brought stability and competence to the position over the next seven seasons. Hartley later spent two seasons with San Antonio in the USFL.


    Happy 74th birthday to Phil Clark
    Born April 28, 1945 in Burlington, Kentucky
    Patriot safety, 1971; uniform #22

    Clark is the answer to a trivia question asking what was the worst trade in the history of the Patriot franchise - which says quite a bit, considering the competition. On October 1, 1971 the Patriots traded RB Rocky Bleier to Pittsburgh for Clark, who had been benched as starter with both Dallas and Chicago in the previous two seasons. From Donald Hubbard's book, 100 Things Patriots Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die: Dynasty Edition, there is this explanation:

    A Loyal Soldier
    One of the Patriots' worst trades may be their most obscure one. On October 1, 1971, they traded former Pittsburgh Steelers RB Rocky Bleier back to Pittsburgh for safety Phil Clark. Bleier, a rare modern professional athlete who fought in the Vietnam War, returned badly wounded from that conflict. As a Steeler, he gained thousands of yards and helped lead fellow back Franco Harris to even more. Clark played two games for the Patriots as his career ended that fall. Most likely the trade constituted a favor to Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who wanted to keep Bleier on the roster while he recovered from his war wounds.

    Clark is now employed in the health field, focusing on non-traditional wellness.

    Guided Meditation with Philip Clark

    April 28, 2012:
    The Patriots trade their fifth round (163rd overall) draft back to Green Bay, in exchange for picks 7.224 and 7.235. (The Packers take North Carolina State OLB Terrell Manning with the pick. Manning lasts three seasons in the NFL, playing 11 games between five teams.)

    In the 6th round with the 197th overall pick, the Patriots draft Ohio State safety and rugby player Nate Ebner.

    The move raised eyebrows: Ebner did not play college football until earning a roster spot as a walk-on his junior year, and never started, playing almost exclusively on special teams. (To date Ebner has played in 97 regular season games with the Patriots, logging 2,077 special teams snaps and 139 more on defense. He has also taken part in 15 playoff games, during which the Pats have gone 12-3, with three Super Bowl championships)

    In the 7th round with the 224th pick, the Patriots draft Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard.

    At one time Dennard was projected to be a first round draft pick. He played poorly in the Senior Bowl and an injuries prevented him from fully participating in the Combine. Then just a week before the draft he got in a fight at 2 am outside a bar. Police were called and Dennard not only kept fighting, he punched a police officer in the face.

    Dennard played well enough to start at corner with the Patriots, but his inability to stay away from alcohol did him in. Terms of probation for a DUI included alcohol and drug tests, which he either failed, or failed to take. That led to five days in jail and the Patriots decided the downside of unreliability and negative publicity (post-AH) was not worth keeping Dennard around, even though the Pats had already lost Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Kyle Arrington in free agency.

    In the 7th round with the 235th pick, the Patriots draft Northwestern WR Jeremy Ebert.

    Post-draft the Patriots signed some undrafted rookie free agents:
    - Jeremiah Warren, an offensive lineman from South Florida.
    - Markus Zusevics, an offensive lineman from Iowa.
    - Brad Herman, a tight end from Iowa.

    One other NFL player with New England roots born on April 28:

    Mark Bavaro turns 56 (b 4/28/1963)
    Two-time All Pro tight end was born in Boston and grew up in Danvers. According to Bill Belichick, Bavaro belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Don Calhoun

    Happy 67th birthday to Don Calhoun
    Born April 29, 1952 in Sumner, Oklahoma
    Patriot RB, 1975-1981; uniform #44

    Calhoun was a teammate of Steve Grogan's at Kansas State and drafted by the Bills in the tenth round (249th) in the 1974 draft. He may be the first in a long tradition of Buffalo castoffs to find success in Foxborough. After being relegated to nothing more than blocking for OJ Simpson in Buffalo, Calhoun's talents were much better utilized in New England. He became a vital part of the Chuck Fairbanks era Patriots that were robbed of a Lombardi Trophy, and set an NFL record for rushing yardage in a single season.

    When called upon to fill in for Sam Cunningham or Andy Johnson, Calhoun delivered so well that fans lobbied for him to be given more snaps. He never once missed a game due to injury, and led the NFL with 5.6 yards per rush in 1976. In a four week span at the end of the '76 season Calhoun came in off the bench and performed better than anyone could have reasonably asked for, with four consecutive 100-yard games. Over those four games Calhoun carried the rock 93 times for a whopping 540 yards. He was a major factor in six-game winning streak to finish the season, with the Pats finishing 11-3. The Patriots were not only in the playoffs for the first time in 13 years, they were the best team in the league. Unfortunately Pats fans had to wait another quarter century for a championship thanks to Ben Dreith.

    At the time Calhoun finished his playing days in New England he ranked third in franchise history in rushing yardage (he ranks 6th now), and third in rushing touchdowns (9th now). Calhoun's 4.1 yards per carry is second most in team history for a player with as many rushes (820) as he had.

    Calhoun: One Tough Back - Kansas State University Athletics

    Don Calhoun - Kansas Sports Hall of Fame



    Happy 79th birthday to Sid Blanks
    Born April 29, 1940 in Del Rio, Texas
    Patriot HB, 1969-1970; uniform #22

    As a Houston Oiler rookie in 1964, Blanks led the AFL in rushing touchdowns and was an AFL All-Star. He caught on with the Pats as a backup and special teamer at the end of his career, appearing in all 28 games over those two seasons. Blanks' stat line with the Patriots while enduring two years of Clive Rush and John Mazur was 20 carries for 74 yards, and seven receptions for 65 yards.


    One other pro football player with a New england connection:

    Justin Cross turns 60 (born 4/29/1959)
    Cross is a native of Portsmouth NH, and was an offensive tackle for the Bills from 1982-86; he later became a commercial airline pilot.
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  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    A Boston Patriot All-Star

    Happy 82nd birthday to Ron Hall
    Born April 30, 1937 in Goreville, Illinois
    Patriot safety, 1961-1967; uniform #23


    Hall was a late draft pick by Pittsburgh in 1959, and then the Army called before he signed with the Patriots two years later. For many years Hall held the franchise record for career interceptions (29), and even now he still ranks third all time in that category behind only Raymond Clayborn and Ty Law. His 11 picks in 1964 is still a single season team record, and it ranks as the 14th most in pro football history.


    Hall also had six interceptions in 1966, was an AFL All-Star in 1963, first team All Pro in 1964, a member of the Patriots All-Decade team for the 1960s, and was named to the Patriots 35th Anniversary Team. After retiring Hall was a high school phys ed teacher and football coach.

    This is an excellent read on Ron Hall's life journey from a small steel mill town, to the Army, to a call from Mike Holovak and much more:

    Ron Hall - Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

    For more on Hall and the AFL, check out this Q&A: Email from the AFL: Boston Patriots Ron Hall.


    Happy birthday to Paul Lindquist, who would have been 80 today
    Born April 30, 1939 - Died November 6, 2003
    Patriot DT, 1961; uniform #67

    Paul Lindquist was a local south shore guy, born in Brockton and grew up in Abington. He went to the University of New Hampshire where he lettered on the track and football teams, and was later inducted into the UNH Sports Hall of Fame. He was an eighth round (99th overall) draft pick by the Vikings in 1961, but chose to stay home and sign with the Pats instead. Lindquist played for the Patriots in their second season of existence, then served in the Army from 1962-1964.

    Lindquist later became co-owner of Estes Auto Supply in Rockland, and was the Sales Manager of the Walmart in his hometown of Abington up to the time of his death.

