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Today in Patriots History Thread

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

  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Bull Bramlett

    Happy birthday to John 'Bull' Bramlett
    Born July 7, 1941 in Memphis
    Died Oct 23, 2014 at the age of 73
    Patriot OLB, 1969-1970; uniform #57


    Undrafted out of Memphis State, Bramlett was the runner-up to Joe Namath as the rookie of the year in 1965. He was a two-time AFL all-star before being part of one of the most infamous trades in Patriot history. Prior to the 1969 season the Dolphins traded Bramlett and backup QB Kim Hammond to the Pats in exchange for future Hall of Fame LB Nick Buoniconti. Bramlett had a reputation for reckless behavior and disdain for authority, which had already ended his professional baseball career. He played in 24 games with 23 starts in two seasons with the Pats, and was out of football a year later. Two years after he retired his days as a drinker and brawler ended, and he became a minister.

    John Bramlett, greatest defensive player in Tiger football history | University of Memphis Athletics

    Taming the Bull: The John Bramlett Story

    Jan 19, 2014: John Bramlett Living better life | Denver Post

    John Bramlett Obituary

    After a brief career with the St. Louis Cardinals, John began a career in the NFL in 1965 as “the meanest man in football” that included Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Boston Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and two Pro Bowl appearances (’66, ’68). John was named runner- up AFL Rookie of the Year behind Joe Namath in 1965.

    While playing for the Patriots, John was named Most Valuable Player for the team in 1970. John was honored to be inducted into the Tennessee Football and Baseball Hall of Fame, University of Memphis Football and Baseball Hall of Fame, Denver Broncos Wall of Fame, All-Time Denver Broncos Team, All American Football Association Hall of Fame, And Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions.​

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

    As for Bramlett, who died with Alzheimer’s, the Patriots acquired him in 1969 from the Dolphins in exchange for Nick Buoniconti, then an all-star linebacker who later was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Buoniconti, now 76, also suffers from CTE symptoms. “I feel like a child,’’ he told Sports Illustrated in May.)

    Bramlett was a risky acquisition for the Patriots. A hard-drinking renegade who grew up in a tough section of Memphis, he had been making trouble since he played football as a kid with his longtime friend Elvis Presley.

    A two-sport star at Memphis State, Bramlett was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and played three years in the minors before his recklessness cost him his baseball career.

    According to his 1989 book, “Taming the Bull,’’ Bramlett’s misdeeds as a Cardinal included drinking whiskey during a game, then throwing an eight-pound weight that looked like a baseball at an unsuspecting teammate. The projectile knocked out three of the player’s teeth and rendered him unconscious in a bloody heap.

    Bramlett then signed to play football for the Denver Broncos. With his singular ferocity, he finished second to Joe Namath on the 1965 Rookie of the Year ballot and earned Pro Bowl honors, as he did again in 1966.

    By the time Bramlett arrived in Boston, his future appeared bright. The Patriots, though, were largely luckless vagabonds, mocked as the Patsies while they averaged barely four wins a season for nearly a decade. They lurched from one temporary home to another — Fenway Park, Boston College, Harvard — before they settled in Foxborough in 1971.

    Yet Bramlett thrived. In 1970, Schottenheimer described him to the Globe as “the best outside linebacker in the American Conference, probably the best in all pro football.’’

    Bramlett’s teammates voted him their most valuable player, and Patriots trainer Bill Bates told the Globe, “Bull Bramlett plays this game with reckless abandon. The man’s body is a total wreck.’’

    Bramlett underwent knee and elbow surgeries after the season, as well as an appendectomy, and the Patriots might have given him time to recover had he not continued his wild ways.

    During training camp at UMass Amherst, Bramlett wrote in his book, “My constant drinking in the bars near camp and the disturbances I caused gave management the excuses they seemed to be looking for to call me on the carpet.’’

    He was shipped to the Green Bay Packers, who waived him after he insulted the coach. The Atlanta Falcons then gave him his final opportunity, which quickly resulted in a career-ending knee injury.

    At that, Bramlett returned to Tennessee and embraced religious faith. He spent the rest of his days as a Christian evangelist, until he began to slip away.​

    Happy 27th birthday to Cassius Marsh
    Born July 7, 1992 in Mission Hills, CA
    Patriot DE, 2017; uniform #55

    At the end of the 2017 training camp the Patriots made three transactions. The club traded QB Jacoby Brissett to the Colts for WR Phillip Dorsett; CB Johnson Bademosi was acquired from Detroit for a future draft pick; and Marsh was acquired from Seattle for 5th and 7th round draft picks. This came a few days after defensive lineman Kony Ealy was released, as the Pats needed some depth for their pass rush.

    Marsh didn't like the Patriot defensive concept, which meant there were times he would have to set the edge and cover a running back, rather than just teeing off on the opposing quarterback. He let Bill Belichick know and nine games into his career as a Patriot, Marsh was gone. Cassius Marsh did gain notoriety by giving an interview soon after about how he had no fun playing in New England.

    May 26, 2018: 49ers DE Cassius Marsh feels appreciated, finally | SF Chronicle

    May 28, 2018: Cassius Marsh Rips Patriots; Analyzing What He Said About Belichick | Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

    9/18/2017: Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt eludes Patriots DE Cassius Marsh as he runs for a touchdown after catching a pass from Alex Smith during the second half of Thursday's game. KC won the week one contest 42-27.

    Two other pro football players born July 7 with New England area connections.

    - Victor Heflin, 59 (7/7/60); born in Springfield, the safety played in 24 games over two seasons with the St Louis Cardinals. Since 1995 Heflin has been a senior account executive and GSA at dancker, an office furniture store in Maryland.

    - Arnie Horween (7/7/98 - 8/5/85); played and coached at Harvard, and the QB also played and coached for the Chicago Cardinals. The Horween Leather Company to this day still supplies the leather used in NFL footballs, as well as manufacturing high end dress shoes.

    A few notable pro football players born on July 7:

    - Mike McCrary, 49 (7/7/70); 10-year DE went to two Pro Bowls with the Ravens.

    - Jerry Sherk, 71 (7/7/48); four-time Pro Bowl DT for the Browns in the seventies.

    - Carl Mauck, 72 (7/7/47); 10-year starting center with San Diego and Houston.

    - Darnay Scott, 47 (7/7/72); WR had 6,193 receiving yards, mostly with Cincinnati.

    - Robert James, 72 (7/7/47); All Pro corner for Buffalo in the seventies.

    - Michael Westbrook, 47 (7/7/72); caught Kordell Stewart's Hail Mary (over Ty Law) for Colorado to beat Michigan, and had 26 touchdowns in the NFL.

    - Matt Suhey, 61 (7/7/58); fullback for the Bears from 1980-89 had 25 TD and 5,059 yards from scrimmage.

