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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Bottom of the Roster Trivia



    Happy 54th birthday to Steve Johnson
    Born June 22, 1965 in Huntsville, Alabama
    Patriot TE, 1988-1989; uniform #85
    Pats 6th round (154th overall) selection of the 1988 draft, from Virginia Tech

    In his rookie season Steve Johnson appeared in 14 games with three starts. He had one catch for five yards, and registered seven tackles on special teams. Johnson signed with Dallas as a free agent in 1990 but a preseason knee injury led to his retirement. Steve Johnson is now a successful commercial developer in Bristol, Virginia, and the Virginia Tech practice football field is named after him.

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    TE Steve Johnson's final year at VT was head coach Frank Beamer's first

    Steve Johnson is a true Hokie fan

    Football practice fields renamed for Steve Johnson

    Virginia Tech football: a look back at Steve Johnson




    Happy 41st birthday to Lewis Sanders
    Born June 22, 1978 in Staten Island, NY
    Patriot CB/S, 2008; uniform #29

    After four seasons with the Browns, two in Houston and one in Atlanta, the Pats signed the 30 year old veteran as a free agent on March 6, 2008. The Patriots had been burnt the previous season by their lack of height at cornerback, and at 6'1 Lewis Sanders was envisioned to be a nickel back that could be used against taller receivers.

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    San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Jackson #83 can't hang onto the ball, as teammate Legedu Naanee #11 looks on. Defending the play for the Patriots were Brandon Meriweather #31, Ellis Hobbs #27 and Lewis Sanders #29. October 12, 2008 at Qualcomm Stadium.

    Sanders appeared in ten games for the Pats with four starts, two at corner and two at safety. Other than Ellis Hobbs the 2008 CB position (Deltha O'Neal, Jonathan Wilhite, Terrence Wheatley) was rather mediocre for the Pats. Lewis Sanders (not to be confused with teammate James Sanders, who was also a defensive back) was not offered a contract the following off season as the Patriots attempted to upgrade the position (with various results) in 2009 by signing Leigh Bodden and Shawn Springs. 2008 was Sanders last year in the NFL; he finished his career with 97 games played and 29 starts, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

    From humble start, NFL veteran Sanders finds a spot in the Hall | Staten Island Live

    Patriots sign CB Lewis Sanders and S Tank Williams | Patriots.com




    Happy 49th birthday to David Frisch
    Born June 22, 1970 in Kirkwood, Missouri
    Patriot TE, 1995; uniform #88

    The Patriots signed David Frisch on October 25, 1995. He had spent the previous two seasons with Cincinnati, appearing in 27 games with two starts. At 6'7, 260 lbs Frisch was essentially an extra tackle on the line. He appeared in only two games for the Patriots, with no stats. Frisch signed with Minnesota in the following off season and finished his career with Washington. In 2008 he was arrested for weed after an odd late night rabbit hunt.




    Happy 30th birthday to Ryan Lindley
    Born June 22, 1989 in San Diego
    Patriot QB, 2015 off season; uniform #7

    Ryan Lindley was brought in as a camp arm on August 10, 2015 after Matt Flynn was unable to get off the NFI list and pass a physical. He was also seen as insurance in case Tom Brady was unable to play due to Roger Goodell's witch hunt.

    Lindley was thrust into the starting role late in 2014 for Arizona after Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton were both injured. The performance did not result in potential suitors outbidding one another for his services. In the final two regular season games Lindley completed fewer than 50% of his passes and the Cardinals lost both games. Then in a 27-16 playoff loss to Carolina he went 16-28 for just 82 yards, with one touchdown, two interceptions and four sacks.

    Lindley's only playing time with the Pats was when he was the team's only QB in the final 2015 preseason game, going 22-45 for 253 yards with no touchdowns and one pick. With Brady by that point being assured of being able to play in 2015, there was no longer any need to retain Lindley, and he was waived on September 4. He joined the Colts late last in 2015 after Andrew Luck was injured and then played one season with Ottawa in the CFL.

    [​IMG]

    After that Lindley spent two seasons as an assistant at San Diego State, was hired in 2018 as the running backs coach for the Browns, and is now Cleveland's quarterbacks coach. His career NFL stat line reads 1-5 in six starts with 51.1% of 274 passes completed, averaging 5.0 yards per attempt with three touchdowns and 11 interceptions for 52.4 passer rating. Incredibly, Lindley's CFL stats are even worse. Doesn't Baker Mayfield deserve better tutelage than this?




    Other notables born June 22:
    - Champ Bailey, 41; 12-time Pro Bowl CB led the NFL with 10 interceptions in 2006 - but the game-changing play the previous year should have been ruled a touchback.
    - Kurt Warner, 48; 3½ very good seasons merits entrance to the Hall of Fame?
    - Eric Green, 52; Pro Bowl TE for the Steelers in the nineties.
    - Mark Royals, 54; averaged 42.1 yards on his 1,116 punts.
    - Bobby Douglass, 72; left handed QB for the Bears in the seventies.
    - Mike Wagner, 70; safety won four rings with the Steelers.
     
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  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Matt Light


    Happy 41st birthday to Matt Light
    Born June 23, 1978 in Greenville, Ohio
    Patriot LT, 2001-2011; uniform #72
    Pats 2nd round (48th overall) pick of the 2001 draft, from Purdue

    The man that Ron Borges infamously stated that the Patriots 'settled for and would not help any time soon' was a starter his rookie season as the Patriots went on to defeat the Rams in Superbowl 36. That was the first of three rings Light would earn, as he would proceed to play in 155 games for the Pats, plus 20 playoff games. The Pats went 15-5 with Light protecting Tom Brady's blindside in the postseason, and he was named to three Pro Bowls - despite battling Crohn's disease.

    Matt Light was named to the Patriots All-2000s Team, the Pats 50th Anniversary Team, and in 2018 he was inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame. Light works with underprivileged and at risk youth, something he has done since his playing days.

    Matt Light Foundation

    Matt Light's former teammates, coaches recall best pranks | Patriots.com

    Photo Gallery - Matt Light: A Career Retrospective | Patriots.com

    Matt Light voted by fans into Patriots Hall of Fame | Patriots.com

    Matt Light Patriots Hall of Fame Induction Highlights | Patriots.com





    Happy 47th birthday to Larry Whigham
    Born June 23, 1972 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    Patriot Special Teamer and Safety, 1994-2000; uniform #25
    Before Matt Slater and before Larry Izzo, there was Larry Whigham. He was a 4th round pick out of Northeast Louisiana (now known as Louisiana-Monroe) by Seattle. The Pats signed him as a free agent two weeks into the '94 season. Whigham became a two-time All Pro for his special team play, and played in 106 games with the Patriots. He also made five starts for the Patriots and had four interceptions. Three of those came off Dan Marino, including a 60-yard pick six in a much needed 27-24 victory on November 23, 1997.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Larry Whigham missed just four games in seven years with New England. Unfortunately he was released prior to the 2001 season because Bill Belichick did not want to give Tebucky Jones, who was going to start for the first time, added pressure with Whigham behind him. As a result he never had the chance to play for that 2001 championship team and receive a super bowl ring. Whigham went on to play for the Bears for two seasons and retired after the 2002 season. He is a very deserving member of the Patriots All-1990s Team.

    [​IMG]
    Front Row - Corwin Brown -(S-30), Ty Law (CB-24), Bill Belichick, Scooter McGruder (CB-27), Jimmy Hitchcock (CB-31)
    Back row - Vernon Lewis (DB-43), Otis Smith (CB-45), Lawyer Milloy (SS-36), Larry Whigham (DB-25), Willie Clay (FS-32), Terry Billups (CB-23), Ricky Reynolds (CB-21), Jerome Henderson (CB-26)




    Happy 49th birthday to Mike Bartrum
    Born June 23, 1970 in Gallipolis, Ohio
    Patriot LS/TE, 1996-1999; uniform #86

    Bartrum was a precursor to Mike Vrabel: with the Pats he had only four receptions but two were for touchdowns. Over his career the Marshall grad had 11 receptions with six touchdowns; Vrabel is the only player with more TD and fewer than 15 receptions in NFL history. Bartrum was so accurate with his long snaps that a Philadelphia television affiliate filmed him with some stunts:




    Happy 44th birthday to Chris Floyd
    Born June 23, 1975 in Detroit
    Patriot FB, 1988-2000; uniform #37

    Pats 3rd round (81st overall) selection of the 1988 draft, from Michigan

    [​IMG]

    Chris Floyd was part of Michigan's 1997 national championship team, in the backfield primarily blocking for Chris Howard and Anthony Thomas. Floyd played in all 16 games with two starts in his rookie season, used mostly on special teams. After trying to find a role for Floyd at tight end failed, Bill Belichick cut Floyd in late November of 2000. The end was not pretty; a penalty filled game in Detroit in front of Floyd's friends and family dropped the Pats record to 3-9. Floyd totaled 14 rushes for 33 yards in 40 games for New England, with four receptions for 43 yards. He played two more games in 2000 with Cleveland and then his pro football career was over. As of 2012 Floyd was back in Ann Arbor, working in the Parks and Recreation Department in the day and as a bouncer at night.

    On a side note, the first link above lays out the reality of how bad the drafts were for the Patriots in the three Pete Carroll/Bobby Grier years and how the club botched the bounty of draft picks received when the Jets signed Bill Parcells and Curtis Martin.




    Happy 41st birthday to Greg Robinson-Randall
    Born June 23, 1978 in Galveston, Texas
    Patriot RT, 2000-2002; uniform #77, #64
    Pats 4th round (127th overall) pick of the 2000 draft, from Michigan State

    [​IMG]

    Greg Randall started four games as a rookie and then every game in 2001 for the superbowl champions. However in 2002 Randall started just three games before being replaced by Kenyatta Jones, a 2001 4th round pick by the Pats. Randall was inactive, a healthy scratch for the final nine games of the season plus the playoffs.

    The Patriots traded Randall to Houston in March of 2003 for a fifth round draft pick. That pick was traded again and ended up netting center Dan Koppen. Randall started all 16 games for the Texans but was out of the NFL the following year. He later played in the CFL and Arena Football League. Over three seasons Randall appeared in 35 games with 23 starts for the Patriots, plus three playoff games. He earned a ring as part of the '01 team that upset the Greatest Showoffs on Turf in Super Bowl 36.




    Happy 59th birthday to Doug Rogers
    Born June 23, 1960 in Chico, CA
    Patriot DE, 1983-1984; uniform #65


    The Pats claimed the former 2nd round pick by Atlanta off waivers on September 14, 1983. Rogers played on special teams and on the line on passing downs for the Pats. Over two seasons he played in 22 games but was slowed down by shoulder and foot injuries that ended up requiring surgery. The foot injury kept him off the field in '85 and the Pats eventually waived him in October.




    Happy 28th birthday to Jon Halapio
    Born June 23, 1991 in St Petersburg, FL
    Patriot G, 2014; uniform #59
    Pats 6th round (179th overall) selection of the 2014 draft, from Florida

    [​IMG]

    The former Gator was cut at the end of his rookie training camp. After that he spent two seasons in the Fall Experimental Football League (2014 with the Boston Brawlers and 2015 with the Brooklyn Bolts. Halapio was on Denver's practice squad for a few weeks and in Arizona for their 2015 training camp. The Pats re-signed Halapio in the 2016 offseason, but once again he was cut at the end of training camp. Since then he has been with the Giants, bouncing back and forth between their practice squad and the 53-man roster.




    Two other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - John Bredice (6/23/34 - 10/1/97); Connecticut native went to Notre Dame High School in West Haven and Boston University, and was an end for the Philadelphia Eagles.

    - Don Panciera (6/23/27 - 2/9/12); Rhode Island native went to LaSalle Academy in Providence, and Boston College. The QB played pro football from 1949-53, then owned Panciera Chevrolet in Wakefield RI before retiring.



    Other pro football notables born June 23:
    - LaDainian Tomlinson, 40; HoF RB is probably still whining about the Pats.
    - Dave Butz, 69; Washington All-Pro DT played in 231 games.
    - Cory Schlesinger, 47; Detroit Lions FB played in 181 games from 1995-2006.
    - Bob Toneff, four-time Pro Bowl DT with 49ers and Washington.
    - Marcel Reece, 34; Oakland's four-time Pro Bowl fullback.
    - Tony Hill, 63; Dallas WR had 51 touchdown receptions.
    - Shaun O'Hara, 42; Giants Pro Bowl center now on NFLN.
    - Brandon Stokley, 43; the 'slot machine' had five seasons with 40+ receptions.
    - Josh Scobee, 37; kicked 241 field goals and scored 1,046 points.
     
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  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Lin Dawson


    Happy 60th birthday to Lin Dawson
    Born June 24, 1959 in Norfolk, Virginia
    Patriot TE, 1981-1990; uniform #87
    Pats 8th round (212th overall) pick of the 1981 draft, from North Carolina State

    [​IMG]

    James Linwood Dawson was drafted after Russ Francis abruptly retired following the 1980 season. He saw little playing time as a rookie when Don Hasselbeck became the starter, but had an equal share of playing time and receptions with Hasselbeck in the strike-shortened '82 season. Ron Meyer felt confident enough in Dawson's performance to make him the starter in 1983, trading Hasselbeck to the Raiders.

