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jmt57

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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).
 

jmt57

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Staff member
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.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
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 | Patriots.com

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.​

 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
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.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
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.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
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 | masslive.com

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 | Patriots.com





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.
 

jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
Role Players



Happy 45th birthday to Grant Williams
Born May 10, 1974 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Patriot OT, 2000-2001; uniform #76

Williams was originally signed by the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent on March 17, 2000. He originally signed with Seattle as a rookie free agent out of Louisiana Tech, and spent four seasons with the Seahawks. The 6'7, 320-pound offensive lineman appeared in 29 regular season games for the Patriots in two seasons, starting eight games at right tackle and four games at left tackle. In two of his four 2001 starts RB Antowain Smith rushed for over 100 yards. Williams also played in each of the Pats three 2001 postseason games, including the Patriots' Super Bowl 36 Silence of the Rams.


St. Louis was apparently impressed by Williams and traded for him on August 19, 2002. The Pats had used two 2001 draft picks on tackles (Matt Light, Kenyatta Jones) and had Tom Ashworth and Russ Hochstein for depth, making Williams expendable. The Pats received a 7th round draft pick in return. That draft pick, along with a fifth rounder was traded to Tennessee for three draft picks. Those were used to select C Dan Koppen, QB Kliff Kingsbury and DT Ethan Kelly.

Williams played in 122 games with 49 over nine NFL seasons. He also appeared in seven playoff games, earning a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots. He is now an offensive line coach at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. He also attempts to provide positive spiritual influence and is a chaplain for baseball's St. Louis Cardinals. Williams also somehow finds time to coach at Westminster Christian Academy, a private christian school in St. Louis.





Happy 30th birthday to Jabaal Sheard
Born May 10, 1989 in Hollywood Hills, Florida
Patriot DE, 2015-2016; uniform #93

Sheard was signed to a 2-year, $11 mil contract early in 2015 free agency. That season he played in 13 games with one start, registering 37 tackles, 8 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 2 passes defensed. He also played in both playoff games, with 9 tackles.

The former Pitt Panther and Cleveland Brown took on a bigger role in 2016, playing in 15 games with 8 starts. In the playoffs Sheard had 2 tackles vs Houston, 3 vs Pittsburgh, and two tackles and a clutch pressure on Matt Ryan in Super Bowl 51. Sheard followed that up by wisely cashing in on a 3-year, $25 million contract with the Colts in 2017. He has started all 32 games with Indy the last two seasons.







May 10, 2012:
The Patriots announce 2012 coaching staff responsibilities and additions. Most notably Matt Patricia becomes the Defensive Coordinator. In addition Josh Boyer transitions from defensive backs coach to cornerbacks coach, while Brian Flores is promoted from a defensive assistant to safeties coach. Patrick Graham moves from linebacker coach to defensive line coach, swapping assignments with Pepper Johnson.

Elsewhere George Godsey is promoted from offensive assistant to tight ends coach. Joe Judge is hired as special teams assistant after previously being employed at the same position under Nick Saban at Alabama. In addition Stephen Belichick is hired as a coaching assistant.





May 10, 2019: Patriots reveal coaching staff changes in meeting with media

Coaches still were hesitant to reveal their official titles, but they did explain what their general responsibilities will be this season. Here’s a rundown of the changes:

— Former Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo is coaching inside linebackers, as he announced earlier this spring.

DeMarcus Covington is coaching outside linebackers and “the front seven.” He primarily worked with ‘backers as a coaching assistant last season.

Mike Pellegrino said he is coaching defensive backs. Safeties coach Steve Belichick confirmed he’s sticking with his position group (“They’re not escaping me,” he joked), so Pellegrino’s primary focus will be cornerbacks.

Pellegrino, 25, is a former lacrosse player for Johns Hopkins and the Boston Cannons. He joined the Patriots organization as a football operations intern in 2015 and spent the last three seasons as a coaching assistant.

Bret Bielema, the former Arkansas and Wisconsin head coach, will coach the defensive line. Bielema worked for the Patriots last season under the title “consultant to the head coach.”

Joe Judge will continue to coach the Patriots’ special teams but had added wide receivers to his plate this season. Assistant special teams coach Cameron Achord will help him manage the kicking game.

Josh McDaniels (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Ivan Fears (running backs), Dante Scarnecchia (offensive line), Nick Caley (tight ends) and Steve Belichick are remaining in their previous roles.

The Patriots have yet to name a defensive coordinator following the departures of Brian Flores and Greg Schiano this offseason. Head coach Bill Belichick is expected to handle coordinator duties himself this season.​




Other pro football players born May 10 with New England connections:

Curly Oden (5/10/1899); Providence native; went to Classical HS and Brown
Blocking Back for the Providence Steamrollers and Boston Braves, 1925-1932. In 1926 he scored ten touchdowns: 6 rushing, 1 receiving and 3 on punt returns.

Jeremy Trueblood, 36 (5/10/83); Boston College class of 2006
RT started 94 games from 2006-13, mostly for Tampa Bay.

'Chuckin' Charlie' O'Rourke (5/10/17); went to Malden HS and Boston College.
Montreal born QB/P was the 39th pick in the 1941 draft by the Bears. In '46 with the Los Angeles Dons he led the league in pass completion percentage (57.7%).

Dameon Reilly, 56 (5/10/63); University of Rhode Island, class of 1986.
The WR appeared in three games as a replacement player for Miami in 1987, with five receptions for 70 yards.
 

DarrylS

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Great job on this so many names I remember, forget or may not have even known..