    - Chris Redman, 42 (7/7/77); third round pick by the Ravens in 2000 is one of the 'Brady Six' quarterbacks to be drafted prior to TB12.
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  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    A pair of obscure Pats

    Happy 51st birthday to Mickey Washington
    Born July 8, 1968 in Galveston, Texas
    Patriot CB, 1990-1991; uniform #21

    The speedy 5′9 corner was selected in the 8th round, 199th overall by the Cardinals in 1990, but he did not make their roster. After the Patriots released RB Don Overton on October 31, 1990 they signed Washington, and he appeared in nine games that season. In ’91 Washington appeared in all 16 games with four starts; during his two years with the Pats he had two interceptions and 73 tackles.

    The Texas A&M graduate spent eight years in the NFL, also playing for Washington, Buffalo, Jacksonville and New Orleans, with three years as a starter – one with the Bills (when he started in Super Bowl 28), and two with the Jaguars, from ’94-’96. After his NFL career ended Washington earned his law degree, and founded his own practice in Texas, focusing on labor and employment law. Washington also serves on the executive committee for the National Football League Players Association.


    Feb 28, 2012: Texas Aggie Bar Association - Are You Ready For Some Football? - Interview with Mickey Washington of Washington & Ernster, PLLC

    Happy 48th birthday to Jeff Kopp
    Born July 8, 1971 in Danville, California
    Patriot LB, 1999; uniform #91

    Jeff Kopp was a sixth round draft pick by Miami in 1995, out of USC. He primarily played special teams, appearing in 63 games with three starts over his five year NFL career. After a rash of injuries decimated the Pats linebacking corps to the point that safeties were forced to fill in at linebacker, Pete Carroll signed Kopp in late October of '99. He appeared in six games with the Patriots, with two tackles. In his post-NFL life Kopp worked as an investment advisor, as a steer wrestler on the professional rodeo circuit, and as a bicycle shop owner. Kopp then became a high school football head coach in Jacksonville.


    Patriots bring LB Kopp aboard | Mark Farinella, Sun Chronicle

    Pats sign Kopp, who might start | Hartford Courant

    Patriots Kopp a new linebacker | New Bedford Standard-Times

    Jeff Kopp on Twitter

    Jeff Kopp on Instagram

    Baker Correctional | Church of Eleven22

    Others with New England area connections:

    - Phil McGeoghan, 40 (7/8/79); born and raised in Agawam, went to Boston University and then Maine after BU stopped playing football. Was with Denver and New Orleans in the NFL, as well as one season with NFL Europe. Has been a position coach for several colleges and NFL teams; is now the WR coach for the Buffalo Bills.

    - Charlie Stewart (7/8/90 - 12/18/65); western Mass native was a guard in the early days of the NFL, before figuring out there were better jobs for someone with a degree from Colgate.

    Some other pro football players born today:

    - Jack Lambert, 67 (7/8/52); Hall of Fame middle linebacker for the Steelers was a six-time All Pro, and won four Super Bowl rings.

    - John David Crow (7/8/35 - 6/17/15); RB won the Heisman Trophy in 1957 and played 11 years in the NFL with the Cardinals and 49ers. Named to four Pro Bowls, Crow was a bruising runner who refused to run out of bounds. In 1960 he led the league with 5.9 yards per carry, and 1,533 yards from scrimmage (in a 12-game season).

    - Tommy Mason (7/8/39 - 1/22/15); RB was the second overall pick by the Patriots in the 1961 AFL draft, but he signed with the Vikings, who selected him with the first overall pick of the NFL draft. Played 11 years in the NFL and was named to three Pro Bowls; later married Olympic gymnast and Broadway actress Cathy Rigby.

    - Ken Lanier, 60 (7/8/59); started 180 games (including 13 playoff games) at right tackle for the Broncos from 1981 to 1994.

    - Na'il Diggs, 41 (7/8/78); linebacker played twelve seasons in the NFL, mostly with Green Bay and Carolina.
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Two Bud and a couple backup QBs

    Happy 58th birthday to Tom Ramsey
    Born July 9, 1961 in Encino, California
    Patriot QB, 1985-1988; uniform #12
    Pats 10th round (267th overall) selection of the 1983 draft, from UCLA

    Ramsey was the 1983 Rose Bowl MVP, and shared the 1983 Pac-10 Player of the Year award with Stanford's John Elway. He did not sign with the Patriots out of college, instead playing in the USFL for two seasons. Ramsey was forced into action in '87 when Tony Eason and Steve Grogan were both sidelined with injuries.

    His touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan gave the Pats the lead with less than two minutes to play against Dallas, but the Cowboys came back to win in overtime on a 60-yard touchdown run by Herschel Walker. The following week Ramsey made his first NFL start, with the Pats shutting out the Colts 24-0. A week later Ramsey threw for 402 yards and three touchdowns, rallying the Patriots from a 31-10 fourth quarter deficit with two TD passes and another on the ground to tie the game - only to once again see the Pats lose in OT. The following week Ramsey threw four picks at Denver, and was benched.

    The 1988 Patriot team was inept on offense (they finished 24th in scoring, 27th in yards), with far too many turnovers. Raymond Berry had a carousel of ineffective quarterbacks, starting Grogan, Eason, Ramsey and Doug Flutie over the course of the season. Ramsey reportedly had some words to say about Berry and Flutie - allegations he denied - and was promptly waived. He spent one more season in the NFL, as a backup for the Colts. Ramsey played in 21 games with four starts during his time with the Patriots, throwing six touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He later worked as a college football broadcaster.

    Patriot QBs Steve Grogan, Tom Ramsey and Tony Eason discuss strategy on the sideline of a 1987 game.

    Nov 25, 1988: Waived by Patriots, Ramsey Waits: Former UCLA Star Is Disappointed, Still Wants To Play | LA Times

    Happy 83rd birthday to Bob 'Two Bud' Schmidt
    Born July 9, 1936 in Rochester, Minnesota
    Patriot RT, 1964; uniform #74

    Schmidt was originally drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in 1958. He was a three-time AFL all-star center with the Houston Oilers, and part of their '61 championship team. On August 25, 1964 the Boston Patriots picked Schmidt up from the Oilers for a "future high draft choice". He started all 14 games for the Patriots, and played in 98 AFL/NFL games over eight seasons. After retirement he worked as a realtor in western New York. Not to be confused with this Bob Schmidt, who played football at USC.


    Happy 76th birthday to Ellis Johnson
    Born July 9, 1943 in Baton Rouge
    Patriot RB/WR, 1965-1966; uniform #38
    Pats 4th round (31st overall) selection of the 1965 draft, from SE Louisiana

    Ellis Johnson was a 9.7 sprinter and the fastest player on the Patriots' roster. He was tried at halfback as a change of pace from Jim Nance, but couldn't get past Larry Garron or J.D. Garrett for backfield touches. Mike Holovak also tried to exploit Johnson's speed at flanker, but again he could not unseat Gino Cappelletti (or Jim Colclough or Art Graham at split end) for playing time.

    Johnson played in all 28 games over two seasons with the Pats but accumulated just 29 yards rushing on 19 carries, and four receptions for 29 yards.