    Dawson's best year from an offensive production standpoint was in 1984 when he was third on the team with 39 receptions, with four touchdowns and 427 receiving yards. Unfortunately Dawson sustained a ruptured tendon in his left knee on the first play of Super Bowl 20; the freak injury caused him to miss the entire 1986 season. He also missed the first month of the 1988 season due to a hamstring injury. Then after a two-touchdown game against the Bears, Dawson suffered a broken ankle the next week against Miami.

    Over the course of his career Dawson played in 105 games with 75 starts, with eight touchdowns. He also appeared in five playoff games for the Pats and had a 13-yard touchdown against the Raiders in the '85-86 playoffs. Lin Dawson is the tight end on the Patriots all-decade team for the eighties. He is now athletic director at Clark University in Atlanta.

    [​IMG]

    April 29, 1981 - Dick Steinberg post-draft assessment

    Steinberg, who ran the draft show at Schaefer Stadium Tuesday and Wednesday, labeled the Patriots' draft as a '7' on a scale of 1-to-10. New England failed to get a blue chip defensive lineman but did upgrade their team at several positions, most noticeably on the offensive line.

    The Patriots spent the second day doing what most teams do -- picking players who can add some backup support. They chose a punter for the third straight year -- Ken Naber of Stanford -- who promises to give Mike Hubach a battle for his job.

    Their other Wednesday picks were wide receiver Ken Toler of Mississippi, tight end Lin Dawson of North Carolina State, quarterback Brian Buckley of Harvard, and Cris Crissy of Princeton, a receiver-slotback projected as a safety.

    'Every player we drafted should play in the NFL, but not necessarily with the Patriots,' Steinberg said. 'The thing that really hurt us was not having a third-round choice. We filled a glaring need in the offensive line, added a running back and depth in special teams, and we strengthened our linebacking and defensive-line corps even though we didn't get a good pass-rusher.'

    Coach Ron Erhardt said that he thought the team he takes to camp this summer will be better than last year's -- if all the un-signed players (Horace Ivory, Rod Shoate, Don Hasselbeck are the biggies) have come to terms.

    When asked about the team's prospects, Erhardt cracked, 'Anything over .500 is a super job of coaching.'​

    Aug 25, 1981 - Training Camp Notes

    Terry Nelson, a former star with the Los Angeles Rams, was among 10 players dropped by the New England Patriots. Nelson, a tight end who was released by the Rams before training camp, was signed by the Patriots shortly after Russ Francis, one of the league's best tight ends, decided to retire. But last year's backup, Don Hasselbeck, recently ended a contract holdout and reported to the team, and Lin Dawson, a 1981 draft choice, has apparently won a roster spot.​

    Jan 27, 1986

    New England Patriots tight end Lin Dawson sustained a ruptured tendon in his left knee on the first play and was lost for the rest of the game. He was carried from the field on a stretcher. The Patriots went to reserve tight end Derrick Ramsey.​

    Lin Dawson - Staff Directory - Clark Atlanta University Athletics

    J Lin Dawson was appointed Director of Athletics by Clark Atlanta University President Ronald A. Johnson on November 18, 2015 to provide visionary leadership for the Department of Athletics. In two short years, the Department is well on its way to becoming a stellar program.

    “Our goals are driven by the simple philosophy of winning championships, graduating student-athletes, and developing leaders,” he said. “These three pillars set the tone for all we do and think.”

    A former professional football player, Dawson brings more than 20 years of administrative, academic and entrepreneurial experience to CAU. Prior to his arrival at CAU, Dawson served as Director of Athletics at North Carolina Central University, Grambling State University, Elizabeth City State University, and as Chief Operating Officer for the National Consortium for Academics and Sports at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. In addition, Dawson gained senior-level administrative experience as an Associate Athletic Director at North Carolina State University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

    At Clark Atlanta University, he oversees the University's NCAA Division II athletic program, including, but not limited to, compliance, budgeting, operations, advancement, student-athlete recruitment and professional staffing and development.​




    Happy 42nd birthday to Shaun Ellis
    Born June 24, 1977 in Anderson, SC
    Patriot DE, 2011; uniform #94

    [​IMG]

    After 11 seasons with the Jets that included two Pro Bowls, the Pats signed the 34 year old Ellis just after the start of the 2011 training camp. Ellis never lived up to his contract, his age catching up to him. Over the season he played in 14 games with ten starts, recording one sack, seven tackles and seven assists.




    Happy 73rd birthday to Randy Edmunds
    Born June 24, 1946 in Washington, Georgia
    Patriot LB, 1971; uniform #51

    [​IMG]

    George Randall Edmunds was drafted by the Dolphins in 1968 and started at outside linebacker for two seasons in Miami. Edmunds played in all 14 games with the Patriots in 1971, almost exclusively on special teams. He finished up his NFL career in '72 with three games for the Baltimore Colts.




    Happy 49th birthday to Carlos Yancy
    Born June 24, 1970 in Sarasota, FL
    Patriot safety, 1995; uniform #40
    Pats 7th round (234th overall) pick of the 1995 draft, from Georgia

    Yancy appeared in four games for the Pats in '95. His father was a major league baseball player for the Chicago White Sox. Yancy is a 16-year employee at Goodwill, where he assists people in finding jobs and careers for the non-profit agency.




    Happy 31st birthday to Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
    Born June 29, 1988 in Youngstown, Ohio
    Patriot NT, 2015; uniform #70

    [​IMG]

    Kitchen was originally signed by Baltimore as an undrafted rookie out of Kent State in 2012, and appeared in 40 games with the Browns from 2012-2014. The Patriots signed him after their week 14 victory at Houston when Dominique Easley was placed on injured reserve. Kitchen was a healthy scratch for the next game versus Tennessee, then released to make room for RB Steven Jackson. In the next game the Patriot defense surrendered 143 rushing yards and 428 total yards in an overtime loss to the Jets, and Kitchen was re-signed. He appeared in the week 17 loss at Miami, then was again a healthy scratch in both playoff games. Defensive linemen Kitchen, Easley and Chris Jones were all released two weeks prior to the 2016 draft.




    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - Dave Lapham, 67 (June 24, 1952); Wakefield MA native played guard for Cincinnati from 1974-83, then signed a 10-year personal services contract with the Donald to jump to the USFL. Since 1986 Lapham has been the color analyst for Bengals radio broadcasts.

    - Bill Rogers (6/24/13 - 4/30/77); Westborough High School and Bridgton Academy alum was not a long distance runner, but was a tackle with the Lions between 1938 and 1944.

    - Erik Storz, 44 (June 24, 1975); linebacker from Boston College spent three years with the Jaguars, and is now works in commercial real estate.




    Some pro football notables born today:
    - Antoine Winfield (1977, 42); CB had 27 interceptions with the Bills and Vikings.
    - Mitch Berger (1972, 47) two-time Pro Bowler averaged 43 yards on his 847 punts.
    - Curtis Painter (1985, 34); went 0-8 with 50% more interceptions than touchdowns in Indy's 2011 'Suck for Luck' tanked season.
     
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  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    On the Roster Bubble



    Four Patriots were born on June 25, and they combined to start just one game while with the Pats. Something to consider as we get closer to the first day of training camp.


    Happy 45th birthday to Vernon Crawford
    Born June 25, 1974 in Texas City, Texas
    Patriot LB, 1997-1999; uniform #99
    Pats 5th round (159th overall) pick of the 1997 draft, from Florida State

    [​IMG]

    Crawford was primarily a special teamer, playing in 41 games with one start over three seasons with the Pats. He appeared in every game his first two seasons; in '98 he had 14 ST tackles and 13 more on defense. Crawford signed with the Packers in 2000, but spent that season on IR. He was also part of two short lived leagues, in the XFL in 2001 and later played in the AF2. Crawford remained in the New England area and has coached at Walpole and Randolph high schools, Curry College and Boston Renegades women's football. Crawford is now the head football coach at Seekonk High School.

    Vernon Crawford - Patriots Alumni
    • At the time he was drafted, we wasn’t even sure where the team was located but he’s lived in New England ever since, coaching football at both Walpole and Randolph High Schools as a defensive coordinator.
    • Vernon also played a year of Arena League football with the Manchester Wolves in New Hampshire but being a linebacker used to rushing the passer, wasn’t too enamored with the pace of the play. “You can get a clear shot at the QB, but by the time you get there the ball is long gone,” said Vernon.

    Coaches and Personnel | Boston Renegades Women's Football

    Since retiring as a player, Vern has amassed extensive experience coaching all phases of the game at the high school and college levels. He is currently head coach of the Seekonk (Mass.) High School football team. He was Defensive Coordinator for the Boston Militia (2008-2014) before joining the Renegades coaching staff in 2016.​

    Former Patriot Crawford named Seekonk HS head football coach

    Crawford, a grid star from a young age, graduated from Texas City (Tx.) High in 1993, then trekked to the Community College of San Francisco, where he earned his Associate’s in 1995. After that stint, he was recruited by legendary head coach Bobby Bowden to play at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he helped the Seminoles achieve a No. 3 national ranking as a junior and senior.

    He not only played in two Sugar Bowls, but also was selected ESPN Football Commentator Lee Corso’s College Football Special Teams Player of the Year his final season. Crawford earned a Bachelor’s in criminology in 1997, but – just a month before – was drafted in the fifth round by the Patriots.

    He was named to the NFL All-Rookie special teams players list that fall. He played three seasons (1997-99) for then-head coach Pete Carroll, recording a total of 32 special teams tackles, but closed his career in Green Bay after suffering a hamstring injury in the home opener against Miami.

    “I knew I was hurt, but you just do what you must to remain on the field,” Crawford said. “I tried to play through it, but couldn’t.”​




    Happy 55th birthday to Mike Ruth
    Born June 25, 1964 in Norristown, PA
    Patriot NT, 1986-1987; uniform #65
    Pats 2nd round (42nd overall) pick of the 1986 draft, from Boston College

    [​IMG]

    Mike Ruth won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman as a senior after the 1985 season, during the Doug Flutie era at BC. Unfortunately he was snakebit with injuries with the Pats. Ruth injured his knee on the opening kickoff of the first game of the '86 season, and was limited to six games plus the playoff loss to Denver. He missed the first 17 days of 1987 training camp due to injury, then 11 days later in the first preseason game injured his knee again, requiring surgery. Ruth was able to return for two games in November, but never played in another NFL regular season game - though he did play in NFL Europe for two years.

    Ruth was named to the College Football Hall of Fame this past January, along with Peyton Manning, Marshall Faulk, Adrian Peterson, Brian Urlacher, and coach Steve Spurrier, among others. Ruth is also the only BC Eagle other than Flutie to have his number retired. In his post-football career he earned his masters in education from Harvard, worked in insurance, has served as president of his own consulting firm since 2003, and is now a teacher and coach at Everett High School.

    Mike Ruth Named to College Football Hall of Fame




    Happy 33rd birthday to Bradley Fletcher
    Born June 25, 1986 in Cleveland
    Patriot CB, 2015; uniform #24

    [​IMG]

    Bradley Fletcher was a 3rd round 1999 draft pick by the Rams out of Iowa; he spent four seasons in St. Louis and two in Philadelphia. Soon after being burnt by Dez Bryant and Jordy Nelson he lost his starting job in Philly, and was released after the season ended.

    After meeting with free agent corners Terence Newman, Tarell Brown and Robert McClain, the Pats signed Fletcher to a one-year, $1.2 million contract that included a $300,000 signing bonus. Fletcher played in two of the first three games, registering ten tackles and one forced fumble. Following a bye week Fletcher was waived the day prior to a week 5 game at Dallas to make room for special teamer Brandon King. Including his two games with the Pats, Fletcher played in 73 NFL games with 54 starts, plus one playoff game.




    Happy 41st birthday to Marcus Stroud
    Born June 25, 1978 in Thomasville, Georgia
    Patriot DT, 2011 off season; uniform #98


    [​IMG]

    After ten seasons with Jacksonville and Buffalo, the Pats signed Stroud to a 2-year contract on March 1, 2011. The three-time Pro Bowler was projected to play a similar sub role that Gerard Warren had the previous season, but that did not work out for the 33 year old veteran: the Pats released him just two days after training camp opened. The 13th overall pick of the 2001 draft played in 146 NFL games, recording 29.5 sacks, 424 combined tackles and 8 forced fumbles.




    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - Bryan Cox Jr., 25 (1994); son of Bryan Cox is a defensive end for the Carolina Panthers.

    - Harrie Dadmun (1894 - 9/15/80); went to Arlington High School, Tufts and Harvard (where he was captain), and was an NFL lineman in the early twenties.

    - Art Harms (1902 - 7/24/86); University of Vermont alum was an NFL lineman in the mid-twenties.

    - Kent Austin, 56 (1963); born in Natick, was a backup QB with the '86 Cardinals; later became head coach at Cornell, HC for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and now OC at Liberty University.

    - Lou Palazzi (1921 - 1/7/07); born in Groton, played center in the forties for the Giants and then saw many historic games up close over a 30+ year as an NFL umpire.



    Some pro football notables born on this date:
    - Curtis McClinton, 80 (6/25/39); RB was a three time AFL all star with the Chiefs.
    - Tank Younger (1928 - 9/15/01); 4-time Pro Bowl RB for the Rams in the fifties.
    - Matt Schaub, 38 (6/25/81); led the NFL with 4,770 passing yards in 2009.
     