I agree with the comments on Julius Adams, he toiled in the trenches for many years and as so many players at that time of -mediocrity in Pats history he never got the recognition he deserved...
 

jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
Butch Songin


Happy birthday to Edward 'Butch' Songin
Born May 11, 1924 in Walpole, Massachusetts
Died May 26, 1976 at the age of 52 in Foxborough
Patriot QB, 1960-1961; uniform #11



Like many early Patriots, Songin was a local guy; he graduated from Walpole High School and Boston College. In 1949 he won BC's most prestigious athletic honor, the Scanlan Award. Songin was captain and two-time All-American of BC's Hockey team, who were national champions in 1949. Songin threw 30 touchdowns for the Eagles from '47-'49, but an injury in the college all star game resulted in a drop in his draft status to 247th overall by the Browns in the 1950 draft.


Songin played minor league football for Erie in the last year of the American Association, but was unable to finish the season due to injury and missed the championship game. Over the decade Songin played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in what would later become the CFL, as well as some minor league hockey.

Butch Songin, Boston Patriots QB Played in the first AFL Game and for the Eastern Hockey League Worcester Warriors


At age 36 Songin was the starting QB for the Pats in the first ever American Football League game. He appeared in all 28 games over two seasons for the Pats, starting 18 games until Babe Parilli arrived and took over. During that time he threw 26 touchdown passes, and ran for two more. In both seasons Songin led the AFL with the lowest interception percentage.


On October 13, 1961 Songin led the Pats to a 4th quarter comeback against the defending champion Houston Oilers, capped by a touchdown pass to Gino Cappelletti. Two weeks later Songin rallied the Pats for a come from behind 18-17 victory over Hank Stram's Dallas Texans with a 4th quarter touchdown pass and two point conversion, then another drive to set up a game-winning field goal by Cappelletti.


Songin was also coaching football and hockey at Marian High School in Framingham at the same time that he was playing for the Patriots. He passed away at age 52 in Foxborough from cancer.



Edward Songin (1970) - Varsity Club Hall of Fame - Boston College Athletics





Happy 37th birthday to Andrew Walter
Born May 11, 1982 in Phoenix
Patriot QB, 2009 (off season); uniform #16

The Patriots signed the former Raider as a veteran free agent on August 9, 2009 after they released Matt Gutierrez. There was some speculation at the time that the move was made because Tom Brady would not be ready to start the season, that he was still recovering from the Bernard Pollard knee injury. Walter was released a month later during final roster cuts, the Pats electing to go with only two quarterbacks on the roster - with undrafted rookie Brian Hoyer winning the backup role over Walter, Gutierrez and Kevin O'Connell.


Frustrated over not getting a chance to play, Walter - who had been a third round draft pick just four years prior - retired from the NFL. He returned to Arizona State University and received an MBA. He started his own business, became managing partner of a commercial business lending firm. In 2014 Walter set his sights on representing his district in Washington, running for Congress.


Andrew Walter Interview | Arizona State Die Hard Sun Devil





Other pro football players with New England area connections born today:

Ed King (5/11/25-9/18/06); BC High and Boston College grad.
Played G/DL/LB from 1948-50 for Buffalo in the AAFC, and Baltimore after the league merged with the NFL.

Tom Lomasney (5/11/06-12/29/76); Salem High School class of 1924.
Lifelong resident of Salem was an end for the 1929 Staten Island Stapletons.

Bob Goodridge, 71 (5/11/46); born in Boston.
WR was a 6th round pick by Minnesota, playing in 11 games for the Vikings in 1968. At Vanderbilt in '67 Goodridge had 79 receptions for 1,114 yards.

Ben Roderick (5/11/66-11/30/74); Boston College.
Tailback for Buffalo and Canton in the twenties.

Darryl Pollard, 53 (5/11/64); born in Ellsworth Maine.
CB won two super bowl rings with the 49ers.

Al Dekdebrun (5/11/21-3/29/05)
QB for the Boston Yanks in the forties.
 

jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
Andre Carter


Happy 40th birthday to Andre Carter
Born May 12, 1979 in Denver
Patriot DE, 2011 and 2013; uniform #68 & #96

The 7th overall pick of the 2001 draft spent most of his playing days with San Francisco and Washington before catching on with the Patriots at the tail end of his career. Carter had 10 sacks in 2011 before missing the final two games with a torn quadriceps tendon, and was named to his first Pro Bowl. After season ending injuries to Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork, the Pats re-signed Carter for the last nine games of the 2013 season. Overall he had 12 sacks and 55 tackles with the Patriots, playing in 23 games with 14 starts, plus two playoff games. On November 13, 2011 Carter tied a franchise single game record with four sacks on Mark Sanchez in a 37-16 victory in New Jersey against the Jets.


Andre Carter finished his NFL career with 184 games played over 13 seasons, with 517 tackles (387 solo). He accumulated 80½ sacks, 115 tackles for a loss, 121 quarterback hits and 28 pass deflections. Carter also registered 18 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and a safety. He also had 12 tackles and 3 TFL in six playoff games. In February of 2017 Carter was hired as an assistant defensive line coach by Miami, a position he remained in for two years. In February of 2019 Adam Gase - who had been head coach in Miami - hired Carter to be his defensive line coach with the New York Jets.





Other pro football players with New England connections born today:

Chris Hovan, 41 (5/12/78); Boston College class of '99.
An All-American at BC, the DT spent ten years in the NFL with the Vikings and Bucs. He has since worked as a strength and conditioning coach for the University of South Florida, and defensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League.

Tim Walker, 61 (5/12/58); born in Hartford.
The linebacker played all 16 games for Seattle in 1980 before a neck injury forced him to retire.

Don McCauley, 70 (5/12/49); born in Worcester.
RB was a 1st round pick by the Colts in 1971 and scored 57 touchdowns over 11 seasons.