    Sept 13, 1965: Boston Patriots Preview | Sports Illustrated

    Happy birthday to Bill Hudson
    Born July 9, 1935 in Lamar, SC
    Died December 13, 2017 at the age of 82
    Patriot DT, 1963; uniform #61


    Hudson was a third round draft pick by the Chicago Cardinals in 1957, but instead went north to play four years in the CFL. He signed with San Diego in 1961, and was named to the AFL West all star team. Hudson played in four games with the Pats before being 'worn out' and retiring from pro football. After working in the AFL league office, Hudson worked as a building services contractor and then as a banker.

    Happy 46th birthday to Damon Huard
    Born July 9, 1973 in Yakima, Washington
    Patriot QB, 2001-2003; uniform #19

    Huard was originally signed as an undrafted rookie by Cincinnati in 1996. He spent four years in the Dolphins' organization (including one in Europe) before the Pats signed him early in the 2000 off season. Huard played in only four games with the Pats, with his largest contribution coming as the QB for the scout team, to help prepare Patriot defenses for their upcoming opponent. These days he teams up with Dan Marino in the winery business.; he is also Chief Administrative Officer for the University of Washington's football program.

    Tom Brady and Damon Huard in August, 2003

    Aug 6, 2018: Former Patriots quarterback Damon Huard explained what it’s like to be Tom Brady’s backup |

    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - Pete Kendall, 46 (7/9/73); Weymouth native went to Archbishop Williams High School and was a standout at Boston College. Seattle selected him with the 21st overall pick of the 1996 draft, and the offensive lineman played 13 seasons in the NFL.

    - John Galvin, 54 (7/9/65); Lowell native and BC grad was a linebacker and exceptional special team player with the Jets and Vikings.

    - Al Krevis, 67 (7/9/52); BC alum was a second round pick as a tackle by the Bengals in 1975.

    - Paul Walker (7/9/25 - 10/20/72); All American at Yale played briefly for the Giants after WWII ended.

    Some notable pro football players born on this date include:

    - O.J. Simpson, 72 (7/9/47); Hall of Fame running back slashed his way to 469 yards in two 1973 games against the Pats, en route to becoming the first player to rush for 2000 yards in a single season.

    - Clem Daniels, 82 (7/9/37); in 1963 the four-time All Star halfback led the league in rushing yards, yards from scrimmage, and also yards per reception with an average of 22.8 yards on 30 catches.

    - Trent Green, 49 (7/9/70); his knee injury on a Rodney Harrison hit made Dick Vermeil cry, but it opened the door for Kurt Warner's career. Green threw 162 touchdown passes over 11 seasons.
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  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Sea Bass

    Happy 35th birthday to Sebastian Vollmer
    Born July 10, 1984 in Dusseldorf, Germany
    Patriot OT, 2009-2016; uniform #76
    Pats 2nd round (58th overall) selection of the 2009 draft, from Houston
    • 88 regular season games played, with 80 starts
    • 10 playoff games, all as a starter
    • two Super Bowl rings (49, 51)
    • 2nd team All Pro, 2010

    May 16, 2017: Look: Former Patriots tackle Sebastian Vollmer has lost 75 pounds since last year | CBS Sports

    Sebastian Vollmer spent seven years playing tackle for the New England Patriots. When Vollmer was on the team, the Patriots listed him at 6-foot-8 and 320 pounds.

    Vollmer dealt with various injuries throughout the 2016 offseason, and toward the end of training camp, the Patriots placed him on the physically unable to perform list. That move mandated that he miss the first six games of the season, but the seriousness of his hip and shoulder issues wound up keeping him out for the entire season anyway. Vollmer was then released in March.

    He surfaced again on Tuesday for an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio, and well, he's down from 320 pounds to 245 pounds. Check it:​

    March 18, 2019: Former Patriots' 320-Pound Offensive Lineman Sebastian Vollmer is Now Completely Ripped | Fan Duel

    July 21, 2018: Sebastian Vollmer, Wes Welker, Rob Ninkovich and what life's been like after football | The Boston Globe

    Vollmer, like Ninkovich, has remained in the New England area and is just starting to find his post-football life. He works out first thing each morning, spends lots of time with his wife and young kids, and works with a few charities and local businesses. Vollmer also moonlights as an NFL broadcaster for German-language TV back in his home country.

    “We all played for a long time, assumed a risk to a certain degree, but I can’t worry about it. I can’t worry today what might happen tomorrow in 10, 20, 50 years,” he said. “Yeah, you probably try to stay active. But I think even if you didn’t play, you shouldn’t give up on reading and Sudoku.”

    He carries plenty of pain from his eight NFL seasons — lingering back, shoulder and hip injuries, a broken leg, arthritis. But he is also fit and trim — he lost so much weight right after retirement, 75 pounds, that he has put about 15 back on.

    “Certain things I won’t be able to do and I’m in pain every day, but there’s also a lot of things I can do, so I try to concentrate on the good things, and that’s the way I’m doing it,” he said. Football “worked for me, and I don’t regret it one bit.”​



    Happy 30th birthday to Akeem Ayers
    Born July 10, 1989 in Los Angeles
    Patriot LB, 2014; uniform #52

    After Jerod Mayo was placed on injured reserve the Patriots acquired Ayers and a seventh round draft pick on October 21, 2014, in exchange for just a sixth round draft pick. Ayers played in nine games with four starts; he had four sacks, 22 total tackles, one interception and one pass defensed. He played 382 defensive snaps in those nine games with the Patriots, including a high of 74 in a 43-21 victory over Denver. Ayers also played in all three playoff games, earning a ring for the Super Bowl victory over Seattle with his stop on Marshawn Lynch at the one yard line.


    Early in 2015 free agency Ayers signed with the Rams; he last played with the Giants late in 2017. The Pats had brought Ayers in for a workout early in the 2017 season, but did not sign him. Akeem Ayers played in 100 NFL games over seven NFL seasons, recording 320 tackles and 15½ sacks.

    Check out Ayers' autobiography here: Proving Myself | The Players' Tribune

    March 12, 2015: Akeem Ayers, New England Patriots boosted each other in time together | Mike Reiss, espn

    Happy 27th birthday to David Andrews
    Born July 10, 1992 in Jones Creek, Georgia
    Patriot C, 2015-present; uniform #60
    Acquired as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2015, from Georgia


    Andrews has played in 60 regular season games with 57 starts in his first four seasons with the Patriots. He is also played in all eleven playoff game, with the Pats going 9-2 in those contests. In 2016 Andrews was on the field for all but four snaps the entire season, and has already been on the field for 3,970 offensive snaps. The Patriots signed Andrews to a three year $9 million contract extension in May of 2016 that expires after the 2020 season.

    Happy 57th birthday to Mike Saxon
    Born July 10, 1962 in Whittier, CA
    Patriot P, 1993; uniform #7

    The Patriots signed Saxon after eight seasons with Dallas. He punted 73 times at an average of 42.4 yards for Bill Parcells' 5-11 team. Saxon returned to training camp with the Pats in 1994, but was beat out for the job by rookie 5th round draft pick Pat O'Neill. Saxon played in 172 regular season games and seven playoff games in his 11-year NFL career, averaging 41.7 yards per punt. He also played in seven playoff games, including Dallas' 52-17 victory over Buffalo in Super Bowl 27.