  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Sign the Beast!
    1st round draft pick, 18 ypc



    Only one former Patriot birthday today:

    Happy 72nd birthday to Eddie Hinton
    Born June 26, 1947 in Lawton, Oklahoma
    Patriot WR, 1974; uniform #82

    Eddie Hinton was a first round selection by the Colts in the 1969 draft. In his second season he had 11 receptions in what was the second Monday Night Football game ever played. Hinton finished the season with seven touchdowns and leading the 11-2-1 Colts with 47 receptions. He had 86 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore's 17-0 playoff victory over Cincinnati. Then Hinton had five catches for 115 yards in the AFC Championship game win over Oakland.

    In the superbowl he was headed for a touchdown when Cowboy defensive back Cornell Green was able to strip the ball inside the ten yard line, and it rolled out of the end zone for a touchback. That play allowed for a nail biter finish, with Ken O'Brien kicking the game winning field goal with five seconds to go. Hinton was also part of a controversial play earlier in the game. At that time if a pass was touched by two offensive players it was declared incomplete. A pass resulting in a 75 yard touchdown to John Mackey appeared to have been tipped by Hinton, but no flag was thrown - and with replay still many years away, the play stood.

    Hinton was a footnote in Pats history, as he played in what was the Patriots first victory over a team that had been part of the pre-merger NFL.

    Until the final game of the '71 season, all of the Patriots victories in 1970 and 1971 had been against AFL clubs. In their first meeting Hinton had four receptions for 81 yards for the Colts, with Baltimore winning 23-3. In the final game of the season Hinton had four catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns, but this time the Pats upset the Colts. Jim Plunkett hit Randy Vataha for two touchdowns and John Outlaw scored on a 60-yard pick-six in the 21-17 victory.

    That Colt loss gave the Dolphins the 1971 AFC East division title, and resulted in Baltimore playing on the road at Miami in the AFCCG. Hinton had six receptions for 98 yards in that game but Miami prevailed, 21-0.

    The next year Johnny Unitas called Hinton's number on what would be the final touchdown pass of the great quarterback's career with the Colts. Hinton missed half the season with injuries, and it would turn out to be his final touchdown with Baltimore as well. He spent one season with Houston before reuniting with Chuck Fairbanks and signing with the Patriots. Unfortunately knee injuries had robbed the 6'0, 200 lb Hinton of the speed he had as an Oklahoma Sooner. On a team that ran far more often than they passed, Hinton was buried on the WR depth chart behind Randy Vataha, Reggie Rucker and Darryl Stingley. Hinton appeared in nine games for the Pats with one start, with two receptions for 36 yards plus a few kickoff and punt returns. After a post-NFL career as a home builder, Hinton worked as a school bus driver and counselor for at risk youths in Texas.

    [​IMG]




    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - Joe Shield, 57 (6/26/62); born in Brattleboro Vermont, he went to high school at Worcester Academy and then college at Trinity in Hartford. Shield was a late round draft pick and backup QB for the Packers from 1985-86.

    - Josh Thomas, 38 (6/26/81); born in Plymouth MA, the DE earned a ring playing for the Colts from 2005-09; he now works for Eli Lilly.

    - Harry Boatswain (1969 - 8/8/05); the University of New Haven graduate was drafted by San Fran in 1991, and got a ring as a backup guard with the Niners in '94. He was the second player chosen by Carolina in their expansion draft (and one of the first cut); he later played in the XFL and then became a pro wrestler before succumbing to a heart attack at age 36.




    Some notable NFL players born today include:
    - Michael Vick, 39 (6/26/80); despite missing two full seasons in the prime of his career, Ron Mexico went to four Pro Bowls, passed for 22,464 yards and rushed for 6,109 yards and 36 touchdowns.
    - Chad Pennington, 43 (6/26/76); his accuracy made up for an arm that was not the strongest, throwing for 17,823 yards and 102 touchdowns.
    - Chad Clifton, 43 (6/26/76); despite being most well known as the victim of a cheap shot on an interception return by Warren Sapp that could have ended his career, the Green Bay left tackle protected Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers for 180 games including the playoffs from 2000-2011.
    - Shannon Sharpe, 51 (6/26/68); Hall of Fame tight end and putrid person who least deserves a microphone.
     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Jack Rudolph


    RIP to former Pats linebacker and an original Patriot, Jack Rudolph, who passed away Sunday.

    Former Patriot LB Jack Rudolph passes away | Patriots.com

    A three-year letter winner at Georgia tech, Rudolph was an original member of the Boston Patriots, where he played from 1960 through 1965. He finished his pro football career as an original member of the Miami Dolphins in 1966. He played in 64 games with the Patriots and 11 with the Dolphins.

    Rudolph was drafted by the Detroit Lions of the NFL, but chose to play for the Patriots after joining the team as a second-round selection in 1960.​

    John Lawrence Rudolph (Jack) | Obituary | Valdosta Daily Times

    Born in St. Louis Missouri in 1937, Jack moved at an early age to Atlanta, Georgia where he spent his childhood and college days. Growing up in the shadow of Georgia Tech's Historic Grant Field, Jack was privileged to spend his middle school years selling programs and peanuts in the stands on games days. He attended Grady High School and was a standout student-athlete in football basketball, and track earning a football scholarship to The Georgia Institute of Technology.

    While at Georgia Tech, he was a three time letter winner from 1957-1959. After graduating, he went on to play in the American Football League and was a member of the original Boston Patriot football team from 1960-65 and an original member of the Miami Dolphins in 1966.

    In 1965, Jack married Marsha Lou Harris and they settled in Valdosta, Georgia. Jack spent 31 years as a coach and teacher at Valdosta High School. As a defensive coordinator for 25 of those years, his defenses recorded 111 shut-outs and held opponents to an average of 8.3 points per game. He was a part of Valdosta Wildcat teams that won 11 state and 5 national championships. He attributed this success to an excellent staff, exceptional players, and game changing fans.

    Jack was arguably the greatest High School Defensive Coordinator of all time in the state of Georgia. He was honored to be inducted into the Valdosta/Lowndes County Sports Hall of Fame. He was known for his intimidating presence and football IQ. Although his players feared him, they knew that he loved them and had their best interest in mind and they played for him with passion. More important than the wins was the influence he had on hundreds of young people throughout his life.​

    Patriots History: March 21 Birthdays | Pats Fans

    Jack Rudolph, 79 (3/21/1938)
    Uniform #80
    Rudolph was drafted by the Lions in 1959 out of Georgia Tech, but never played for Detroit. Except for time missed due to injury he was a Patriot starting linebacker from 1960-1965. Miami selected Rudolph as part of their expansion draft and he finished his pro football career with the Dolphins. He had some interesting comments about those days.

    Rudolph recalls early days of Super Bowl | Valdosta Daily Times

    It’s really enjoyable to see the teams I was an original part of having so much success now-a-days,” said Rudolph.

    The game was a lot different when Rudolph played. The AFL was the upstart league. It was more wide-open, with a lot more throwing, and a lot of play-making on defense. All of it was just to attract more fans to the stadiums.

    Looking at the troubles expansion teams have today, can you imagine how it was to play for two of them in the 60’s?​

    “It’s hard for people to understand how it was back then,” Rudolph said. “The Dolphins put 250 guys through training camp to evaluate talent. The practices were long and hard and on a make-up field. After a few weeks, everyone was getting real cut up. The doctors didn’t know what was going on until someone looked at the field. The field was dirt put over seashells.”

    So what could a linebacker from that hard-nosed era possibly see in today’s football? Is there a player today that could stand out to someone who was game-planned around so much back then.

    “Almost every team has someone you can look at and say ‘wow,’” said Rudolph. “The linebackers today are kind of a down defensive end and a big cornerback. It’s a more specialized position.”

    “Back then, if you were a really good linebacker, they put you on offense!”​

    After his pro football career ended Rudolph went on to become one of the nation’s premier high school football coaches.

    Georgia Sports Hall of Fame needs a reality check | Savannah Morning News

    Jack Rudolph has been overlooked for 10 years now. I’d vote Coach Rudolph in and ask the committee to apologize to the guy. He is the perfect example of a deserving honoree. Born and bred in Georgia. Competed in Georgia. Never left Georgia, except to play pro ball.

    Jack was an outstanding football player at Georgia Tech. He played for the Boston Patriots and the Miami Dolphins. Upon retiring from the NFL, he joined the great Wright Bazemore’s staff at Valdosta High School and remained the defensive coordinator for 31 years. Coach Rudolph could have coached on any level. He elected to settle down in Valdosta, raise a family, and coach high school ball.

    Coach Rudolph’s defenses helped lead the Valdosta High Wildcats to 11 state championships in 31 years. Half of his defenses allowed 7 points or less. In those 31 seasons, they allowed 8.3 points per game. Rudolph’s defenses shut out the opponent 119 times. Bazemore, Charlie Greene, Nick Hyder and Mike O’Brien got most of the credit, but this man was a major reason why Valdosta High has this outstanding national reputation.

    He excelled in high school, college and the NFL. He invested 31 years in high school football. Coach Rudolph impacted hundreds of young lives along the way, myself included. I learned defense from Coach Rudolph, by listening to him coach during practice. I was far ahead of the curve when I arrived at Georgia as a freshman.​

    If it sounds like they take their high school football seriously in Valdosta you are correct. Rudolph ended up in his wife’s doghouse after his defense gave up only seven points in a loss to a crosstown rival.

    Bragging Rights: The best high school football rivalries are long-running little civil wars. | Georgia Trend

    It was October 1977. Rudolph, defensive coordinator for the mighty Valdosta football team, had just watched his unit play one of its best games of the season. Unfortunately, hated crosstown rival Lowndes High School was a little better that Friday night, posting a 7-2 win over the visiting Wildcats.

    “That was the first time Lowndes had ever beaten us,” Rudolph says. “It was a pretty big deal.”

    “That was always really important when I was playing and coaching,” says Rudolph, who grew up in Atlanta but married a Valdosta girl, Marsha, who was a cheerleader at Valdosta High and who stared righteous daggers at her husband that October night in 1977.

    “When she [my wife] got home, she had a bad look on her face, asking me why we did this and that. The whole family was really upset with me,” Rudolph says. “My dog Blue jumped into my arms and licked my face, happy to see me when I got home. As the conversation with my wife went on, I said, ‘I wish there was one more person in this family who loved me as much as Blue does.’ So she said, ‘OK, we’ll get you another dog.’​

    [​IMG]





    Happy 46th birthday to Heath Irwin
    Born June 27, 1973 in Boulder, Colorado
    Patriot G/C, 1996-1999; uniform #63
    Pats 4th round (101st overall) pick of the 1996 draft, from Colorado

    Over four seasons Heath Irwin appeared in 44 games with 17 starts for the Patriots, plus three playoff games following the '97 and '98 seasons. His brother Blake was in training camp with the Pats in 1998. In '99 Irwin was tabbed by Pete Carroll to replace Dave Wohlabaugh at center, but instead took over for Max Lane as the starting left guard while rookie Damien Woody started at center.

    On March 1, 2000 the Dolphins signed Irwin to a four year contract. In two seasons there he played in 29 games with 7 starts; Irwin was left exposed to the 2002 expansion draft and when not claimed he was released. His final NFL stop was with the Broncos in the 2003 off season after a year with the Rams. Overall he played in 87 NFL games with 29 starts, and appeared in six playoff games. Irwin is now a high school football coach in Longmont Colorado and works in his family commercial real estate brokerage in Boulder.




    Happy 32nd birthday to Nick McDonald
    Born June 27, 1987 in Salinas, California
    Patriot G, 2011-2012; uniform #67, #65

    Green Bay originally signed Nick McDonald as an undrafted rookie in 2010, and he was on the roster for their Super Bowl victory over Pittsburgh. The Pats signed him to their practice squad prior to week one in 2011. In a season that saw injuries cause the team to start five different centers, McDonald was promoted to the active roster in December when Taylor Price was released, and nearly got a second super bowl ring. He was waived just after the 2013 training camp opened. McDonald played in 16 games with three starts for the Patriots and also played in two playoff games. At one time both he and his brother Chris were in training camp for the Pats together; both had a less publicized real life Michael Oher-type Blindside movie youth.




    Happy 29th birthday to Jonas Gray
    Born June 27, 1990 in Pontiac, Michigan
    Patriot RB, 2014; uniform #35

    As a rookie out of Notre Dame Gray spent the 2013 off season with Miami, and then was on Baltimore's practice squad. Jonas Gray spent the entire 2014 off season with the Pats and started the season on their practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster in mid-October when Stevan Ridley was placed on IR.

    After three games in which he rushed for 131 total yards and no touchdowns, Jonas Gray became the focus of the game plan at Indianapolis - and made national headlines. Gray rushed for 201 yards and a franchise-record four touchdowns on 38 carries as the Pats crushed the Colts, 42-20. After allegedly being late for a meeting, Gray was benched the following week, causing many mediots' heads to explode. His final appearance for the Pats was ironically also against Indy: in a 45-7 playoff victory, Gray had four carries for four yards.

    After being cut at the end of training camp, Gray split a nondescript 2015 between Miami and Jacksonville. His final stat line with the Patriots was eight games with three starts, 412 yards rushing at 4.6 yards per carry and five touchdowns. He was last seen this in 2017 at his alma mater's Pro Day, trying for one more chance at the NFL.