    April 30, 2012: Patriots sign a pair of undrafted rookie free agents: WR Matt Roark (Kentucky) and DL Marcus Forston (Miami).

    Unhappy 53rd birthday to Dave Meggett
    Born April 30, 1966 in Charleston, SC
    Patriot RB/PR/KR, 1995-1997; uniform #22

    At one time Meggett was an outstanding football player. He had his best season in '96, recording 1,966 all-purpose yards, earning his second trip to the Pro Bowl, and a major factor in the Patriots advancing to Super Bowl 31. Meggett had 14,005 career all-purpose yards, and his 3,708 punt return yards were at that time most in NFL history. He also completed four of eight passes for 114 yards and four touchdowns.

    Sadly, after retiring he was involved in multiple assault cases, and is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence for burglary and criminal sexual conduct. The former Walter Payton Award winner (1988) will remain behind bars until at least 2034.

    Happy 59th birthday to Edmund Nelson
    Born April 30, 1960 in Live Oak, Florida
    Patriot DE, 1988; uniform #65

    Edmund Clau-Von Nelson was a country boy from rural Florida, who went to Auburn. A 7th round (177th overall) pick by in 1982, he went on to start 42 games for Pittsburgh over six seasons with the Steelers. He was released in the second week of the '88 season and was picked up by the Pats to play for Raymond Berry's squad.

    Nelson does not have fond memories, stating that "I hated the Boston area and they didn’t treat me very well". Part of that may have been the insult added to injury when the Patriots released him, and he was picked up by the Browns for the last week of the season; part of that may be due to his current employment. Regardless, that was the end of his nondescript NFL career. Nelson appeared in twelve games for the Patriots, with one start. The Pats went 6-6 in those games.

    Since then Nelson worked as a State Farm insurance agent for over two decades, for the NFL with game day compliance (ie, Uniform Inspector), and for 18 years doing Steeler preseason broadcasts, pre and post-game shows.

    Two other player with New England connections:

    Mark MacDonald, 58 (4/30/1961)
    MacDonald was born in West Roxbury, went Catholic Memorial High School, and then Boston College. At BC he was an offensive tackle who blocked on the famous Hail Flutie touchdown pass to Gerald Phelan to beat Miami. MacDonald was a fifth round (115th overall) pick by the Vikings in 1985; over four seasons he appeared in 44 NFL games as a guard, with four starts. MacDonald was inducted into BC's Hall of Fame in 2002.

    Augie Lio (4/30/1918 - 9/3/1989)
    Born in East Boston, Lio was a kicker and offensive lineman from 1941-47 for the Lions, Boston Yanks, and Eagles. Lio was named to two Pro Bowls and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Wes Welker

    Happy 38th birthday to Wes Welker
    Born May 1, 1981 in Oklahoma City
    Patriot WR/PR, 2007-2012; uniform #83

    During six seasons with the Pats, Welker was an All-Pro twice, selected to the Pro Bowl five times, and led the NFL in receptions three times. Though the Pats did not win a Superbowl during that time, they did go 74-20 (.787) with two conference championships during that span. Welker holds the franchise record for career receptions (672), is second in receiving yards (7,459) and eighth in TD receptions (37). He not only holds the team's single season record for receptions (123), he also ranks 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in that category. Welker ranks 21st all time in NFL history with 903 career receptions, and 17th with 16,797 career all-purpose yards.

  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Curtis Martin

    Happy 46th birthday to Curtis Martin
    Born May 1, 1973 in Pittsburgh
    Patriot RB, 1995-1997; uniform #28
    Pats 3rd round (74th overall) selection of the 1995 draft, from Pitt


    In just three years with New England, Martin rushed for 3,799 yards (4th most in team history) and 32 touchdowns (4th best at the time, 6th now), while accumulating 4,689 yards from scrimmage and 37 total touchdowns. He retired with 14,101 career rushing yards, fourth most in NFL history. Martin was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.


    Other pro football players with New England connections born today:
    - Jackson Keefer: tailback for the 1926 Providence Steamrollers, who is also an alumnus of Brown University.
    - Rudy Romboli; born and raised in Everett, Romboli was a fullback in the 1940s for the Boston Yanks.
    - Bob Marques; the Medford born Marques grew up in Everett and was a Boston University graduate before playing six games at linebacker in the AFL's inaugural season for the New York Titans.
    - Terry Rennaker; born in Newport, Rennaker appeared in 15 games for the Seahawks in 1980.
    - Bruce McGonnigal; born in Cambridge, the TE played in two games for the Browns in 1991.
    - Erny Pinckert: wingback for Boston Braves was named to two Pro Bowls.

    Besides Curtis Martin, three other Hall of Famers were born May 1:
    - Ollie Matson; All-Pro RB for Chicago Cardinals in each of his first five NFL seasons.
    - Chuck Bednarik; 8-time Pro Bowl LB/C for Eagles known for his vicious hits, including one that knocked Frank Gifford out of the NFL for a year and a half.
    - Cliff Battles; tailback for the Boston Braves in the 1930s.
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  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Shane Vereen

    Happy 30th birthday to Shane Vereen
    Born May 2, 1989 in Valencia, California
    Patriot RB, 2011-2014; uniform #34 & #29 (2011)
    Pats 2nd round (56th overall) selection of the 2011 draft, from Cal

    The 5'10, 205 lb back never quite lived up to his draft status. In four seasons with the Patriots Vereen totaled 1,930 yards from scrimmage. That's not to say he didn't have flashes of productivity though.

    Vereen's best game with the Pats may have come in his first playoff game. In the divisional round game following the 2012 season versus Houston, Vereen caught 5 of the 6 passes thrown his way for 83 yards and two touchdowns. In addition he had 7 carries for 41 yards and another touchdown, leading the Patriots to a 41-28 victory over the Texans. He is one of only three players in NFL history to record two receiving touchdowns and a rushing TD in a single playoff game.

    Two years later in his final game with the Patriots Vereen caught 11 out of 12 passes thrown to him for 64 yards. The 11 receptions were a game-high for both teams that night. That effort was quickly overlooked though, based on final minute of play. That game happened to be the Patriot 28-24 victory over Seattle in Super Bowl 49.

    In 42 regular season games for the Patriots Shane Vereen averaged 4.2 yards per carry, rushing for 907 yards and seven touchdowns. He also caught 107 passes for 1,023 yards, and seven more touchdowns. In all he had 1,930 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns, with a mere two fumbles on 324 touches.

    The Pats went 5-2 in Vereen's seven playoff games, earning him one Super Bowl ring. He caught 32 of 45 passes thrown to him in the postseason (71%) for 324 yards, averaging 10.1 yards per catch. Vereen also averaged 5.0 yards per carry in the playoffs on 26 carries.

    Happy 29th birthday to Steve Beauharnais
    Born May 2, 1990 in Saddle Brook, New Jersey
    Patriot ILB, 2013; uniform #58
    Pats 7th round (235th overall) selection of the 2013 draft, from Rutgers

    In his rookie season he was typically a healthy scratch on the inactive list, appearing in just two games that year. Beauharnais was cut at the end of the following training camp and spent most of 2014 bouncing between Washington's practice squad and their active roster (appearing in three games). In August of 2015 he was signed by San Francisco, but did not survive final cuts. When he made an attempt to showcase himself in a final effort to make an NFL roster two years ago, Beauharnais may have done himself no favors by publicly calling out Rutgers for not permitting him to take part in their pro day.