    Mike Saxon Roofing & Construction

    Happy 28th birthday to Caylin Hauptmann
    Born July 10, 1991 in Los Angeles
    Patriot OT, 2014-2015; uniform #68

    The Pats signed Hauptmann to the practice squad in mid-September of 2014, where he remained for all but one week of the rest of the season. The Pats brought him back to training camp in 2015, but he was released as part of the final roster cuts - ten days after being removed from the NFI list. Hauptmann has also been with the Browns, Seahawks and Bucs, but has only one game played on his official NFL stat line. Despite that he owns two Super Bowl rings: one with Seattle in 2013, where he was a healthy scratch for most of the season, and one with the Patriots for Super Bowl 49. Hauptmann's last appearance in the NFL was in Tampa's 2016 training camp.

    Jan 23, 2014: Catching Up with Super Bowl-Bound Caylin Hauptmann | FIU Athletics

    Happy 35th birthday to Marcus Harrison
    Born July 10, 1984 in Little Rock
    Patriot DT, 2011; uniform #94

    After Mike Wright was placed on IR in October of 2011, the Patriots signed the former Chicago Bear. He lasted all of one day on the roster, replaced the next day by Sterling Moore. He was re-signed the following March, but was released at the end of training camp. Harrison played in 37 NFL games from 2008-10 for Chicago, with nine starts.

    Bears DT Marcus Harrison finally passes physical | National Football Post

    July 10, 1976: first day the Pats trained at Bryant College (1976-2002)

    One other local New England area player with a great story:

    - Mark Roopenian, 61 (July 10, 1958); grew up in Watertown and then played a different position (TE, C, ILB and DT) in each of his four years at Boston College. As an undrafted rookie in 1982 he improbably impressed the Bills' coaches to land a roster spot - helped out in part by standing toe to toe and holding his own in one-on-one drills against the infamous Conrad Dobler. Roopenian played nose tackle, some defensive end and special teams for Buffalo.

    Unfortunately on the opening kickoff of the third game of the '83 season he suffered a severe neck injury which ended his pro football playing days. In his post-football life Roopenian has had a very successful business career, directing the leasing, marketing and asset management of buildings such as the John Hancock Tower and International Place.

    From the wayback machine:
    - Harry Wynne (1920-1989); end and defensive end played a couple years of pro football. In 1944 he had ten receptions for 205 yards with the Boston Yanks, third most on the club that year.

    Some other pro football players who were born on July 10:
    - Roger Craig, 59 (7/10/60); four-time Pro Bowl running back won three rings with the Niners. He led the NFL with 2,036 yards from scrimmage in 1988, and in receptions with 92 in 1985.
    - Darryl Talley, 61 (7/10/60); two-time Pro Bowl OLB played in 216 NFL games, mostly with Buffalo. Had 38½ career sacks and also played in 18 playoff games, but is now another victim of health issues many former players face.
    - Antonio Brown, 31 (7/10/88); 195th pick of the 2010 draft has been a four-time All-Pro and named to seven Pro Bowls. Brown ranks fourth among active players and 34th all time with 11,207 career yards receiving.
    - Brent Alexander, 48 (7/10/71); safety played in 192 NFL games and once had a streak of 133 consecutive starts.
    - Toni Fritsch (1945-2005); was a soccer player in Austria before joining the NFL and leading the league in field goal percentage three times with the Houston Oilers.
    - Bill Gramatica, 41 (7/10/78); Martin's younger brother is most well known for an over the top celebration gone bad, following a field goal attempt that was good in the first quarter.

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  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Helicopter-Shooting Steel Curtain DT

    There is not much to report for the Pats on July 11 - though I have to admit that I had completely forgotten that Ernie Holmes ever played for the Patriots.

    Happy 72nd birthday to Ezell Jones
    Born July 11, 1947 in Collierville, Tennessee
    Patriot OT, 1969-170; uniform #74

    Ezell Jones was the 104th overall pick by the Jets in 1969, out of Minnesota. He played in 18 games over two seasons with the Patriots, with one fumble recovery, plus a safety in the Pats November 16 25-14 victory at Cincinnati. Jones returned to Minneapolis where he became a Vice President of Business Development and Relationship Manager for an insurance company in Minnesota.


    Fifth Quarter Integrated Solutions

    Executive Advisory Committee | University of Minnesota

    Ezell Jones, sales executive | Prabook

    Happy 59th birthday to Larry Cowan
    Born July 11, 1960 in Mobile, Alabama
    Patriot RB, 1982; uniform #44

    Larry Cowan was drafted by Miami in the 7th round in '82, but only played in two games for the Fins. After the strike ended the Pats signed the Jackson State alum, who played almost exclusively on special teams. Cowan appeared in a total of seven games for the Patriots, including their 28-13 playoff loss at Miami. He then averaged 5.5 yards per carry and caught 101 passes playing for the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL from 1983 to 1985.

    Larry Cowan (31) was just a backup and special teamer in the NFL, but he gained 2,321 yards in three CFL seasons.

    Happy birthday to Ernie Holmes
    Born July 11, 1948 in Jamestown, Texas
    Died January 17, 2008 at the age of 59
    Patriot DT, 1978; uniform #63

    Ernie Holmes played for Pittsburgh for six seasons. He was a critical part of the famed Steel Curtain defense, where he earned a pair of Super Bowl rings. Due to weight issues he was traded to Tampa Bay, but was cut at the end of their training camp. The fearsome (and unstable) Holmes played in three games with the Patriots, finishing his NFL career in Foxboro.

    Jan 18, 2008: Dr. Z: Steelers' Holmes was as misunderstood as he was underappreciated | SI

    Ernie Holmes once told a reporter from Time magazine that he was attracted to the violence of football and that he didn't "mind knocking somebody out." QB Dan Pastorini described Holmes as the defender that he feared the most.

    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - B.J. Raji, 33 (7/11/86); 9th overall pick of the 2009 draft by Green Bay, by way of Boston College. Raji took an unexpected hiatus in 2017 that turned into a retirement just when a contract extension had been worked out, in order to help his father care for his mother and aunt.

    - Jeff Kemp, 60 (7/11/59); son of Jack Kemp, the AFL QB and congressman. The younger Kemp is a Dartmouth grad who had an 11-year NFL career and went 9-4 with the Rams in his only season as a starter.

    - John Jenkins, 30 (7/11/89); born and raised in Meriden CT, Jenkins spent five years in the NFL as a NT for the Saints and Seahawks.

    - Tony Brown (7/11/64 - 6/19/10); Stamford CT native played for Buffalo during the '87 strike, and was later blacklisted for a case he took to the Supreme Court against the NFL.

    And a few notable pro football players born on this date:

    - Andre Johnson, 38 (7/11/81); WR had seven seasons with over 1100 yards receiving.