    Happy 81st birthday to Jake Crouthamel
    Born June 27, 1938 in Perkasie, PA
    Patriot HB, 1960; uniform #34

    Jake Crouthamel appeared in two games, gaining 16 yards on four carries in an October loss at Denver. In 1965 he returned to his alma mater and became an assistant coach at Dartmouth. He was promoted to head coach in 1971 and immediately won three straight Ivy League championships. In 1978 Crouthamel moved on to Syracuse to become their athletic director, a position he held for 27 years. He played a key role in the formation of the Big East conference, and as AD his Syracuse teams won ten national championships.

    Jake Crouthamel - National Football Foundation




    Other notable pro football players born today:
    - Doug Buffone (1944 - 4/20/15); linebacker played in 188 games for the Bears from 1966 to 1979.
    - Bobby Wagner, 29 (6/27/90); All Pro linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks.
    - Julius Thomas, 31 (6/27/88); two-time Pro Bowl TE for Denver, now pursuing a PhD.
     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Matt Chatham



    Happy 42nd birthday to Matt Chatham
    Born June 28, 1977 in Newton, Iowa
    Patriot ST/LB, 2000-2005; uniform #58

    The Pats claimed Chatham off waivers from the Rams just prior to the start of the 2000 season, and he went on to become a special teams ace over the next several years. He played in six games in 2000, exclusively on special teams, before landing on IR. In 2001 he began the year on the practice squad but ended up playing in 11 regular season games and all three playoff games, finishing third on the team with 12 special teams tackles.

    In 2003 Chatham had a 38 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown, providing the winning points in a game against the Giants. Then in Super Bowl 38 he provided a highlight reel hit, leveling a streaker at the start of the second half, just after Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. During the '03 season Chatham played in every game and filled in with four starts, registering a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 1½ sacks.

    [​IMG]
    Oct 12, 2003: Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham (#58) races to the end zone with a fumble to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead. The Pats went on to defeat the Giants 17-6.

    Matt Chatham played in 66 regular season games for the Patriots, plus 11 playoff games for the Pats - during which the team went 10-1. With three super bowl rings in his collection, Chatham went on to get his MBA from Babson College. He opened a restaurant and founded one of the best football websites of the last decade, FootballByFootball. Matt shut that site down to instead contribute to The Athletic, but his podcasts are still available.

    A fierce defender of the Patriots during the deflategate witch hunt, @Chatham58 is a must follow for anyone on twitter, and he is a regular contributor to NESN.





    Happy 60th birthday to Ron Wooten
    Born June 28, 1959 in Bourne, Mass.
    Patriot RG, 1982-1988; uniform #61
    Pats 6th round (157th overall) pick of the 1981 draft, from North Carolina

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Ronald John Wooten spent his rookie season on injured reserve. He became a starter the following season after Bob Cryder was injured, then proceeded to miss just seven games over the next six seasons. Wooten was one of the first veterans to break ranks during the 1987 player strike, despite the fact that he was an assistant player rep. Over eight seasons Wooten played in 98 regular season games with 96 starts. He also appeared in six playoff games and was part of the '85 team that won the AFC championship.

    [​IMG]
    (L-R) Pete Brock, John Hannah, Ron Wooten

    Post-football Wooten went on to get his MBA from Boston University and has had a successful business career, initially working in mergers and acquisitions for First Union. He then served as President at the NovaQuest business unit at Quintiles. Ron Wooten is the Founding Partner, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at NovaQuest Capital Management.

    Ron Wooten | NovaQuest Capital Management

    [​IMG]




    Happy 61st birthday to Brian Clark
    Born June 28, 1958 in Canton, Ohio
    Patriot K, 1982 off season; uniform #5
    Pats 10th round (253rd overall) selection of the 1982 draft, from Florida

    In college Brian Clark was involved in a controversial field goal attempt that resulted in the Gators losing to Auburn in 1981. He was still considered good enough to be drafted; at the time he held school records for career field goals made, single season field goals made, and most field goals made in a single game (5). Although John Smith was not available after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee, Clark was waived in favor of Rex Robinson to start the 1982 season. Perhaps just as well; how would the Florida native reacted had he been called upon for a game winning field goal in the snowplow game later that season? Clark is now a strategic account manager for Steelcase Office Solutions.




    One other player with New England area connections:

    - Gosder Cherilus, 33 (June 28, 1984); graduate of Somerville High School (class of 2003) and Boston College (2007) started 116 games at tackle for the Lions, Colts and Bucs before retiring this off season.


    Plenty of notable pro football players born on this date:

    - John Elway, 59 (6/28/60); HoF QB passed for 51,475 yards before becoming a successful auto dealership owner and Broncos GM.

    - Chuck Howley, 83 (6/28/36); five time first team All Pro linebacker with the Cowboys was MVP of Super Bowl V, the first of just nine times the award went to defensive player(s).

    - Raymond Chester, 71 (6/28/48); one of the premier TE of his era, he was named to four Pro Bowls, with over 5,000 yards receiving and 48 touchdowns.

    - Marvin Jones, 47 (6/28/72); had 1,021 tackles over 11 seasons with the Jets.

    - Bryan Barker, 55 (6/28/64); had 878 consecutive punts without a block (2nd all-time in NFL history), and 326 career punts inside the 20 (3rd all-time).

    - Randy McMichael, 40 (6/28/79); from 2004-06 the Miami Dolphins tight end had 195 receptions.

    - Clarence Davis, 70 (6/28/49); averaged 4.5 yards per carry and scored 28 touchdowns with the Raiders in the seventies.

    - Karim Abdul-Jabbar, 45 (6/28/74); rushed for 26 touchdowns his first two years for Miami, but bad knees prematurely ended his NFL career. Rumor has it he may have become a commercial airplane pilot.

    - Don Nottingham, 70 (6/28/49); 'the human bowling ball' was a fullback for the Colts and Dolphins in the seventies, rushing for 34 touchdowns.

    - Jay Schroeder, 58 (6/28/61); went 24-7 in Washington after Joe Theisman broke his leg, then was the Raiders starting QB for five seasons.
     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Rookies Report in 22 Days


    June 29 is an extremely slow news day in Pats history, but here's something worth remembering:
    • Rookies report to training camp on Sunday July 21
    • Veterans report to training camp on Wednesday July 24
    • First practice open to the public is on Thursday July 25




    Happy 55th birthday to David Hendley
    Born June 29, 1964 in Spartanburg, South Carolina
    Patriot safety, 1987; uniform #28

    Hendley appeared in the first two of the three replacement games with the Pats in the 1987 strike season. The next two years he was in the arena league: in '88 with the New England Steamrollers and in '89 for the Denver Dynamite. Hendley then returned to his alma mater as a defensive backs coach at Southern Connecticut State. Hendley has had a nice business career, progressing to his current position as Vice President of Export Sales at American Honda Motor Company.

    David Hendley | ArenaFan.com

    David Hendley - Executives - Honda News

    [​IMG]




    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - Stephen Hauschka, 34 (6/29/85); one of just two players in NFL history to come from Needham High School. The kicker finished in the top ten in league scoring in four straight seasons with Seattle, then signed a four-year, $12.4 million contract with the Buffalo Bills in 2017. His career total of 1,051 points scored ranks ninth among active NFL players.

    - Steve Lubischer, 57 (6/29/62); linebacker from Boston College during the Doug Flutie days. In 1983 his crucial plays led to BC's 20-13 victory over Alabama. He now works as VP of Sales for Alphatec Spine in New Jersey.

    - Joe 'Speed' Braney (1893-1949); Irish native grew up in Rhode Island and went to Dean Academy (predecessor to Dean College) in Franklin MA. An all-american offensive lineman at Syracuse, Braney played and coached the Providence Steam Roller in the 1920s.



    Some other pro football players born on this date:

    - Dan Dierdorf, 70 (6/29/49); prior to his 30 years as a broadcaster, Dierdorf was a Hall of Fame tackle with the St Louis Cardinals from 1971 to 1983.

    - Claude Humphrey, 75 (6/29/44); six time Pro Bowler and Hall of Fame defensive end's career spanned three decades with the Falcons and Eagles.

    - Bill 'Boom-Boom' Brown (1938-2018); four time Viking Pro Bowl fullback scored 56 touchdowns while missing just two games over his 14 year career.

    - Dennis Pitta, 34 (6/29/85); Raven tight end bounced back from two injury filled seasons with a career high 86 receptions in 2016, but a third hip injury during OTAs ended his NFL career in 2017.
     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Bill Lenkaitis


    Happy birthday to Dr. Bill Lenkaitis
    Born June 30, 1946 in Strongsville, Ohio
    Died in Aug 27, 2016 at the age of 70
    Patriot center, 1971-1981; uniform #67


    [​IMG]

    Bill Lenkaitis was a second round pick out of Penn State by the Chargers, where he played left guard for three years. The Pats picked him up off waivers and he was a reserve his first two seasons, playing in all but two games with six starts. In 1973 he was on the Pats list of final roster cuts, but was removed from waivers when longtime starting center Jon Morris hurt his knee. Morris was a seven-time pro bowler but was 33, and had missed almost all of the previous two seasons to injuries.

    [​IMG]

    The Pats traded Morris to Detroit, and Lenkaitis quickly put any concerns about his abilities to rest. For the next eight years he was one of the most consistent and dependable centers in the NFL for the next eight years. Lenkaitis was an anchor on the line that was robbed of a Lombardi Trophy in 1976 and set the NFL record of 3,165 rushing yards in 1978.

    He was a smart player who made the calls for our offensive line and he did that flawlessly,” said Steve Grogan. “Lenk was as tough as they come and wouldn’t back down from anybody, but he also loved to laugh and when he did, we knew where it was coming from.”​

    [​IMG]

    In the off seasons Lenkaitis worked on obtaining his dental degree, and opened up a practice in Foxboro while still playing football. He was named a member of the Patriots All-Decade team for the 70s, and arguably could have been named to the Pats 50th anniversary team over Morris. Bill Lenkaitis played in 151 games with 119 starts over 11 seasons with the Patriots, as well as in a pair of playoff games.

    [​IMG]

    Dec 13, 1976 - Boston Center Bill Lenkaitis Rattles Teeth on Sundays & Fixes Them the Rest of the Week | People Magazine

    Aug 29, 2016 - Longtime Patriots center Bill Lenkaitis dies at 70 | Mike Reiss, espn

    Sept 1, 2016 - Teammates pay respects to Bill Lenkaitis | Patriots.com

    “Bill centered one of the greatest offensive lines, not just in franchise history, but in NFL history,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft in a statement released by the team. “As a season-ticket holder during his playing days, I was a fan of the player he was on the field. But, in my 22 years of ownership, I became an even bigger fan of the person he was off the field. He was a big man with an even bigger personality and a huge heart.”​

    Dr. William Edward Lenkaitis Obituary | Boston Globe

    Oct 28, 2017 - Big men with broken minds: The largely forgotten faces of the Patriots franchise | Boston Globe

    His most impressive feat: While supporting his wife and the first of their three children, Lenkaitis spent his first six NFL offseasons earning a dental degree from the University of Tennessee. He opened a practice in downtown Foxborough in 1974 and became the team’s dentist, excelling at two demanding careers.

    “His dental practice meant everything to him,’’ Donna said.

    Then the work became too much for him. He had planned to retire at 72.

    “All of a sudden, at 68, he was just not with it,’’ she said. “He would get up some days and say, ‘Cancel my patients.’ ”

    When Donna was younger, she experienced depression, she said, and Bill failed to appreciate that medication might help. “Why don’t you just go out and smell the roses?’’ he told her.

    Then came his depression, and he said to her, “Is this what it feels like? I’m so sorry.’’

    Donna said her husband suffered numerous football concussions and was slowed by CTE symptoms before he was diagnosed in 2015 with glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

    “I think he knew even before the cancer that he didn’t have much longer to live,’’ she said. “It was very hard for all of us to see him just crumbling away.’’​




    Happy 39th birthday to Tank Williams
    Born June 30, 1980 in Gulfport, Mississippi
    Patriot safety, 2008-09; uniform #26

    The nickname 'Tank' actually has nothing to do with the armored vehicle, football play or physical strength. When Williams was an infant his sister told his mother that he drank so much milk that she should give him a tank of milk rather than a bottle - and the name stuck.

    Clevan Williams started the first four years of his NFL career with Tennessee, then after signing with the Vikings spent 2006 on IR. Bill Belichick signed the 6'3, 223 lb Stanford alum early in free agency in 2008 with the idea of making him a hybrid strong safety/linebacker. Unfortunately Williams suffered a second knee injury requiring surgery during training camp, resulting in another lost season on IR. The Pats re-signed him to a vet minimum contract, but he was released near the end of training camp in late August of 2009 - and he never played in a single regular season game for the Patriots.

    [​IMG]

    Tank Williams participated in the NFL’s entrepreneurship program when injuries began to shorten his playing career, attending programs at Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. In his post-NFL career Williams has worked at a real estate investment company he founded in 2013. Since 2015 Williams has also worked as a football analyst for Yahoo! Sports. He also had a part in the 2013 crime-comedy movie The Roosters.


    35-Photo Slideshow - Where Are They Now? SS Tank Williams | TitansOnline.com

    3/3/2019 - Former Titans Safety Tank Williams Back at the NFL Combine - 17 Years Later - With Yahoo! Sports | TitansOnline.com

    As for Vrabel, Williams said the Titans are in good hands.

    “I was in the linebacker meeting room with Vrabel and Tedy Bruschi (in New England) when Matt Patricia was the linebackers coach and it was like all of those guys were extensions of Bill Belichick and Patricia,” Williams said. “They just had a complete understanding of not only the defense, but how you are supposed to approach each and every practice, each and every week, each and every game.