Fred Dugan, 86 (5/12/33); born and raised in Stamford.
TE/SE had 153 receptions and 13 TD from 1958-63.
 

jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
May 13 Birthdays


Happy birthday to Bill Rademacher
Born May 13, 1942 in Menomonie, Michigan
Died April 2, 2018 at age 75
Patriot WR, 1969-1970; uniform #33


Rademacher played the final two years of his football career with the Pats, after five seasons as a backup DB/WR with the Jets. He played in 27 games with five starts for the Boston Patriots, with 21 receptions for 268 yards, 12.8 yards per catch and three touchdowns. Rademacher later became assistant coach and then head coach at his alma mater, Northern Michigan. He was also a linebackers coach at Michigan State from 1983 to 1991.


NMU Sports Hall of Famer Bill Rademacher passes away - Northern Michigan University

A four-time letter-winner with the Wildcats from 1960-1963, Rademacher was an A.P. All America Honorable Mention selection in 1963. A wide receiver and defensive end for NMU, he went on to play professionally for seven years with the New York Jets and Boston Patriots. He was a member of the Jets team that won Super III.

After his playing career, he coached for two years at Xavier University before returning to NMU as an assistant coach in 1974. In his second season with the team, the Wildcats went 13-1 on their way to win the 1975 Division II National Championship.

Rademacher was named the Head Coach in 1978 and posted a 37-16 record in his five seasons behind his high-powered passing attack. He was named the 1980 Mid Continent Conference Coach of the Year. He left NMU in 1983 after accepting a coaching position at Michigan State University.

In 1981, Rademacher was inducted into the Northern Michigan University Sports Hall of Fame and was later enshrined into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.​




Happy 68th birthday to Guy Morriss
Born May 13, 1951 in Colorado City, Texas
Patriot LS/C, 1984-1987; uniform #75

Philadelphia selected Morriss with the 28th overall pick of the 1973 draft. The former TCU Horned Frog was an 11-year starter for the Eagles, playing in 158 games for Philly. Morriss played in 59 games with 22 starts for the Patriots, occasionally filling in at center due to injuries. He was one of the first players to strictly be a long snapper.

Morris was the Pats assistant offensive line coach in 1988 and 1989, and was part of the first Patriot team to play in a superbowl. Previously he had played in Super Bowl 15 with Philadelphia. Morris was also head coach at Kentucky for two years and Baylor for five seasons; unfortunately he is now battling Alzheimer's.


Wesley Woodyard, Guy Morriss and Tommy Bell to be Inducted into Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame

Morriss coached Kentucky in 2001 and 2002, finishing 2-9 in 2001 and 7-5 in 2002. He left UK after the 2002 season to become the head coach at Baylor. He returned to the Bluegrass briefly as an assistant at Kentucky State in 2008 before taking on the head-coaching duties at Texas A&M Commerce for four seasons (2009-12).

Morriss once again returned to the Bluegrass but this time to coach in the high school ranks. He was as an offensive line coach at Warren Central in 2014 and at Lexington Catholic in 2015.

Morriss' playing career was remarkable. He played college football at Texas Christian University and spent 15 seasons as an offensive lineman in NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles (1973–1983) and the New England Patriots (1984–1987). Morris played in over 200 regular season games during his NFL career and started at center for the Eagles in Super Bowl XV.

After his playing days were over, Morriss made the transition to coaching. He got his coaching start in 1988 as the offensive line coach for the Patriots under Raymond Berry. In 1992, after a brief stint as the head coach of the Washington Marauders of the Professional Spring Football League, Morriss coached under Hal Mumme and alongside Mike Leach at Valdosta State University before rejoining Mumme at Kentucky in 1997, where he was the school's offensive line and assistant head coach.​




Happy 47th birthday to Josh Taves
Born May 13, 1972 in Watsonville, CA
Patriot DE, 1997

Though he was born in California, Josh Taves grew up locally. He went to Dennis-Yarmouth High School and then Northeastern from 1991-94. Taves was with the Patriots in the 1997 offseason but was waived prior to the start of the regular season. He did play in 29 games for Carolina and Oakland, and also spent a year in NFL Europe with Barcelona. Taves was with the Raiders when Oakland lost to the Patriots in the snow in the 2001 divisional playoff game.

Aug 20,1977 - NFL Transactions

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Waived LB Monty Brown, WR Hason Graham, WR Ray Lucas, OL Curtis McGee, OL Juan Porter, DL Josh Taves, DL Jermaine Miles, DL Therone McQueen, LB Richard Alvarado, LB James Williams, LB Chris Wing, DB Jason Parker and DB Allan Jackson.​

Josh Taves

Taves had an outstanding career at Northeastern before playing in the NFL. A four-year letterman, Josh had a career-best 43 tackles in 1993 (with three sacks and four fumble recoveries) for the Huskies. In 1994, he had 42 tackles and a career-high four sacks.

After graduating in 1995, Taves went undrafted by the NFL and originally signed with the Detroit Lions as a rookie free agent. Josh did not play for the Lions that year and was signed by the New England Patriots for the 1997 season, but he did not play that year either. In 1998, Taves played for the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe. He started all ten games for the Dragons and had 34 tackles, a team-high nine sacks, and three forced fumbles. He was named first-team All-NFL Europe, and the league's defensive MVP in 1998. Later that year, he was signed by the Miami Dolphins but did not play in the NFL.