    - Patrick Peterson, 29 (7/11/90); Arizona CB from LSU has been named to the Pro Bowl eight times.

    - Willie Anderson, 44 (7/11/75); Cincinnati Bengal All-Pro tackle started 184 NFL games from 1996 to 2008.

    - Len Hauss, 77 (7/11/42); five-time Pro Bowl center for Washington started 192 consecutive games.

    - Cecil Isbell (1915-1985); 7th overall pick of the 1938 draft set NFL single season records for passing yards and touchdown passes in 1941, and then broke both those records the following year.

    - Chris Cooley, 37 (7/11/82); Washington TE went to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2008.

    - Jacoby Jones, 35 (7/11/84); WR returned four punts and five kickoffs for NFL touchdowns, and later returned another kickoff for a TD - in Arena Football.

    - Dale Hellestrae, 57 (7/11/62); long snapper played in 205 games over 15 seasons, winning three super bowl rings with the Cowboys.
  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today In Patriots History
    The Pynes: First Family of the NFL

    Sorry Archie, the first pro football family comes from Milford, Mass, not New Orleans.

    Happy birthday to George Pyne
    Born July 12, 1941 in Marlboro, MA
    Died November 26, 2015 at the age of 74
    Patriot DT, 1965; uniform #75

    Pats 16th round (127th overall) pick of the 1965 draft, from Olivet College


    The Milford native played in all 14 games for the Pats in '65. As a backup to Jim Lee Hunt and Houston Antwine he didn't get on the field much defensively, and was used primarily on special teams. His father played in the NFL briefly in the early thirties, and his son Jim played for the Bucs and a few other teams from 1994-2001. That made the Pynes the first to have three generations of family members play in the NFL. Another son, George Pyne IV, was captain of the Brown University football team and all-Ivy League, and then went on to become NASCAR's chief operating officer and President of Sports and Entertainment for IMG.

    George Pyne Obituary

    Mr. Pyne was a graduate of Milford High School, Class of 1959 and also a graduate of Olivet College in Michigan, where he was a standout football player, named as All Conference and an All American. Mr. Pyne was drafted by and played as a rookie for the Boston Patriots.

    Following his career in the NFL, he was a Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company sales executive. In the 1980’s he founded Hillview Equipment & Real Estate Development Company of Milford MA.

    Mr. Pyne was a lifelong resident of Milford and summered with his family in Falmouth MA. He was a longtime communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Milford and St. Anthony’s Church in Falmouth. He was a longtime member if the Milford Lions Club and had served as a member of the Milford School Committee for nine years, as well as a longtime town meeting member. He was also an avid fisherman, hunter and skier. He was also a member of the Million Dollar Round Table in the insurance industry.

    Mr. Pyne was a member of the Milford High School Sports Hall of Fame; the Olivet College Sports Hall of Fame and had served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Olivet College. He also had the honor of having the Pyne Pavilion at Olivet College named in his honor.​

    Happy 29th birthday to Chris Jones
    Born July 12, 1990 in Brownsburg, Indiana
    Patriot DT, 2013-2015; uniform #94

    The Pats picked Chris Jones up off waivers from Tampa Bay in October of 2013. He was once involved in a bizarre penalty for pushing a teammate into the line on a field goal attempt, something that had never been called previously in the history of the NFL. With the benefit of the extra 15 yards, on the next play Nick Folk made the kick to win the game in overtime for the Jets. In an incredible twist of irony, Jones blocked a Folk field goal a year later to secure a victory for the Pats against the Jets.


    Jones reportedly played with a torn calf in the Super Bowl 49 victory over Seattle, and spent all of 2015 on the PUP list. The Pats released him in April of 2016. Jones played in 28 games with 22 starts with the Patriots, plus four playoff games. During that time he had 88 tackles (46 solo), nine sacks and a fumble recovery.

    Bill Belichick congratulates Chris Jones after his blocked field goal attempt helped the Patriots to a 27-25 week 7 victory over the Jets. Jones was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
    Miami claimed Jones off waivers from the Patriots in 2016, and he played in seven games for the Dolphins before again being released. San Francisco then claimed him, and he started six games for the Niners. Jones spent 2017 on IR, and was in the 2018 off season was with the Jets, then San Francisco a second time. Since the end of training camp in 2018 Jones has been a free agent.

    Patriots lose on ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty | Larry Brown Sports

    Blocked Field Goal A Bit Of Redemption For Patriots' Chris Jones | CBS Boston

    Happy 49th birthday to Chad Brown
    Born July 12, 1970 in Pasadena, California
    Patriot LB, 2005 and 2007; uniform #98

    Chadwick Brown was a 35 year old veteran of 12 NFL seasons when the Patriots signed him in 2005. He played in 15 games with five starts, recording 39 combined tackles; he also played in both playoff games that postseason. The Pats re-signed him in 2007 and he bounced on and off the roster, appearing in two games for what turned out to be his final NFL season. The two-time All Pro from Colorado had 79 sacks over 188 games in his NFL career.

    LB Chad Brown (center, #98)

    Former Steeler Chad Brown says he learned from the best - Bill Belichick | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Happy 56th birthday to Bill Lewis
    Born July 12, 1963 in Sioux City, Iowa
    Patriot C, 1993; uniform #75

    An All American at Nebraska in 1985, Bill Lewis spent the final season of his seven year NFL career with the Patriots. He played in seven games with five starts, and is somehow credited with having two fumbles for a loss of 43 yards. Since retiring from pro football Lewis has worked as the manager of alumni relations with the Arizona Cardinals, an assistant high school football coach, and on the Cardinals' football broadcasts.

    Sept 16, 2009: What's up with former Cardinal Bill Lewis | Arizona Central


    Happy 53rd birthday to Peter Shorts
    Born July 12, 1966 in Janesville, Wisconsin
    Patriot DT, 1989; uniform #90

    Peter Shorts grew up in a small town (Clinton, Wisconsin; population 2,154) and went to a small football school (Illinois State, of the Missouri Valley Conference). He appeared in the final game of the 1989 season, in what was Raymond Berry's final game as head coach. He was then with the Packers and Rams for the next two two seasons, but never saw any playing time. Shorts then played for San Antonio in an early rendition of the WLAF, when there were six teams in the US, one in Montreal and only three in Europe. After that he played for four seasons in the Canadian Football League.


    Happy 33rd birthday to Lavelle Hawkins
    Born July 12, 1986 in Stockton, California
    Patriot WR, 2013 offseason; uniform #83

    The Patriots signed Hawkins as a veteran free agent at the age of 27, on May 9 2013. Hawkins had played in 52 games with four starts for Tennessee over five seasons; his only year of note was in 2011 when he had 47 receptions for 470 yards. After he dropped a few balls in camp and miscommunicated with Tom Brady on routes and adjustments, the Pats released Hawkins just after the start of training camp, on July 31.