    “And I believe that is the foundation (Vrabel) is building in Tennessee, and players need to focus on understanding their responsibilities and going out there and doing their jobs. If everyone does that, then you’ll have success on the field. And having that team-first approach, and having that camaraderie as a family, that is important because everyone will buy in and support each other. If you can have that solid foundation, (the Titans) will have success.”​


    Former NFL Player Tank Williams Talks Life After Football

    Honestly, I wasn’t ready to leave football when I retired in 2009. I was coming off of my third knee injury and felt like I could battle my way back onto a roster like I had in years past. Yet, I was released by the New England Patriots during training camp only a couple days after learning my grandmother had passed away.

    Needless to say, I was devastated for multiple reasons, but fortunately, I spent the three prior off-seasons participating in the NFL’s entrepreneurship programs. My experience at the Wharton School, in particular, helped confirm my interest in real estate while also providing a network that helped me secure an internship with a commercial real estate firm run by a fellow Stanford University alum.​




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

    - Gene Prebola, 81 (6/30/38); Boston University graduate was named to the Terriers' Hall of Fame in 1991. The TE spent four seasons in the AFL with Oakland and Denver, accumulating 133 receptions for 1,823 yards.

    - Josh Beekman, 36 (6/30/83); was an AP first-team All-American guard at Boston College, and played three seasons for the Chicago Bears. He is now the offensive line coach at Concord University in West Virginia.

    - Dick McGrath (1901-1965, age 64); born in Winthrop, the Holy Cross alum was paid $50 per game for the 1926 Brooklyn Lions and was coach of the 1925 Waterbury Blues.

    - Bill Hegarty (1931-2002, age 71); native of Medford MA was a DE/OT and 181st overall pick of the 1952 draft. (Birth date is in dispute; some sites say 6/30/31 and some say 10/13/27 - but the latter would make him age 25 when drafted?)




    Some other NFL players born on June 30:

    - Roy Green, 62 (6/30/57); two time All Pro WR with the Cardinals led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in '83 and receiving yards in '84; finished his career with 8,965 receiving yards and 67 touchdowns.

    - Miles Austin, 35 (6/30/84); after three seasons of barely ever getting on the field, in his first start Austin set a Dallas franchise record with 250 yards receiving on 10 receptions. He went on to score 38 career touchdowns, catching 361 passes for 5,271 yards.

    - Scott Schwedes, 54 (6/30/65); the son of original Boston Patriot Ger Schwedes was a star at Syracuse, but draft bust for the Dolphins. Trivia note: PatsFan Andy Johnson played football (high school, if I recall correctly?) versus Scott Schwedes.

    - Kerryon Johnson, 22 (6/30/97); the Lion RB is the player selected with the draft pick that the Patriots received in exchange for Jimmy Garoppolo. The Pats traded that draft pick they had received from San Francisco to Detroit. From there New England proceeded to make a plethora of draft pick trades, ultimately selecting CB Joejuan Williams, RB Damien Harris, OT Yodny Cajuste, QB Jarrett Stidham, CB Duke Dawson and LB Christian Sam more or less in exchange for Jimmy G.
     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Mike Haynes



    July opens up with the birthday of one of the greatest players in the history of the Patriots.


    Happy 66th birthday to Mike Haynes
    Born July 1, 1953 in Denison, Texas
    Patriot CB/PR, 1976-1982; uniform #40
    Pats 1st round (5th overall) pick of the 1976 draft, from Arizona State

    The 6-2 corner made an immediate impact as a rookie, intercepting eight passes and returning two punts for touchdowns - the first in franchise history. Haynes was named to the Pro Bowl every single season he was with the Patriots with the exception of 1981, when he missed half the year due to a collapsed lung; coincidentally the Pats won just two games that season. His cover skills were so profound that at one point during the 1977 season, Patriots' Head Coach Chuck Fairbanks remarked that Haynes "hadn't seen a ball come his way in over three weeks." Despite the reluctance of opponents to throw the ball in his direction, he still had 19 picks in his first three seasons.

    Haynes was one of four players to holdout at the start of the 1980 season, missing the first three games. Then in 1983 he held out again, this time for 11 games. The Pats agreed to a trade with the Raiders but then the NFL voided the trade, stating they had not received notification until an hour after the trading deadline had passed. The case went to federal court and the trade was approved, with the Pats receiving a 1984 number one draft pick and a 1985 number two.

    During his seven seasons with the Patriots, Mike Haynes recorded 28 interceptions and 1,159 yards on 111 punt returns. He was named to the Pro Bowl six times and earned All-AFC recognition five times (1977- 1980, 1982), and All-Pro honors twice (1978 and 1982). Haynes was elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1994, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997, and was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001. He is a member of the Patriots all-decade team for the seventies, their 50th anniversary team, and is one of two Patriots (along with John Hannah) on the NFL's 75th anniversary team.

     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Bobby Hamilton, and other non-Mike Haynes July 1 Events





    Bobby Hamilton, 48 (July 1, 1971)
    Patriot DE, 2000-2003
    Uniform #91

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    From Tom Curran on CSNNE in 2015:
    Best of the Belichick Era: Number 43 -- Bobby Hamilton

    Games: 64
    Playoff Games: 6
    Honors: Super Bowl winner (2001, 2003)

    Bobby Hamilton couldn’t start for Bill Parcells and the New York Jets. From 1996 through 1999, the 3-4 defensive end was a decent situational player, but not good enough to get on the field and stay there.

    When Bill Belichick broke away from Parcells and took over the Patriots in 2000, he brought Hamilton with him. And Hamilton played miles better than anyone could have predicted that a Jets special-teams castoff would.

    In 2001, he was a force. He had seven sacks, five batted passes and 52 tackles -- big numbers for an interior defensive lineman. The Patriots’ defense was the driving force behind it winning three Super Bowls in four seasons, and Hamilton was a mainstay for two of them.

    He left as a free agent to play in Oakland in 2004 and resurfaced with Eric Mangini in New York in 2006, never again playing at the level he did while with the Pats when he was an indispensable warrior in the trenches.​

    Bobby Hamilton is now a high school coach in Atlanta.




    Rick Cash, 74 (July 1, 1945)
    Patriot DE/DT, 1972-1973
    Uniform #63

    Cash was a late draft pick by the Packers in 1968, and appeared in 36 games with one start over three seasons with the Falcons and Rams. He was acquired along with a first round draft pick when Fred Dryer refused to report, and was traded to the Rams. In two seasons with the Patriots, Cash appeared in all 28 games, starting in all but the first of those games. With the Patriots he was special teams co-captain in 1972, and defensive captain the following year. In 1974 Cash departed for the World Football League, where he played for two seasons.

    In his post-football career he was the basketball coach at Charlestown High School, winning multiple state championships. He also later coached football at Somerville and Belmont high schools. After spending almost twenty years working in a Texas school district as an assistant superintendent of operations, Cash returned to New England. He has since worked at Falmouth High School as the football coach, and as athletic director at Scituate High School.




    Craig Hanneman, 70 (July 1, 1949)
    Patriot DE, 1974-1975
    Uniform #74

    Chuck Fairbanks signed Hanneman after he had spent two seasons in Pittsburgh. Hanneman appeared primarily on special teams, playing in twenty games with three starts for the Patriots. With injuries cutting his NFL career short he returned to his native Oregon. He was elected County Commissioner of Polk County in 1985, worked as the Government Affairs Manager for Willamette Industries and later as the President of the Oregon Forest Industries Council. In 2012 at the age of 63 Hanneman became the first pro football or basketball player to climb Mount Everest.




    Mike Cloud, 44 (July 1, 1975)
    Patriot RB, 2003 & 2005
    Uniform #21 and #34

    Mike Cloud grew up in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and was an All American at Boston College. The Chiefs selected him in the 2nd round of the '99 draft, but he was a bust, starting just six games over four seasons for Kansas City. In 2003 Cloud scored five touchdowns with the Pats in limited action, but was inactive for the playoffs. He returned in 2005 after Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk injuries had depleted the Pats running back depth. Overall Cloud appeared in 11 games with one start with the Patriots, rushing for 177 yards and five touchdowns.




    One other pro football player born today with New England area connections:

    - Joe McLaughlin, 62 (July 1, 1957); native of Stoneham went to UMass, then spent six seasons in the NFL as a special teamer and backup linebacker for the Packers and Giants from 1979-84. He is co-owner of Pro Fence with his brother, with locations in Dennis and Wilmington.




    And other pro football players born on this date:

    - Pat Donovan, 66 (7/1/53); left tackle for the Cowboys went to four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1979-82, and won a ring from the Super Bowl 12 victory over Denver.

    - Gary Brown, 50 (7/1/69); Dallas Cowboys running back coach twice rushed for over 1000 yards in the nineties.

    - Dave Waymer (1958-1993); 13 year NFL veteran and Pro Bowl CB for the Saints died of a heart attack brought on by cocaine at the age of 34.

    - Diron Talbert, 75 (7/1/44); DT played in 186 games plus 9 playoff games over 14 seasons, mostly with Washington.

    - Ryan Diem, 40 (7/1/79); RT was an 11-year starter for the Colts from 2001-2011.
     
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  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Troy Brown


    Happy 48th birthday to Troy Brown
    Born July 2, 1971 in Barnwell, South Carolina
    Patriot WR/PR/KR/DB, 1993-2007
    Uniform #80 (and #86 in 1994)

    Pats 8th round (198th overall) selection of the 1993 draft, from Marshall

    After initially being cut after his rookie training camp, thankfully no other NFL team signed "Bingo". Bill Parcells re-signed the versatile Brown in mid-October and the rest is history. Brown has so many iconic and legendary plays they are too numerous to remember and list all of them. A few that come to mind though are his crucial 23 yard catch and run on the final drive of Super Bowl 36; his play in the previous game, the AFCCG at Pittsburgh when he returned a punt for a 55 yard touchdown and also picked up a blocked field goal attempt and alertly lateraled to Antwan Harris for a TD; at a sweltering hot and humid day in south Florida catching a sideline pass and racing for an 82-yard overtime touchdown, ending a 13 game losing streak at Miami; or being called upon to play defense in mid season - and finishing second on the team with three interceptions.

    Rather than go on, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read this piece on number 80's career. Along with a lengthy resume of impressive statistics there are some great quotes from Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft. Bingo indeed...

    Fans vote Troy Brown as 2012 Patriots Hall of Fame inductee | patriots.com

     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Law Firm



    Happy 34th birthday to BenJarvus Green-Ellis

    Born July 2, 1985 in New Orleans
    Patriot RB, 2008-2011; uniform #42

    Benjarvus Green-Ellis was signed as an undrafted rookie out of Ole Miss, where he was only the second running back in school history with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. With Laurence Maroney injured, BJGE became the team's third RB behind Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk his rookie season, rushing for five touchdowns. In '09 he was used primarily on special teams, getting just 28 touches in 12 games. Then in 2010 Maroney was traded, and after Fred Taylor and Faulk were both injured BJGE became the starting running back by default. He performed quite well, rushing for 1,008 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. In 2011 the Pats drafted Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, and it was clear Green-Ellis' days were numbered. Splitting playing time with the two rookies and Danny Woodhead, BJGE was still counted on near the goal line; he gained 826 yards from scrimmage and rushed for 11 touchdowns.

    The Law Firm was well known for his ability to hang on to the ball, not losing a fumble in the NFL until after he signed with Cincinnati - a streak of 589 touches without a turnover. He started 31 games over two seasons with the Bengals, with 2013 his final NFL season. BJGE rushed for 29 touchdowns in 53 games with the Patriots, which ranks as the eighth most in franchise history, and had 2,064 yards rushing with the Pats (19th). In addition he had 183 yards on 47 carries and one touchdown in four playoff games with the Pats. For his NFL career BJGE totaled 4,332 yards from scrimmage with 42 touchdowns.





    Happy 29th birthday to Rex Burkhead
    Born July 2, 1990 in Plano, Texas
    Patriot RB, 2017 - present; uniform #34

    After four seasons in Cincinnati, the 5-10, 210 lb back from Nebraska signed a one year deal with the Pats in 2017 that included a $1.1 million signing bonus, worth a total of $3.15 million. In a week 10 2017 game Burkhead became the first NFL player in forty years to block a punt and catch a touchdown pass in the same game. Last year Burkhead spent two full months on injured reserve due to a neck injury. In two seasons with the Patriots Rex has appeared in 18 regular season games, with 835 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns. In the 2018-19 playoffs Burkhead scored three touchdowns, with 45 receiving yards and 96 yards rushing.

    [​IMG]
    In the AFCCG at Kansas City Rex Burkhead scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, then followed that up with the game-winning touchdown in overtime.




    Happy 58th birthday to Ben Thomas
    Born July 2, 1961 in Ashburn, Georgia
    Patriot DE, 1985-1986; uniform #99
    Pats 2nd round (56th overall) selection of the 1985 draft, from Auburn

    On the last day of April in 1985, the Patriots traded their first (16th overall) and third round (75th) picks to San Francisco for the 49ers first (28th), second (56th) and third round (84th) picks. Thomas was chosen with that extra 2nd round pick; with the later 1st the Pats took Trevor Matich (who had a lengthy NFL career - as a long snapper) and Audrey McMillan (who never played a down for New England - but did go on to become an All Pro corner for Minnesota). The Niners? They used that first round draft pick on some guy named Jerry Rice....