In 1999, the Raiders signed Taves but released him before the season; he then signed with the team again in 2000 and played in every game. In the regular season, Josh had 23 total tackles (20 solo), three sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception. In the January 6 play-off game against Jay Fiedler and the Miami Dolphins, Taves assisted in one tackle in Oakland's 27-0 victory -- it was the first playoff shutout in Raiders history. In the 2001 AFC Championship game, Josh had two tackles (one solo and one unassisted) in the Raiders' 16-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Raiders finished the 2001 regular season with a record of 10-6 and won the AFC West. During the season, Taves made 12 tackles (9 unassisted) with one sack. In the playoffs, they defeated the New York Jets in the first round but lost in their next game to the New England Patriots.

Josh finished with 86 tackles, 8 sacks, and 4 fumble recoveries at Northeastern. With Barcelona, Taves started all ten games and finished with 34 tackles, a league-leading 9 sacks.​


Josh Taves | Sports Acupuncture

Josh Taves is a Licensed Acupuncturist with Sports Performance Acupuncture and Lead Acupuncturist of the Sports Medicine Department at St. Mary’s College.

Josh had a previous externship with UC Berkeley Athletic Department and is a graduate of Acupuncture & Integrated Medicine College. He is a former NFL defensive linemen for the Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.

After enduring years of injuries in the NFL Josh was exposed to the top doctors and sports therapists igniting a lifelong passion for healing others. Josh’s approach to treatment is to combine the best treatment options for each client – a “Bruce Lee approach”. From acupuncture and myo-fascial release to joint manipulations, shiatsu and herbal formulas, Josh is known to blend and perfect treatment plans making him extraordinarily equipped to handle the needs of athletes.

Josh’s passion is treating sports related injuries and chronic pain to help his clients achieve their full potential on the golf course, in the yoga studio, during cross training or on the running trail. He is known for his holistic approach to patient’s well-being, incorporating tailored acupuncture treatment with dietary and supplement guidance.​




One other pro football player with New England connections:

Tom Nalen, 48 (May 13, 1971); Foxborough High School and Boston College.
Five-time Pro Bowl center played 198 games for Denver from 1994-2007.
 

jmt57

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Gronk


Happy 30th birthday to Rob Gronkowski
Born May 14, 1989 in Amherst, New York
Patriot TE, 2010 - 2018; uniform #87
Pats 2nd round (42nd overall) selection in 2010, from Arizona

- 5 Pro Bowls, 4-time All Pro, 3-time Super Bowl champion.



Patriot franchise records:
  • Most career touchdown receptions (79)
  • Most games with multiple touchdowns (16)
  • Most games with 100+ receiving yards by a tight end (26)
  • Highest single season receiving yards per game average for a tight end (82.9 ypg in 2011)
  • Youngest Patriot with 3 touchdown receptions in a game
  • Youngest Patriot with 3 touchdown receptions in a playoff game



NFL records
  • Most receptions by a tight end in Super Bowl history (23)
  • Most receiving yards by a tight end in Super Bowl history (297)
  • Most career postseason receiving touchdowns by a tight end (12)
  • Only tight end with 1,000+ career postseason receiving yards
  • Most career postseason receiving yards by a tight end (1,163)
  • Only tight end to lead the league in receiving touchdowns (17 in 2011)
  • Most touchdown receptions by a tight end in a single season (17 in 2011)
  • Most total touchdowns by a tight end in a single season (18 in 2011)
  • Most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season (1,327 in 2011)
  • Most seasons with 10+ touchdowns by a tight end (5: 2010–12, 2014–15)
  • Most career receiving yards per game by a tight end (68.3)
  • Most career touchdowns per game by a tight end (0.69)
  • Most average yards per target by a tight end (9.9)
  • Only tight end to have 3 seasons with 10+ touchdowns plus 1,000+ receiving yards (2011, 2014, 2015)
  • Most consecutive seasons with 10+ touchdowns by a tight end (3; 2010–12)
  • Most touchdowns in first two seasons (28; tied with Randy Moss)
  • Most seasons of 1,000+ yards receiving by a tight end: (4; tied with Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten)
  • Youngest player with 3 touchdown receptions in a single game
  • Youngest player with 3 touchdown receptions in a playoff game




Career Stats:
  • 115 regular season games played
  • 521 receptions on 794 targets (66% catch percentage)
  • 15.1 yards per reception
  • 79 receiving touchdowns (80 total)
  • 4 fumbles on 522 touches (0.8%)
  • 16 playoff games
  • 12-4 in the postseason (.750)
  • 81 receptions for 1,163 yards
  • 14.4 yards per reception
  • 12 touchdowns
 

jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
Obscure May 14 Birthdays



Happy 29th birthday to Don Jones
Born May 14, 1990 in Tuscumbia, Alabama
Patriot safety, 2014; uniform #29 and #31


The Pats claimed Jones off waivers from Miami on September 1, 2014. He appeared in nine out of 11 games with the Pats before being released in late November, recording six solo tackles while being used almost exclusively on special teams. Jones also played for the Saints, Browns, Texans and 49ers, appearing in 56 regular season and two playoff games. Although he was released prior to the postseason, Jones did earn a Super Bowl ring for his contribution to the 2014 New England Patriots.




Happy 54th birthday to Darren Twombly
Born May 14, 1965 in Manchester, MA
Patriot center, 1987; uniform #64

It may have been a replacement game, but in week four Twombly became the first and only native of well-heeled Manchester (oh, excuse me; Manchester-by-the-sea) MA (class of '83) to play in an NFL game. Prior to that Twombly went to Boston College, playing on the Doug Flutie era teams. Twombly still lives in his home town today, employed in the field of social work and benefits.





Note: Pro Football Reference also lists Sylvester Stanley as being born today, but that is incorrect; he was born on November 30, 1970.