    Beauharnais made it onto the field for one defensive snap and ten special team snaps during his time with the Patriots. Earlier this year he signed with the Arizona Hotshots of the short-lived Alliance of American Football.

    4/27/2013 - Getting to Know: Steve Beauharnais, LB |

    Happy 39th birthday to Vinny Ciurciu
    Born May 2, 1980 in Hackensack, New Jersey
    Patriot ILB, 2009; uniform #50

    The former BC Eagle appeared in 103 NFL games from 2003-2010, primarily as a special teams ace. As a rookie he played in Super Bowl 38 for Carolina, in their loss to the Patriots. The Pats signed Ciurciu in May of 2009, but he was part of the final roster cuts and was never with the club for any regular season games. Over eight NFL seasons Ciurciu played in 103 games with four teams.

    Ciurciu is now a partner at JC Realty Management Company in Montville, New Jersey

    8/9/2002 - Ciurciu, Garay, St. Pierre Named Football Captains | Boston College

    6/13/2009 - Vinny Ciurciu hopes to get cookin' with the Pats | Patriot Ledger

    Other May 2 Patriot events include:

    May 2, 2012: Jason Licht, Director of Pro Personnel for the last three seasons, resigns to accept the same position with the Arizona Cardinals.

    May 2, 2012: Patriots sign three players.
    - UDFA Brandon Bolden, a RB fromm Ole’ Miss.
    - UDFA Justin Francis, a defensive end from Rutgers.
    - Veteran free agent WR Jabar Gaffney, who had just been cut by Washington. The son of Jet WR Derrick Gaffney ('78-'87) and cousin of Eagle Lito Sheppard (NFL CB '02-'11) had 85 receptions for the Pats in 2006-08, with 8 touchdowns.

    Gaffney then played with Denver for two seasons and Washington for one before re-signing with the Patriots in May of 2012. He was released at the end of training camp before finishing his pro football career with the games for Miami that season. In 158 NFL games Gaffney had 447 receptions for 5,690 yards, and 24 touchdowns.

    In 2006 Gaffney was arrested for unlawful possession of a handgun, and in 2010 was charged for resisting arrest. Then in 2016 he was arrested for marijuana and drug possession, and again in 2017 for domestic battery. His latest visit to the courtroom is for a 2018 charge of felony criminal mischief, for $14,000 worth of damage from vandalizing Shephard's vehicle.

    Lito Sheppard's Car Vandalized by Jabar Gaffney, Girlfriend in Jacksonville

    Arrest warrant issued for former Gators star Jabar Gaffney

    Jury selection set for Jabar Gaffney felony vandalism case

    Other NFL players with New England connections born May 2:
    - Sio Moore, 29; LB from West Haven and UConn has played for four NFL teams, most recently with Arizona.
    - Bill Cregar, 94; G/LB from Holy Cross played for Pittsburgh in 1947-48 before becoming an assistant FBI director.
    - Frank Gaziano; born in Waltham and a grad of Holy Cross, Gaziano was a guard with the Boston Yanks and Washington Redskins in the '40s.. He then worked his way up from being a salesman for Anheuser-Busch to owning one of their distributorships.
    - Pike Johnson; raised in Everett, he was the left tackle on the NFL's first championship team, the 1920 Akron Pros.
    - Jim Karcher, RG for the 1936 Boston Redskins.
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  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    NFL vets that did not survive Pats training camp

    Happy 36th birthday to Joseph Addai
    Born May 3, 1983 in Houston
    Patriot RB, 2012 (offseason); uniform #29

    Addai was one of the running backs to go in the first round of the 2006 draft that the Patriots should have selected rather than Laurence Maroney. The former LSU Tiger totaled 5,901 yards from scrimmage and 48 touchdowns in his six seasons with the Colts. After being cut by Indy the Patriots signed him on May 6, 2012. Addai reportedly struggled with his conditioning test at the start of training camp and just quit the drill, which resulted in Bill Belichick cutting Addai.


    Joseph Addai was not the first veteran player signed by the Patriots in the offseason that failed to make it past training camp cuts and onto the week one roster. One could assemble a decent football team with all the players that at one time were part of the Patriot organization, but never played a single down for the Pats.

    QB: Rich Gannon, Fran Tarkenton, Matt Flynn, Andrew Walter, Tim Tebow
    RB: Rocky Bleier, Duane Thomas, Tommy Mason, Joseph Addai, Donald Brown, Montee Ball, Bishop Sankey
    FB: Eric Kettani, Tony Fiammetta, Spencer Larsen
    TE: Fred Davis, Lee Smith, Alex Smith, James O'Shaughnessy, Bear Pascoe
    WR: Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne, Gary Collins, Michael Jenkins, Eric Decker, Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Andre Holmes, Andrew Hawkins, Brandon Gibson, Jordan Matthews, Jalen Saunders, Austin Carr
    OT: Bob Vogel, Corey Hilliard, Conor McDermott
    G/C: Ted Larsen, Jonathan Cooper

    DT: Terrance Knighton, Phil Olsen, Frank Kearse
    DE: Will Smith, Kony Ealy, Jonathan Fanene, Jeremy Mincey
    LB: Lee Roy Jordan, Rip Hawkins, Marcus Benard, Kamu Grugier-Hill
    S: Adrian Wilson, Vinnie Sunseri, Brock Vereen
    CB: EJ Biggers, Kenny Moore, Darryl Roberts, Troy Hill

    K: Robbie Gould

    Italics: drafted by AFL-era Patriots, but never signed with Pats.

    May 3, 2012: National scout Kyle O’Brien leaves the Patriots after 12 years with the club. For 10 seasons (2002-11), O’Brien served in various roles within the New England Patriots player personnel department. The Patriots elevated O’Brien to national scout in his final two seasons (2010-11) in New England after his time as an area scout that covered five seasons (2002, 2006-09). In 2004-05, he was the Patriots’ pro personnel scout.

    A graduate of Harvard where he lettered in lacrosse, O’Brien originally joined the Patriots as a player personnel intern in 2000 and continued those duties during the Patriots’ first Super Bowl season in 2001 while still attending Harvard. O'Brien went on to serve as a regional scout for the Chiefs in 2012, and then became the director of college scouting for Jacksonville from 2013-15. Since 2016 O'Brien has served as the Vice President of Player Personnel for the Detroit Lions.


    Other players with New England area connections:
    - Ron Monaco, 56: not to be confused with Ron Mexico, Monaco was born in New Haven and grew up in Hamden CT. The linebacker played in 17 games in '86-87 with the Rams and Packers.
    - Tom McCauley, 72: born in Worcester, the FS/PR was a 10th round 1969 draft pick by the Vikings who appeared in 32 games for Atlanta from 1969-71.
    - Bernard Buzyniski: the Holy Cross grad was a linebacker who appeared in all 14 games for Buffalo in the AFL's inaugural 1960 season.
    - Bob Davis: tackle for the 1948 Boston Yanks.
    - Jack Cronin: wingback, PR, KR, P and K for the Providence Steamrollers from 1927-30, Cronin was born in Hingham and went to Dean and then BC. His brother and nephew also played in the NFL.
    - Johnny Scott: the Exeter NH native was a back for the Buffalo All-Americans from 1920-23 who in one season scored touchdowns rushing, receiving and on an interception.

    Pro Football Hall of Famer born today:
    - Dave Robinson, 78; Packer Pro Bowl linebacker won rings for Superbowls I and II.