    May 9, 2013: Patriots Sign WR Lavelle Hawkins | CBS Boston

    July 30, 2013: Lavelle Hawkins, Michael Jenkins, Kamar Aiken Among Patriots' Wide Receivers Battling for Final Roster Spots | NESN

    One other former NFL player with a New England area connection:

    - Paul Zukauskas, 40 (July 12, 1979); born in Weymouth, Paul went to BC High and Boston College. He spent four seasons at right guard for the Browns, appearing in 43 games with 18 starts. Zukauskas was a very successful head coach and associate director of admissions at Lawrence Academy. After seven seasons at the Groton prep school he left coaching in 2018 and co-founded one of several sports-related startups at the Sports Innovation Lab, across from TD Garden.


    April 4, 2018: Paul Zukauskas steps down as Lawrence Academy football coach | Boston Globe

    From the way-back machine:
    - Bob McChesney (1912-1986); Bob was an offensive and defensive end with the Boston Redskins, and went to two Pro Bowls after the team moved to Washington.
    - Bill Ward (1895-1973); born in Cambridge, he was an offensive lineman for the 1921 Buffalo All-Americans.

    Some other pro football players who were born on July 12:

    - LeSean McCoy, 31 (7/12/88); five-time Pro Bowl RB led the NFL in rushing (1607 yards) and yards from scrimmage (2146) in 2013.

    - Frank Ryan, 83 (7/12/36); life is good when you are a QB on a team first with Jim Brown, and then Paul Warfield and Leroy Kelly.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Veteran Free Agent Wide Receivers

    There is a very long list of veteran free agent wide receiver acquisitions by the Patriots over the last two decades. A few pan out; many do not.

    Happy 44th birthday to Tim Dwight
    Born July 13, 1975 in Iowa City
    Patriot WR, 2005; uniform #86


    The 5-8 speedster played football and track at Iowa, where he was a Big 10 champion in the 100 meter dash, the 4x100 meter relay, and the 4x400 meter relay. Originally drafted by Atlanta, Dwight returned six punts and kickoffs for touchdowns, including a 94 yard kick return in Super Bowl 33.


    After seven seasons with the Falcons and Chargers, the Pats signed Tim Dwight early in free agency in 2005. Dwight led the '05 team with 32 punt returns, averaging 8.5 yards per return; he also averaged 25.0 yards on ten kickoff returns. Dwight was the number four wide receiver on the Patriots that season, catching 19 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns, and totaled 866 all purpose yards.


    Tim Dwight played ten years in the NFL, with 22 touchdowns and 9,854 all purpose yards. In his post-NFL career he has worked as a solar energy advocate.

    From the archives:
    March 14, 2005: Patriots officially sign Dwight

    Dwight, 29, visited the Patriots at Gillette Stadium last week. He was released by San Diego on Feb. 22, several weeks before he was scheduled to receive a $100,000 roster bonus, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

    The 5-foot-8, 180-pound wideout had been hampered by injuries in three of his four seasons in San Diego, forcing him to miss 17 games for the Chargers from 2001-04. He has played in all 16 games only once in his career, in 2002.

    Dwight missed four games last season with toe and hamstring injuries and was used almost exclusively as a return specialist. He finished the season ranked sixth in the AFC with a 24.4-yard per return average, returning 50 kickoffs for 1,222 yards, both career highs. His 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the New York Jets on Sept. 19 was his second career return for a score. It was also the second-highest kickoff return average of his career, trailing only his 27.0-yard average as a rookie in 1998. He was slowed by a collapsed lung in 2003 that limited him to nine games.​

    March 15, 2005: Patriots patient in free agency

    April 6, 2005: News Blitz

    Eric McHugh of the Patriot Ledger analyzes the Patriots moves and says the roster redesign basically comes down to replacing Troy Brown and David Patten with Tim Dwight and now David Terrell.​

    Aug 19, 2005: Patriots vs Saints: Postgame Notes and Quotes

    Tom Brady connected with Tim Dwight on a 45-yard bomb in the first quarter, marking Dwight's first reception of the preseason. Dwight was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on March 13, 2005, and has a long history of long plays, often resulting in touchdowns. He has recorded seven career touchdown plays of more than 50 yards and five touchdowns of more than 70 yards. The long scores have come via receptions (52 yards, 60 yards), punt returns (70, 70, 84) and kickoff returns (87, 93). The eighth-year veteran enters the 2005 campaign as the only active NFL player to have scored multiple touchdowns in each of the following four categories: receiving (14), rushing (3), punt returns (3) and kickoff returns (2).​

    Oct 2, 2005: Pats vs Chargers: Game Notes

    Tim Dwight scored his second touchdown of the season on a 30-yard scoring reception in the second quarter, giving the Patriots a 14-10 lead. Dwight, who joined the Patriots as a free agent prior to the 2005 season after spending four years in San Diego, scored his second touchdown in as many games in Foxborough, having also scored in the season opener against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 8. Dwight has now grabbed 16 career touchdown passes, and his two receiving scores so far this year are his most since 2002, when he also had two touchdown catches.​

    Nov 13, 2005: Analysis: Patriots reserves fill the breach

    After a 29-yard kickoff return by Bethel Johnson, Brady atoned quickly for his interception by hitting WR Tim Dwight for a 59-yard gainer on first down. Dolphins CB Reggie Howard got his hands on the ball and could have made an interception, but Dwight took it away. That play put New England at the Miami 17-yard line. Brady hit Watson in the end zone for a touchdown on the next play.​

    Jan 1, 2006: Patriots - Dolphins: Game Notes

    Rookie quarterback Matt Cassel threw his first touchdown of his NFL career when he completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Tim Dwight with 6:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.

    Quarterback Doug Flutie dug into his bag of tricks when he used the drop kick technique to convert an extra point attempt in the fourth quarter. The kick came after Cassel's 9-yard touchdown pass to Dwight, and brought the Patriots within five points of the Dolphins, making the score 25-20. According to the NFL Hall of Fame website, Ray McLean of the Chicago Bears was the last player to successfully convert a drop kick in the NFL. He converted an extra point following Ken Kavanaugh's 42-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown during the Bears' 37-9 win over the New York Giants in the 1941 NFL Championship Game. The drop kick came in the fourth quarter of the title game played on December 21, 1941.

    In the NFL's official rule book. Rule 3, Section 8 defines the dropkick as, "a kick by a kicker who drops the ball and kicks it as, or immediately after, it touches the ground."​

    Happy 44th birthday to Donald Jones
    Born July 13, 1975 in Century, Florida
    Patriot WR, 2002; uniform #81

    The Patriots were impressed with Hayes' 2000 and 2001 seasons, when he caught 118 passes for 1,523 yards with the Panthers. Carolina wanted to re-sign him, but he opted instead to join the defending super bowl champions rather than the 1-15 Panthers.


    The Pats signed the 6-4, 220 lb, 26 year old free agent to a two-year, $2.4 million contract. At the time it was projected that Hayes would start opposite Troy Brown at WR, filling the void due to the departure of Terry Glenn, with David Patten in the slot. Problem was the Hayes became the poster child for what happens to a player that cannot pickup Bill Belichick's offense.