Other pro football players with New England connections:

Kelvin Martin, 54 (5/14/65); Boston College, 83-86
After catching passes from Doug Flutie, K-Mart spent ten years in the NFL, mostly for Dallas. He had 4,768 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns, and another 2,567 yards with three TD on punt returns. In 1992 he led the NFL in punt return yardage.

Dave Widell, 54 (5/14/65); South Catholic HS (Hartford), Boston College
The offensive lineman played in 156 games with Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville and Atlanta.

Rob Francois, 34 (5/14/85); Governor Dummer Academy, Boston College
LB played in 39 games for the Packers from 2010-13.

John Kissell (5/14/23 - 4/9/92); Nashua HS and Boston College
DT was a 4-time league champion with the Browns.

Earl Audet (5/14/21 - 12/18/02); Lockwood HS (Warwick RI)
OT played in 51 games from 1945-48 for Washington and the Los Angeles Dons of the AAFC.
 

jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
Players born the same day as jmt57


Happy 65th birthday to Doug Beaudoin
Born May 15, 1954 in Dickinson, North Dakota
Patriot safety, 1976-1979; uniform #27
Pats 9th round (243rd overall) selection of the 1976 draft, from Minnesota


Beaudoin played 45 games with 20 starts for the oh-so-close Patriots of the late seventies. In week 8 of '78 he intercepted two Bob Griese passes that led to touchdowns in a 33-24 win that put the Patriots in a first place tie with the Dolphins at 6-2. Injuries limited his playing time the following year, and he ended up playing with the Miami in '80, San Diego in '81, and then spent three seasons with Tampa in the USFL.

Former NFL Player: I Guarantee I Have CTE

Defensive back Doug Beaudoin was a ninth-round draft pick out of the University of Minnesota in 1976. Beaudoin played with the Patriots through 1979, with the Dolphins in 1980 and with the Chargers in 1981. From 1983 to 1986 he played with the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits, and Beaudoin now lives in the Tampa area where he works in sales for the FX Marketing Group. He is one of the more than 4,500 former NFL players who filed suit against the league over concussions and other head injuries.


Coming Home: Beaudoin one of 13 to enter JHS Athletic Hall of Fame

Beaudoin, a 1972 JHS graduate, was named North Dakota High School Athlete of the Year in '71 after leading the Blue Jays to an 8-1 record in football, a 22-5 mark in basketball and placing second in the Class A state long jump competition. Beaudoin would become a four-year starter at safety in the NCAA's Big Ten Conference for Minnesota, and in 1976 he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the ninth round of a then 17-round NFL Draft—the same draft in which New England selected future NFL Hall of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes fifth overall.

...

Beaudoin played seven seasons in the NFL, five for New England and making stops in Miami and San Diego in '80 and '81, respectively. Beaudoin recorded four interceptions during his NFL run, but was hampered throughout his professional career by an injury suffered during his senior track season at Jamestown High.

"I'll never forget it," Beaudoin said. "We were running the 440 relay in Valley City and it was about 30 degrees and sleeting. I took the baton for the home stretch, probably ran about 30 yards, and my hamstring snapped. I was probably never the same after that."

The born athlete said his time in the 40-yard dash fell from approximately 4.40 to 4.60, and hamstring issues would cloud weeks of strong play on the gridiron even as Beaudoin ascended to the sport's highest level. His New England teammate in the secondary, Mike Haynes, brought up Beaudoin's injury-prone legs while the two shared a moment in Canton, Ohio, in 1987.

Haynes was getting his call to the NFL Hall of Fame.

"We were sitting there and I was congratulating him on his Hall of Fame career, and he said, "You know what, Doug? If not for your hamstrings, you'd probably be sitting here too," Beaudoin recalled.





Happy 76th birthday to Rickie Harris
Born May 15, 1943 in St. Louis, Missouri
Patriot safety, 1971-1972; uniform #25

Undrafted out of Arizona, Harris spent his first six NFL seasons with Washington. As a rookie he led the league with 12.2 yards per punt return. Over those six years he averaged 8.4 yards on 119 punt returns, with three touchdowns. Harris also averaged 22.8 yards on 102 kickoff returns.


Harris was used sparingly on returns with the Patriots, but saw plenty of playing time at safety. He appeared in all 28 regular season games over two seasons for the Pats, with 21 starts. Harris had three interceptions during his time with New England, then spent two years in the WFL.

The Player Whose Bell Stayed Rung

Most Blazers players—a mix of NFL refugees like Harris and rookies right out of college—didn’t get paid for weeks at a time. Some didn’t get paid at all. Yet head coach Jack Pardee, forced to pay for locker room toilet paper out of his own pocket, used victimhood to bind his squad. The Blazers made it all the way to World Bowl I, the first and only WFL championship game.

The specific tale I’d been chasing for years held that just before kickoff of that big game, one of the unpaid Blazers took a stand on behalf of his penniless brothers by snatching the coin from the coin toss—-and keeping it. I’d heard long ago that Harris, the Blazers’ defensive captain, was that guy.

Yup, says Harris: “They called ‘Heads!’ and I scooped it up and said, ‘At least I get paid this week!’” We’re both laughing at the punchline.




Happy 43rd birthday to Michael Bishop
Born May 15, 1976 in Galveston, Texas
Patriot QB, 1999-2000; uniform #7
Pats 7th round (227th overall) selection of the 1999 draft, from Kansas State

Michael Bishop was a healthy scratch for all but one game his rookie season. Because of his strong arm and mobility, he came in for the final play of the half in week 6 vs the Colts, and completed a 44 yard Hail Mary touchdown. The concept of fans loving the backup on a losing team was in full force, and it hit a crescendo when Bishop was released during 2001 training camp. Thankfully Bill Belichick wasn't listening, and had kept Tom Brady on the roster instead. Bishop finished his Patriot career with 8 games played, going 3/9 for 80 yards and one TD.