    Aside from Bernard Buzyniski, other tongue-twister football players born today include Cliff Thrift and Stan Sytsma, a Saints seventh round selection in '79.
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  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    The Jets-Hating Ozark Sheriff

    Happy 75th birthday to Ed Weisacosky
    Born May 4, 1944 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania
    Patriot OLB, 1971-1972; uniform #66


    Weisacosky was an All-American at the University of Miami, and then a sixth round (42nd overall) pick by the Dolphins in 1966. Five years later Weisacosky joined the Patriots. He did not miss a single game over his final two NFL seasons for the Pats, with 23 starts at left linebacker. Weisacosky later became a sheriff in Missouri, retiring in 2008. He was also inducted to the Miami Hurricane Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.

    To this day Weisacosky still has a disdain for the Jets, and says that 'he enjoyed his years with the Patriots most because management was considerate of the players' and that they are still his favorite team.

    Ed Weisacosky - University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame

    He's tackling retirement: Former linebacker-turned-sheriff to hang up badge

    Others pro football players with New England connections:
    - Montell Owens, 35; University of Maine Black Bear was a Pro Bowl fullback for Jacksonville in 2010 and 2011. He played in 113 NFL games over nine NFL seasons.
    - Tim Sherwin, 61; Boston College grad was a 4th round pick in '81 by the Colts, and spent eight years in the NFL.
    - Sid Watson: Andover native averaged over 100 yards per game and 7.1 yards per carry at Northeastern. He was an NFL halfback from 1955-58 with Pittsburgh and Washington, and led the league in kickoff returns in '55.
    - Ab Wimberly: drafted by the Boston Yanks in 1948, Wimberly was a Pro Bowl defensive end for Green Bay in 1952.
    - Honolulu Hughes: Hawaii's first professional football and baseball player was a running back for the 1931-32 Boston Braves.
    - Pop Williams: born in Jewett City and raised in Killingly CT; he went to Connecticut Agricultural College (better known today as UConn). The wingback back played five seasons in the NFL; the first four with Providence, winning a championship with the Steam Roller in 1928.
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  15. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Forgotten Defensive Backs

    Happy 75th birthday to Clarence 'Scotty' Scott
    Born May 5, 1944 in Norristown, PA
    Patriot SS, 1969-1972; uniform #26

    Great Scotts! Upper Merion brothers have jerseys retired

    It’s a commentary on those long ago times that Clarence, a gifted athlete, would wind up at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md., playing alongside future National Football League Hall of Famers Willie Lanier and Leroy Kelly, among others.

    “Division One programs weren’t offering scholarships to many black athletes at that time,” Scott said, “so we went and played at Morgan State, and quite a few of the players I played with ended up with NFL teams.”

    The Patriots signed Scott as an undrafted rookie free agent. He played in all 14 games in his first season and became a starter the next year. However injuries limited him to 15 games and ten starts over his next two seasons, prematurely ending his NFL career.

    Scott went on to work for IBM for twenty years after hanging up his cleats, and was inducted to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. Overall he played in 43 games with 24 starts for the Pats, collecting six fumble recoveries. He had this to say about his playing days at Morgan State and with the Pats:

    “I played with Leroy Kelly, Willie Lanier, George Nock and (John) ‘Frenchy’ Fuqua. I was Leroy’s fullback. I played both ways from my freshman year to my senior year. I played fullback and left linebacker on defense.”

    Scott played pro football with the great Jim Nance who was a big, hard running fullback.

    “He was a good running back,” Scott said. “I’m glad he was on my team. He wasn’t the kind of guy you could tackle. He was a good friend of mine.”

    Happy 37th birthday to Randall Gay
    Born May 5, 1982 in Baton Rouge
    Patriot CB/S, 2004-2007; uniform #21

    The Pats signed Gay as an undrafted rookie out of LSU in 2004. With injuries to Ty Law and Tyrone Poole, Gay started nine games that year as well as all three playoff games; in the SB 39 victory over Philly he had 11 solo tackles. He played only eight games the next two years, going on IR both seasons. In 2007 Gay played in all 16 games with three starts, used primarily as a nickel back.

    In the following offseason Gay signed as a free agent with New Orleans, and earned a second SB ring with the Saints in 2009 for their 31-17 victory over the Colts. A concussion landed Gay on IR for a third time in 2010, and he retired after failing a physical for training camp in 2010.

    Randall Gay appeared in 39 games with 14 starts over four seasons with the Pats, with five interceptions and three fumble recoveries. The NFL teams he played for had a remarkable 8-1 postseason record, and his NFL seasons ended by playing in the Super Bowl almost as often (3x) as not (4x).

    Despite an early morning arrest at a bar in 2013, Randall Gay earned a law degree in 2015, and now practices law in his home state of Louisiana.


    Happy 34th birthday to Terrence Wheatley
    Born May 5, 1985 in Walnut Creek, California
    Patriot CB, 2008-2010; uniform #22
    Pats 2nd round (62nd overall) selection of the 2009 draft, from Colorado

    Wheatley is one of the biggest draft busts of the Belichick-era Patriots. His career started out fine, but in his first start midway through the '08 season he injured his wrist - and things never got better. He did not play again that season, going on IR. An expected rebound in 2009 never materialized, as he appeared in just five games. Darius Butler and Jonathan Wilhite were receiving the reps at nickel behind starters Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden, typically leaving Wheatley as a healthy scratch on the inactive list.

    You would think the following season could not get any worse, but it did. Wheatley injured his foot in preseason, and he wasn't able to begin practicing until week 6. He was finally active for the game day roster in week 8, but did not play. The following week Wheatley was released, and Kyle Arrington was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

    Wheatley signed with Jacksonville, but after one game he was again placed on IR. The Jaguars cut him at the end of training camp in 2011. He signed with the Bills, but never saw any playing time, ending his NFL career. His career stat line reads 12 games played (11 with the Pats) with one start, two passes defensed and three tackles. Overall Wheatley spent far more time either inactive (22 games) or on IR (6 games) than he did on the playing field (11) while with the Patriots.


    From the wayback machine, here is what PatsFans were saying about Wheatley and Shawn Crable back in 2008: What happened to Terrence Wheatley

    Happy 28th birthday to Jon Bostic
    Born May 5, 1991 in Wellington, Florida
    Patriot LB, 2015; uniform #58

    Jonathan Bostic was originally a 2013 second round draft pick by the Bears, out of Florida. Early in the 2015 season the Patriots traded a 2016 sixth round pick to Chicago for Bostic, for depth at linebacker. He played in 11 games for the Pats with one start, when Dont'a Hightower was injured. After the 2016 draft the Patriots traded Bostic - who was unlikely to make the final roster as he had close to a $1 million cap number - to Detroit for a 7th round pick. Bostic spent all of 2016 on IR with a foot injury. He started 14 games for the Colts in 2017, then signed a two-year $4 million deal with a $2.4 million signing bonus with the Steelers in 2018. Bostic started 14 games for Pittsburgh in 2018, then was released immediately after the 2019 draft in April.

    Bostic appeared in 11 games for the Pats with one start, playing primarily on special teams. He appeared in 40 defensive snaps and 194 special team snaps, getting his playing time after arriving for week five of the 2015 season.


    Patriots LB Jon Bostic follows in footsteps of father into NFL | Mike Reiss, espn

    Happy 57th birthday to Michael LeBlanc
    Born May 5, 1962 in Missouri City, Texas
    Patriot RB, 1987; uniform #27

    No relation to the bad actor named Matt, this LeBlanc was a replacement player during the '87 strike that had played in the CFL. He carried the ball 35 times for 146 yards in a victory over Buffalo, and stuck around for one extra game after the strike ended.