    Thomas lasted less than one and a half seasons in New England, appearing in 19 games with one start and one sack. From '85 to '91 he played in 54 NFL games, and was a starter only in Atlanta in '89. Thomas went back to his alma mater in 1997 and worked as the Director of Athletic Events from 2005-08; since then he has been Auburn's Director of Player Development.




    Happy 37th birthday to Kelvin Kight
    Born July 2, 1982 in Atlanta
    Patriot WR, 2006; uniform #19

    Kelvin Kight had 76 receptions for 1,102 yards and four touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons at Florida, during the first two years that Ron Zook took over from Steve Spurrier for the Gators. Kight was not drafted and bounced between the Rams, Packers, Jaguars and Vikings from 2004-06, appearing in only one NFL game during that time. The Patriots signed him at the start of training camp in 2006, and he spent most of the year on the practice squad.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    On December 9 Kight was promoted to the active roster after LB Don Davis went on IR and OL Gene Mruczkowski was released. Kight was used on special teams for four games, though he did also have one nine-yard reception and an eight-yard run; he also appeared in the first two playoff games with the Pats. Kight was re-signed the following April but was released during cuts at the end of the 2007 training camp, ending his NFL career.




    Happy 38th birthday to Santonio Thomas
    Born July 2, 1981 in South Bay, Florida
    Patriot DT, 2005-2007; uniform #92

    The former Miami Hurricane signed with the Pats as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2005. Santonio Thomas spent most of his time with the Pats on the practice squad. He was promoted to the 53-man roster for both of the playoff games following the 2005 season, but was a healthy scratch in those two games. Thomas was on the roster for seven games in the first half of 2007, appearing in four games and inactive in three others before returning to the practice squad. Cleveland signed Thomas in September of 2008, and he appeared in 11 games for the Browns.

    [​IMG]
    Sept 16, 2007 in Foxborough: Santonio Thomas wraps up Charger RB LaDainian Tomlinson; Patriots defeat San Diego 38-14 in week two.




    Happy 32nd birthday to Clay Harbor
    Born July 2, 1987 in Dwight, Illinois
    Patriot TE, 2016; uniform #81

    The Pats signed the veteran free agent in March of 2016, after six seasons with Philadelphia and Jacksonville. In a bit of a surprise he made it to the week one roster, beating out Bear Pascoe, Steven Scheu and rookie draft pick Bryce Williams. Clayton Lee Harbor was one of four tight ends on the roster to open up the season, along with Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett and A.J. Derby. In week one he was on the field for 22 offensive and 17 special team snaps, but those numbers rapidly dwindled over the next two games. The 6-3, 250-pounder was released on October 3rd, and replaced on the tight end depth chart by Greg Scruggs.

    [​IMG]

    Harbor finished 2016 with Detroit, and finished his NFL career on IR for the entire 2017 season with the New Orleans Saints. His final stat line with the Patriots reads three games played, no receptions, 25 offensive snaps and 39 special team snaps. In 2018 he was a contestant on the television show The Bachelorette. He had to leave the show early though, due to a wrist injury that required surgery - that ironically occurred while playing football with other contestants.




    Other pro football players born July 2 with New England area connections:

    - Gary 'Killer' Kowalski, 59 (7/2/60); grew up in Clinton CT and played TE at Boston College. Drafted by the Rams in '83, was an OL with the Chargers through '88.

    - Larry Green (7/2/95 - 8/7/60); went to Haverhill High School; was an end and guard for the 1920 Canton Bulldogs and 1921 Hammond Pros.

    - Nick Hennessey, 33 (7/2/86); born in Salem, went to Danvers High School and Andover Academy. Was an OT for the 2009 Buffalo Bills and was then in the CFL for three years; now an offensive line coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.




    And from the wayback machine:
    - Frank Muehlheuser (1926-2006); FB/LB for the 1948 Boston Yanks.
    - Bill Chipley (1920-2002); E/DB for the Boston Yanks, and later head coach at Washington & Lee.




    Some other notable pro football players born today:
    - Carlos Rogers, 38 (7/2/81); CB from 2005-14 with Washington, SF and Oakland.
    - Hassan Jones, 55 (7/2/64); Viking WR had 3,824 receiving yards and 24 TD.
    - Mark Clayton, 37 (7/2/82); Ravens' WR never really quite lived up to his status as a first round draft pick.
    - Chad Henne, 34 (7/2/85); was the career passing leader at Michigan, but went 18-35 as an NFL starter for Miami and Jacksonville - with more career picks (63) than touchdown passes (58).
    - Joe Pisarcik, 67 (7/2/52); NYG QB will forever be known for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with the infamous fumble at the Miracle at the Meadowlands.
     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Founding Father of the End Zone Dance


    Happy 70th birthday to Elmo Wright
    Born July 3, 1949 in Brazoria, Texas
    Patriot WR, 1975; uniform #17

    The 16th overall pick of the 1971 draft appeared in four games for the Pats in '75, with the final four receptions of his career for 46 yards. Although he had just 1,116 yards in his NFL career, he left an indelible mark for all future wide receivers in the game of football. While at the University of Houston, Wright set an NCAA record with 34 touchdown receptions, averaging 22 yards per catch. He became the first player to high step his way to the end zone, and is considered to be the godfather of the end zone dance.

    [​IMG]


    11/23/2011: Elmo Wright, the man who invented the end-zone dance | Slate




    Happy 56th birthday to Larry Williams
    Born July 3, 1963 in Orange, California
    Patriot RG, 1992; uniform #75

    The 6-5, 292 lb lineman was a 10th round pick by the Browns in '85 out of Notre Dame, and he was Cleveland's starting left guard from 1986-88. At the age of 29 Williams appeared in 13 games with nine starts for the Pats, on that abysmal 2-14 Dick MacPherson team that didn't win until Dante Scarnecchia took over on an interim basis. He retired in 1993 as a member of the Patriots. After working for six years as a lawyer the two-time All-American returned to the collegiate scene. From 2004 to 2011 he was the athletic director at the University of Portland. In 2011 Williams became the athletic director at Marquette University, and in 2015 he took over the same position at Akron University.

    [​IMG]

    Dec 5, 2011: Marquette names Portland's Williams new athletic director | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

    Larry Williams - Director of Athletics - University of Akron Athletics




    Happy 52nd birthday to Todd Jones
    Born July 3, 1967 in Hope, Arkansas
    Patriot OT, 1963; uniform #63

    I really don't know much of anything about this guy. Searches for Todd Jones are cluttered with a former ATF employee by the same name that went to work for the NFL league offices as the chief disciplinary officer. Our Todd A. Jones was an All-American in 1991 at Henderson State, and played in four games for Bill Parcells and the Patriots in 1993 - in a season in which the Pats had two bye weeks.




    Happy 72nd birthday to Claxton Welch
    Born July 3, 1947 in Portland, Oregon
    Patriot RB, 1973; uniform #43

    Welch appeared in a pair of November 1973 games for the Pats, and had six receptions against the Jets in his only NFL start. He had previously been with Dallas and played on special teams in seven postseason games with the Cowboys, earning a ring from Super Bowl VI.

    Aug 29, 2018: Claxton Welch remembers the start of Cowboys dynasty

    Welch made brief stops in New Orleans, Kansas City and New England before a series of knee operations brought his NFL career to a close. He enrolled at Seattle University, where he earned a masters in English and went on to a career in insurance and financial advising with Coldwell Banker.​




    Happy 79th birthday to Chuck Sieminski
    Born July 3, 1940 in Swoyersville, PA
    Pats 14th round (110th overall) pick of the 1962 AFL draft, from Penn State

    The Pats took a flyer on the DT, who was also drafted by the 49ers in the 4th round of the '62 NFL draft. Sieminski chose to sign with the Niners, and played six years in the NFL with SF, Atlanta and Detroit.

    Nov 4, 2004: Sandusky, Sieminski earn induction into Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame | Penn State University

    Sieminski was a two-way tackle for the Nittany Lions, earning letters from 1960-62 under Engle. From Swoyersville, Pa., he earned second team All-America honors in 1962 and in '67 was selected to the All-Time Penn State Team by the Pittsburgh Press. Recognized as a strong blocker and tackler, Sieminski earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1962. He played in the 1963 Senior Bowl.

    Sieminski was drafted in the fourth round by the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers. He played defensive tackle for six years in the NFL with San Francisco, Atlanta and Detroit before starting a career as a high school teacher in Mountain Top, Pa.​




    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - Jack Hagerty (1903-1982); native Bostonian went to Dorchester High School. He was a RB/QB/PR with the Giants from 1926-32, then became head coach at Georgetown, winning 23 straight games. After coaching for 16 years he became the Hoyas' athletic director until retiring in 1969.

    - Jordan Reed, 29 (7/3/90); graduate of New London High School in CT. Tight end had 11 TD in 2011, and has 329 receptions over six NFL seasons.

    - Cameron Brate, 28 (7/3/91); Harvard grad has scored 20 touchdowns over the last three seasons at tight end for Tampa Bay.

    - Ray MacMurray (1889-1996); guard from Dartmouth class of 1917 played for the 1921 Muncie Flyers.




    A few notable July 3 pro football players:

    - Jethro Pugh (1944-2015); fearsome Dallas Cowboy DT from 1965 to 1978 played in 23 playoff games.

    - Neil O'Donnell, 53 (7/3/66); despite throwing three picks in Pittsburgh's Super Bowl 30 loss to Dallas, the Jets immediately signed the QB to what was then a mega-contract a month later in 1996 - and he went 0-6 in his first season with Gang Green.

    - Manny Fernandez, 73 (7/3/46); DT went to three super bowl games with the Dolphins.

    - Grant Wistrom, 43 (7/3/76); Rams DE may have been on the losing end in Super Bowl 36, but he did receive four championship rings: three with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and one with St. Louis in SB 34.

    - Paul Naumoff, 74 (7/3/45); linebacker once played in 142 consecutive games for the Lions, and missed only two games in 12 years with Detroit.

    - Manny Lawson, 35 (7/3/84); OLB had 24½ sacks with the 49ers, Bengals and Bills.
     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    The First Training Camp



    July 4, 1960

    The Patriots open their first ever training camp at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

    350 players were in attendance that summer.

    New England Patriots History | New England Historical Society

    New England Patriots History, or Why There Are Still Giants Fans in New England - New England Historical Society

    The first training camp was held at UMass-Amherst. Fullback Larry Garron remembered,

    ...the turnover in that camp was like a nightmare. You would wake up in the morning and there was a different guy sleeping in the bed next to you than there had been when you went to bed the night before.
    There were so many men in training camp Saban couldn’t tell them personally when he cut them. Gino Cappelletti remembered the players would run like hell after practice to the dorm to see if they'd been cut. “A lot of guys who were cut stuck around a few days, eating three square meals and sleeping there."​

    Patriots' road to success started in ... Amherst (a long time ago) | MassLive.com

    Cappelletti still remembers that first UMass camp and the players' arrivals.

    "One by one, we all find a dorm room with a bed, he told the Boston Globe in 2016. "But it's late. No sheets, no pillows, just a mattress.''

    Cappelletti remembers the early days at UMass fondly, though. Practices were two-a-days (which are banned today), there were film sessions and all three meals each day were held in the mess hall, he told the Globe.

    The spartan existence bonded the team. Rookies got the once-over from the veterans. Not unlike military boot camp, the shared experience with sparse amenities created unity among the men.

    Players came from all over North America. Some weren't even players but truck drivers, mechanics and others who might have played high school ball but took a chance to be discovered amid the chaos.

    There were fans - not the rooting kind but the big, clunky devices with blades that cooled the air. That was UMass' method of summer air conditioning in 1960, the last summer of the Eisenhower Administration and one year before Alan Shepard became the first American in space.

    Cappelletti said those inexperienced adventurers didn't make the cut, but they made an impact. He remembered two wrestlers getting involved in a chair-throwing fight over which channel on the sole black-and-white TV would be watched.

    Those days seem so long ago - because they are. The 1960 camp occurred 17 years before Tom Brady was born, and by the time the team left the UMass training site for good in 1975, it would be nearly another 27 years before their first Super Bowl title.

    Still, there was a charm to those simpler days that Cappelletti appreciates as a nostalgic contrast to today's world of expensive digs, saturation media coverage and million-dollar salaries.

    "If the rookies showed up in a car, we'd hide it in the woods or wheel it down to one of the local lakes,'' he told the Globe. "Asked if the cars were wheeled into the lakes, the Patriots legend said "no, but close. Very close."​




    [​IMG]
    Action from the very first regular season AFL game, September 9, 1960 at Nickerson Field. The Patriots played their home games on Friday nights at that time to avoid going head-to-head with the NFL on Sunday afternoon.

    [​IMG]
    Joe Johnson (#24) carries for an 8-yard gain as the Patriots defeat the New York Titans 38-21 on November 11, 1960 at Nickerson Field. Flanker Jim Colclough had six receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Pats to victory.

    [​IMG]
    Patriots vs Dallas Texans, November 18, 1960 at Nickerson Field. Butch Songin threw three touchdown passes, Jim Colclough had nine catches for 85 yards and a TD, and Joe Johnson had two touchdown receptions.