    From Management Secrets of the New England Patriots:

    New England saw Hayes as a starting receiver, but Hayes had a learning disability, flailed around in early practices and never established himself in Tom Brady's mind as a reliable receiver who would run the right routes (i.e., appropriate to the defensive coverage and run them with decision. Even Hayes admits it took him a long time to pick up the Patriots' system:​

    "the coaches were expecting me to perform at this high level-which I was myself, too-and then I found out that the way I knew how to learn things was totally different from how they were teaching it. ... Once I got to a point where I knew the offense and everything, they already had a couple of guys in front of me who were having success. They weren't going to make any changes.​

    In his first game with the Pats he got the start and had three receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown, but the QB-WR trust and chemistry just wasn't there. Hayes played in 12 games for the Patriots in 2002, with only that one start. He finished the season with only 12 receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and is still considered to be one of the biggest free agent busts in New England Patriots history. He was released the following February, but never played in another regular season NFL game again.

    June 3, 2013: Hall of Fame bound, Hayes happy to return home | Wisconsin Athletics

    Happy 26th birthday to Anthony Fabiano
    Born July 13, 1993 in Wakefield
    Patriot center, 2017 (practice squad)

    The Wakefield native and Harvard grad missed out on a chance to play in the Senior Bowl and participate in the Combine due to a torn toe tendon and fractured foot. Use of an 'Accelerated Recovery Process' (ARP) Wave machine cut his rehab time dramatically, and he was able to participate in the Crimson's Pro Day. Fabiano's first NFL action came in week 5 of 2016 for the Cleveland Browns - against his favorite team, the Patriots. He played in four games with one start with Cleveland that year, and in five games with one start for Indy in 2017.

    The Game: Anthony Fabiano '15 | Stories | Harvard Alumni


    Fabiano is currently on the Philadelphia roster, once again competing for a roster spot. He was on the Pats practice squad for about 48 hours in November of 2017. Fabiano joined the PS when WR Jake Kumerow was cut, and was released two days later when the Pats re-signed Geneo Grissom.

    Nov 9, 2017: Patriots Claim TE Martellus Bennett Off Waivers from Green Bay; Release DL Geneo Grissom; Make Changes to the Practice Squad

    Fabiano, 24, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Baltimore Ravens out of Harvard on May 6, 2016. The 6-foot-1, 303-pounder, was released by the Ravens at the end of training camp last season and had two separate stints on the Cleveland Browns practice squad before being added to the 53-man roster on Dec. 5, 2016. The Wakefield, Mass., native appeared in the final four regular season games with one start at center in the finale at Pittsburgh. Fabiano went to training camp with Cleveland this year and was released prior to the start of the regular season. Since then he has had stints on the Washington Redskins and N.Y. Giants practice squads.​

    Nov 11, 2017: Patriots Sign DL Geneo Grissom to the Practice Squad; Release OL Anthony Fabiano from the Practice Squad

    Some other pro football players born on this date include:

    - Jack Kemp (1935-2009); AFL all star QB went on to serve nine terms in Congress.

    - Danny Abramowicz, 74 (7/13/45); All-Pro WR led the NFL in receptions in 1969, and was the first legitimate star in New Orleans Saints franchise history.

    - Michael Koenen, 37 (7/13/82); will probably be the last player in NFL history to handle punts, kickoffs and long field goals simultaneously for a team.
  8. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Aug 3, 2005
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    i have to admit i love this photo
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  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Pete Brock

    Happy 65th birthday to Pete Brock
    Born July 14, 1954 in Portland, Oregon
    Patriot C, 1976-1987; uniform #58
    Pats 1st round (12th overall) pick in the 1976 draft, from Colorado

    Brock played in 154 games with 88 starts with the Pats, and also appeared in eight playoff games. At the time those 154 games played ranked as the sixth most in franchise history. Among the honors Brock received were the 1979 Unsung Hero Award; 1984 Jim Lee Hunt Award; 1985 Ed Block Memorial Courage Award (NFL); 1986 Miller Lite NFL Lineman of the Year; and center for the Patriots All-Decade Team for the 1990s. Pete Brock was a solid, resilient player who persevered through multiple injuries and surgeries.


    This is a good biography on the lineman:

    Nov 12, 2013: Pete Brock still the team player |

    Happy 34th birthday to Darrelle Revis
    Born July 14, 1985 in Aliquippa, PA
    Patriot CB, 2014; uniform #24

    The Patriots signed Revis on March 12, 2014, less than 24 hours after he had been released by Tampa Bay - and (not so) coincidentally, a day after Aqib Talib left to sign with Denver. The contract was technically for two years, but in reality it was a one-year, $12 million deal; the second year was there just to spread the cap numbers over two seasons. He lived up to the name of Revis Island, blanketing opposing receivers all year long. Revis was named an All Pro for the fourth time in his career in 2014 - and earned a ring that the 7-time Pro Bowler was never going to get with the Jets. Love him or hate him, Darrelle Revis was a vital component to the Patriots fourth Lombardi Trophy.

    Happy 49th birthday to Todd Rucci
    Born July 14, 1970 in Upper Darby, PA
    Patriot RG, 1993-1999; uniform #71
    Pats 2nd round (51st overall) pick of the 1993 draft, from Penn State

    1995: Todd Rucci talks with QB Drew Bledsoe in the Patriot locker room

    Rucci played in 85 games with 75 starts for Bill Parcells and Pete Carroll, and was named to the Patriots all decade team for the 1990s. In his post-football career Rucci has held a variety of positions, including executive director of Pennsylvania Lottery and member of the Penn State Board of Trustees.

    June 19, 2011: Blast from the Pats: Todd Rucci | Mike Reiss, espn

    Feb 2, 2018: Former player who grew up in Lititz shares Super Bowl memories | WGAL

    July 30, 2018: NFL Retirees' Attitude To Successors' Contract Negotiations: Get What You Can While You Can | Forbes

    Happy 49th birthday to Josh Miller
    Born July 14, 1970 in Queens, NY
    Patriot punter, 2004-2006; uniform #8


    After Ken Walter had struggled mightily with punting duties, the Patriots signed the 33 year old Miller to a five year, $5 million contract with a $1 million bonus in 2004. Miller had been a surprise cut by the Steelers, where he had played the previous eight seasons.

    March 15, 2004: Cut by Steelers, Miller joins Patriots | espn

    He appeared in 42 consecutive games (plus five playoff games) with the Pats. In 2006 Miller suffered a shoulder injury in a 35-0 win over Green Bay, and was placed on IR; he was released early in training camp in 2007.

    Josh Miller averaged 43.6 yards on 175 punts during his three seasons with the Patriots. Over twelve years Josh Miller played in 165 games, averaging 43.1 yards on 750 punts. He also appeared in 11 playoff games, averaging 40.9 yards on 59 punts. In the Super Bowl 39 victory over Philadelphia he averaged 45.1 yards on 7 punts. In the playoffs his teams went 7-4; 6-1 while with the Pats and 3-3 with Pittsburgh - with all three of those losses to New England.

