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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
     
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  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter Weekly Picks Winner

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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...
     
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  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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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


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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
     
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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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.

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    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.

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    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.
     
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  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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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.

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    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.

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    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.​

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    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.
     
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  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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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
     
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  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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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

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    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.

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    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.
     
  8. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Buon compleanno grande immenso Gronk

    You are allready missed :(
     
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  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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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

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    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.

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    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.

    [​IMG]




    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
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  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]




    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

    [​IMG]




    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.
     
  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]




    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.
     
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  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    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

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    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

     
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  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    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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  14. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Jmt57 you are doing an excellent activity
    Compliments and tks for yr efforts

    Bravo
     
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  15. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What IPP said! THANK YOU!

    I'm amazed at the breadth and depth. Many of these guys were way before my time, of course, but I'm struck by the ones you have dug up who were Patriots when I WAS already following the team of whom I don't have any recollection (Don Jones?)

    I remember Andrew Walter, though. I remember thinking when I watched him play for the Raiders that I couldn't remember seeing a more inept NFL quarterback. Then the Patriots signed him, so I assumed, of course, that I must have been wrong. Three weeks later, he was on his way ...
     
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  16. patfanken

    patfanken PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And ditto from me.

    2 short asides - Butch Songin was so into football that he actually played a few games for the Quincy Giants in 1969. I played defense so I never interacted with him except at practice. He was in his early 40's then.

    Bob Dee I knew better. He was a defensive coach and sometimes worked with the LB's

    Football was a lot different then. Even in the NFL and AFL, for most players it was more like a part time job. As you noted Dee left football because he had a better business opportunity. Not like now where you can be a 3rd round pick and get a 4 year $10MM contract, and if you fill it, you've set your family up for life. Back then the minimum contracts were in the $14K/yr range for the bottom third of the roster.

    BTW- Tommy Heinsohn made MUCH more money in the insurance business than he ever did playing basketball and he was a star. Like I said, different times
     
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  17. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Just observed Mr Jones being penalized on Special Teams against the Bengals in 2014 ... :rolleyes:
     
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  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    He can tell his grandkids about the time

    he was above TB12 on the depth chart


    Happy 52nd birthday to John Friesz
    Born May 19, 1967 in Missoula, Montana
    Patriot QB, 1999-2000; uniform #17

    [​IMG]

    Friesz was 32 when he arrived in New England; a career backup with the exception of going 4-12 as the starter for the 1991 Chargers. He got playing time in one 2000 game after Drew Bledsoe jammed his thumb; it didn't go well. An interception on the one-yard line of a 16-13 overtime loss to Buffalo in 2000 brought out the boo-birds, and chants for Michael Bishop. Friesz was 11-21 for 66 yards, no touchdowns and that one pick in what would be his only game with stats for the Patriots. He finished his NFL career with 8,699 passing yards, 45 TD and 42 INT. He was released in February of 2001, desite erroneous reports that claim Tom Brady's ascent up the depth chart was aided by Friesz retiring.

    Pretty good column on John Friesz below:
    10/31/2010 - Storytelling with John Friesz | The Coeur d'Alene Press

    Clad in his New England Patriots uniform at a Monday night football game in 2000, John Friesz' thoughts traveled back home to Coeur d'Alene.

    "When I was at the end of my professional career, that's all I could think about was comin' back here to elk hunt in October or deer hunt in November. And here I was playin' football. I'll never forget, it was a Monday night game at the New York Jets. Tom Brady was the fourth-string quarterback and I was the back-up quarterback... It's incredible, the atmosphere. John Madden is there. It's just a huge game... The stadium, literally, you could feel it shaking. And I said to Brady, 'I don't even want to be here. The deer are runnin' back there. They're chasin' the does and that's where I wanna be.' I always knew I was comin' back (to Coeur d'Alene) for sure. And I couldn't wait to do that."

    Friesz began his 11-year professional quarterback career with four teams when The San Diego Chargers chose him in the sixth round of the 1990 NFL Draft. Prior to the pros, Friesz gained national recognition for his quarterbacking excellence at the University of Idaho. Amongst many accomplishments as a Vandal, Friesz is the university's first inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.

    But before the spotlight shone on Friesz as a football star, he was an easy-going North Idaho kid who loved our outdoor paradise and playing sports. Baseball was his first and favorite one.