    [​IMG]
    The 1960 Boston Patriots


    Remember the AFL - Boston Patriots

    Billy Sullivan Jr., a Boston businessman with a strong sports promotional background, secured an American Football League franchise on November 22, 1959. In keeping with the New England heritage, the nickname "Patriots" was selected by a panel of Boston sports writers in a contest to name the team. The Boston team was involved in two significance "firsts" in 1960. The Patriots defeated the Buffalo Bills in the first AFL pre-season game on July 30. On September 9, the Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos 13-10 in the first-ever AFL regular-season game.

    During the Patriots' first decade, finding a suitable playing home in the Boston area was almost as urgent as putting a competitive team on the field. The Patriots played at Boston University Field in the 1960 and 1961 and at Harvard in 1962 and again in 1970. From 1963 to 1969, the Patriots played at Fenway Park, the Red Sox baseball stadium.

    In spite of their stadium problems, the Patriots were frequent contenders during their AFL days.​

    Firsts, Records, and Odds and Ends
    • First Regular-Season Game:
      A 13-10 loss to the Denver Broncos, 9/9/60.
    • First Regular-Season Win:
      A 28-24 victory over the New York Titans, 9/16/60.
    • First Regular-Season Points:
      A 35-yard field goal by Gino Cappelletti vs. the Denver Broncos, 9/9/60.
    • First Regular-Season Touchdown:
      A 10-yard pass from Butch Songin to Jim Colclough vs. the Denver Broncos, 9/9/60.
    • First Winning Season:
      1961 (9-4-1).
    • First Playoff Appearance:
      A 26-8 victory over the Buffalo Bills in the AFL's Eastern Division Championship game, 12/28/63.
    • First All-League Selections:
      LB Tom Addison and DB Russ O'Hanley, 1960.
    • First to Rush 100 Yards in a Game:
      Ron Burton, 127 yards vs. the Denver Broncos, 10/23/60.
    • First 1,000-Yard Rusher:
      Jim Nance, 1,458 yards (1966).
    • First to Pass 400 Yards in a Game:
      Babe Parilli, 400 yards vs. the Oakland Raiders, 10/16/64.
    • All-Time Leading Scorer:
      Gino Cappelletti, 1,130 points (1960-70).
    • Fewest Yards Rushing Allowed in a Game:
      In a 41-0 win over the San Diego Chargers on 12/17/61, the Patriots allowed just two yards rushing.

     
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  16. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Happy 4th of July Birthdays



    Happy 31st birthday to Michael Hoomanawanui
    Born July 4, 1988 in Bloomington, Illinois
    Patriot TE, 2012-2015; uniform #47

    Hoo-man was signed as an unrestricted free agent on April 15, 2013 after two seasons with St. Louis. He appeared in 45 regular season games with 28 starts for the Pats, plus seven playoff games. Hoomanawanui is most well known for his efforts in the division round playoff game against Baltimore following the 2014 season. The Illinois alum lined up in what would normally be the left tackle position, but because he was the outside player on the line of scrimmage, he was an eligible receiver. John Harbaugh went ballistic and failed to respond with either a timeout or proper coaching, to what was a perfectly legal play.

    [​IMG]
    Jan 10, 2015: Michael Hoomanawanui had four receptions on four targets in the 35-31 victory over Baltimore. Above is one of the two iconic third quarter plays that gained a total of thirty yards, both good for first downs.

    With the benefit of hindsight it was unfortunate that Tom Brady responded to a question about Harbaugh's whining about "illegal" and "deceptive" plays. Though TB12's response that the Ravens 'should study the rule book' was indeed accurate, it sent Harbaugh over the top - and set the wheels in motion in an attempt to exact revenge by framing the Patriots in the witch hunt that would become known as deflategate.

    Jan 27, 2015: Patriots' Real Trick: Knowing the Rules | New York Times

    Michael Hoomanawanui was traded to New Orleans on September 30, 2015 for Akiem Hicks. The blocking tight end finished with 20 receptions for 289 yards and one touchdown while with the Patriots. Hoomanawanui was on the field for 1,475 regular season snaps with the Patriots, and another 341 on special teams. He spent 2018 on IR with the Saints due to a neck injury, and has suffered at least five concussions. Hooman is now a free agent; it is possible that he may transition to a coach.

    Jan 9, 2019: After latest concussion, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui has been helping Saints as a coach | nola.com




    Happy birthday to Bob Lee
    Born July 4, 1935 in East Prairie, Missouri
    Died March 4, 2017 at the age of 81
    Patriot G, 1960; uniform #60


    Robert E Lee was 25 years old when he tried out for the newly founded Boston Patriots. Lee played in the first eight games of the 1960 season before being cut on November 9, then spent one season in the CFL. He then returned to his native Missouri and worked as a teacher and coach.

    [​IMG]
    Bob Dee, Bob Lee and Bob Fee of the Boston Patriots

    The Bobs of Boston | Tales from the AFL

    Robert Lee Obituary - Columbia, Missouri

    Bob was born July 4, 1935 in East Prairie, Missouri to James Leftwich Lee and Esther Louise Ray. He was raised on the family farm in Southeast Missouri before the family moved to Columbia, Missouri in 1949.

    In 1951, Bob was a starter for the undefeated Hickman High School football team, a feat that would not be repeated by Hickman until 1973, when Bob was serving as an assistant football coach. Bob graduated from Hickman in 1954 where he played football serving as the team’s co-captain, and he also played basketball and participated in track, where he won the state shot put championship in 1954, forty years after his dad won the same title in 1914.

    After graduating from high school, Bob attended the University of Missouri – Columbia, where he played football on athletic scholarship with the Missouri Football Tigers from 1954 to 1957, attaining a bachelor’s degree in secondary physical education in 1959. In 1957, Bob was named “Columbia’s Best College Athlete” by the Downtown Optimist Club and the Columbia Missourian. After graduating from college, Bob played for the NFL’s Boston Patriots in 1960, followed by a stint with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders in 1961. Thereafter, Bob then completed his Master’s Degree at MU and married Marilyn Arnold on August 1, 1964.




    Happy birthday to Bobby Cross
    Born July 4, 1931 in Ranger, Texas
    Died June 18, 1989 at the age of 57
    Patriot OT/DT, 1960; uniform #77


    Robert Joe 'Bobby' Cross spent seven season in the fifties as a starting left tackle for the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Cardinals. Cross was also in the CFL, where he was a Grey Cup champion with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1953. Bobby Cross played in four games for the Pats in 1960, in what turned out to be his final season of pro football.

    [​IMG]




    Happy birthday to Will Smith
    Born July 4, 1981 in Queens, NY
    Died April 9, 2016 at the age of 34
    Patriot DE, 2014 off season; uniform #90


    [​IMG]

    Smith was an eight-year starter with New Orleans but missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL. He had 67.5 sacks for New Orleans, including 13 in 2009 and 10.5 in his Pro Bowl 2006 season. Roger Goodell suspended Smith for four games in 2012 in the bounty gate fiasco, a penalty which was overturned on appeal by Paul Tagliabue. The Pats signed Smith in early April of 2014, but he was cut on August 24, unable to unseat Zach Moore or Michael Buchanon for a roster spot. Smith was shot and killed in the aftermath of an argument following a fender bender, dead before his 35th birthday.

    [​IMG]

    Aug 1, 2014: Football Journey: DE Will Smith | Mike Reiss, espn




    Happy 33rd birthday to Terrance Knighton
    Born July 4, 1986 in Hartford
    Patriot DT, 2016 off season; uniform #96

    Terrance 'Pot Roast' Knighton is a New England native, having grown up in Windsor CT. He played in 108 games for Jacksonville, Washington and Denver from 2009 to 2015. The Pats signed the free agent to a one-year, $4.5 million contract on March 31, 2016.

    At the time it was envisioned that the Patriots would have a powerful rotation of Knighton, Malcom Brown and Alan Branch that could keep all three fresh and productive. Knighton struggled a bit in the Pats second preseason game, and after not playing a single down in the third game the writing was on the wall.

    [​IMG]

    Considering that Anthony Johnson made the initial roster over Knighton, I can't help but wonder if the size of the contract had something to do with the decision, or if it was all about inability to adapt to a two-gap defense. After not playing at all in 2016, Knighton officially retired in 2017.

    June 10, 2015: Terrance Knighton sounds off on free agency, Broncos | SI

    Aug 29, 2016: Why it didn't work out for Terrance Knighton with New England Patriots | Mike Reiss, espn




    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - Floyd Little, 77 (July 4, 1942); born and raised in New Haven, the Hall of Fame running back went to five Pro Bowls, scored 52 touchdowns and totaled 8,741 yards from scrimmage with Denver from 1967-1975.

    - Red O'Neill (1898 - 1955); UConn Huskie grad played center for the Hartford Blues in 1926 and later had a prominent career in medicine. The Red O'Neill Award is given annually to a former UConn student-athlete who has gone on to distinguish him/herself in his/her chosen career.

    - Lou Daukas (1921 - 2005); Nashua native was co-captain at Cornell, and played center and linebacker for Brooklyn after returning from WWII.




    In addition to Floyd Little, some other notable pro football players born on the 4th:

    - La'Roi Glover, 45 (7/4/74); DT went to six consecutive Pro Bowls from 2000 to 2005 with the Saints and Cowboys; he is now the defensive line coach for the Chargers.

    - Erich Barnes, 84 (7/4/35); six-time Pro Bowl corner for the Giants and Browns had 45 career interceptions.

    - Rick Casares (7/4/31 - 9/13/13); fullback was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first five seasons, and led the NFL in rushing in 1956.

    - Emerson Boozer, 76 (7/4/43); Jet running back led the AFL in touchdowns in rushing touchdowns in 1967, and the NFL in total touchdowns in 1972.

    - Josh McCown, 40 (7/4/79); journeyman QB with a penchant of signing with bad teams (Raiders, Browns, Bucs, Jets) had a 23-53 starting record over 16 NFL seasons.

    - Todd Marinovich, 50 (7/4/69); former Raider QB is Exhibit A of what happens to the children of overzealous sports parents.
     
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  17. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I remember him as "il dentista"
     
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  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Brandon Lloyd, David Thomas and Joe Sweet



    Happy 38th birthday to Brandon Lloyd

    Born July 5, 1981 in Kansas City, Missouri
    Patriot WR, 2012; uniform #85

    I have long felt that the 2011 New England Patriots vastly overachieved. While losing the Superbowl was indeed a disappointment, it was amazing that team advanced as far as they did. The Pats moved the ball well to their tight ends and slot receiver (Wes Welker), but opposing defenses did not fear a deep pass. For example their number one outside wide receiver was 32-year old Deion Branch (51 receptions for 702 yards and 5 TD), who had clearly lost a step; 2012 would be his final year in the NFL. The number two non-slot wide receiver was 33-year old Chad Johnson, who had not only slowed down, but looked completely lost, having never grasped the Patriot offense. It is never good when your number two wideout plays a full season and compiles just 15 receptions for 276 yards and one touchdown. At that point in time Julian Edelman was strictly a punt and kick returner, still making the transition from quarterback to receiver. Edelman, Tiquan Underwood and Matt Slater combined for 8 receptions in 2011. The need for a deep threat on the outside was obvious.

    The Pats signed Brandon Lloyd five days into free agency in 2012. In 2010 he had led the NFL with 1,448 yards receiving, while averaging 18.8 yards per catch. That was considered to be a big splash in free agency, though some wondered why Lloyd had played on so many teams (five) over nine seasons. Lloyd caught 74 passes for 911 yards, both second on the team to only Wes Welker that season. However some fans felt Lloyd went down to the ground too quickly, without any contact after making a catch. The following off season Lloyd was released after the Pats signed free agent wide receivers Danny Amendola and Donald Jones.

    [​IMG]

    Brandon Lloyd appeared in 142 NFL games from 2003 to 2014, totaling 5,989 yards receiving and 36 touchdown receptions. He had a bit part (one line, one minute of screen time) in a 2013 zombie movie, and has been recording music since 2008.

    Engage - Brandon Lloyd

    More inspiring than Brandon’s football talent are his accomplishments away from the gridiron. Gifted with an engaging smile and an intriguing disposition, Brandon began his entertainment career at the University of Illinois choosing attend the U of I because of its prestigious journalism programming. He went on to host segments for FOX Sports Net Midwest and now can often be found gracing the sets of ESPN, NFL Network, and many others. He is known to attend high profile red carpet events such as the ESPY Awards, The Kentucky Derby, The Breeders Cup, Sundance Film Festival and the like.

    Even more impressive are his philanthropic endeavors, which include Money X Live and Blessings in a Backpack. Money X Live is the premiere financial literacy program in the country that has support from national banks and top forty celebrities. In fact, Brandon hosted “Brandon Lloyd Financial Day” on November 28th, 2012 to teach children the importance of financial literacy. Blessings in a Backpack partners with America to ensure impoverished elementary school children are fed on the weekends throughout the school year. Brandon specifically provides backpacks to children in Blue Springs, Missouri.

    From the football field to the studio, this media savvy leader has accomplished it all and the story is nowhere close to nearing the end. In fact, it is just beginning of a new chapter and a new outlook on what is important.​




    Happy 36th birthday to David Thomas
    Born July 5, 1983 in Plainview, Texas
    Patriot TE, 2006-2008; uniform #86
    Pats 3rd round (86th overall) selection of the 2006 draft, from Texas

    In the 2006 Rose Bowl when Vince Young led Texas to a last minute national championship over USC, David Thomas had ten receptions for the Longhorns. That clutch performance surely caught the eye of many NFL coaches and scouts, resulting in a favorable draft status.

