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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Foxboro Stadium is Demolished


    June 1, 2002: the demolition of Foxboro Stadium, which had begun in February a couple weeks after the AFCCG victory over Pittsburgh, was officially completed.

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    15 years later, Foxboro Stadium is best remembered by its football finale | Boston.com

    Remember This? Demolition of Foxboro Stadium Began 13 Years Ago This Week

    Foxboro Stadium was officially demolished 15 years ago today | Mike Reiss, espn

    Ah, the memories from Schaefer and Foxboro Stadium | SouthCoastToday.com

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    Happy 51st birthday to Larry Centers
    Born June 1, 1968 in Tatum, Texas
    Patriot FB, 2003; uniform #31

    Larry Centers was one of the best pass receiving backs in the history of pro football. Unfortunately he was 35 years old and had lost a step when he signed with New England, with his primary contribution coming from his still prolific blocking skills. The Pats signed Centers at the start of training camp and he beat out Patrick Pass and Fred McCrary as the number one fullback to begin the 2003 season.

    Centers had 54 yards from scrimmage on five carries and four receptions in the week one 'they hate their coach' loss to Buffalo; that would turn out to be his most statistically productive game of the year. The Patriots cut Centers in order to activate Tully Banta-Cain from PUP after a week six 17-6 victory over the Giants, where he had one carry for a loss of two yards and no receptions on two targets.

    The Pats waived WR J.J. Stokes and re-signed Centers in mid-December for the final three games of the regular season. After the Colts had scored to cut the lead to 15-7 in the AFC Championship Game, Centers had a critical 28-yard catch-and-run that helped set up an Adam Vinatieri field goal and give the Pats an 11-point lead.

    Centers retired after earning his first super bowl ring in the championship victory over Carolina. His 827 career receptions is most for any running back in NFL history, and at the time he retired it ranked 7th most in league history. From October 24, 1993 to October 20, 2002 Centers caught a pass in 143 consecutive games. He held the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a running back (101 in 1995) for 19 years (surpassed by Matte Forte with 102 in 2014 and Christian McCaffrey with 107 in 2018), and was the first NFL running back to have 100 receptions in one season. The three-time Pro Bowler from Stephen F Austin State University was at his peak from 1994-96 when he scored 20 touchdowns and racked up 3,390 yards from scrimmage.

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    Happy 55th birthday to Bob Bleier
    Born June 1, 1964 in Rochester, New York
    Patriot QB, 1987; uniform #10

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    The cousin of Rocky Bleier was New England's starting quarterback when the NFL players went on strike in '87 and replacement players were used for three games. Bleier still ranks first in University of Richmond school history in most passing categories, but installing a productive pass offense in such a short time with no veterans was impossible for the replacements in '87. He is now a financial adviser and active in youth charitable organizations in western New York.

    University of Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame

    Bob Bleier was one of the most prolific passer in Richmond football history. He is first on Richmond's career lists with 1,169 career attempts, 672 completions, 8,057 passing yards and 54 passing touchdowns from 1983-86. Bleier owns three of the top five passing seasons in school history. He was Second Team All-Yankee Conference in 1986 and played in the Blue-Gray Game following that season. Bleier played for the New England Patriots of the National Football League in 1987.

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    Bonadio director recognized for charitable efforts

    J. Robert "Bob" Bleier | Montage Wealth Management

    Prior to his 28 years in the financial services industry, Bob played professional football with the NFL New England Patriots. In 1991, he was named “The All Time Greatest Quarterback” at the University of Richmond. He has been inducted into three athletic Halls of Fame: Aquinas Institute, NYS Section V, and the University of Richmond. He is a frequent keynote speaker with a number of speaking engagements stressing his lifelong message, “If the opportunity comes, take it; if it doesn’t come, make it”.




    Happy 58th birthday to Jon Williams
    Born June 1, 1961 in Somerville, New Jersey
    Patriot KR/RB, 1984-1985; uniform #44
    Pats 3rd round (70th overall) selection in the 1984 draft, from Penn State

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    Williams had a rough childhood: his father was in prison on a murder charge when he was nine, and three of his six siblings wound up being drug addicts. He somehow persevered and was part of a national championship team at Penn State. Unfortunately he blew out his knee his rookie season, and his pro football career lasted only nine games. Since then he has used his life experience to council at risk boys on making the right choices, and now works in sales for Federal Express.

    Jon Williams - Patriots Alumni




    Happy 59th birthday to Cedric Jones
    Born June 1, 1960 in Norfolk, Virginia
    Patriot WR, 1982-1990; uniform #83
    Pats 3rd round (56th overall) selection in the 1982 draft, out of Duke.

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    Cedric Jones played in 120 games over nine seasons with the Patriots, scoring 16 touchdowns on 191 receptions for 2,703 yards. At that time he ranked 9th in career franchise receiving yardage (it is 20th now), 9th in receptions (20th) and 10th in TD receptions (22nd). Jones averaged 14.2 yards per reception but did not get a whole lot of passes thrown his way, as he was typically the fourth option after Stanley Morgan, Irving Fryar and RB Tony Collins.

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    Jones did develop a niche as a trusted possession receiver. His best season was in 1989 when he had 48 receptions for 670 yards and six touchdowns. Part of his post-NFL career includes being the athletic director at the New York Athletic Club, catering in part to athletes focusing on the Olympics.

    Former Patriot WR, Cedric Jones Interview | Pro Interviews

    Where are they now? Cedric Jones | patriots.com




    Happy 82nd birthday to Joe Biscaha
    Born June 1, 1937 in Clifton, New Jersey
    Patriot end, 1960; uniform #34

    After retiring from football in 1961, Biscaha spent 35 years as a teacher, coach and school administrator in Passaic County, New Jersey.

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    One other pro football player born today with a New England connection:
    Joe Costello, 59 (June 1, 1960)
    Costello grew up in Stratford CT and went to Central Connecticut State.
    The linebacker played 31 games for the Falcons and Raiders from 1986-89 and also spent some time in the CFL and USFL.



    Other notable football players born June 1:
    - Alan Ameche, 4-time Pro Bowl RB and Heisman Trophy winner.
    - Ki Aldrich, 1st overall pick in '39 and C/LB/G for Cardinals and Washington.
    - Santana Moss, WR with 10,283 career receiving yards - and cousin to Patriot RB James White.
     
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  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Replacement Players


    Only one Patriot birthday to celebrate today, and it is a replacement player.

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    The third week of the 1987 season was cancelled due to the strike, but the owners had a plan in place for week four.

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    New England Patriots fans wait on line outside old Sullivan Stadium to return their tickets for refunds.


    The Pats lost their first replacement game to Cleveland by the score of 20-10.

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    Patriots fans wore bags over their heads as New England and Cleveland replacement teams played Oct. 4, 1987, at Sullivan Stadium.


    Game two went much better: Mike LeBlanc runs all over the Bills

    The Patriots, who last season became the first team in 20 years to average less than 3 yards a carry, accumulated 213 yards rushing Sunday as New England beat the Buffalo Bills 14-7.

    LeBlanc, recently released by Winnipeg of the CFL and signed by the Patriots as a replacement, gained 146 yards on 35 carries.

    While LeBlanc was running circles around the Bills before the smallest Sullivan Stadium crowd ever -- 11,878 rain-soaked fans - striking Patriots quietly walked the picket line.

    No incidents were reported on the New England picket line outside the stadium during the second week of demonstrations by striking NFL players at games played by replacement players.

    LeBlanc keyed a running attack that accumulated the most New England rushing yards since the final game of the 1985 season, the year in which the Patriots used a ground attack to reach the Super Bowl.

    By the third replacement game many of the regular players had crossed the picket line.

    Foxboro Stadium History: 1987 | Patriots.com

    After canceling one week of play, the league opted to continue with teams stocked with replacement players. Several Patriots, including Collins, Clayborn and Tippett, crossed the picket line and joined the motley crew assembled by general manager Patrick Sullivan. New England managed to win two of the three games played during the strike, including a memorable win against the Houston Oilers in the Astrodome.

    The Patriots had succeeded in acquiring former Boston College star quarterback Doug Flutie from the Chicago Bears during the strike for only an eighth-round draft choice. Flutie sparked New England to a 23-13 victory over Houston, completing 15-of-25 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. Though Flutie’s acquisition had merely been intended as a stop-gap measure, his presence on the roster would spark a quarterback controversy that would last the better part of three years in Foxborough.

    Some of these articles are very lengthy, but they do give detailed facts (and interesting opinions) on the 1987 NFL strike.

    1987 NFL replacement players: a generation of fans doesn't know about them, but to the players, it doesn't matter. They're part of history | espn

    "Those players kind of considered themselves a cult, almost," said Brandt, a former Cowboys exec who's now an analyst for NFL.com. "Four or five of them got together and bought a used car for 500 bucks so they had transportation. They were a self-reliant group is what they were. I think the hardest thing they had to do was find a coat and tie to wear on an away game when we went to play the Jets.

    "It was refreshing. There were so many interesting, refreshing things that happened that year."

    So many stories. Like the time receiver Cornell Burbage reached into the stands during a road game at New York, grabbed a package and placed it under the bench. It was a box of laundry Burbage's sister had washed for him. He couldn't afford to have his clothes cleaned at the hotel.

    On This Date in Sports: October 4, 1987 | Barstool Sports

    The replacement rosters were full of players who were cut in training camp and played in the USFL and CFL. Though cracks began forming in the union right away, as 15% of the NFL crossed the picket line to play with the scabs. Among the players who crossed the picket line were Howie Long of the Los Angeles Raiders, Tony Dorsett, and Randy White each from the Dallas Cowboys, Mark Gastineau of the New York Jets, Doug Flutie of the New England Patriots, Steve Largent of the Seattle Seahawks and Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers. Despite their presence, the fan reaction to the scab games was overwhelmingly negative as most games had less than 10,000 fans per game. Nowhere was the reaction worse than in Philadelphia where the Teamsters and fans joined the NFLPA on the picket line and drove around Veteran’s Stadium honking their horns, as less than 5,000 fans attended the Eagles game against the Chicago Bears.

    With some teams having players cross the picket lines and other teams being made up completely of replacement players some of the games were incredibly lopsided.

    The 1987 Strike Players Created The Modern NFL | Deadspin

    As the CBA talks broke down that year, a quote that to this day is widely attributed to Dallas Cowboys president Tex Schramm started making the rounds. “You guys are cattle and we’re the ranchers,” Schramm supposedly told NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw during a late-stage bargaining session in September 1987. “And ranchers can always get more cattle.”

    And that sentiment—that the players were fungible, disposable, and not entitled even to the modicum of agency they had—was impossible to miss. The explanation of the owners’ tactics was left to Hugh Culverhouse of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a notorious skinflint and historically negligent owner. On Culverhouse’s watch, the Bucs once lost at least 10 games in 12 consecutive seasons. He ran the Bucs on such a shoestring that players were reduced to grabbing lunch at a local fast-food drive-thru after taping up for practice. Yet when it came to replacing striking players with scabs, Culverhouse uttered a line that to this day remains the league’s failsafe when it wants assert its power over the players: “It’s in the best interests of protecting the integrity of the game.”

    So much of what’s happened since—from players’ inability to secure more guaranteed contracts to the league’s manipulation and denial of the science of brain trauma to the heavy-handedness of the league’s discipline—can be traced to the ’87 strike. It’s hard, drawing the line between then and now, not to view that time as the birth of the modern NFL.