    [​IMG]
    John Friesz (17), Michael Bishop (7) and Drew Bledsoe (11)

    John Friesz (2007) -Hall of Fame - University of Idaho Athletics

    Friesz won the 1989 Walter Payton Award as the national player of the year at the NCAA I-AA level, and a three-time All-American, including a first-team honoree each of his final two seasons. Friesz was also a three-time Big Sky Player of the Year. He led the nation in passing yards as a junior and again as a senior and still holds the NCAA I-AA record for consecutive 300-yard passing games (10). Friesz finished his career with 10,697 career passing yards, and when his career was over he ranked third in DI-AA history for career passing yards per game at 305.6. He became a part of Idaho and NCAA history in 2006, when his number 17 was retired at Idaho and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

    4/24/1990 - Chargers 'Steal' a Quarterback: NFL draft: They didn't draft John Friesz of Idaho until the sixth-round, but the team's management believes it has made the biggest theft in the 1990 college player market.

    "I heard I was high on a lot of draft boards and when I didn't go until the sixth round, it confused me," Friesz said. "It got to the point I didn't know what the rumor was about me or if there was one.

    "Several other teams said that they would take me with their second pick, but they didn't think I would still be there. After they didn't pick me on their fifth pick, I got a little confused. Tampa Bay and Seattle called to ask if I was injured or if there was some other problem they didn't know about. I told them, 'Nothing new with me; I'm just waiting.' "

    The Chargers were waiting, too, hoping Friesz would fall far enough so that they could draft him. With no choices in the fourth or fifth rounds, they had to sit and hope teams would keep passing him by.

    Nine quarterbacks went before Friesz, including Craig Kupp of Pacific Lutheran--who GM Bobby Beathard said he had never even heard of


    4/23/1999 - Patriots sign Friesz, send Shaw to Browns | Hartford Courant

    The Patriots finally made it official Thursday, announcing quarterback John Friesz had signed a two-year, $1.5 million contract.

    The Patriots also announced they had traded running back Sedrick Shaw to the Cleveland Browns for past considerations.

    The signing of Friesz (6 feet 4, 223 pounds) signals the end of Scott Zolak's eight-year career with the Patriots. Friesz will back up Drew Bledsoe.

    "We wanted to find somebody that had some background in the system," coach Pete Carroll said. "John had that with Washington. We felt we could make a good fit with this."

    Friesz, 31, has played 66 games, starting 38, in nine seasons with the Redskins, Chargers and Seahawks. He has 8,633 career yards and a .547 completion percentage, with 45 touchdowns and 41 interceptions.

    In 1998, Friesz played five games with Seattle. In his only start, he completed 14 of 21 passes for 234 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown, in a 27-20 victory over San Diego.

    "We liked the way he came off the bench last year in a couple of games," Carroll said. "I would think he can give us an upgrade at the spot."

    Michael Bishop, a seventh-round draft pick from Kansas State, is expected to be the other quarterback on next season's roster.

    2/22/2001 - Friesz, two others released | Patriots.com

    The New England Patriots released backup quarterback John Friesz and linebackers Olrick Johnson and Marc Megna Thursday.

    Last season Friesz played in the Patriots 16-13 loss to Buffalo in Week 10 when Bledsoe left the game with a thumb injury. Friesz completed 11-of-21 passes for 61 yards, threw one interception and was sacked three times. In his only other appearance, which came in Week Eight of 1999, he played the final 5:25 of New England 27-3 win over Arizona, but he did not attempt a pass.

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    One other pro football player born today with a New England connection:

    Norm Harvey (5/19/1899 - 12/24/1941)
    LT/E/C/G for the 1928-29 Providence Steamroller.
     
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  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Jim Whalen


    Happy birthday to Jim Whalen
    Born May 20, 1943 in Cambridge, MA
    Died December 18, 2012 at the age of 69
    Patriot TE, 1965-1969; uniform #82

    Pats third round (23rd overall) selection of the 1965 draft, from Boston College

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    Whalen was a local guy, a graduate of Cambridge Latin and Boston College. At the time he was the number one pass receiver in BC history with 73 career receptions, and while there he also lettered in both hockey and baseball.