Bishop played in NFL Europe in 2001, then was cut by the Packers at the end of training camp before the start of the 2001 season. He went on to spend the next ten years mostly in the CFL, a couple of seasons of the Arena League, and finally stops in two lower level indoor football leagues in 2009.

In 2000, dual-threat quarterback Michael Bishop—and not relative unknown Tom Brady—was seen as a better prospect for the New England Patriots




Other pro football players born today with New England connections:

Cliff Olander, 64 (5/15/55); born in Hartford.
QB played in 15 games over three seasons with the Chargers. Later won the Grey Cup with Edmonton in the CFL, and then played in the USFL.

Pete Lamana (5/15/21 - 8/7/07); born in Bristol, went to Springfield Cathedral and BU.
LB/C/FB played 35 games for the Chicago Rockets in the forties.

Swede Ellstrom (5/15/06 - 4/25/94); WB for the 1934 Boston Redskins and 1936 Boston Shamrocks.

Joe Murphy (5/15/97 - 5/22/40); born in Concord NH, went to Worcester Academy, Hebron Academy, Harvard and Dartmouth. Played eight games at guard in 1920-21.

Butch Spagna (5/15/97 - 12/11/48); Avon (MA) High School, Brown University.
OL played 32 games in the twenties.



Plenty of other famous (and infamous) pro football players were also born May 15, including:
- LB Ray Lewis
- QB Ryan Leaf
- RB Emmitt Smith
- WR Rod Smith
- S Joey Browner
- LB Don Shinnick
- WR Desmond Howard: annihilated the Patriots with his returns in Super Bowl 31. I had the pleasure of meeting with him once at a charity fundraiser, and we spoke for quite some time. I have to say that Desmond Howard is a super nice guy who, on a side note, was extremely positive and complimentary of Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History


Happy 36th birthday to Ellis Hobbs
Born May 16, 1983 in Niagara Falls
Patriot CB, 2005-2008; uniform #27
Pats 3rd round (84th overall) selection in the 2005 draft, from Iowa State

Hobbs played in 79 regular season and 8 playoff games with the Patriots. He had ten interceptions, five fumble recoveries and three kickoffs returned for touchdowns. In an early 2007 game I can remember screaming at the television when Hobbs decided to take a kickoff out from eight yards deep in the end zone versus the Jets... and a few seconds later whooping it up after he ran it back 108 yards for a score.


Hobbs was victimized in the 2006 AFCCG loss at Indianapolis when the referee flagged him for face guarding - even though that penalty no longer existed. The 5-9 Hobbs was also inexplicably left alone to cover 6-5 Plaxico Burress at the goal line in the super bowl loss to the Giants a year later. Hobbs went on to spend two years with the Eagles, but then had to retire due to neck injuries.


Ellis Hobbs played in 79 regular season NFL games (63 for New England), with 56 starts (46 for the Pats). While in a Patriot uniform he averaged 27.7 yards on 105 kickoff returns, with three touchdowns. He had nine interceptions, 41 passes defensed, five fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble. Hobbs is credited with 198 tackles (162 solo) with the Pats, six tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and two quarterback hits. He also played in eight playoff games with the Patriots, with two interceptions.





Happy 34th birthday to Derrick Martin
Born May 16, 1985 in Denver
Patriot safety, 2012; uniform #26

Martin was a special teams ace, playing in 73 regular season games over eight NFL seasons with four starts. The Ravens drafted Martin in the sixth round of the 2006 draft out of Wyoming. After three seasons in Baltimore he spent two with the Packers, then one each with the Giants, Patriots and Bears. Martin received Super Bowl rings in 2010 and 2011 with Green Bay and New York.


In 2012 Martin was let go by the Patriots during roster cuts at the end of training camp, but was re-signed in mid-season when Sterling Moore was released. Martin appeared in five games for the Pats in 2012, the first coming in a 37-31 victory over the Bills in week ten.

Football Journey: Derrick Martin | Mike Reiss, espn

High School Coach of the Week: Derrick Martin




Happy 59th birthday to Randy Sealby
Born May 16, 1960 in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Patriot LB, 1987; uniform #59

Replacement player got in for two games, with a fumble recovery on his stat sheet.




Happy 68th birthday to Merv Krakau
Born May 16, 1951 in Jefferson, Iowa
Patriot LB, 1978; uniform #53

Merv Krakau was a very late (14th round, 344th overall) draft pick out of Iowa State by Buffalo in 1973. He defied the odds and not only survived roster cuts, but became a starter in '75. In 1976 Krakau led Buffalo in tackles and ranked second in the NFL with six fumble recoveries.

After 5½ years with the Bills he arrived in Foxborough near the end of the 1978 season. His one and only game with the Patriots came in a week 15 26-24 victory over the Bills. Krakau later played for the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL.

Merv Krakau (2007) - Hall of Fame - Iowa State University Athletics

Merv Krakau Honored | Raccoon Valley Radio





Happy 25th birthday to Kamu Grugier-Hill
Born May 16, 1994 in Honolulu
Patriot OLB 2016 (offseason); uniform #48

Pats 6th round (208th overall) selection in the 2016 draft, from Eastern Illinois

KGH was waived on September 3, 2016 as part of final roster cuts, and claimed the next day by Philadelphia. In his rookie season he appeared in twelve games for the Eagles last year, almost exclusively on special teams. In 2017 his playing time increased (from one defensive snap to 85, and to 343 special team snaps) as he appeared in all 19 games. The following year the Eagles again expanded his role, with KGH on the field for 328 defensive snaps (32% of the defense's plays).