    The strike that drained the last bit of innocence from the NFL | NY Post

    In some ways, it is impossible to explain to folks too young to have cared in 1987 just how devastating the ’87 football strike was. There have been other work stoppages that crushed the masses’ sporting soul. The ’94 baseball strike was long and ugly. The NHL once lost an entire season to a lockout. The NBA has had shortened seasons to accommodate protracted lockouts. All of them bring their own share of collateral damage.

    None of them match what happened 30 years ago this month, though. For one thing, the solidarity that had marked prior strikes proved a sad joke in this one: fully 15 percent of the union membership would cross picket lines, including a number of high-profile players, including Lawrence Taylor, including Joe Montana.

    That would have been dispiriting enough.

    But the NFL’s owners, prepped for war, instituted something they called “replacement players,” something the rest of the world called “scab players,” and the images were awful: buses being attacked, players being egged and then, worst of all, the reality of scab football.


    Review of Three-Week Professionals: Inside the 1987 NFL Players Strike | Sport in American History

    Chapter three provides insight from former NFL coach Les Steckel, who was an “offensive assistant” for the New England Patriots in 1987 (p. 40). Chapter four captures the experience of wide receiver Larry Linne, who signed on as a replacement player for the New England Patriots and was kept on for the entire season. Chapter five looks at the replacement play of the Los Angeles Rams, a team that welcomed now infamous West Coast rapper Marion “Suge” Knight to suit up.

    Through these perspectives and Kluck’s lively breakdown of the replacement games, the work shows how much the league has changed since 1987, impacted by 1980s conversations on labor and ownership, economics and play, branding and image, and health and safety. He reveals how by striking the players both lost and won.


    Replacements as a Labor Weapon | Berkeley Law School

    In Foxboro, New England Patriots fans were divided amongst strike supporters and ticket holders. Picketers shouted “Shame, shame, shame” while the game attendees shouted “Game, game, game.” Violence, however, was notably absent in Massachusetts.

    Owners knew that the fact that the games counted toward the playoff race meant having their superstars cross would give them a huge leg up on the competition (not to mention further break the back of the union). Some owners attempted to do more than simply ask nicely. For William Sullivan, Jr., the owner of the Patriots in 1987, the answer to his problems was to air his grievances directly by appealing to Lin Dawson with a heartfelt letter. The relevant portion of the long rambling letter was its conclusion. Sullivan stated, “I might say that I am not as proud of the Patriots as I once was. Indeed, I am ashamed of them and cannot wait the conclusion of this event to see if I can get someone else to buy the contracts of people who have acted in such an unfair manner.” Dawson, in responding to this perceived threat of future action, got upset and filed a complaint with the NLRB.

    Despite a near total loss on almost all counts of the action, the NLRB’s weak enforcement remedies arguably resulted in a win for the league.




    Happy 57th birthday to Clay Pickering
    Born June 2, 1961 in Jacksonville, Florida
    Patriot WR, 1987; uniform #48

    The 6'5" Pickering played both football and basketball in college, and was one of four Maine Black Bears to play for the Pats, though it was brief. After being Ventroned by the Bears and Bengals for three years, Pickering joined the Patriots for the final strike/replacement player game in '87, with one catch for ten yards.




    Other pro football players born today with New England area connections:
    Pat Hughes, 69 (June 2, 1947); Boston University class of 1970
    The Everett native was a captain of BU's 9-1 1969 team that went to the Pasadena Bowl. Hughes played linebacker in 141 games over ten NFL seasons with the Giants and Saints.

    Mike Evans, 49 (June 2, 1967)
    Evans went to Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, and was a DT for Kansas City in 1992.

    Harry Curran (June 2, 1894)
    The Marlboro native and UMass alum was a halfback for the 1920-21 Chicago Cardinals.


    From the wayback machine:
    - Andy Kowalski (6/2/20); end for the 1945 Boston Yanks.
    - Steve Sierocinski (6/2/23); tackle for the 1946 Boston Yanks.


    Some other NFL players born today include:
    - Andy McCollum (6/2/70); C/G played in 199 games from '95-'08.
    - Garo Yepremian (6/2/44); two-time All-Pro kicker is most well known for his ill-advised Super Bowl pass.
    - Hoby Brenner (6/2/59); 13-season TE for the Saints.
    - Lawrence McCutcheon (6/2/50); RB gained 8,377 yards from scrimmage from '72-'81, mostly with the Rams.
     
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  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    A Productive Rental


    Happy 32nd birthday to Jonathan Casillas
    Born June 3, 1987 in Jersey City, New Jersey
    Patriot LB, 2014; uniform#52

    The Patriots acquired Casillas for next to nothing in late October 2014 trade. The Pats received a sixth round pick plus Casillas in exchange for their own fifth round pick prior to the week 9 game versus Denver. In other words the Pats moved down just nine spots, from selection #168 to #177 for the linebacker.

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    Casillas played in all eight remaining regular season games with three starts, totaling 28 tackles (19 solo) and a forced fumble; he also played in all three postseason games. The former Wisconsin Badger has two superbowl rings: one with the Saints in SB44 (he was the Saint who recovered the onside kick to start the second half in the victory over the Colts), and a second one with the Pats in SB49 against the Seahawks. Following that he cashed in on a nice payday, while being able to play close to his childhood home. Casillas signed a 3-year, $10.5 million contract with the Giants in free agency - where he was able to at least see the playbook.




    Happy 85th birthday to Bill Danenhauer
    Born June 3, 1934 in Clay Center, Kansas
    Patriot DE, 1960; uniform #77

    Originally drafted late by the Colts in 1956, Bill Danenhauer played in three games for the Pats in their inaugural season. He also played with his brother Eldon, a two-time all star, in Denver in 1960. As far as I can tell he is not related to the former pro football player turned wrestler from the nineties that shares the same name.

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    1960 Boston Patriots





    Other pro football players with New England area connections born on this date:

    Roger Caron, 55 (6/3/62); Norwell HS class of '80; Harvard class of '85.
    The tackle was a 5th round pick by the Colts; Caron played in 10 games with one start for Indy. He then spent 28 years as a college coach, including 20 at Pomona College.

    Ted Williams (6/3/16-10/30/93); Gloucester High School, Boston College.
    The single wing back was the 18th overall pick in the 1942 draft for the Eagles, and in 1944 he was the left halfback for the Boston Yanks.

    Bill Joyce (6/3/95-8/29/74); Pittsfield High School and Holy Cross.
    Quarterback for the 1920 Detroit Heralds.


    Notable pro football players born June 3:

    - Brandon Moore, 37 (June 3, 1980); forever famous for being the butt in the buttfumble.

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    - Frank Nesser (6/3/1899); part of perhaps the largest family of pro football players, Nesser was one of six brothers to play, and also had a brother-in-law and two nephews play in the NFL.

    - Sam Mills (6/3/59-4/18/05); 5-time Pro Bowl LB played in 181 games.

    - Emmitt Thomas, 74 (6/3/43); Hall of Fame CB for the Chiefs had 58 interceptions, went to five Pro Bowls and won a ring for Super Bowl IV.

    - Lee Roy Caffey (6/3/41-1/18/94); Packers linebacker was part of three NFL championship teams.
     
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  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    A pair of mediocre mid-round draft picks


    Happy 27th birthday to Geneo Grissom
    Born June 4, 1992 in Hutchinson Kansas
    Patriot DE, 2015 - 2018; uniform #92
    Pats 3rd round (97th overall) selection of the 2015 draft, from Oklahoma

    Grissom appeared in all but one game his rookie season, with 130 snaps (11.9%) as a backup on defense, and 142 snaps (28.9%) on special teams. In 2016 he was cut at the end of training camp and signed to the practice squad. Grissom was re-signed on October 15 when Jonathan Freeney went on IR. He played in 11 games in 2016, plus all three playoff games. He appeared in just 11 snaps on defense for the season, but had the sixth-most special teams appearances (250 snaps, 55.9%). Grissom was one of ten players with over 15 snaps in Super Bowl 51, with 17.

    2017 was similar back and forth. Grissom began the season on the practice squad after being cut at the end of training camp. Three weeks later he was promoted when Vincent Valentine went on Injured Reserve, then went back to the practice squad when Martellus Bennett was signed in early November. On December 2nd Ricky jean Francois was cut, and Grissom spent the rest of the year on the main roster. In eight games he appeared in 26 defensive snaps, and 153 special team snaps.

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    In 2018 Grissom made the roster out of training camp, but appeared in just four of the first nine games. His only extended action (20 defensive snaps) came in the week two loss to Jacksonville. Grissom's final game as a Patriot was the week nine SNF victory over Green Bay.

    Over the course of four seasons the Patriots went 29-9 in the 38 games that Grissom played. He had 14 tackles (7 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, one quarterback hit and one sack. Grissom was on the field for 190 defensive snaps (130 in his rookie season) and 610 special team snaps. His best game came in the 2017-18 playoffs versus Tennessee when he had two sacks and a tackle for a loss. After being cut he signed with the Colts, but saw no playing time. Grissom is now with the New Orleans Saints.




    Happy 55th birthday to Teddy Garcia
    Born June 4, 1964 in Caddo Parish, Louisiana
    Patriot kicker, 1988; uniform #7
    Pats 4th round (100th overall) selection in the 1988 draft, from NE Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Monroe)

    For every successful special teams draft pick such as Stephen Gostkowski, there are a couple like this one. In 1986 Tony Franklin made the Pro Bowl, leading the league in field goals made on 32/41 attempts. In '87 he started to regress, making 15 of 26 - and only 10 out of 21 attempts from the 30 yard line or beyond. Raymond Berry was looking for a replacement.

    The 32-year old Franklin was let go and the Patriots drafted Garcia, with hopes that he would be as productive as punter Rich Camarillo. Garcia was awful, making only six of 13 field goal attempts (46%) - and also managed to connect on just 11 of 16 point afters. He filled in for a few games with the Vikings and Oilers over the next two years, and then spent two seasons in NFL Europe.

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    Happy 81st birthday to Pat Studstill
    Born June 4, 1938 in Shreveport, Louisiana
    Patriot punter, 1972; uniform #2

    The Patriots signed Studstill for the final season of his NFL career at the age of 34. He played in all 14 games with 75 punts, averaging a career low 38.1 yards. While with Detroit in 1962 he led the NFL with 29 punt returns for 457 yards, averaging 15.8 yards per return. In '65 he led the league for the first of three times in number of punts, with 78. The following season he made the Pro Bowl for the second time, leading the league with 1,266 yards receiving.

    Beside the fact that he had versatility (punter, punt returner, kick returner and flanker) that would make Bill Belichick drool, Studstill is also known for being the last NFL player to not wear a face mask.

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    Happy 49th birthday to Ronnie Harris
    Born June 4, 1970 in Granada Hills, California
    Patriot PR/KR/WR, 1993-1994; uniform #84

    Ronnie Harris appeared in six games for the Patriots, with 26 punt returns (8.7 ypr), six kick returns (15.0 ypr) and one reception for 11 yards. He ended up playing in 69 games over seven NFL seasons, mostly with Seattle and also some with Atlanta. Harris is now a pastor in Washington.

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    Other pro football players with New England connections:

    Bernie Finn (6/4/07 - 9/26/93); went to Holy Cross and was a wing back in the thirties.

    Len Watters (6/4/98 -1 2/10/86); end was one of six players from Springfield College to play in the NFL.

    Johnny McQuade (6/4/95 - 12/24/80); from Manchester NH, was a back on the 1922 Canton Bulldogs.