    Thomas never saw much playing time with the Pats though. He spent nearly all of 2007 on IR with a foot injury, and the other two years he was stuck behind Ben Watson on the depth chart. In September of 2009 Bill Belichick gave up, trading Thomas to New Orleans for a 6th round draft pick. Thomas had 21 receptions for 261 yards and one touchdown in 32 games with the Pats. David Thomas played in 80 NFL games from 2006 to 2012 with 102 receptions for 938 yards, and 8 touchdowns.

    [​IMG]

    Dec 20, 2006: Behind the Scenes with TE David Thomas | Patriots.com

    Aug 16, 2015: Where are they now: Tight End David Thomas | The Daily Texan




    Happy 71st birthday to Joe Sweet
    Born July 5, 1948 in Lakeland, Florida
    Patriot WR, 1974; uniform #81

    The 435th pick of the 1971 draft played in four games with the Patriots, with no stats. Sweet played in 34 NFL games with 10 receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown. He then spent 13 years representing NFL and NBA players in contract negotiations. More recently he worked as a mortgage and real estate finance professional, and now donates much of his time to charitable fund raising.

    [​IMG]

    Our Team

    After graduating from Tennessee State University in 1971, Joe was drafted by the LA Rams and went on to play with the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers until he retired from the NFL in his sixth year due to injury. While still playing in the NFL, Joe obtained his real estate license and partnered with teammates and businessmen to establish a successful investment group for professional players and coaches. After retiring, Joe became a certified NFL and NBA Contract Advisor. Joe often made his clients the highest paid athletes in their respective leagues.

    In addition to his success in sports and business, Joe has appeared in television commercials and feature films. He is a member of the NFLPA, NFL Alumni Association, SAG/AFTRA and the Faithful Central Bible Church Elder Board. Joe enjoys golf, traveling and spending time with his wife and daughter. He spends much of his free time mentoring young people. Joe is currently a Mortgage Banker with Emery Financial, a division of WJB. He has worked in the real estate, mortgage and finance industry for over 40 years.​




    Other pro football players with New England area connections born July 5:

    - Gerry Cowhig (1921-1995); Dorchester native went to Mechanical Arts High School (better known later as Boston Technical HS, and now called the O'Bryant School of Math and Science). The Notre Dame alum was an NFL LB/FB from 1947 to 1951; he was married to Hollywood actress Jean Willes.

    - Dwight Anderson, 38 (7/5/81); went to Bloomfield (CT) High School at the same time Dwight Freeney was there. The cornerback spent a couple years with the Rams, and eight seasons in the CFL where he was a two-time all star and won two Grey Cups.




    And some notable pro football players born on this date:

    - James Lofton, 63 (7/5/56); Hall of Fame WR has over 14,000 career receiving yards.

    - George Kunz, 72 (7/5/47); eight-time Pro Bowl tackle for the Falcons and Colts.

    - Billy Howton, 89 (7/5/30); Packer WR twice led the NFL in receiving yards.

    - Richie Incognito, 36 (7/5/83); most well known for Miami's bully-gate brouhaha.

    - Eggs Manske (1912-2002); the end was the last college player to not wear a helmet; he was also an assistant coach at BU, and on the winning side of the Chicago Bears' 73-0 victory over Washington in the 1940 NFL championship game.
     
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  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not sure where to post this, so I'll just place it here.

    It is a graphic from after Super Bowl 51, showing the athletic versatility of the Pats roster.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Matt Bahr


    When one thinks about Patriot kickers, the names Gostkowski, Vinatieri and Cappelletti come to mind. This three-time Superbowl champion held things together for the Pats in their kicking game during final three of his 17 seasons in the NFL, as the Pats improved from 2-14 to 6-10 to 10-6.


    Happy 63rd birthday to Matt Bahr
    Born July 6, 1956 in Philadelphia
    Patriot K, 1993-1995; uniform #3

    [​IMG]
    • 25 regular season games with Pats, plus one playoff game.
    • 55/72 on field goal attempts; 73/73 on extra points; one punt for 29 yards.
    • 55-yard field goal in '95 set a franchise record (broken by Adam Vinatieri in 2002).
    • At the age of 37 Matt Bahr reunited with Bill Parcells, to replace Scott 'Missing' Sisson at kicker early in 1993; Bahr was replaced by Vinatieri after the 1996 preseason.
    • Ranks 6th in franchise history with 55 successful field goals (was 4th in '95).
    • Tied with Jim Colclough as 10th all-time in club history at the time he retired, with 238 points scored (now ranks 15th).
    • Kicked 300 field goals and scored 1,422 points over 17 NFL seasons.
    • Scored 103 points in 14 playoff games.
    • Set an NFCCG record with five field goals on 1/20/91, in New York's 15-13 won over San Fran.
    • Three-time Superbowl champion (Pit, '79; SF, '81; NYG, '90) kicked the winning field goal in the Scott Norwood 'wide right' game; Bahr also played professional soccer for three years.
    • Later worked as an electrical engineer, and then as a player advisor with the Harvard Football Players Health Study.
    Matt Bahr kicked the Giants to Super Bowl 25 with a concussion | PFT

    Matt Bahr - Champions 4 Children




    Happy 31st birthday to Adrian Clayborn
    Born July 6, 1988 in St. Louis
    Patriot DE, 2018; uniform #94




    Happy 55th birthday to Erroll Tucker
    Born July 6, 1964 in Pittsburgh
    Patriot KR/PR/CB, 1989-1990; uniform #21

    [​IMG]
    • Five games played with the Patriots.
    • Averaged 20.8 yards on 13 kick returns; averaged 7.8 yards on 13 punt returns.
    • 122nd overall selection of the 1986 draft by the Steelers, out of Utah.
    • Career derailed by multiple surgeries after suffering a broken fibula in a preseason game his rookie year.
    • Played in 18 NFL games over four seasons.
    • Also played for Orlando in the WLAF in 1991, and spent two seasons in the CFL. Won a Grey Cup with Doug Flutie for the Calgary Stampeders in 1992.

    Here is a good biography from 2009 on Erroll Tucker:
    Comeback Kid - Erroll Tucker

    Today, Erroll works as a Physical Therapy Aide for Los Alamitos Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. What’s his advice for other people recovering for injuries? (Okay, it’s too perfect to edit a single word.) “Don’t try to rush it. Don’t question it. Sometimes things happen for a reason and it’s out of our control. But the main focus is to do your rehab, be patient, let your body heal and let nature take its course,” he explained enthusiastically, “You get out of it, what you put into it. You have to work hard to get back on your feet. Whether it’s to get back to work, professional sports, or everyday life. You have to do your rehab right. Don’t rush it. Take your time. Do the things you need to do.”

    Erroll seems to have a knack for doing things right. He’s giving back in other ways, too. He returned to his hometown, the City of Lynwood to coach youth sports, including football and track, in his spare time. When he realized the kids had been without any Pop Warner or youth football for eight years, he stepped up with his business partner, Eugene Jackson who works with Nike, to put on several football camps each year.​

    Number 34: Utah defensive back/returner Erroll Tucker | Deseret News

    As good as he was on defense, he might have been even better on special teams where he was a two-time first-team All-WAC performer and an All-American.

    His best season as a returner came in 1985 when he was first-team all-conference and was a first-team All-American by three publications after leading the nation in punt return average (24.3) and kick return average (29.1). That year, he finished with 24 kick returns for 698 yards and two touchdowns to go long with 16 punt returns for 389 yards and two more scores.

    For his Utah career, he totaled 118 tackles, 14 pass break-ups, eight interceptions and six tackles for loss. He also averaged 26.6 yards with two touchdowns on 41 kick returns as well as 17 yards and three scores on 38 punt returns.​




    Happy birthday to King Corcoran
    Born July 6, 1943 in Jersey City, NJ
    Died June 19, 2009 at the age of 65
    Patriot QB, 1968; uniform #15

    • Two games with Pats, with zero starts.
    • 3/7 for 33 yards, with two interceptions.
    The flamboyant self promoter known as 'the poor man's Joe Namath' spent five years in the Atlantic Coast Football League, one in the CFL and two in the Seaboard Football League. James Sean Patrick 'King' Corcoran also led the World Football League in touchdown passes in 1974.

    In 1969 NFL Films produced a documentary on minor league football titled "Pro Football, Pottstown PA". While the focus was on the ACFL team, Corcoran - who drove a Lincoln that was equipped with a bar, copier and car phone (two decades before mobile phones began to become mainstream) - was the star of the film.

    [​IMG]
    QB King Corcoran had a so-so career at the University of Maryland. and a better one in the minors. Off the field, he was quite a success with the ladies.

    Jim Corcoran Dies; 'Poor Man's Joe Namath' Reigned in Minor League Football

    The King is Dead - Terrapin Legend King Corcoran Dies of Cardiac Arrest

    A journeyman on the field but always a 'King' off it

    A jersey, a game, a 1965 Maryland season, and "The King"

    King Corcoran and Me [There are only two people I’ve ever wanted to kill – and King Corcoran is one.]




    Happy 73rd birthday to Fred Dryer
    Born July 6, 1946 in Hawthorne, CA
    Patriot DE, 1972 off season

    Fred Dryer was a first round pick by the Giants in 1969. After three good seasons he was traded to the Pats in exchange for 1st, 2nd and 6th round draft picks. Problem was that Dryer refused to report to Foxborough. He had wanted more money, to play for a winning team, and preferably to play in his home state. The Pats were forced to trade him, getting a first round pick and backup DE Rick Cash in return. Dryer went on to have a 13-year NFL career, playing in 176 games.

    While playing in Los Angeles, Dryer began picking up small roles in television series and made for TV movies. In 1984 Dryer was cast as the lead role in the detective show Hunter; the series would run air 152 episodes over seven years.

    [​IMG]

    College Football Hall of Fame - Fred Dryer (1997)

    In 1967 San Diego State went 10-1 and beat San Francisco State in the Camellia Bowl. In 1968 the record was 9-0-1. The head coach was Don Coryell, and Dryer was recruited by the defensive coordinator, John Madden. San Diego State was in Division I-AA at that time; in 1978 the Aztecs moved up to I-A. Dryer played 13 years as a pro with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. He became a star actor, the main character in the NBC television drama "Hunter." Dryer was Rick Hunter, a homicide detective.​

    Fred Dryer holds the NFL record for most safeties in a game — and, oh yeah, he was almost Sam Malone on ‘Cheers’

    His first credited role was in 1980 — while he was still in the NFL — as a guest star in an episode of Laverne & Shirley.

    He retired from the NFL at the beginning of the 1981 season and took a job as a color commentator for CBS. But that just one season — he was ready for a career away from the football field.

    When pilot season rolled around, Dryer auditioned for a show that would eventually become one that everybody knows its name: Cheers.

    While Dryer lost out on that role, he did appear a few times on the show as sportscaster Dave Richards, a former teammate of Sam’s.

    And eventually, that helped lead to ...

    Before the 1984 TV season and with a couple more years experience as an actor, Dryer was still trying to nab a starring role. He auditioned for Miami Vice but the 6’6 Dryer was declared “too tall” to be James Crockett (famously played by Don Johnson, who is 5’11).

    However, that year Dryer was cast as the lead in Hunter, one of those ubiquitous “male-female partners, solving crime!” shows of the ‘80s like Moonlighting, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Remington Steele, and Hart to Hart.

    Rick Hunter was an LAPD homicide detective who didn’t mind breaking a few rules to get a bad guy off the street. “Nobody could throw a guy off a building like me.”

    Each week, Hunter and his partner, Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer), chased down the worst of the worst criminals, sometimes in a cherry red Dodge. The show ran for seven seasons and later returned for three made-for-TV movies.​




    Other pro football players with New England area connections born on July 6:

    - Chandler Fenner, 29 (7/6/90); Holy Cross, class of 2012.
    Was in training camp with KC in 2012, on Seattle's practice squad in 2013, and appeared in 11 games with the Giants in 2014; has been in the CFL since 2016.

    - Dave Mishel (7/6/05 - 3/11/75); grew up in Lynn and went to Brown.
    Running back in the early NFL for Providence and Cleveland.

    - Alex Joseph, 31 (7/6/88); Stamford CT
    Bounced between four teams over two NFL seasons. The LB then spent a couple years in the CFL and one in the Indoor Football League. He is now with Blue Streak Sports Training in Chelsea Piers CT.




    Other pro football player born July 6 include:

    - Joe Jacoby, 60 (7/6/59); LT went to four Pro Bowls and won three SB rings while appearing in 170 regular season and 21 playoff games for Washington.

    - Nnamdi Asomugha, 38 (7/6/81); after recording eight interceptions and 19 passes defensed in 2006, opposing quarterbacks rarely threw towards the Raider corner.

    - Gary Ballman (7/6/40 - 5/20/04); flanker/kick returner went to the Pro Bowl in '64 and '65, and had 5,366 career receiving yards.

    - Hugh 'Bones' Taylor (7/6/23 - 10/31/92); Pro Bowl end led the NFL in touchdown receptions in 1949, and in yards per reception in 1950 (21.4).

    - Alvin Harper, 51 (7/6/68); playing opposite Michael Irvin he led the NFL with 24.9 yards per catch in 1994, but was a free agent bust the next year in Tampa.

    - Brandon Jacobs, 37 (7/6/82); 256 pound RB scored 64 touchdowns with the Giants from 2005 to 2013.
     

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