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    July 18, 1969: Pats receivers Jim Whalen, Art Graham, and Barry Gallup all hailed from BC

    During his five years with the Pats he led the team in receptions (153) and receiving yards (2,487). In 1968 Whalen was the team's MVP, a consensus all-league selection and led the Patriots in receptions (47), receiving yards (718) and touchdowns (7). That marked the first time a Patriot was a first team All-Pro, sharing the position with Baltimore legend John Mackey. Jim Whalen is a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team for the 1960s, and as a bit of trivia he is the only person to catch three touchdowns in a game at Alumni Stadium at both the college level and pro level.

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    Jim Whalen:

    Despite playing his entire career during the shorter 14-game season and largely for teams that ranked at or near the bottom in passing, Whalen's accomplishments still compare favorably in today's offense-oriented game. He is one of only four Patriot tight ends (Russ Francis, Ben Coates and Rob Gronkowski) to string together three consecutive seasons of 500+ yards receiving (he had another with the Denver Broncos), and one of only three (Coates, Gronkowski) to record 650+ yards in back-to-back seasons. Additionally, Whalen's Patriot career yards per reception average of 16.3 ranks first among all Patriot tight ends and sixth all-time among all Patriot receivers, wide outs included (minimum of 150 career receptions).

    His career average of 16.0 per catch (inclusive of his time with the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles) as a tight end is outstanding and ranks in the top ten in the history of professional football (minimum of 150 receptions). Five of Whalen's 20 career touchdowns were for 40 or more yards. Whalen still also holds the Patriots tight end records for longest reception (87 yards), longest touchdown reception (87 yards) and most touchdown receptions in a single game (3, tied with Gronk).

    Furthermore, Whalen protected the ball exceptionally well, fumbling just twice in his career. Through the end of the 2010 season, only one tight end in history (Andrew Glover) had fewer career fumbles than Whalen while catching as many passes.

    Had a career game high of 134 yards receiving (against the Miami Dolphins in 1967), and is one of only five Patriot tight ends (Coates, Hasselbeck, Gronkowski and Hernandez) to record at least four career 100 yard receiving games.

    Whalen's accomplishments also compare favorably to those of his peers during his time in professional football. The All AFL Hall-Of-Fame, First Team All-1960's Team tight end is Fred Arbanas. Catching passes from Hall-Of-Fame quarterback Len Dawson, Arbanas caught 198 balls for 3,101 yards, a career 15.7 yards per catch average, 34 touchdowns while fumbling 4 times in 118 games. Whalen's career line is 197 catches for 3,155 yards, a career 16.0 yards per catch average, 20 touchdowns while fumbling twice in 89 games. By comparison, during his career Whalen caught touchdown passes from Babe Parilli, Don Trull, Mike Taliaferro, Tom Sherman and Pete Liske. He also lined up with Steve Tensi, Alan Pastrana, Steve Ramsey and Don Horn in the quarterback position.
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    Jim Whalen, 69: tight end for Boston College and Boston Patriots

    When Jim Whalen was a three-sport athlete at what was then Cambridge High and Latin School, he liked to talk with John “Snooks” Kelley, a social studies teacher who also was Boston College’s hockey coach. He visited the campus with Kelley and was awarded a partial athletic scholarship.

    Mr. Whalen never caught a pass while playing high school football, but once he was moved to tight end the first day of practice at BC in 1961, his college career took off.

    A two-time All-East selection, Mr. Whalen was chosen for the 1965 Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game, and he went on to play professionally for seven seasons, the first five with the Boston Patriots.​

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    Happy 76th birthday to John Huarte
    Born May 20, 1943 in Anaheim, CA
    Patriot QB, 1966-1967; uniform #7

    Huarte won the Heisman Trophy in 1964 while at Notre Dame. He was a 2nd round pick by the Jets in '65 and a career backup in the pros. In two seasons backing up Babe Parilli, Huarte completed 8 out of 20 passes with no TDs and two picks.

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  20. Actual Pats Fan

    Actual Pats Fan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Jim knew what to do once he caught the ball, and he took it the distance as well as any of the many great tight ends we've been blessed to have.

    And, lest Who-Said-So lovers (as usual) be hypocritical, Whalen indeed had the least heralded or at least the least prolific quarterbacks passing the ball to him.

    Perhaps the last of the old Boston Patriots who should be, but isn't in the team Hall.
     
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