    Tom Kennedy (6/4/20 - 11/19/06); born in Pittsfield, played tackle briefly for the Detroit Lions.

    Deck Shelley (6/4/06 - 12/17/68); back from the thirties played for the Providence Steamroller.




    Other pro football players born today include:

    - Jim Lachey, 56 (6/4/63); after Doug Williams led Washington to a superbowl victory, Jay Schroeder asked to be traded. Joe Gibbs obliged, sending the QB to the Raiders for Lachey in one of the more lopsided trades in NFL history. Lachey went on to be a first team All Pro selection in each of the next three seasons and win a superbowl ring, while Schroeder soon faded away.

    - Bryan Hinkle, 60 (6/4/59); starting OLB with the Steelers for most of the 80s.

    - Ed Newman, 68 (6/4/51); four-time Pro Bowl guard for the Dolphins is now a judge in Miami.

    - Alex Brown, 40 (6/4/79); Bears defensive end played in 143 games, with 45.5 sacks.
     
  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Kevin Faulk



    Happy 43rd birthday to Kevin Faulk
    Born June 5, 1976 in Lafayette, Louisiana
    Patriot RB/PR/KR, 1999-2011; uniform #33
    Pats 2nd round (46th overall) selection of the 1999 draft, from LSU

    The 3 time superbowl champion is a member of the Pats 50th Anniversary Team and the Patriots Hall of Fame. The defender of the wall ranks 5th in team history with 3607 rushing yards, 13th with 3701 receiving yards, 8th with 943 punt return yards and first with 4098 kick return yards. Faulk is 1st in franchise history with 12,340 all purpose yards, 1st with 5041 return yards, and 5th with 7308 yards from scrimmage. His 1577 touches is a close 2nd to Sam Cunningham (1595), and he also played in 19 playoff games.

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    LSU Sports Hall of Fame: Kevin Faulk (2006)

    An All-American and a three-time All-SEC selection, Kevin Faulk finished his career as LSU’s all-time leading rusher while breaking a plethora of other LSU and SEC marks ... Held 17 LSU and SEC records ... Rushed for 4,557 yards and 46 touchdowns in his career ... Finished fourth in NCAA history and first in SEC history with 6,833 all-purpose yards ... SEC record was previously held by Georgia legend Herschel Walker ... Had 53 total touchdowns ...

    5/18/2016 - Kevin Faulk elected into Patriots Hall of Fame | Patriots.com

    The New England Patriots announced today that Kevin Faulk, a three-time Super Bowl champion, has been voted by the fans as the 25th entrant into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Faulk joins Troy Brown (2012) and Tedy Bruschi (2013) as the third player to enter The Hall as a career Patriot with three Super Bowl rings. He is also just the fifth player to be selected by the fans into the Patriots Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, joining Drew Bledsoe (2011), Brown, Bruschi and Ty Law (2014).

    LSU Sports - Football Coaching Staff

    Kevin Faulk, the leading rusher in LSU history and three-time Super Bowl Champion, is in his second year on the football staff as director of player development. Faulk joined the LSU football staff in January of 2018.

    As LSU’s Director of Player Development, Faulk works with LSU’s football student-athletes on their academic direction, social development and overall quality of life with the goal of enhancing their development in the classroom, the community and on the football field
    .​

    6/4/2018 - LSU's Kevin Faulk among group on College Football Hall of Fame ballot

    One of the all-time LSU greats and a member of the Louisiana Sports, LSU Athletic and New England Patriots Halls of Fame, Faulk helped lead the Tigers to three bowl appearances from 1995-97. He earned first team Associated Press All-America honors as an all-purpose back in 1996.





    Happy 31st birthday to Ryan Mallett
    Born June 5, 1988 in Batesville, Arkansas
    Patriot QB, 2011-2013; uniform #15
    Pats 3rd round (74th overall) selection of the 2011 draft, from Arkansas

    Concerns about Mallett's drinking and motivation caused him to fall from the first round to third in the draft. He appeared in just four games over three seasons, going 1-4 for 17 yards and one interception. The Pats had enough faith in Mallett to retain him and waive Brian Hoyer in 2012. In a bit of trivia, Mallett was the QB who was retained when Tim Tebow was cut in 2013. Pats fans hoped he would fetch a bounty like Matt Cassel did when he was traded, but were disappointed when in August of 2014 all the Patriots received from Houston was a 6th round pick. After screwing up with the Texans, Mallett became Joe Flacco's backup in Baltimore.

    Ryan Mallett appeared in 21 NFL games, going 3-5 in eight starts. He completed 55% of his passes, with nine touchdowns and ten interceptions. Mallett last played in 2017.

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    Happy 30th birthday to James Ferentz
    Born June 5, 1989 in Iowa City, Iowa
    Patriot OL, 2017-present; uniform #59 (2017), #66 (2018)

    The Iowa grad spent two seasons in Denver, appearing in 20 games in 2015-2016. His father Kirk worked with Bill Belichick in Cleveland and New England, and his brother Brian was formerly the Pats tight end coach. James Ferentz spent most of 2017 and 2018 on the Pats practice squad. He appeared in two games for the Patriots in 2018, with eight offensive snaps and eight special team snaps.

    How James Ferentz went from flooring work to Super Bowl 50

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    Happy 43rd birthday to Torry Holt
    Born June 5, 1976 in Greensboro, North Carolina
    Patriots WR, 2010 (off season); uniform #84

    The Pats brought in the 34 year old veteran to compete with David Patten, Brandon Tate, rookie Taylor Price and a young Julian Edelman as a receiver to play opposite Randy Moss. He was signed to a one-year, $1.7 million contract but a knee injury ended his season (and career) in mid August. Holt was named to 7 Pro Bowls and twice led the league in receiving yards, finishing his NFL career with 920 receptions (20th), 13,382 receiving yards (16th) and 74 receiving touchdowns (34th).

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    Other players born on this date with New England connections:
    Megs Apsit (6/5/09 - 12/22/08); TB/LB/DB/K/KR/P/PR spent a few years in the NFL, including 1933 for the Boston Redskins.

    Art Donovan (6/5/25 - 8/4/2013) went to Boston College. The Baltimore Colt defensive tackle went to five straight Pro Bowls in the fifties and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.



    And a couple other notable NFL players born today:
    - Saints WR Marques Colston, 36; 711 receptions for 9759 yards and 72 TD.
    - Browns HoF FB/KR/LB Marion Motley (6/5/20), twice led the league in rushing.
     
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  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    June 6 Birthdays



    Happy 52nd birthday to Michael Timpson
    Born June 6, 1967 in Baxley, Georgia
    Patriot WR, 1989-1994; uniform #45 and #83
    Pats 4th round (100th overall) pick in the 1989 draft, from Penn State

    Timpson played in 70 games over six seasons with the Pats, catching 172 passes for 2,472 yards and eight touchdowns. His final year with the Pats was his best, catching 74 passes for 941 yards. Timpson was also one of the players fined in the Lisa Olson incident. After leaving New England he played three more NFL seasons, and now coaches high school football.

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    Happy 54th birthday to Jamie Morris
    Born June 6, 1965 in Southern Pines, North Carolina
    Patriot KR/RB, 1990; uniform #24

    The brother of Giants RB Joe Morris grew up in Ayer MA, and was a 4th round pick by Washington in '89. He played in five games for the Pats, with 11 kick returns plus two rushes for four yards.

    Jamie Morris went on to football greatness, but never forgot his Åyer roots

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    Happy 39th birthday to Gene Mruczkowski
    Born June 6, 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio
    Patriot G/C, 2003-2006, 2008; uniform #64


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    The Purdue alum was undrafted and spent 2003 on IR. He appeared in 18 games for the Patriots, then spent 2007 with the Dolphins. The Pats re-signed him in June of 2008 but he then retired at the start of training camp.




    Happy birthday to Tom Dimitroff
    Born June 6, 1935 in Barberton, Ohio
    Died January 20, 1996 at the age of 60
    Patriot QB, 1960; uniform #15


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    The senior Dimitroff is the father of the namesake former Patriot director of college scouting and current Atlanta Falcon general manager. Tom Dimitroff played for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the CFL for two seasons and came out of retirement to play in the AFL, appearing in a few games with the Patriots. He later spent 18 seasons as a coach, executive and scout.




    Happy 45th birthday to Rico Clark
    Born June 6, 1974 in Atlanta
    Patriot CB, 1999; uniform #39


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    Rico Clark appeared in only one game with the Patriots. Over three NFL seasons he played in 29 games, and later played in NFL Europe and the XFL.




    Other pro football players born today with New England connections:

    Mike Croel, 48 (June 6, 1969); Lincoln-Sudbury High School
    The linebacker was the fourth overall pick in the 1991 draft by Denver, and played in 102 games over seven seasons in the NFL.

    Stu Clancy (June 6, 1965); Branford CT native and Holy Cross alum.
    The tailback spent six seasons in the NFL in the thirties.

    Mark Carlson, 56 (June 6, 1963); born in Milford CT, went to the Morgan School in Clinton CT, Boston University and then Southern Connecticut State.
    Mark Carlson was an OT for Washington during the 1987 replacement games.

    Jack Peavey, 56 (June 6, 1963); born in Attleboro, grew up in Foxboro, went to Springfield College and then Troy State. He was on the Pats practice squad in '85 and played in the three replacement games for Denver in '87.
    Jake Peavey then went on to spend more than twenty years at various levels coaching high school and college football.

    Les Murdock, 78 (June 6, 1941); born in Boston, the kicker (no relation to Roger) played four games with the Giants in 1967 and also played semi pro football with New Bedford.




    Other NFL players born on June 6 include:
    - Bobby Mitchell, 84; Hall of Fame WR/HB/KR for Cleveland and Washington.
    - Dave Grayson, 80; great AFL CB for Chiefs and Raiders had 48 interceptions.
    - Olindo Mare, 46; Dolphins kicker.
     
  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Terrell Buckley


    Happy 48th birthday to Terrell Buckley
    Born June 7, 1971 in Pascagoula, Mississippi
    Patriot CB, 2001-2002; uniform #27 and #22

    T-Buck was a standout at Florida State and the 5th overall pick by Green Bay in the 1992 draft. Although Packer fans considered him to be a draft bust, Buckley did play in 209 games (plus 16 playoff games), with 50 interceptions and six touchdowns.

    Terrell Buckley had seven interceptions and one pick-six in his 31 games regular season games with the Patriots. He also played in all three 2001 postseason games - with a crucial interception in the AFCCG at Pittsburgh, and then a key fumble recovery in SB 36 versus the Rams. The 15-yard return off that fumble flipped field position and led to the David Patten touchdown reception just before halftime, giving the Patriots a 14-3 lead.

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    In his post-NFL career Buckley first went back to FSU as an assistant coach for five seasons, then two years at Akron as their cornerbacks coach. Since 2016 Buckley has been coaching the safeties at Mississippi State.


    Former FSU DB Terrell Buckley named to College Football Hall of Fame

    Florida State legend Terrell Buckley is a member of the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame class, it was announced Monday morning.

    Buckley authored one of the best careers in FSU history while playing cornerback from 1989-91. During his three-year career he broke nearly all of the program’s interception records and still holds records for single-season interceptions with 12 and career interceptions with 21, which is tied for 10th all-time in FBS history. His 501 career interception return yards still stand as the NCAA record, and he added seven career touchdowns with four interception return scores and three punt return touchdowns.

    Buckley was a consensus All-American, won the Jim Thorpe Award and finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy vote in 1991. He also was a second-team All-American in 1990 and a two-time first-team All-South Independent selection. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 2003 and in 2011 his No. 27 jersey was retired.