"Not going to lie. I was hoping and praying they were going to win, because I wanted them so bad," Grugier-Hill admitted. "I want to go out there. I've been talking to my friends that I have on the team over there already. It's a big one for me, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I want to show them and show the world exactly why they should have kept me."
- Kamu Grugier Hill on how he felt to play against the Patriots in Super Bowl 52





Other pro football player with New England connections born today include:
- Mickey Erickson (5/16/1905); center for the 1932 Boston Braves.
- Eddie Casey (5/16/1894); born in Natick, went to Natick HS, Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard. Only played in one pro game, for the 1920 Buffalo All-Americans.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today In Patriots History
What? We just drafted a guy that
hasn't started since high school?!!!




Happy 37th birthday to Matt Cassel
Born May 17, 1982 in Northridge, California
Patriot QB, 2005-2008; uniform #16

Seventh round (230th overall) selection of the 2005 NFL draft, out of USC.

- Thanks to Bernard Pollard, Cassel played in all sixteen 2008 games, with 15 starts.
- Despite having not started at any level of play in eight years, the Pats went 11-5 with Cassel throwing for 3,693 yards (8th in the NFL that season), with 21 TDs against 11 interceptions.
- His 3,946 career passing yards ranks 8th in franchise history.
- Has managed to stay in the league long enough (14 years) to have been paid over $65 million. The player he backed up in college (Matt Leinart) lasted only seven years and made $18 million.
- In 2005 the Raiders wanted to move up, to draft Anttaj Hawthorne. The Patriots received two picks in return, which turned into Cassel and OT Ryan O'Callaghan. Those two played for a combined 159 games over 19 seasons (and counting), plus nine playoff games. Hawthorne lasted two seasons, playing in 18 games.
- In 2009 the Patriots traded Cassel and Mike Vrabel to KC for a draft pick that was used to select Patrick Chung.





Other players born today with New England connections:

Matt Ryan, 34 (May 17, 1985)
Boston College QB, 2004-2007
Atlanta Falcon QB, 2008- present
The ACC Offensive Player of the Year in '07, Ryan is the highest (3rd overall) former Eagle to ever be drafted in the NFL. Heading into the 2019 season, Ryan ranks 12th all-time in NFL history with 46,720 career passing yards and should be in the top ten by season's end. He also ranks 12th with 295 career passing touchdowns.

Lou Kirouac, 79 (May 17, 1940)
Born in Manchester NH, Kirouac went to Bishop Bradley High School in Manchester and then Boston College.
OL and K with Giants, Colts and Falcons from 1963-1967.

Ace Parker (5/17/1912)
Hall of Fame quarterback, tailback and defensive back from the late 30s and early 40s who played at Fenway Park for the Boston Yanks in 1945.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
Bob Dee


Happy birthday to Bob Dee
Born May 18, 1933 in Quincy
Died April 18, 1979 at the age of 45
Patriot Left Defensive End, 1960-1967; uniform #89


Why am I a lifelong hardcore fan of the Patriots? It probably has something to do with growing up two blocks from Bob Dee, who would regularly come speak at our Little League banquets and Cub Scout meetings. The three sport letterman from Holy Cross spent a few years with Washington before retiring, so he could return to his alma mater to coach linemen. That was short lived, as he joined the Pats in the American Football League's inaugural season. Dee is credited with scoring the first touchdown in AFL history, a fumble recovered in the end zone against the Bills in the league's first preseason game. He is the only Patriot to ever wear #89 and to the best of my knowledge is the only pro football player from Braintree to appear in a regular season game.


A true ironman, Dee started every single game for eight straight seasons and was a five-time AFL All-Star. He retired from pro football due to a business opportunity to run an environmental services company. Jet Line Services Inc. was one of the region's first hazardous waste cleanup firms. One of his employees was a neighbor who had just graduated from high school whom he mentored, Alan McKim. He later started Clean Harbors, which is now the largest waste remediation firm in North America.


Bob Dee is a member of the Pats All-Decade team for the 1960s and a member of the American Football League Hall of Fame. In 1993 he became the fourth player enshrined to the Patriots Hall of Fame. The helmet he wore for 105 of those 112 consecutive games played is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


The Boston Patriots' Bob Dee | Tales from the AFL

Not the largest player at his position at 6’4” and 250 lbs., Dee stressed a finesse game, preferring to overcome blockers with moves rather than through brute force. From his defensive line position, Bob Dee became one of the stalwarts around which the Patriots built a punishing defense. By 1963, Dee and his defensive mates were a feared squad that forced their opposition to throw the ball because of their solid run defense.


Bob Dee with Boston Mayor John Collins and another politician

New England Patriots of the Past: Bob Dee | Last Word on Pro Football

Dee established himself as one of the most physical and punishing defensive linemen in the league, racking up 33 sacks in his eight years in the league. Dee’s play earned him five AFL All-Star nominations to go along with four Second-team All-AFL honors.

One of Dee’s more memorable games came in the 1963 Eastern Divisional Playoff Game against the rival Bills. Dee recorded two interceptions in that game, and famously played one sneaker and one shoe with spikes, supposedly to help his grip in the snow. The method might have been unconventional, but the result worked. The Patriots won, 26-8, in large part thanks to his efforts.

Bob Dee, Defensive Lineman | The Patriots Hall of Fame

 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History

Not nearly as notable as Bob Dee, but two other Patriots share May 18 birth dates:

Happy 54th birthday to Gregg Rakoczy
Born May 18, 1965 in Camden, New Jersey
Patriot center, 1991-1992; uniform #71

Football star Gregg Rakoczy looks back

The sharpest snapshot of Gregg Rakoczy's playing days at the University of Miami — the one his children literally freeze-framed on the TV screen — comes midway through the ESPN 30-for-30 documentary The U.