    May 5, 2012: Patriots sign free agent RB Joseph Addai.
    See the May 3rd entry for more details on the former Indianapolis Colt.

    Other pro football players with New England connections:
    - Matt Lawrence, 34: born in Hartford, Lawrence grew up in Bloomfield and went to UMass. The RB got five touches in eight games for the Ravens in 2009, then spent all of the next two seasons on IR with knee injuries.
    - Darvell Huffman, 52: born in Boston, Huffman went to Newton South High School and Boston University. The wide receiver was a late (232nd overall) pick by the Colts in 1990, and appeared in three games for Indy in 1991 with 3 receptions. Huffman also played in the CFL and Arena league, and coached high school football for 13 years.
    - Bob Davis (5/5/1914): HB/FB/PR/KR for the Boston Yanks 1944-46, he led the NFL in punt returns (22) and PR yardage (271) in 1944.
    - Pug Manders (5/5/1913): aside from having a great football name, Manders was a FB for the 1945 Boston Yanks. The 11th overall pick in the 1939 draft, he was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons. He played nine NFL seasons and led the league in his 1941 All-Pro season with 486 yards rushing. Manders scored touchdowns rushing (35), receiving, passing, and on one of his 11 interceptions.
    - Jim Musick (5/5/1910): fullback for the Boston Braves/Redskins led the NFL in 1939 with 173 carries and 809 yards rushing (67.4 yards per game). After a knee injury ended his football career he joined the Marines and later served as Orange County (CA) sheriff, elected to office seven times from 1946-1975.
    - Oscar Johnson (5/5/1901): born and raised in Lynn, Johnson went to Lynn English and the University of Vermont. He was a fullback for the 1924 Chicago Bears.
    - Bruno Haas (5/5/1891): Haas grew up in Worcester and depending on which website you believe he either went to Worcester Boys Trade High School (now known as Worcester Tech) or Worcester Academy. He spent two years as a tailback with the Akron Pros, Cleveland Indians and Dayton Triangles in the early '20s. Haas was also a minor league baseball player who, in his brief time in the big leagues, tied an American League record with most walks in a game (15).
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  16. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Rodney Harrison

    May 6, 2019:
    The New England Patriots announce that Rodney Harrison has been elected to the Pats Hall of Fame. The Sunday Night Football analyst won the 2019 fan voting over Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel.

    The strong safety spent the final six seasons of his 15-year NFL career with the Pats after playing in San Diego for nine years. He admirably filled a large void on the defense when Lawyer Milloy was released as a cap casualty at the start of the 2003 season. Rodney played a key role in the Patriots winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles in his first two seasons in Foxborough.

    Harrison was a clutch performer, with seven interceptions in nine playoff games with the Pats - including two in Super Bowl 39. His seven postseason interceptions are tied for the third-most in NFL history. In his first two seasons in New England, Harrison was not only the team's leading tackler each year, but also led all NFL defensive backs in tackles in both seasons. He was also the leading tackler in the '03 and '04 postseasons, while also registering two sacks, six interceptions, seven passes deflections and two forced fumbles in those six games.

    Rodney is the all-time NFL leader in sacks by a defensive back with 30½, including nine while with the Pats. He is the only defensive back in NFL history with 30 sacks and 30 interceptions, with eight of those picks coming during his Patriots career. Harrison was voted a team captain in each of his six seasons with the Patriots and is a member of the New England Patriots All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

    Happy 31st birthday to Marcus Cannon
    Born May 6, 1988 in Odessa, Texas
    Patriot OT, 2011-current; uniform #61
    Pats 5th round (138th overall) selection of the 2011 draft, from TCU

    On April 20, 2011, just days before Texas Christian offensive line prospect Marcus Cannon was to enter the NFL Draft, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a treatable form of cancer found in lymph tissue. A little more than one week later, the Pats selected Cannon in the fifth round (138th overall) of the draft with the knowledge of his illness. The Patriots placed Cannon on the Reserve/Non Football Injury list to start the 2011 season while he received treatment and recovered. Cannon was activated to the 53-man roster later that year and is now set to enter his ninth season with the team.

    Cannon made a full recovery and was named the Patriots 2011 Ed Block Courage Award winner - an annual award presented to select players in the National Football League who are voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.

    Marcus Cannon has now played in 100 regular season games with 55 starts: 50 at right tackle, three at left guard, and two at left tackle. He has also played in 18 playoff games, with the Pats going 14-4 in those contests - and has earned three Super Bowl rings.

    The draft picks used for Cannon and Stevan Ridley were acquired in draft day trade with Houston. In exchange the Texans received a second round (60th overall) pick used on safety Brandon Harris - who has been out of the league since 2014, after a 42-game career with zero starts.


    Happy 28th birthday to Derwin Williams
    Born May 6, 1961 in Brownwood, Texas
    Patriot WR, 1984-1987; uniform #82
    Pats 7th round (192nd overall) selection of the 1984 draft, from New Mexico

    Williams appeared in 42 regular season games plus two playoff games with the Pats. He had 14 receptions for 228 yards, and then went on to become an official in Conference USA.

    Happy 55th birthday to Mike "Scooter" McGruder
    Born May 6, 1964 in Cleveland
    Patriot CB, 1996-1997; uniform #27

    The final two of his nine NFL seasons were in Foxboro, where McGruder played in 17 games. McGruder was on the Patriot AFC Championship team that lost to Green Bay in the Super Bowl.

    Put Yourself In Her Shoes - About Mike "Scooter" McGruder

    Happy 48th birthday to Rob Holmberg
    Born May 6, 1971 in McKeesport, PA
    Patriot LB, 2000-2001; uniform #47

    Holmberg appeared in all 16 games for the Pats in 2000 with five starts, and two more games in October of 2001. He played in 112 games over eight NFL seasons with seven different teams, almost exclusively as a special teamer and backup MLB.

    Happy 54th birthday to Howard Feggins
    Born May 6, 1965 in South Hill, Virginia
    Patriot CB, 1988-1989; uniform #27

    Feggins appeared in eleven games with the Pats in '89, with one interception. He also played in NFL Europe and the CFL, and later worked as a college assistant coach.

    Happy 28th birthday to Josh Boyce
    Born May 6, 1991 in Copperas Cove, Texas
    Patriot WR, 2013-2014; uniform #82
    Pats 4th round (102nd overall) selection of the 2013 draft, from TCU

    As a rookie Boyce played in nine games, returning 21 kickoffs and catching nine passes on 19 targets for 121 yards. He spent most of 2014 on the practice squad, activated for the final regular season game with no stats; he was a healthy inactive for all three playoff games. Boyce was IR-waived at the end of the 2015 training camp. He spent most of the 2016 off-season with Indy before being cut after the first preseason game. Boyce spent 2016 on Cleveland's practice squad and was cut at the end of training camp in 2017. He has not played any pro football since then.

    His final NFL stat line (all with the Pats) reads 10 games played, 9 receptions on 19 targets for 121 yards (13.4 ypc) with a long of 30 yards, and zero touchdowns. Boyce also had nine kickoff returns for 214 yards (23.8 ypr) with a long of 41, for a total of 335 all-purpose yards.

    On a side note, he draft picks used on Boyce, Jamie Collins and Logan Ryan were obtained from Minnesota in exchange for New England's first round pick, which the Vikings used on future Patriot Cordarrelle Patterson. More trivia: Boyce's high school quarterback was Robert Griffin.