    June 8, 2004: Patriots re-sign Terrell Buckley | Patriots.com

    The 5-foot-9-inch, 176-pound Florida State product returns to the team with which he earned a Super Bowl ring following the 2001 season. New England signed Buckley as an unrestricted free agent on July 13, 2001, and he played in 15 regular season games and all three of the Patriots postseason games that season. Buckley contributed to the Patriots’ first championship with an interception in the 2001 AFC Championship Game and a fumble recovery in Super Bowl XXXVI that led to a Patriots touchdown. He signed with Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2002 season, but rejoined the Patriots four days before the season opener after being released by the Buccaneers. Buckley quickly settled back into his role in New England in 2002, starting in two of 16 games and tying for the team lead with four interceptions, including two picks in the season opener against Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football. He signed with Miami as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2003 season.


    Pascagoula legend Terrell Buckley 'coming home' to Mississippi State


    Terrell Buckley - Football Coach - Mississippi State

    Mississippian through and through, Terrell Buckley returned to his home state in 2016 as an assistant coach at Mississippi State. In 2018, Buckley enters his third season overseeing a very talented group of cornerbacks. He adds working with the Bulldogs’ special teams return men to his repertoire this season.

    Buckley, a 14-year NFL veteran and Super Bowl champion, was one of the most dynamic players in Mississippi history, guiding Pascagoula High School to a 1987 football state championship and undefeated season. He was inducted into the Pascagoula Athletic Hall of Fame in June. He was born in Columbia, Miss., and spent most of his childhood in Gautier.

    Buckley was instrumental in helping MSU haul in back-to-back Top 25 recruiting classes. During his entire coaching tenure, Buckley has coached 13 players who have signed professional contracts, including most recently Lashard Durr (Indianapolis Colts) and 2018 NFL first rounder Jaire Alexander (Green Bay Packers).

    The 2017 season was one of the best on record in terms of pass defense at MSU. Buckley’s group spearheaded a Bulldog pass defense that allowed only 174.7 yards per game through the air, which ranked fourth in the SEC and 12th nationally. That figure was also the best by a State defense in 13 years when the 2004 squad allowed 174.5 yards per game passing.




    Other pro football players born on this date with New England connections:

    Richard Gordon, 32 (June 7, 1987); the TE went to Milford Academy in CT and played in 35 games for four teams from 2011-15.

    Alf Cobb (June 7, 1893); born in Athol, grew up in Waltham and died in West Hartford. Played in 21 games in the twenties as an offensive lineman for the Akron Pros and Cleveland Bulldogs.

    George Mulligan (June 7, 1914); the Waterbury CT native was an end that played nine games for the Eagles in 1936.

    Mike 'Lefty' Sebastian
    (June 7, 1910); wingback for the 1935 Boston Redskins.




    One other pro football player of note born today:

    - Goose Gonsoulin (6/7/38-9/8-14); six time AFL all star safety for the Broncos is the all time AFL interception leader with 43 picks, and had 11 interceptions in 1960.
     
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  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Brandon King


    Happy 26th birthday to Brandon King
    Born June 8, 1993 in Alabaster, Alabama
    Patriot special teamer, 2015 - present; uniform #36

    Brandon King has overcome extreme odds to play in the NFL. His played linebacker his first two years of college at Highland Community College. To put that in perspective when I search that on the internet, the first thing that stands out is its proximity to Casey's General Store.

    King did transfer to Auburn, but he did not start a single game for the Tigers. He was not invited to the NFL Combine, was ranked as the 72nd prospect at safety by NFL Draft Scout and 87th by 24/7, and his only opportunity to make an impression was at Auburn's Pro Day - against nine other fellow Tigers.

    His signing by the Patriots after an invitation for a tryout at rookie minicamp was considered by most to be just a camp body for others to work against in drills. Although King did not survive final training camp cuts he was immediately signed to the practice squad. He was then promoted to the 53-man roster after Bradley Fletcher was released.

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    In the 2015 season King appeared in 13 games, strictly on special teams. He was on the field for 267 ST snaps, which ranked third behind only Nate Ebner and Matt Slater; his 12 ST tackles ranked second for the Pats.

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    King followed that surprise debut up by making the week one roster in 2016. In four seasons he has played in 57 regular season games, missing only four games to injuries. Brandon King has developed into a special team standout, on the field for 1,083 special team snaps. He has also appeared in all 11 of New England's playoff games during that time, earning two Super Bowl rings.The Patriots rewarded King's performance by re-signing him to a two-year contract extension with a $400,00 signing bonus in 2018, and then another extension last month that keeps him under contract through 2021.

    Brandon King | Patriots.com

    2/2018 - Super Bowl 2018: Brandon King's unusual NFL journey has been a winning one | AL.com

    3/2018 - Brandon King's extension highlights challenging dynamic for restricted FAs | Mike Reiss, espn

    12/2018 - Brandon King embraces special role for New England Patriots | AL.com

    5/2019 - Brandon King signs contract extension with New England Patriots | AL.com




    Happy birthday to Rommie Loudd
    Born June 8, 1933 in Madisonville, Texas
    Died May 9, 1998 at the age of 64
    Patriot LB, 1961-1962; uniform #60
    Patriot LB coach 1966-67
    Director of Player Personnel, 1968-1971
    Director of Pro Scouting, 1971-1973


    [​IMG]

    Loudd had been a late draft pick out of UCLA by the Niners in '56 but never played for them; the following year he and two others were arrested, and Loudd was convicted of sexual misconduct. He played in 27 games over two seasons for the Patriots and then became a defensive coach for the Boston Sweepers of the old Atlantic Coast Football League for two seasons. Loudd then rejoined the Pats in 1966 as their linebackers coach; he was the first African American to hold a coaching position in the AFL. Loudd then moved to the front office for six years.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Despite the lack of success of the Pats while he was an executive with the team, Loudd became part owner and general manager of the Florida Blazers of the WFL in 1974. While there he was arrested for embezzling sales tax money, and then he attempted to land an NFL franchise in Orlando. He was arrested by a federal agent posing as a potential financial backer for his football team and served three years in prison before being paroled.




    Happy 62nd birthday to Allan Clark
    Born June 8, 1957 in Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Patriot KR/RB, 1979-1980; uniform #35
    Pats 10th round (271st overall) selection of the 1979 draft, from Northern Arizona

    [​IMG]

    Allan Clark played in all 16 games his rookie season, returning 37 kicks for 816 yards and averaging 22.1 yards per return. Clark missed the first six games of 1980 with a broken thumb, but he still led the team with ten kickoff coverage tackles. Over two years had 28 carries for 140 yards (5.0 yards per carry) and three touchdowns.

    Early in the 1981 training camp Clark tore ligaments in his knee, causing him to miss the entire season. With sports medicine being what it was at that time, Clark was never quite the same player. He played briefly with the Bills and Packers, but 1982 would be his final season in the NFL.




    Other pro football players with New England connections:

    - Vince Promuto, 79 (6/8/1938); Holy Cross
    Two-time Pro Bowl RG played in 130 games for Washington from 1960-1970.

    - Vic Radzievitch (6/8/1903); Torrington CT native went to UConn and played eight games for the 1926 Hartford Blues.

    - Win Pederson (6/8/1915); tackle played for the 1946 Boston Yanks after serving three years in the military in WWII.




    Other notable NFL players born today:

    - Herb Adderley, 78 (6/8/1939); Hall of Fame CB for the Packers won five championships and was named to five Pro Bowls.
    - Stan Brock, 59 (6/8/1959); tackle played in 234 games over 16 seasons, mostly with the Saints, and is the brother of former Patriot OL Pete Brock.
    - Whizzer White (6/8/1917); tailback led the NFL in rushing in 1938 and 1940, and went on to become a Supreme Court justice.
    - Dave Jennings (6/8/1952); four time Pro Bowl punter, and the only NFL player to come out of St Lawrence University since the thirties.
    - Troy Vincent, 46 (6/8/1971); despot who sold his soul to Roger Goodell.
    - Buck Gavin (6/8/1891); makes the list since it's such a great football name, sounding like something out of a bad Hollywood script.
     
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  9. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, yes! YES! YES! YES!
     
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  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Tedy Bruschi


    Happy 46th birthday to Tedy Bruschi
    Born June 9, 1973 in San Francisco
    Patriot LB, 1996-2008; uniform #54
    Pats 3rd round (86th overall) selection of the 1996 draft, from Arizona

    - 2013 Patriots Hall of Fame inductee.
    - Played in 211 games (189 regular season games and 22 playoff games) over 13 seasons.
    - With Bruschi the Patriots went to the playoffs nine times, won eight division titles, five conference titles and three super bowl championships.
    - All Pro second team (2003, 2004), Pro Bowl (2004), NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2005), Super Bowl champion (2001, 2003, 2004).
    - 22 playoff games was at the time most in Pats history (since surpassed by Tom Brady), and is tied for 20th most in NFL history.
    - Arguably one of the top three Patriots in the Belichick era.
    - First player in NFL history to return four consecutive interceptions for touchdowns.
    - Was part of eight defensive touchdowns: four pick-sixes, two forced fumbles that were returned for TDs, a blocked punt returned for a TD, and a tipped pass that was intercepted and returned for a TD.
    - Made countless clutch iconic plays, such as: ripping the ball from Dominic Rhodes in the 2004 AFCCG; stonewalling Charlie Garner on 2nd-and-3 in the 2001 playoff game against Oakland; or the 2003 pick-six in the snow against Miami to win the division.
    - Trivia: the Patriots traded down ten spots in the '96, getting draft picks which turned out to be Bruschi, Chris Sullivan and Marrio Grier from Detroit. The Lions used that pick on safety Ryan Stewart, who started just two NFL games with one career interception.
    - Described by Bill Belichick as "the perfect player".

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    Tedy Bruschi HOF | University of Arizona Athletics

    Tedy Bruschi Named to College Football Hall of Fame | UANews

    Tedy Bruschi | National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame

    Tedy Bruschi | The Patriots Hall of Fame





     
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  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Other June 9 birthdays



    Happy 35th birthday to Matt Gutierrez
    Born June 9, 1984 in Concord, California
    Patriot QB, 2007; uniform #7

    Matt Gutierrez had been enrolled at Michigan and was slated to be their starter in 2004 before he suffered a shoulder injury (torn labrum). While Gutierrez was sidelined Chad Henne played well enough to keep the starting position, so Gutierrez transferred to Idaho State.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The Patriots signed undrafted rookie on May 8, 2007. He made his NFL debut with a kneel down on the final play of a September 9, 2007 38-14 victory against the Jets. Gutierrez completed his first NFL pass to Donte Stallworth for a 15 yard gain against the Miami Dolphins in week 7. That would turn out to be his only pass play with New England.

    [​IMG]

    Gutierrez appeared in five games during garbage time in '07. During the 2008 preseason Gutierrez completed 29 out of 45 passes for 362 passing yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw two picks. He was cut at the end of training camp and signed to the practice squad. After Tom Brady went on IR Gutierrez was promoted to the 53-man roster; he was an inactive healthy scratch in all 14 games.

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    Soon after the start of training camp the following August the Patriots signed veteran Andrew Walter, and cut Gutierrez. Over the next five years Gutierrez bounced between practice squads and training camps with the Bears, Skins and Rams, the Arena League, and the United Football League. His only other NFL appearance was in one 2009 game for the Chiefs. Matt Gutierrez now works in commercial real estate.