There's Rakoczy on the sideline, flashing the No. 1 sign with his index finger, his smile revealing both his pride in the Hurricanes' swaggering success as well as the absence of a front tooth.

"My kids loved that," Rakoczy said.​

While Rakoczy was at the University of Miami the Hurricanes went 40-9, full of swagger and trash talk. That stint included the epic national championship victory over Nebraska.

Miami won four national titles between 1983 and 1991. Beyond that, the Hurricanes changed the atmosphere around the sport, bringing a brash exuberance — as well as an electrifying playing style — to the game and becoming a symbol of the emergence of an urban, hip-hop culture that soon would land center square in American society.

Rakoczy found himself right at home in Coral Gables, winning a national championship as a freshman — when Miami beat a Nebraska team that featured fellow former South Jersey stars Mike Rozier and Irving Fryar in an epic 1984 Orange Bowl — and serving as a cornerstone of the program after Jimmy Johnson replaced Howard Schnellenberger and brazenly took the team's Bad Boy image to another level.

"We had that swagger," Rakoczy said of his days in Miami. "We just didn't think we could lose. That was our attitude.

"But what we did was work so hard. We worked so hard in practice and so hard in meetings and in the film room. We lived, ate and slept football."

Rakoczy helped recruit Pennsauken stars Greg Mark and Jason Hicks to Miami. And Rakoczy had pitched practice battles with a future Eagles star defensive tackle, the late great Jerome Brown.

"Practicing against that guy is the reason I was able to play in the NFL," Rakoczy said of the irrepressible Brown.​

The former Miami Hurricane was selected by the Browns with the 32nd overall pick of the 1987 draft. Rakoczy started at center and right guard for four seasons with Cleveland before arriving in Foxborough. As a rookie he was on the losing side of "The Fumble" loss to Denver in the AFCCG.

Over two years Rakoczy appeared in 21 games with four starts for the Patriots, finishing his NFL career with 81 games played over six seasons.


Bio - Gregg Rakoczy

Today Gregg lives in Florida... He has worked for AT&T for the last 14 years and serves as a Lead Product Manager for online ordering of Managed Business Services.

Gregg has been actively involved youth sports in his area. He has been a board member and baseball manager for his sons' Little League team. He is also a Pop Warner Head Football Coach for the New Tampa Sharks Mitey Mites.​




Happy 46th birthday to Walter Scott
Born May 18, 1973 in Augusta, Georgia
Patriot DE, 1996; uniform #94

Walter Scott was signed by the Packers out of East Carolina after going undrafted. Scott was acquired by the Patriots in late August '96 as part of the completion of a previous trade with Green Bay. He played in just two games: October 6 at Baltimore and October 20 at Indianapolis.

Injuries to defensive backs resulted in Bill Parcells releasing Scott, in order to provide roster space replenish the secondary. The Packers then re-signed him to their practice squad, which meant in an odd twist that Scott was going to be part of a Super Bowl winning team regardless of the outcome of SB 31. He later signed with Miami before a final cut to end his career in February of 2000.




Others pro football players born today with New England area ties:

Ray White, 70 (5/18/1949)
Weymouth MA
MLB was a 5th round pick out of Syracuse and played for the Chargers and Cardinals from '71-76. What are the odds of guys from Braintree and Weymouth being born on the same day that were both pro football players? According to Pro Football Reference Braintree High School has produced one (Bob Dee), and the two Weymouth high schools a total of four.

Sandy Osiecki, 59 (5/18/1960)
Ansonia CT
QB got in to four games for the Chiefs in '84, and also played in NFL Europe.

Franny Garvey (5/18/1901)
Born in Worcester, died in Chelsea and went to Holy Cross.
Left End for the Providence Steamrollers, 1925-1926.

Carroll Hardy, 86 (5/18/1933)
HB was a third round pick by the Niners in '55, but that was his only year in the NFL. Hardy chose baseball over football, bouncing between the minors and the big leagues through 1967. He played for the Red Sox from 1960-62, and is most well known for being the trivia answer to 'who is the only player to ever pinch hit for Ted Williams'?

Hardy later went back to football, working for twenty years with the Broncos. He was the player personnel director for Denver during the 'Orange Crush Defense' days in the late 70s when the Broncos transformed from a doormat to one of the best teams in the league.




Carroll Hardy | Society for American Baseball Research

His long career in professional sports, as a player and executive,” wrote Jerry Crowe in the Los Angeles Times, “had a sort of Forrest Gump quality to it.” His career connected with Y. A. Tittle, Joe Perry, Hugh McIlhenny, and John Elway of football, and Ted Williams, Roger Maris, and Carl Yastrzemski of baseball.

. . . . .

By February 1956, the Plain Dealer reported that Hardy thought he had enough of a chance to make the Indians that he was considering giving up football. He was assigned to Triple A, to the Indianapolis Indians. Playing football had been tough, and that may well have been a factor in his decision-making. “Football is fun,” he told sportswriter Harry Jones. “Pretty rough, though.” Jones then explained that Hardy had had his front teeth knocked out in a game against the Baltimore Colts, suffered torn rib cartilage in an exhibition game against the Cleveland Browns, and was knocked unconscious not once, but twice, by the Chicago Bears. For his part, Hardy said, “I like pro football, but if I do as well in baseball this year as I hope to, I’ll give up football. It’s not for financial reason either. I suppose I could make as much money playing eight years of pro football, but you never know when you’ll get hurt and have your career finished. Anyhow, I think I can do better in baseball.”​
 
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