    Happy 33rd birthday to Markus Kuhn
    Born May 6, 1986 in Weinheim, Germany
    Patriot DT, 2016; uniform #94

    Kuhn was with the Pats in the 2016 off season, but was let go as part of final roster cuts in early September. He had previously played with the Giants for four seasons, but never seemed to fully overcome a 2015 knee injury.

    Other pro football players with New England connections:

    George Tarasovic, 89 (May 6, 1930)
    Boston College
    DE spent 13 seasons in the NFL, playing in 155 games, primarily with the Steelers.

    Kid Hill (born May 6, 1904)
    Brighton MA, Portland (Maine) Prep, Amherst College
    Tackle with the Giants back in the twenties.
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  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Babe Parilli

    Happy birthday to Babe Parilli, who would have been 89 today
    Born May 7, 1930 in Rochester, Pennsylvania
    Died July 15, 2017 at the age of 87
    Patriot QB, 1961-1967; uniform #15

    After playing for Bear Bryant at the University of Kentucky, Parilli was the 4th overall pick in the 1952 draft by Green Bay. In the fifties he bounced back and forth between the Packers, Browns and Ottawa in the CFL, and then was a backup for the Raiders in 1960.

    With an over-the-hill Butch Songin as their starting quarterback, the Patriots were in need of depth at minimum, if not a viable alternative at the position. On April 4, 1961 the Pats traded FB Alan Miller, HB Dick Christy and DT Hal Smith to Oakland in exchange for Parilli and FB Billy Lott. To say that the Patriots got the better end of that deal would be a vast understatement.

    Former Patriot quarterback Babe Parilli dies at 87 | Boston Globe

    Before the Boston Patriots took the field against the Denver Broncos in the early days of the American Football League, someone broke into the Patriots’ locker room and stole the team’s playbook. That didn’t faze veteran quarterback Babe Parilli, according to his teammate Larry Garron, a running back.

    “Babe restructured the entire offense on the fly and we won the game,” Garron recalled. “Babe was our leader. He always had a great read of the defense and I know he made me a better player.”

    At the age of 31 the journeyman quarterback's career took off with the Patriots. Parilli became a three-time AFL All-Star, and the Pats became one of the best teams in the league. His 31 touchdown passes in 1965 was a team record that would stand for an amazing 42 years. 42 years!!! In seven seasons with the Pats Parilli threw 132 touchdown passes, and also ran for 14 more TDs. He led the AFL in completion percentage in 1961, passing yards in 1964, and touchdowns in 1964, and was Comeback Player of the Year in 1966. Parilli was durable in an era that was unforgiving, missing just four games during his seven seasons with the Patriots.

    “He was a true pioneer and an important part of an era that helped establish the Patriots and the AFL,” said Patriots legend Gino Cappelletti, a receiver and placekicker and later game announcer. “I was real happy he showed up. He had a quick release and delivered the ball to us in the right place at the right time, and he would do anything and everything to win.

    Babe Parilli was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982, and the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1993. He is a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1960s, All-AFL 10-Year Team, Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame and also the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. After retiring as a player, he was an assistant coach for several NFL teams and a head coach in the World Football League and Arena Football League. Parilli was also a real estate broker and media relations director for the mayor and city council in Commerce City, Colorado.

    Babe Parilli | Fenway Park Diaries

    Known as the “Rochester Rifle” after his home steel country, Parilli set four NCAA passing records – for touchdown passes in a season and a career, most passes completed and passing yards in three varsity seasons. He was twice a first team All-America selection and finished third and fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting.

    In 1960, the American Football League was born, and Parilli went to Oakland where he and Tom Flores divided the qb duties. Traded from Oakland to Boston after the 1960 season along with Billy Lott for Dick Christy and Hal Smith, Babe shared the quarterbacking duties with Butch Songin in 1961. The Pats sent Butch to the New York Titans in 1962, and Babe took over the number one slot. Ably backed up by Tom Yewcic, Babe at last had a team he could call entirely his own.

    For the next six seasons, Parilli’s schooling under Bryant paid back all the accrued dividends that Babe’s previous coaches in Green Bay, Cleveland, Oakland, and Ottawa might have collected for their respective teams. With a talented receiving corps that included Gino Cappelletti, Jim Colclough, Artie Graham, Tony Romeo, and Larry Garron out of the backfield, Babe directed an exciting offensive show in virtually every game.

    Parilli set every passing record in the young club’s history over seven seasons, and his stats have endured in the Pats’ record books to where he is still now fourth all-time behind Drew Bledsoe, Steve Grogan, and Tom Brady. Babe threw 2,410 times as a Patriot and completed 1,140 passes for 16,747 yards and 132 touchdowns. His 31 TD tosses in 1964 is still the team’s single-season record.

    The Patriots had a winning record in five of Parilli’s seven seasons and posted an overall mark of went 50-39-9. Babe was a three-time league all-star and the comeback player of the year in 1966 when he led the team to a record of 8-4-2 after a 4-8-2 campaign the previous season.

    New England Patriots of the Past: Babe Parilli | Last Word on Pro Football

    Former Patriots QB Vito 'Babe' Parilli Passed Away |

    Babe Parilli | National Italian Sports Hall of Fame

    Parilli wasn’t just a pocket passer, he used his legs to amass four yards per rush on 383 career attempts. With a total of 201 career touchdowns including 23 on the ground, Parilli was one of the most successful players in AFL history.

    Babe Parilli, Bear Bryant's first championship QB

    Parilli was the quarterback for the only Kentucky team that has won an outright SEC football championship. The 1950 Wildcats went 5-1 in league play and posted an 11-1 overall record that included a 13-7 victory over previously undefeated Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

    Parilli broke the SEC single-season record for passing yards when he threw for 1,627 in 1950, and he broke it again in 1951 when he threw for 1,643.

    Parilli was the SEC Player of the Year in 1950, when he finished fourth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. In 1951, Parilli finished third in the Heisman voting.

    Vito 'Babe' Parilli | Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame

    Vito (Babe) Parilli ranks as one of the all time star passing quarterbacks in pro football with 1552 completions in 3330 attempts for 22681 yards and 178 touchdowns. What most fans outside the Pittsburgh area don’t realize is that Babe served as quarterback coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for four seasons (1970-1973) and played a key role in developing the talents of Terry Bradshaw, Terry Hanratty, and Joe Gilliam.​

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  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Matt Light Retires

    May 7, 2012:
    Matt Light officially retires after 11 seasons with the Patriots.

    Happy 51st birthday to Mike Arthur
    Born May 7, 1968 in Minneapolis
    Patriot C, 1993-1994; uniform #65

    Mike Arthur grew up in Houston and went to Texas A&M. He was drafted by Cincinnati and started at center for three years with the Bengals before heading to Foxborough. Arthur started 24 games at center during Drew Bledsoe's first two seasons with the Patriots. He then finished his NFL career as a backup offensive lineman the next two years in Green Bay, earning a ring with the Packers in their Superbowl 31 victory over the Pats.

    Happy 54th birthday to Tim Gordon
    Born May 7, 1965 in Ardmore, Oklahoma
    Patriot safety, 1991-1992; uniform #41

    After four years in Atlanta, Gordon played in 21 games for the Patriots with 15 starts. In his final NFL season in 1992 he had 39 tackles (25 solo) with two passes defensed. Gordon played in 67 games with 41 starts over six NFL seasons, with eight interceptions and four fumble recoveries (two with the Pats).