    [​IMG]





    Happy 52nd birthday to Emanuel 'Big Mac' McNeil
    Born June 9, 1967 in Richmond, Virginia
    Patriot NT, 1989; uniform #92
    Pats 10th round (267th overall) pick of the 1989 draft, from Tennessee-Martin

    Emmanuel McNeil appeared in just one game with the Pats. When Dick Steinberg left Foxboro to become GM of the Jets in 1990, he signed McNeil as a Plan B free agent. Plan B free agency was something the owners grudgingly put in to place for legal purposes. They were able to protect any 37 players they desired, which when you think about it is all your starters on offense and defense, all your third down players, and all your core special teamers.

    [​IMG]

    In standard Jet fashion, after all that maneuvering McNeil played in just two more NFL games. He signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL but suffered a career ending knee injury in 1992. McNeil is now back at his alma mater, working as the Director of Player Development.


    Emanuel McNeil - Football Coach - UTM Athletics

    The University of Tennessee at Martin - Emanuel McNeil






    Other pro football players with New England connections born on this date:

    Julian Talley, 30 (June 9, 1989); UMass alum had 60 catches for 759 yards his senior year. Has played in the CFL, Arena Football League and NFL. Was with the Giants from 2012-15, but mostly only in off season or on the practice squad; the WR appeared in two games in 2013 and two more in 2014.

    Bernie Digris (June 9, 1919); Connecticut native was born in Union City, raised in Ansonia, went to St John's Prep after Ansonia High School, and graduated from Holy Cross, captain of their football team. Played tackle and guard for the Bronko Nagurski-led 1943 champions Chicago Bears and then joined the Navy in WWII.



    Other pro football players born June 9 include:
    - Olin Kreutz, 42; 6-time Pro Bowl C for the Bears.
    - Josh Cribbs, 36; 3-time Pro Bowl KR/WR for the Browns.
    - Woodrow Lowe, 65; 11-season starting LB for the Chargers.
     
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  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Chuck Fairbanks


    Happy posthumous birthday to Chuck Fairbanks, who would have been 86 today. The second best coach and general manager in the history of the Patriot franchise was born on June 10, 1933 in Detroit, and was hired by the Pats on January 26, 1973.

    After seven years of awful to average-at-best drafts had left the Patriot roster devoid of talent, in Fairbanks' first draft the team selected John Hannah, Sam Cunningham and Darryl Stingley. The next year they drafted Steve Nelson, Andy Johnson and Sam Hunt. Then in '75 the Pats added Russ Francis, Rod Shoate and Steve Grogan - and then hit gold the following year.

    Grogan had performed well enough in relief of injured Jim Plunkett for Fairbanks to put Plunkett on the market. Three days before the '76 draft the trade was made, with the Pats receiving two '76 first round picks, a first and a second '77 pick, and a backup QB for good measure. Those four draft picks turned out to be center Pete Brock, safety Tim Fox, running back Horace Ivory, and corner Raymond Clayborn, who was recently voted in to the Patriots Hall of Fame. That group went on to play a combined 482 games for the Patriots.

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    In Fairbanks first season the Pats only went 5-9, but in scoring the offense improved from 24th to 16th, and the defense from 26th to 16th. The next year Fairbanks installed his 3-4 defense and the team started out at a league best 6-1 before injuries were too much to overcome. Still, the 7-7 finish was the first non-losing record since just missing out on a chance at the first superbowl in 1966, ending a streak of seven consecutive losing seasons.

    1975 saw a player strike over the Sullivan's negotiating tactics lead to a canceled preseason game, and a distraction that could not be overcome. Unfortunately this was just a foreshadowing of events to follow a couple years later.

    [​IMG]

    In '76 the Pats went 11-3, making the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. The team ranked second in scoring offense and third in turnover differential. The Pats led the league with 5.0 yards per rush, and had not lost a game since October. Then came the Ben Dreith game, arguably the most egregiously one-sided officiated game in the history of the NFL. With Pittsburgh decimated by injuries and the AFC vastly superior to the NFC that year, the Raider-Patriots game was the de facto league championship game. Yes, it still bothers me to this day.

    Fairbanks worked out contract extensions for Hannah and Leon Gray, two future Patriot Hall of Famers. The Sullivans screwed Fairbanks over however, not approving the deals and forcing him to renege on the contracts. Hannah and Gray walked out on the team during preseason and did not return until week four. The Pats had lost two games to below average teams by that time and never recovered, going 9-5 but missing the playoffs.

    In '78 Fairbanks worked out a contract extension with Stingley, just prior to his being hit and paralyzed by Jack Tatum in a preseason game. When the Sullivans refused to honor that verbal commitment, it was the final straw; Fairbanks started looking for another job. The team won the AFC East but then word leaked out that Fairbanks had been hired by the University of Colorado. Billy Sullivan suspended Fairbanks prior to the final game of the season, making the OC head coach when the Pats had the ball and the DC head coach when on defense. The ridiculous arrangement failed, and Fairbanks was allowed to coach the first home playoff game in franchise history. Under gloomy skies a lethargic and distracted team was defeated by Earl Campbell, Dan Pastorini and Bum Phillips' Houston Oilers on new years eve of 1978. With that loss, the Patriots' Chuck Fairbanks era was over.

    Chuck Fairbanks for Patriots Hall of Fame | PatsPropaganda

    ‘Roughing the Passer’: The Patriots-Raiders Game You Should Know About



     
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  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Steve King

    Happy 68th birthday to Steve King
    Born June 10, 1951 in McAlester, Oklahoma
    Patriot OLB, 1973-1981; uniform #52

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    Due to paperwork not being properly filed for his redshirt freshman season at Tulsa, Steve King went from ineligible for the draft, to eligible and removed for the supplemental draft, to finally being declared a free agent. Remembering King from when he recruited him when he was in high school, Chuck Fairbanks signed King as a rookie.

    Steve King proceeded to play 126 games with the Patriots, mostly in sub packages and on special teams. King was a starter in 1974 and 1976, and was a team captain in 1981.

    I found a few cool columns on Steve King, linked below.

    This first one focuses on his high school days as a quarterback, with some post-football tidbits.


    Steve King reflects on 9-year career as NFL linebacker | Washington Times

    In one game against the New York Jets, King sacked future Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath twice and intercepted one of his passes.

    “It was interesting because my wife always joked about how good looking he was,” King laughed.

    King married his wife Cathy in 1975 and the couple has since lived in the Boston area.

    Their son, Tyler, was a four-year starting lineman at the University of Connecticut, saw some time on NFL practice squads, and is now a personal trainer and mixed martial arts fighter in the Boston area.


    Steve King - Patriots Alumni

    Quinton, Oklahoma is a long way from Foxboro, Massachusetts, but somehow, Steve King found his way there.

    For most of his childhood, Steve grew up on a cattle ranch in southeast Oklahoma owned by his grandmother who in turn, deeded his family 40 acres. As one might imagine, his life was full of the chores typical of that type of setting but when those were done, sports dominated, and football was on the top of that list.

    Once football was over, it was decision time again for Steve. At 32 years of age, Steve says it “was like starting over.”

    Rather than use his Bachelor of Science degree in Education, a friend who worked for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance convinced him to get into the business. For 10 years he worked as an independent agent and then in 1992, opened his own brokerage. He then merged his firm with Risk-Strategies where he currently works.


    I liked this article the best, as it focuses on the magical-but-tragical 1976 season.

    Alumni Spotlight: Steve King | Patriots.com

    "The guys got together in a team meeting without the coaches, and we all made a commitment. There was a great chemistry on that team. We went on to go 11-3, got the Wild Card and came within a couple of plays of beating the Raiders, who were the Super Bowl Champions that year.

    If we beat Oakland in that game, I'm convinced we would have won the Super Bowl, because we'd already beaten Pittsburgh, who would have been our next opponents. Oakland took them apart. The Super Bowl was against the Vikings, and I believe the way the Raiders ran the ball on the Vikings--and we were the strongest running team in the league that year with (Sam) "Bam" Cunningham, Andy Johnson and Don Calhoun--we would have run all over the Vikings."

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    [​IMG]


    Quinton grad Steve King reflects on NFL career



    Happy 71st birthday to Jeff White
    Born June 10, 1948 in Bronxville, New York
    Patriot K/P, 1973; uniform #2

    Jeff White took over as the Pats kicker in week four of 1973, and somehow lasted the rest of the season. He missed his only field goal try in a two-point week 5 loss to the Jets, then had a horrible game at Philadelphia two weeks later. White went 1-5 on his field goal attempts and missed an extra point in that 24-23 loss to the Eagles.

    In the final game of the season White missed both field goal attempts as well as an extra point in an 18-13 loss to the Colts. For the season White connected on just 14 of 25 field goals, including two misses from inside the twenty and went 3 for 9 outside the forty. In week four White had to fill in at punter and did not fare any better, averaging 27.2 yards per punt.




    Happy 29th birthday to Dewey McDonald
    Born June 10, 1990 in Ranson, West Virginia
    Patriot safety, 2015; uniform #31

    The Pats claimed Dewey McDonald off waivers from Indianapolis on 10/28/15, adding him to the roster when LB Rufus Johnson was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. He was released on November 12 and then went on and off the practice squad a couple times.

    McDonald was added to the active roster on 11/26 when Aaron Dobson was placed on IR, and then cut for good two days later. McDonald played in only one game for the Pats; he has appeared in 29 NFL games and is now with Seattle.




    Happy 49th birthday to David Wilson
    Born June 10, 1970 in Los Angeles
    Patriot safety, 1992; uniform #26

    A late round pick out of Cal for the Vikings, Wilson appeared in one game for the Patriots in '92, a week 7 loss to the Browns.




    Happy 71st birthday to Dan Kecman
    Born June 10, 1948 in Pittsburgh
    Patriot LB, 1970; uniform #45

    A literal one hit wonder, Dan Kecman's sole NFL game was in week one of the 1970 season at the age of 22, in a 27-14 win for the Patriots against Miami. He is now an assistant high school football coach in Rockville, Maryland.




    One other player with a New England connection that shares today's birthday:

    Mike DeVito, 35 (June 10, 1984)
    Went to Nauset Regional High School on Cape Cod, and the University of Maine.
    Defensive lineman spent nine years in the NFL, with the Jets and Chiefs.




    Also born June 10:
    - Dan Fouts (1951); HoF QB for the Chargers, and Hall of Shame announcer.
    - Kyle Williams (1983); 5-time Pro Bowl DT for the Bills.
    - Larry Brooks (1950); 5-time Pro Bowl DT for the Rams.
    - Kevin Donnalley (1968); Oiler/Dolphin/Panther guard played in 207 games.
    - John Kerns; RT for the 1947-49 Buffalo Bills was born (1923) and died (1988) on this date.
     
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  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Grey Defends the Wall


    Happy 43rd birthday to Grey Ruegamer
    Born June 11, 1976 in Las Vegas
    Patriot OL, 2000-2002; uniform #67


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    Gary Ruegamer played in 33 games over three seasons with the Patriots, with three starts. He was a 3rd round pick by the Dolphins in '99 out of Arizona State, and signed by the Patriots off Pittsburgh's practice squad. A two-time Super Bowl champion, his claim to fame as a Patriot may be for blocking on Tom Brady's first career rushing touchdown against the Jets. Ruegamer later defended the wall, with these comments:

    “If the quarterback wants to throw a beach ball or a shot put, so what? If the NFL was so worried about competitive advantage, why would they let teams use footballs all week for the game and only then provide brand new kicking balls pregame?”

    “The talking heads are trying to manufacture that it’s some significant competitive advantage to have a slightly deflated football. If that were the case then they should ban every conceivable ‘competitive advantage,’ like receivers’ gloves, taped ankles and strength and conditioning coaches.”

    “Odell Beckham likely doesn’t make that amazing catch without gloves. Jerome Bettis may have fumbled a lot more in his stellar career without those big neoprene sleeves on his arms to hold the ball in place. DeMarco Murray may not have played as well without piles of ankle tape help him make sharp cuts. And J.J. Watt may not have been the defensive machine he was because of his offseason training. All, at the end of the day, provide some form of competitive advantage depending on the quality and application of use.”

    Grey Ruegamer | Packers.com

    After being named the club’s director of player engagement on July 31, 2017, Grey Ruegamer enters his second season in the role and fifth year overall in Green Bay after playing three seasons (2003-05) with the Packers as an offensive lineman.

    As the director of player engagement, Ruegamer is vital in maintaining locker-room cohesiveness and overall player health. He assists players in acclimating to their roles, both on and off the field and in the Green Bay community, and adapting to a new life in Green Bay.

    Ruegamer also oversees the Packers’ wide range of programs designed to meet the needs of players and their families in today’s NFL. The department provides a framework of assistance within which players and their immediate family members can address the pressures created by daily life and complicated by the demands of playing professional football. The program is also set up to get players prepared for life after football, and helps players seek educational and vocational opportunities.

    Ruegamer played 11 total seasons in the NFL on the offensive line, appearing in 124 games with 17 starts during the regular season and 12 contests with two starts in the postseason.

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    Happy 73rd birthday to Ed Koontz

    Born June 11, 1946 in Hanover, PA
    Patriot LB, 1968; uniform #54
    Pats 17th round (440th overall) selection of the 1968 draft, from Catawba

    Ed Koontz is one of eight NFL players drafted out of Catawba College, a small (enrollment: 1,325) Division II school in Salisbury, North Carolina. Koontz played in six games with one start for the Patriots in what was the final season for Mike Holovak as the Pats head coach.

    Catawba Sports Hall of Fame: Ed Koontz

    Nice column here on Ed Koontz and the AFL below:

    Catawba Football: Koontz made it in the pros as a 17th-round draft pick | GoCatawbaIndians.com

    "I'm in our locker room, and I looked around and saw veterans like Earthquake Hunt and Houston Antwine, guys I'd been watching on TV for years," Koontz said. Soon, Koontz was on the field with Hunt and Antwine, playing his role in the Patriots' final season at historic Fenway Park.

    Koontz is still convinced the 1968 Patriots doomed themselves before the season started when they traded veteran quarterback Babe Parilli to the Jets for young QB Mike Taliaferro. With Taliaferro and undrafted free agent Tom Sherman calling signals, the Patriots started 3-3 but finished 4-10. The awful finish cost coach Mike Holovak his job.

    Many of Koontz's vivid memories are of clashes with the Jets. He intercepted a pass against New York in an exhibition game. That led to him starting both regular-season contests against them.

    "I started three times that year against New York — against Namath," Koontz said. "That was a highlight. Playing linebacker with Nick Buoniconti (a Hall of Famer and one of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins) was also a highlight. It was tremendous playing with Nick before he moved on to Miami."




    Other pro football players born on this date with New England connections:

    John Morelli (1923 - 2004)
    Born and raised in Revere, the Georgetown grad played in 19 games on the offensive line for the 1944-45 Boston Yanks.

    Darnell Alford, 42 (June 11, 1977)
    A sixth round pick by the Chiefs in 2000, the offensive lineman from Boston College appeared in three NFL games.

    Ron Hallstrom, 60 (June 11, 1959)
    Born in Holden MA, Hallstrom was a 1982 first round pick by Green Bay. He went on to play 174 games with 132 starts at guard for the Packers.




    Also born on June 11 (of 1956) was a guy with a name that sounds like something from either a bad Hollywood movie or truck commercial script: Joe Montana.
     
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  15. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Steve Kiner


    Happy 72nd birthday to Steve Kiner
    Born June 12, 1947 in Sandstone, Minnesota
    Patriot LB, 1971 and 1973; uniform #57


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    The nonconformist 70s icon started 28 games at outside linebacker for the Patriots, but if you weren't there then I can't explain it. To start with he had a short commute: Kiner lived in his van in the Schaefer Stadium parking lot.

    Check out the following articles, they tell the story far better than I can:

    The curious case of Steve Kiner and his missing Cotton Bowl watch

    Concussions and the NFL: Steve Kiner

    Kiner Sheds Tag; New Start in Houston


    [​IMG]


    In his post-football life Steve Kiner earned two master's degrees and became involved in health care, managing emergency psychiatric services for Emory Healthcare at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

    A bit more on Kiner's football career below:

    Steve Kiner: University of Tennessee Athletic Hall of Fame

    Steve Kiner: State of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

    College Football Hall of Fame: Steve Kiner


    [​IMG]





    Happy birthday to Kevin Turner
    Born June 12, 1969 in Prattville, Alabama
    Died in 2016 at the age of 46
    Patriot FB, 1992-1994; uniform #34

    Pats 3rd round (71st overall) selection of the 1992 draft, from Alabama

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    [​IMG]

    Kevin Turner played in every game for the Pats from '92-'94, scoring seven touchdowns and gaining 1,238 yards from scrimmage. He played five more seasons with the Eagles, before sad but predictable results.

    Former NFL player Kevin Turner's death caused by CTE, not ALS

    [​IMG]




    Happy 40th birthday to Andre' Davis
    Born June 12, 1979 in Niskayuna, New York
    Patriot WR, 2005; uniform #18

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The reclamation project (signed as a free agent after three years with the Browns) played in nine games with four starts for the '05 Patriots. During that time Davis had nine receptions for 190 yards and one touchdown.

    Originally a second round draft pick by Cleveland in 2002, Davis played in 104 NFL games for four teams over eight seasons. He had 156 receptions for 2,470 yards and 17 touchdowns.




    Other pro football players born June 12 include Dallas Clark and Larry Foote.
     
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  16. 1960Pats

    1960Pats PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    When Tedy was drafted I was an AOLe and spent time on their Pats fan board. I remember an Arizona fan posting to let us know that we would be surprised at just how good of a player Tedy would be. The guy knew what he was talking about.
     
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  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Mel pushes OJ over the edge



    Happy 69th birthday to Mel Lunsford
    Born June 13, 1980 in Cincinnati
    Patriot DE, 1973-1980; uniform #72

    Mel Lunsford was originally a 3rd round pick by the Raiders in 1972 and then was with both Atlanta and Washington, but had no playing time with any of those three teams. The Pats acquired him from the Skins in exchange for a '74 fifth round pick. Lunsford became a starter the next season, then retired for personal reasons after four games the following year. He returned in '76 and missed only one game over the next four seasons. Lunsford was named the Pats best defensive lineman in 1979, and ended up playing 94 games for the Patriots.

    [​IMG]

    Lunsford is perhaps most well remembered for a 1976 game against the Bills. Three years earlier OJ Simpson had set an NFL single season rushing record, eclipsing what most thought to be an impossible benchmark of 2,000 yards rushing in a single season. That feat was accomplished in large part to two 200-plus yard games by Simpson against the Pats. One of the reasons Chuck Fairbanks switched the Patriot defense to the 3-4 was expressly slow down Simpson in order to defeat division rival Buffalo.

    The week nine schedule included Buffalo at New England on November 7, 1976. The Pats were coming off a loss to Miami, dropping their record to 5-3 and placing them two games behind the Colts and one ahead of the Dolphins.

    In the first quarter Simpson ran a sweep, and was stopped for no gain. In the scrum after the tackle OJ gave us a preview of things to come, becoming unhinged, flipping out and losing all self control. The Juice stated afterwards that it was due to a late hit, but that would not explain the frantic and frenzied outrage. In reality Lunsford may have possibly landed a punch to OJ's nether regions.

    The part-time runner, part-time actor completely lost control, wildly throwing punches and swinging his helmet at anybody and everybody. The end result was Simpson being ejected and the Pats winning by the score of 20-10. That would be the start of a six-game winning streak to finish the season at 11-3, before the season came crashing to an unjust finish in the Ben Dreith Game.


    [​IMG]





    Happy 33rd birthday to Myron Pryor
    Born June 13, 1986 in Louisville
    Patriot DT, 2009-2012; uniform #91
    Pats 6th round (207th overall) selection of the 2009 draft, from Kentucky

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    Myron Pryor played in 13 games his rookie season, and in nine games with two starts the following year. A shoulder injury limited him to two games in 2011, and resulted in his spending 2012 on the reserve/physically unable to play list. He was released in April of 2013 and never did play in the NFL again after that.

    [​IMG]
    Football journey: Myron Pryor | Mike Reiss, espn

    Getting to Know... Myron Pryor | Shalise Manza Young, Boston.com

    Patriots Release Defensive Tackle Myron Pryor, Leaving Just Two Players on Roster From 2009 Draft | Luke Hughes, nesn

    It’s official. The Patriots’ 2009 draft was a bust.

    (Note: Julian Edelman, Sebastian Vollmer and Patrick Chung all say 'hello, Luke'...)




    Happy 42nd birthday to Earthwind Moreland
    Born June 13, 1977 in Atlanta
    Patriot CB, 2004; uniform #29

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    Undrafted out of Georgia Southern, the guy whose mother named him after the R&B band bounced around with the Bucs, Jets, Saints, Jaguars, Browns and Vikings for four years while appearing in just three games. The Pats promoted Earth Wind & Fire from the practice squad after injuries to Ty Law and Tyrone Poole left them with Troy Brown starting in the secondary. Moreland played in nine games with two starts for the Pats. After a couple years of arena football he became a high school football coach in Georgia.

    From Earthwind Moreland to Johnson Bademosi, Patriots have a long history of DBs coming out of nowhere

    Great Sports Name Hall of Fame

    After a four year college career, Earthwind spent time on the roster/practice squad of the Buccaneers, Saints, Jets, Browns, Jaguars, and Vikings, with no actual playing time. He finally received playing time with the 2004 Patriots, where he had 17 tackles and a fumble recovery, but was cut after the season. This was a shame considering that he had worked his way up to playing in Dime package for the Patriots, but considering that Troy Brown was the Nickel corner at the time, this was less than impressive.



    Happy 47th birthday to Sale Isaia
    Born June 13, 1972 in Honolulu
    Patriot guard, 2000; uniform #72

    Isaia went undrafted and spent time the Browns, Ravens, Colts, Raiders, as well as in NFL Europe from 1995 to 2000. He had played in nine games for the Ravens in 1996, and was signed by the Pats at the end of training camp in Bill Belichick's first year as head coach in Foxboro.

    [​IMG]

    Sale Isaia appeared in all 16 games for the Patriots in 2000 with 14 starts, but was released the following spring.

    Hawaii will always be home to Isaia




    Happy 32nd birthday to Ted Larsen
    Born June 13, 1987 in Palm Harbor, Florida
    Patriot guard, 2010 off season; uniform #62
    Pats 6th round (205th overall) pick of the 2010 draft, from North Carolina State

    [​IMG]

    Larsen was projected by some to be a 2011 replacement for Dan Koppen at center. Although he had a somewhat inconsistent training camp and preseason, it was still a bit of a surprise that the compensatory draft pick was waived at the end of camp prior to week one. Any chance of signing him to the practice squad quickly disappeared when the Bucs claimed him on waivers.