    Happy 47th birthday to Chris Hayes
    Born May 7, 1972 in San Bernardino, California
    Patriot FS, 2002; uniform #29

    Hayes was signed as a veteran free agent in March of 2002, but released at the end of training camp. The Pats re-signed him in early December and he played in the final four games of the 2002 season. As a rookie Hayes was a teammate of Mike Arthur in Green Bay for their Superbowl 31 victory over the Patriots. Hayes played in 84 NFL games from 1996-2002, and played for Bill Belichick with the Jets prior to playing for the Patriots.

    Happy 56th birthday to Benton Reed
    Born May 7, 1963 in Baton Rouge
    Patriot DE, 1987; uniform #71

    A 10th round pick out of Ole Miss in 1986 by Tampa Bay, Reed appeared in the three replacement games in the '87 season. Reed is now a commercial sales manager in the lumber and building material industry for McCoy's Building Supply in Texas.

    Happy 31st birthday to Leonard Hankerson
    Born May 7, 1988 in Fort Lauderdale
    Patriot WR, 2015; uniform #15

    Hankerson was a third round selection by Washington in the 2011 draft, but he suffered a bad hip injury in his third start and was never really the same. In 2013 he blew out his knee and spent most of 2014 on PUP. Atlanta signed him in 2015 but he again landed on IR, this time due to a hamstring injury.

    After being waived-injured the Pats signed him for depth due to injuries to Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Hankerson appeared in one game for ten snaps with no stats - and was let go just ten days after being signed. Over five NFL seasons Hankerson played in 41 games. He had 107 receptions for 1,408 yards (13.2 ypc) and nine touchdowns.

    Hankerson is now the wide receivers coach at UMass, though he probably did not get a ringing endorsement from Rex Ryan or the Buffalo Bills.

    Happy 29th birthday to A.J. Francis
    Born May 7, 1990 in Washington DC
    Patriot DT, 2013; uniform #69

    A day after final roster cuts in 2013 the Patriots acquired four players off waivers, one of whom was Francis (from Miami). He was released on September 7 to make room for Josh Kline, and then signed to the practice squad. In late November the Dolphins signed Francis to their 53-man roster, ending his stint in New England without ever having played in a game for the Pats.

    Since then Francis has been signed and cut by Seattle, Tampa Bay, Washington and most recently by the Giants in 2018. He has appeared in NFL games, with 20 tackles. Of his 192 NFL defensive snaps, 164 came with Washington in 2017.

    Other players with New England area connections:

    Rondell Jones (May 7, 1971) - born in Sunderland MA, the free safety spent five seasons in the NFL with the Broncos and Ravens.

    Pat McInally (May 7, 1953) - the Harvard graduate was Cincinnati's punter and wide receiver for ten seasons, earning All-Pro honors in 1981. McInally was enshrined to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016 and scored a perfect 50 on the Wonderlic test.

    Algy Clark (May 7, 1904) - a single wing blocking back and offensive tackle in the thirties, Clark scored one touchdown in 1932 for the Boston Braves.

    Dolph Eckstein (May 7, 1902) - Brown University
    The Providence Steamroller was an All-Pro center in 1925.

    Belf West (May 7, 1896) - Phillips Andover Academy
    All-American tackle at Colgate could also pass the ball 70 yards and once kicked a 52 yard field goal - in 1919! West was a first-team All-Pro in 1921 for the Canton Bulldogs.

    Also well worth mentioning:

    Johnny Unitas (May 7, 1933) - one of the greatest players in NFL history.
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  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    One That Got Away

    Happy 66th birthday to Steve Freeman
    Born May 8, 1953 in Lamesa, Texas
    Patriot safety, 1975 (offseason); uniform #22
    Pats 5th round (117th overall) selection of the 1975 draft, from Mississippi State

    Freeman did not survive roster cuts, and never played in a real game for the Patriots. Buffalo signed him and he went on to play 13 seasons in the NFL, 12 with the Bills. He appeared in 190 games with 23 interceptions and 8 fumble recoveries.

    Freeman later worked as college official and has now worked as an NFL official since 2001, as a back judge on Jeff Triplette's officiating crew.


    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    Booth Lusteg (5/8/39-7/12/12) Born and raised in New Haven, Lusteg went to UConn but did not play football there. He was a baseball player in college and 1B/OF in the minor leagues for two seasons. The Bills had open auditions for a kicker when Pete Gogolak was injured. Lusteg was a frustrated actor who was playing for the New Bedford Sweepers in the old Atlantic Coast Football League. In an attempt to appear younger, Lusteg used his younger brother's identity. He won the job over a variety of miscreants, including an Austrian count who lived in the Alps and a guy with one arm and one eye.

    The fib about his age almost caught up to him. His brother went to BC and when Buffalo's bus driver got lost on the way to Alumni Stadium to play the Patriots, Lusteg was asked for directions. Acting like he knew where he was going, the team bus miraculously arrived at the destination. Lusteg finished second to Gino Cappelletti in scoring in that 1966 season. He spent two seasons in the American Football League, two in the NFL and one in the World Football League.

    Ryan Purvis, 31 (5/8/86); Boston College, class of 2009
    The TE had 113 receptions for 1,122 yards and six TD at BC from 2005-08. He went undrafted and signed with Tampa Bay, spending most of 2009 on the practice squad. When Jerramy Stevens was released after an arrest, Purvis was promoted to the active roster. He appeared in ten games with five catches on six targets for 38 yards in 2010, but did not survive roster cuts in 2011.

    Bill Godwin (5/8/19-3/26/98); C/LB for the 1947-48 Boston Yanks.

    One other notable pro football player born May 8 that is part of Patriots folklore:

    - Keith Lincoln, 80 (5/8/39); five-time AFL All-Star RB single handedly demolished the Patriots in the 1963 AFL championship game. His 206 yards rushing (on a mere 13 carries), 123 receiving yards and a 20 yard pass completion led the way to San Diego's 51-10 victory. Over fifty years later his 329 yards from scrimmage is still a single-game postseason record, one that may never be broken. Over his career he scored touchdowns rushing (19), receiving (19), passing (5), kick return (1), punt return (1), plus five field goals and 16 extra points.
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  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    A Pair Of Boston Patriots

    Happy 75th birthday to John Charles
    Born May 9, 1944 in Newark, NJ
    Patriot CB/S, 1967-1969; uniform #25
    Pats 1st round (21st overall) selection of the 1967 NFL draft, from Purdue


    John Charles played corner with the '67 Patriots before moving to safety for the next two seasons. He appeared in 39 games with 34 starts for the Pats with six interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Charles has two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns - both off Joe Namath and the Jets including. After his three years with the Pats he went on to play five more years in the NFL, mostly with the Houston Oilers. Charles finished his pro football career with 16 interceptions.

    Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame - Class of 2015

    John Charles, a three-year letterwinner (1964-66), played football for Hall of Fame head coach Jack Mollenkopf as a defensive back, garnering first team All-America honors his senior year and earning Most Valuable Player accolades at the 1967 Rose Bowl. Purdue went 22-7-1 during his three-year career. Charles was selected in the first round of the National Football League Draft (21st overall) by the Boston Patriots in 1967 and played for them for three years. He went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings (1970) and Houston Oilers (1971-74). Charles was known for his tenacity and aggressiveness on the field and was tabbed as "the best defensive back I've ever coached" by his Purdue position coach, Bernie Miller.