    In retrospect it would have been much better to have kept Larsen over Nick Kaczur. The veteran had back issues in camp and after four inactive games went on IR, then was released the following spring. Larsen on the other hand has played in 125 games with 86 starts over nine seasons, and is now with the Chicago Bears - when he is not rescuing teenagers in the Gulf of Mexico.




    Happy 32nd birthday to E.J. Biggers
    Born June 13, 1987 in Miami
    Patriot CB, 2016 off season; uniform #39

    [​IMG]

    Edjuan Cinclair Biggers had played in 92 games with 34 starts when the Pats signed the veteran free agent in March of 2016. The Western Michigan alum was competing for a backup role behind Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan, but he was always a bit of a longshot to make the team - losing out in his roster battle to Jonathan Jones and Justin Coleman and being cut August 23.




    Several other pro football players born on this date with New England connections:

    - Dave O'Brien, 78 (June 13, 1941); did not start playing football until his senior year at Watertown High School. He was a walk on at BC and was drafted by the Pats in 1963, but instead signed with Minnesota. O'Brien was on the field for Jim Marshall's infamous wrong-way touchdown/safety. The lineman played in 60 games over five seasons before a broken fibula ended his NFL career at the age of 26. In a bit of trivia, he was part of the only Massachusetts high school football game that had five players that would go on to play in the NFL.

    - Fritz Barzilauskas (6/13/20 - 11/30/90); born and raised in Waterbury, then went to Holy Cross and Yale. The guard was the 3rd overall pick in the 1947 draft by the Boston Yanks. Spent two seasons in Boston and two in New York, playing in 36 games.

    - Veto Kissell (6/13/27 - 3/19/97); born and raised in Nashua, then went to Holy Cross. The fullback and linebacker played in 20 games in 1949-50.

    - Tom Cichowski (6/13/63 - 9/17/15); grew up in Southington CT, was a 2nd round pick by the Packers in 1966, and played in 13 games for Denver at tackle in 1967-68.

    - Mike Dwyer, 56 (6/13/63); Dwyer went to Barnstable High School, the University of Rhode Island and UMass. The defensive tackle played in three games as a replacement player for Dallas in 1987, and is now back home as an assistant football coach in Barnstable.

    - George Smith (6/13/41 - 3/5/86); center/linebacker won two NFL championships and was named to one Pro Bowl over seven seasons; played for the 1945 Boston Yanks.

    - Jack Riley (6/13/09 - 3/22/93); starting tackle for the 1933 Boston Redskins.

    - Frank Martin, 100 (6/13/1919); halfback spent four years in the league, including three games for the 1945 Boston Yanks.



    Also born on June 13:

    - Red Grange, Hall of Fame halfback and one of the greatest players in football history.

    - Sam Adams, 44; Seattle defensive lineman is the son of Patriot guard Sam Adams. member of the Pats 1970s all-decade team who played 119 games for the Patriots.

    - Ted Cottrell, 70; spent 36 years coaching football, including ten as an NFL defensive coordinator.
     
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  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    The first Chung



    June 14 is a case of quantity over quality, starting with a draft bust from the final year of the Dick MacPherson era.


    Happy 50th birthday to Eugene Chung
    Born June 14, 1969 in Prince George's County, Maryland
    Patriot G/T, 1992-1994; uniform #69
    Pats 1st round (13th overall) selection of the 1992 draft, from Virginia Tech

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    Nov 22, 1991 - Dreams Come True for Va Tech's Chung | Daily Press

    Chung is considered one of the nation's best offensive linemen and a certain first-round pick in next spring's NFL draft. Pro Football Weekly's draft preview rates Chung as the fifth best player available and the second-best lineman; the NFL scouting combine lists him as the fourth best overall and the top lineman.

    Dave Thomas, director of operations with NFL Draft Report, calls Chung the best college offensive lineman since Pittsburgh's Bill Fralic in 1984. He says the consensus among league scouts is that Chung, whom he compares to perennial All-Pro Anthony Munoz of the Cincinnati Bengals, will be one of the first five players picked.

    Eugene Chung is the only Korean-American football player to be drafted in the first round in NFL, history and the only Asian-American player drafted in the first round since 1962. He did start 30 games over his first two years in the NFL, but considering the Patriots were a 7-25 team during that span, that is not much of an endorsement to his performance. In '94 Chung was a healthy scratch for twelve games and had officially become a draft bust, replaced by former Giant Bob Kratch.

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    On February 15, 1995 the NFL held an expansion draft for two new teams, Jacksonville and Carolina. Each existing club had to make six players available to stockpile the new franchises, and the Pats elected to cut their losses and make Chung available. Jacksonville selected Chung as the 26th of their 31 selections. He played in 11 games with no starts for the Jags before being waived, then spent one final NFL season as a backup with Indianapolis.

    Despite never really 'getting it' on the field, from 2010 through 2018 Chung has found employment as an assistant offensive line coach, with the Eagles (twice) and the Chiefs.

    Jan 17, 2019: Eagles won't re-sign assistant offensive line coach

    The Eagles have failed to develop many offensive linemen over the last couple years, starting with the regression of Isaac Seumalo from his rookie season too Matt Pryor not seeing a snap in any game his rookie year (Pryor was also a sixth-round pick). Jordan Mailata, the Eagles seventh-round pick, has developed at an impressive rate for being a former rugby player...but didn't play a snap in 2018.

    [​IMG]




    Happy 46th birthday to Matt Stevens
    Born June 14, 1973 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Patriot safety, 2000-2001; uniform #26

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    Over eight years Stevens played in 108 NFL games with 42 starts, plus six playoff games. He had earned a ring for Super Bowl 36, playing in 15 games with four starts for the Pats that year, with one pick, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

    [​IMG]

    In 2007 Stevens was paralyzed from the chest down after a motorcycle accident, but after several years has regained ability to walk - and still supports the Patriots.

    Dec 23, 2007 - Ex-Texan remains in fight of his life | Houston Chronicle

    His NFL career ended when the Texans cut him the following year. He struggled with life after football. His marriage ended. Finally, when he seemed to have figured things out, one careless day changed everything.

    "It's mind-boggling," he said. "One day, I'm out there running around doing what I wanted to do, jumping in the pool, playing with my kids. Now all I can do is sit in a chair and watch everybody else. I remember telling myself I'd never buy a sport bike, and then when I did, I told myself I'd never do anything crazy. I did something crazy, and I paid for it."

    He pays for it every hour of every day as the simplest of tasks become incomprehensibly difficult and, at times, humiliating.

    "I only have half my diaphragm," he said. "I can't spit. I can't blow my nose. People do stuff like that and never give it a second thought. Truthfully, though, I just don't spend much time thinking like that. I can't wallow in self-pity. All I can do is keep working and trying to get better."

    July 3, 2011 - Matt Stevens, NFL Paraplegic Becomes Bionic Man, Walks Again | SOP

    Stevens' injury was debilitating. A severe spinal cord injury paralyzed him from the chest down. Both his shoulders were broken, both lungs punctured, his heart bruised and he had multiple internal injuries. The prospects didn't look good.

    But the human body and mind are amazingly resilient, when you have inner strength and especially when you have the support of friends and family.

    After three years in a wheelchair, Matt Stevens can stand and move again, like a bionic man, without his wheelchair.

    Living in Philadelphia, Stevens attends ReWalk therapy three times a week at MossRehab, in Elkins Park, at the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network. MossRehab says they are conducting clinical trials of ReWalk, a "motorized, quasi-robotic, lightweight, wearable brace support suit with powered joints, rechargeable batteries, an array of sensors and a computer-based patient control system."


    Dec 20, 2000 - Patriots Place CB Ty Law On Reserve/Suspended List; Claim Veteran S Matt Stevens Off Waivers | Patriots.com

    The New England Patriots announced that they have placed cornerback Ty Law on the reserve/suspended list today. Also today, the team also announced that they were awarded safety Matt Stevens, who was claimed off waivers from the Washington Redskins, signed fullback Jeff Paulk off the practice squad and added former Boston University punter Brad Costello to the practice squad.

    Stevens, 27, is a fifth-year veteran who was a third-round draft choice (80th overall) of the Buffalo Bills. The 6-foot, 206-pound safety played four years at Appalachian State.​

    March 16, 2001 - Vrabel, Stevens in the fold | Patriots.com

    In his only game with New England Stevens contributed a special teams tackle.

    “His time with the Patriots at end of the season was very invaluable in his decision to go with New England over several other teams,” Cornrich said. “Once again, the opportunity to play in a superior defensive scheme was something Matt felt would enhance his own abilities.”

    Stevens played in 15 games for the Redskins in 1999 and had a career-high 54 tackles, a team-high six interceptions and 12 passes defensed. He also recorded his first NFL sack and three special teams tackles.

    Stevens was originally drafted in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills.​


    Feb 18, 2002 - Stevens taken by Texans | Patriots.com

    The Patriots officially lost its first member of their 2001 Super Bowl championship team when safety Matt Stevens was taken with the 10th pick of the Houston Texans expansion draft Monday.​

    Feb 18, 2002 - Pats lose Stevens in draft | Patriots.com

    Houston had the option of selecting anywhere from 30-42 players or using at least 38 percent of the salary cap. General Manager Charlie Casserly chose the latter route, and needed just six picks to exceed the $27.02 million dollar figure that represents the requisite cap percentage.

    The Patriots did not pull back any of their four remaining players – Ted Johnson, Willie McGinest, Charles Johnson and Terrance Shaw – but the Texans chose not to select any of them.​




    Happy 48th birthday to Fred Baxter
    Born June 14, 1971 in Brundidge, Alabama
    Patriot TE, 2002-2003; uniform #49 and #84

    Fred Baxter was 31 when he signed on with the Patriots for the final game of 2002. The following year he played in twelve games, on special teams and as a reserve. Over twelve NFL seasons Baxter played in 134 games with 50 starts (mostly for the Jets), with 100 receptions and 12 touchdowns.




    Happy 72nd birthday to Paul Feldhausen
    Born June 14, 1946 in Madison, WI
    Patriot OT, 1968-1970; uniform #66
    Pats 11th round (278th overall) pick of the 1968 draft, from Division 3 Northland College in Wisconsin.

    Feldhausen was cut at the end of his rookie training camp, then spent most of the year on the taxi squad while playing for the Lowell Giants of the ACFL. He was activated late in the season, playing on special teams. He was again cut at the end of camp in '69 and '70, and again played in the ACFL. Paul had to retire after injuring his back in a blocking dummy accident.




    Happy 56th birthday to Tony Mumford
    Born June 14, 1963 in Philadelphia
    Patriot RB, 1985 off season
    Pats 12th round (328th overall) pick of the 1985 draft, from Penn State

    Mumford never made it with the Patriots, but did get in to a couple of games for the St. Louis Cardinals later in '85.




    Happy 32nd birthday to Jared Veldheer
    Patriot OT for eight days in May 2019.




    Others born on this date with New England connections:

    - John Mellekas (6/14/33 - 6/2/15); Newport RI native was the 47th overall pick of the 1956 draft. He spent eight years in the NFL with Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia, playing in 85 games at center, tackle and defensive tackle.

    - Joe Zeno (6/14/19 - 1/8/92); went to Waltham High School and Holy Cross. The 36th overall pick of the 1946 draft was a Pro Bowl lineman, and after returning from WWII played the 1946-47 Boston Yanks. While captain for Washington, Zeno was perhaps the only guard to call plays rather than the quarterback.

    - Gene Filipski (6/14/31 - 8/23/94); grew up in Webster MA. Spent two years in the NFL and four in the CFL as a HB/KR/PR. Filipski later became the color commentator for CTV football broadcasts.

    - David Gamble, 48 (6/14/71); wide receiver went to UNH and got a ring with the 1997 Denver Broncos.

    - Jack Spellman (6/14/99 - 8/1/66); Connecticut native went to Enfield High School and Brown University. Played end, tackle and wingback from 1925-32 for the Providence Steamrollers and the Boston Braves. Spellman won a gold medal in wrestling at the 1924 Olympic games in Paris.

    - Frank Bausch (6/14/08 - 4/6/76); All Pro center played eight NFL seasons, including three with the 1934-36 Boston Redskins.

    - Doug Nott (6/14/11 - 5/25/91); tailback for the 1935 Boston Redskins.
     
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  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in PatsFans History
    Adam Seward


    June 15 is a very special day at PatFans.com because it is the birthday of a most legendary player on this forum - yet one who was never part of the Patriot organization.


    Happy 37th birthday to Adam Seward
    Born June 15, 1982 in Champaign, Illinois
    NFL ILB, 2005-2009; uniform #59

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    Seward was misfit in Carolina's 4-3 defense, and visited New England as a restricted free agent in 2008. Seward felt he would fit in nicely to the Patriots 3-4, and it appeared that the asking price (a 5th round draft pick) would make him a great addition. The Pats had just drafted Jerod Mayo, but the rest of the starting linebacking corps was all on the wrong side of 30. Others saw Seward's lack of playing time (just two starts, stuck behind Dan Morgan and Jon Beason) as evidence that he was Monty Beisel v2.0. The Pats did not sign Seward to an offer sheet and instead headed in to camp with Bo Ruud, Victor Hobson, Eric Alexander and Vince Redd as backups to Mayo and Tedy Bruschi.

    The real story of course is the epic debate that Seward's visit sparked. That topic was reactivated a year later when he became an unrestricted free agent (Seward ended up signing with the Colts). Just as every season some player will be Ventroned, in every off season some free agent will be the next Adam Seward.

    PatsFans.com Adam Seward Threads:
    March 5, 2008 - ILB Adam Seward (41 pages)
    Dec 8, 2008 - Adam Seward Inactive for tonight's game
    March 6, 2010 - Can we please bring in Adam Seward?
    March 9, 2015 - Source: Adam Seward spotted on plane to Boston

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    Seward himself openly wanted to play for the Patriots, much to the chagrin of this columnist from North Carolina:

    Aug 12, 2008 - Seward disappointed Patriots never offered | Rock Hill Herald


    Adam Seward has a Bachelor's in Marketing, Master's in Education, an MBA from Southern Cal, and PhD as well. He has done very well in his post-football career:

    Nov 9, 2017 - Former National Football League Star Visits Elementary PE Class

    March 30, 2017 - Adam Seward Q&A | Panthers.com

    Sept 1, 2014 - Seward out to have big impact in Japan | The Japan Times

    Adam Hartford Seward - President - Goober Foundation Properties | LinkedIn

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    Happy 30th birthday to Jonathan Freeny
    Born June 15, 1989 in Margate, Florida
    Patriot LB, 2015 - 2017; uniform #55

    Jonathan Freeny spent three seasons with Miami before being signed by New England as a free agent. The Rutgers alum appeared in the first 13 games of 2015 before missing the last three with an injury, then played in both playoff games. In late August of 2016 Freeny was given a healthy two-year contract extension that raised some eyebrows. He played in five games with four starts before going on IR with a shoulder injury.

    In 2015 Freeny was on the field for 389 defensive snaps (36%, 14th) and 249 special teams snaps (51%, 6th). In his limited 2016 playing time Freeny had 97 defensive snaps and 49 special teams snaps - though he did earn a ring from Super Bowl LI versus the Falcons. His salary of $1,000,000 may well have played a role in his being cut at the end of 2017 training camp. Freeny bounced around the league in '17, spending time with Baltimore and Jacksonville before returning to New England for one December game.

    After being claimed off waivers he played in one final NFL game for the Saints. Matt Patricia signed Freeny in the 2018 offseason, but he did not make the final roster for Detroit. Jonathan Freeny played in 68 regular season games with eleven starts over six years in the NFL. He also played in four playoff games, two each with the Patriots and the Saints.

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    Happy 37th birthday to Nate Jones
    Born June 15, 1982 in Newark
    Patriot safety, 2011; uniform #23

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    Yet another Rutgers alum, Jones was 29 and in his eighth NFL season when the Pats signed him at the end of November 2011. He played in the final five games with one start, and also in the 23-20 playoff victory over the Ravens.

    Dec 9, 2011 - Nate Jones received callback from Patriots | The Boston Globe

    Four days after Jones signed with the Patriots, he started at safety in last Sunday’s 31-24 victory over the Colts. Jones finished with nine tackles, playing a significant amount of snaps.

    The Patriots went with a few new faces against the Colts, with receiver Matthew Slater making his first NFL start at safety, and Nick McDonald earning his first start NFL start at center. But Jones was unique in that he had days to learn his responsibilities in a new system.

    “I thought Nate did a good job,’’ said coach Bill Belichick. “I mean, he wasn’t even familiar with what we were doing, so he had a steeper learning curve, but he’s a more experienced player, so there’s a trade-off there. [He] played the defenses pretty well, was good in communication, got his hands on a couple balls, made a few plays. It was far from perfect, but I thought he did a good job.’’

    There was plenty for the Patriots to like about Jones, who was drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round in 2004 out of Rutgers. His introduction to the NFL came under the guidance of Bill Parcells.


    Nov 30, 2011 - The book on Nate Jones | espn

    The Patriots brought in veteran cornerback Nate Jones Wednesday, one day after releasing Phillip Adams. So what can Jones provide that Adams couldn't? Versatility jumps out while examining his career contributions.


    Nov 30, 2011 - Patriots sign veteran DB Nate Jones | Patriots.com

    Jones, 29, has played with Dallas (2004-07), Miami (2008-09, 11) and Denver (2010). He originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick by Dallas (205th overall) out of Rutgers in 2004. Jones, 5-10, 185 pounds, has played in 101 games with 10 starts and has 163 total tackles, 6.0 sacks, three interceptions and 59 special teams tackles. Jones has also played in three postseason games, two with Dallas and one with Miami.


    The Patriots did not re-sign Jones following the 2011 season. Since then he has worked as a college referee, and will be officiating NFL games in 2019.

    April 17, 2019 - 6 officials join NFL officiating roster for the 2019 season | Football Zebras

    Jones, from the Pac-12 Conference, and Killens, from the American Athletic Conference, are former NFL players, become the third and fourth active NFL officials to have NFL playing experience along with Steve Freeman and Phil McKinnely. Jones played as a defensive back for the Cowboys, Dolphins, Broncos, and Patriots from 2004 to 2011 (video) and was active, but did not play in, Super Bowl XLVI.




    Pro football players with New England area connections:

    - Mike Flynn, 45 (June 15, 1974); Agawam native went to Springfield Cathedral High School and the University of Maine. The center played in 142 games for the Baltimore Ravens from 1998 to 2007.

    - Jack Rizzo, 70 (June 15, 1949); born in Boston, went to Weston High School and Kimball Union Academy in Meriden NH. The running back played for the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders in 1972, the New York Giants in '73, and for Houston and Shreveport in the WFL in '74.

    - Leo Stasica (6/15/16 - 9/23/82); all-purpose back was a third round pick in the 1941 draft. For the 1944 Boston Yanks he completed 21 passes and also had two punts, three kick returns, three punt returns, and an interception.




    Other NFL players born today include draft busts Jake Locker and Curtis Enis.
     
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  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Andre and Andre


    Happy 48th birthday to Andre President
    Born June 16, 1971 in Temple, Texas
    Patriot TE, 1995; uniform #88

    The 6'3, 255 tight end from Angelo State played in the '95 season opener for the Pats, a 17-14 comeback victory over Bill Belichick's Cleveland Browns. He played in the last two games of the season for the Bears, and was later signed by Philadelphia.




    Happy 31st birthday to Andre Holmes
    Born June 16, 1988 in Hoffman Estates, Illinois
    Patriot WR, 2013 off season

    The 6'5 Holmes was originally signed by the Vikings in 2011; after being cut at the end of camp he spent 2011 and 2012 in Dallas. He made the Cowboys 53-man roster for seven games but spent most of his time there on the practice squad. The Patriots signed him to their practice squad on January 8, 2013.

    The Pats then signed veterans Danny Amendola and Donald Jones in free agency, drafted Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, and then signed veterans Michael Jenkins and Lavelle Hawkins as well as rookie Kenbrell Thompkins. With 13 receivers on the roster the Pats waived Holmes and Jeremy Ebert.

    Jan 8, 2013 - Patriots sign WR Andre Holmes to the practice squad | Patriots.com

    Holmes quick departure from Foxborough may have also had something to do with the fact that he was soon suspended four games for PEDs. He was claimed off waivers by Oakland and caught on with a talent-thin Raider club. Over the next four seasons Holmes missed only two games (plus the four on suspension), scoring 12 touchdowns. 2014 was his best season, with 47 receptions for 693 yards and four touchdowns.

    In March of 2017 the Bills signed Holmes to a three-year, $6.5 million contract. He lasted a year and a half in Buffalo before finishing 2018 in Denver. As of this moment Andre Holmes is still a free agent. Over seven NFL seasons Holmes has played in 95 games with 25 starts, with 1,744 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns. He has averaged 13.6 yards per catch, with 128 receptions on 257 targets (50%).

    Oct 30, 2018 - Andre Holmes Made the Only Memorable Play on MNF | The Ringer

    A glowing tribute to Andre Holmes, who sacrificed his body in a valiant effort to down a first-quarter punt against the Patriots
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    Happy birthday to other pro football players with New England connections:

    - Nick Easton, 27 (June 16, 1992); Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Ravens out of Harvard in 2015, Easton was traded to San Francisco 49ers at the end of that preseason. He was acquired by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2016 midseason and started the last five games at center. In 2017 Easton started the first 12 games of the season at left guard. Easton spent 2018 on Injured Reserve with a neck injury. In March of 2019 the Saints signed Easton to a four-year $24 million contract to replace center Max Unger, who retired.

    - Robert Watts, 65 (June 16, 1954); went to Vermont Academy and Boston College. The linebacker was drafted by the Saints and later played for the Raiders and CFL Toronto Argonauts before knee and back injuries prematurely ended his pro football career.




    June 16 is as slow as it gets, with a cumulative one regular season game played for Patriots born today. It's a slow day for NFL players born on this date as well, led by OJ's driver of the Ford Bronco, and the last NFL player that was born in Cuba.:

    - Al 'AC' Cowlings, 72 (6/16/47); boyhood friend of OJ Simpson and driver of the white Ford Bronco, Cowlings never performed up to his status as the 5th overall pick of the 1970 draft.

    - Luis Sharpe, 59 (6/16/60); 16th overall pick of the '82 draft started 189 games for the Cardinals from 1982-1994, before addiction derailed his life. Sharpe is also the most recent of just four NFL players to have born in Cuba.

    - Larry Brown, 70 (6/16/49); TE/OT won four rings while appearing in 167 games for the Steelers from 1971 to 1984.

    - Matt Turk, 51 (6/16/68); three time Pro Bowl punter played in 244 games.
     
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