    Happy 87th birthday to Tom Yewcic
    Born May 9, 1932 in Conemaugh, PA
    Patriot P/QB/HB/FL, 1961-1966; uniform #14

    Yewcic was a late (319th) draft pick by the Steelers in 1954 but chose instead to play baseball. He was the MVP of the 1954 college world series and signed with the Tigers. Yewcic was in Detroit's minor league system through 1959, only making it to the big leagues for three innings of one game in 1957 before switching to football. Trivia #1: Ye is the only person to appear in two professional sports at Fenway Park: his one MLB game against the Red Sox in '57, and with the Pats from '63-'66.


    For six seasons Yewcic was a punter and backup QB for the Pats. He was also occasionally used at halfback, and at flanker in 1961. Over his career he ran (72 times for 424 yards, 4 TD, 5.9 ypc) almost as often as he passed (87 completions, 12 TD). His 377 punts ranks second in franchise history. Trivia #2: Yewcic is the only Patriot besides Tom Brady to have punted, caught a pass, thrown a touchdown pass and rushed for a touchdown TD. Yewcic had a 46 yard reception in a 46-17 1961 victory over Denver, and his 90 yards rushing helped down the New York Titans at BU Field in '62. Trivia #3: Yewcic holds the franchise record for longest run by a punter, a 20-yard gain against the Raiders at Nickerson Field in '62.

    Tom Yewcic is also a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1960s as their punter. After retiring he worked with the Patriots until 1981 as a coach and a scout. Yewcic then transitioned to commercial business, selling medical supplies to doctors and hospitals.

    Tom Yewcic: Former Football and Baseball All-American | MSU Athletics

    Pittsburgh Steeler fans have the "Immaculate Reception."

    Boston College faithful remember Doug Flutie's "Hail Mary."

    In East Lansing, Michigan State followers revel in the thought of the "Transcontinental Pass."

    It was 1951; the Spartans were down 20-17 to Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State. In the closing minutes, legendary coach Biggie Munn called for their secret play.

    Michigan State broke the huddle and lined up in their familiar wing T formation. The ball was snapped directly to the fullback and pitched to the right halfback. The halfback, running as though the play would be a sweep pulled up and threw the ball clear across the field to the quarterback who was streaking down the sidelines.

    Touchdown! Spartans win! 24-20!

    That halfback was Tom Yewcic and that play will forever be known as the "Transcontinental Pass."

    Trivia #4: Yewcic is not just the only player to win a Rose Bowl and also be named the College World Series Most Valuable Player - he accomplished that feat in the same year.

    Tom Yewcic: 2013 Michigan State Baseball Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

    One of the most decorated Spartans in school history, Yewcic was the starting quarterback in 1952 and 1953, leading the Spartans to an undefeated national championship in '52 and the program's first-ever Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl victory during the '53 season. In the spring of 1954, the first-team All-American catcher helped the baseball team win its first Big Ten title and advance to the College World Series.


    More good info on Tom Yewcic below:

    Tom Yewcic - Patriots Alumni

    2/4/2008 - Catching Up With Tom Yewcic |

    He played six seasons for the Boston Patriots and is considered one of the greatest punters in the team's history.

    A versatile athlete, Tom Yewcic sits behind only Rich Camarillo on the New England Patriots all-time list in punts (378) and punt yardage (14,553). He held the league record for most yards kicked in one game.Yewcic played for the Patriots from 1961-1966, and he did much more than punting. He also played quarterback and threw for 1,374 yards and 12 touchdowns over his six-year career.

    "It was a little different then than it is today," said Yewcic. "Today you are talking about a 53-man roster and talking specialization as far as centers, punters and kickers. When I was playing it was only a 32-man roster.

    "With a 32-man roster, you had to play more than one position in order to make the team. I was really a halfback coming out of high school, but when I went to Michigan State they converted me over to quarterback. It wasn't a big adjustment."

    Happy 71st birthday to Willie Germany
    Born May 9, 1948 in Columbus, Georgia
    Patriot safety, 1976; uniform #29

    Willie Germany appeared in ten games for the Patriots in 1976 as a backup and special teamer. One year earlier he had started for Houston in the season opening game at Foxboro. That game was played in a torrential downpour, and Germany scored the only touchdown of the day, on a fumble return as the Oilers defeated the Pats 7-0.

    Germany had a role in one of the most famous (infamous?) games in Patriot franchise history. He teamed with Dick Conn to successfully defend a desperation pass thrown by Ken Stabler that momentarily appeared to clinch a victory over Oakland in the '76 playoff game. Then Ben Dreith threw his flag on Ray Hamilton for a bogus roughing the passer penalty, and the rest is history...

    Happy 31st birthday to Ras-I-Dowling
    Born May 9, 1988 in Chesapeake, Virginia
    Patriot safety, 2011-2012; uniform #21
    Pats 2nd round (33rd overall) selection of the 2011 draft, from Virginia

    Many eyebrows were raised when the Patriots drafted Dowling so early, and in this case the armchair gm's were correct. Dowling injured his hip in week 2 of his rookie season and landed on IR, and then was placed on IR again in October of 2012 with a torn thigh muscle. He was part of roster cuts in August of 2013; his final stat line with the Patriots reads 9 games, 2 starts, 1 pass defensed, 11 combined tackles (8 plus 3 assists).

    Since then he has been on the practice squads of the Jets (of course), Raiders and Panthers, but has not been with any team since the end of 2015. His final NFL stat line reads 12 games (2 starts), 0 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 0 fumble recoveries, 1 pass defensed, 11 tackles (8 solo) and 1 tackle for a loss.


    Happy 25th birthday to Derek Rivers
    Born May 9, 1994 in Augusta, Maine
    Patriot DE, 2017-present; uniform #95
    Pats 3rd round (83rd overall) selection of the 2017 draft; from Youngstown State

    The Patriots have not yet had much production from Rivers. In his rookie training camp he tore his ACL, and spent all of 2017 rehabbing while on Injured Reserve. Rivers was a healthy scratch for ten games in 2018, accruing a stat line in just two regular season games. In the six games he was not inactive Rivers had two tackles, two quarterback hits, one tackle for a loss and one sack. He was on the field for 78 defensive snaps and three special team snaps last year. Rivers did play in the divisional round game against the Chargers but did not see the field in the AFCCG versus the Chiefs, and was inactive for the Super Bowl versus the Rams.

    Derek Rivers |


    Happy 42nd birthday to Wilbert Brown
    Born May 9, 1977 in Texarkana, Texas
    Patriot G, 2003-2004; uniform #60

    The Patriots claimed the former Skin off waivers heading up to the Pats week 4 game at Washington, leading some to conclude it was for espionage. If that was indeed the purpose it certainly did not work, although the loss to Steve Spurrier's club was the final loss for the Patriots that season.

    Brown was usually a game day inactive and only appeared in one game for the Pats in 2003. He was excused from the start of training camp in 2004 for personal reasons, and then placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report List on August 4. Brown was part of a group of players that was released in February 2005 just prior to the start of free agency.


    Happy 60th birthday to Chy Davidson
    May 9, 1959 in Queens Village, New York
    Patriot WR, 1981 (off season); uniform #88
    Pats 11th round (2nd overall) selection in the 1981 supplemental draft, from URI

    The Pats took a flyer on the former Rhode Island Ram, but he was cut at the end of training camp. Davidson later appeared in four games for the Jets in '84-'85, and prior to that spent time with both the NFL and USFL teams in Washington.

    Other pro football players with New England area connections:
    - Art Dorfman (5/9/1908): Everett HS, Boston University; C for 1929 Buffalo Bisons.
    - Doc Haggerty (5/9/1895); Nashua HS, Tufts; APFA guard, 1920-21.
    - Rob Porter (5/9/1962); Holy Cross; Giants safety during '87 strike/replacement games.
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