    Happy 54th birthday to David Viaene
    Born July 14, 1965 in Appleton, Wisconsin
    Patriot OL, 1989-1991; uniform #70


    David Viaene played in 20 games with eight starts for the Patriots. He had originally been an 8th round draft pick by the Oilers in 1988; in 1992 he signed as a free agent with the Packers. He is now the owner-operator of a property management company in Wisconsin.

    Others with New England area connections born on this date:

    - Ed Lawrence (1905-1961); born and raised in Fitchburg, the back played a couple seasons in the early NFL, including for the Boston Bulldogs in 1929.

    - Lou Ghecas (1918-1997); the Danbury High School Hall of Famer was a halfback for the 1941 Philadelphia Eagles, but WWII interrupted his NFL career. He also played minor league baseball and after the war worked in the FBI for 26 years, until his retirement.

    - Riley Smith (1911-1999); second overall pick by the Redskins - in what was the first ever NFL draft in 1936 - in their final season playing in Boston.

    Some of the other pro football players born on 7/14:

    - Rosey Grier, 87 (7/14/32); All Pro DT played 11 seasons in the NFL. After retirement he worked as Bobby Kennedy's bodyguard, and was the person who subdued and took the gun away from Sirhan Sirhan when RFK was shot and killed. He was also one of the first former football players to transition to television acting, with 37 credits to his name.

    - Ken Burrough, 71 (7/14/48); Double Zero was a Pro Bowl WR for the Houston Oilers, and led the NFL in receiving in 1975 - even though he was a college quarterback.

    - Ken Willard, 76 (7/14/43); 49er RB scored 62 touchdowns in his career, and ranked 8th in NFL all time career rushing yardage when he retired in 1974.

    - W.K. Hicks, 77 (7/14/42); CB had 40 career interceptions, including an AFL best nine in 1965.
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  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Only Ten Days Until 1st Open Training Camp

    Happy 45th birthday to Tony Gaiter
    Born July 15, 1974 in Miami
    Patriot PR/KR/WR, 1997 - 2000
    Uniform #17 ('97) and #14 (2000)

    Pats 6th round (192nd overall) selection of the 1997 draft, from Miami


    Gaiter (shouldn't he have gone to Florida rather than the U?) was only 5'8 and 169 pounds. He ran track and was a tailback with the Hurricanes, then switched to receiver his senior year. The Pats cut Gaiter near the end of training camp his rookie year, then signed him to the practice squad. He was activated in late November and played in a week 14 victory over the Colts. Gaiter was again waived at the end of the 1998 camp. He was re-signed prior to a week 8 game at Miami but did not play, and was once again released.

    After two seasons in San Diego he came back for a third Pats training camp in 2000 - perhaps hoping for better luck with a new head coach - but again did not survive roster cuts. His career NFL stat line reads 11.9 yards per return on 13 punts and 18.4 yards on 16 kickoff returns, all with the Chargers.

    Other pro football players with New England area connections:

    - Tim Riordan, 59 (7/15/60); New London native was a quarterback at Temple when Bruce Arians was head coach for the Owls. He was drafted by the St Louis Cardinals in '84, and was later a backup QB for the Saints. Riordan also played in the USFL for two seasons.

    - John Bunting, 69 (7/15/50); born in Maine, but grew up in Maryland. Spent 11 seasons in the NFL as an OLB for the Philadelphia Eagles. Was also head coach at the University of North Carolina from 2001 to 2006.

    - Steve Bartalo, 55 (7/15/64); born in Maine but raised in Colorado. RB was a 6th round pick by Tampa Bay in '87. He spent one season with the Bucs, one with SF and two in NFL Europe.

    - Dick Rauch (1893 - 1970); was an offensive lineman and head coach for five seasons in the early days of the NFL, including in 1929 when the Pottsville Maroons moved and became the Boston Bulldogs. Home games were played at Braves Field, later known as Nickerson Field - the same site the Patriots played their home games for the first three years of their existence.

    Some other pro football player born on July 15 include:

    - John Stallworth, 67 (7/15/52); Hall of Fame WR played on four Pittsburgh Steeler championship teams.

    - Alex Karras (1935-2012); All Pro DT for the Lions from 1958 to 1970 was at the wrong end of the power of the NFL commissioner in 1963, when he was suspended for a year. He became known by another generation as an actor: as Mongo in Blazing Saddles, Sheriff Wallace in Porky's, Squash Bernstein in Victor Victoria, and George Papadopoulos on Webster. Alex karras is also the great uncle to Patriot OL Ted Karras.

    - Carnell Lake, 52 (7/15/67); the safety was named to the NFL's all-decade team for the 1990s, and was the Pittsburgh Steeler defensive backs coach from 2011-2017.

    - Joe Phillips, 56 (7/15/63); DT from 1986-99; one of only 58 defensive lineman in the history of the NFL to play in at least 200 games.

    - Sammy Winder, 60 (7/15/59); Pro Bowl RB for Denver in the eighties.
  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Trivia Tuesday

    Today is another slow day for Patriot birthdays: we have four players that combined to play just twelve games played with the Pats.

    Happy 78th birthday to Ken Herock
    Born July 16, 1941 in Munhall, PA
    Patriot TE, 1969; uniform #36


    Ken Herock played in six games with no stats for the Patriots in his sixth and final year as a pro football player. He became a scout and director of player personnel for the Raiders in 1975 (when Oakland was winning super bowls), and then took the same position with Tampa Bay (miraculously turning the Bucs into a playoff team, despite their owner's infamous frugality).

    Herock then moved on to Atlanta, where he drafted both Deion Sanders and Brett Favre, among others; he was also the one NFL scout who believed in Tim Tebow. In 2010 Herock caused a bit of an uproar when he was quoted as saying that he didn't feel there are any topics off limits in pre-draft interviews. He now operates a company that prepares NFL prospects for that very same interview process.

    Side note: while looking up information on Herock I came across these two articles, which I found pretty interesting. If you enjoy NFL history these may be of interest, both of which involved Ken Herock:

    No. 1 Pick Headed to Falcons : Ismail: Patriots trade top choice to Cowboys, who are expected to trade it again.

    The Most Botched NFL Draft Pick Ever

    Happy 70th birthday to Bill Atessis
    Born July 16, 1949 in Houston
    Patriot DE, 1971; uniform #73


    Bill Atessis was a second round pick by the Colts in '71, but he was injured in training camp and released in mid-season. The Pats signed the Texas Longhorn and he played in five games for them that year. The following year he was asked to lose weight in order to transition to outside linebacker, and ended up walking out of training camp. The Pats traded him to the Cardinals, but he ended up on IR again. In '73 the Jets signed him with the idea of going back to the defensive line, but he was cut in early August to end his NFL career. Atessis now works as a project manager in the construction industry in his native Texas for Faithful + Gould.

    Happy 35th birthday to Louis Leonard
    Born July 16, 1984 in Los Angeles
    Patriot DT, 2010; uniform #94


    In his fourth and final year in the NFL, Leonard was signed by the Patriots on December 15, 2010 - and waived six days later. In between he played in the week fifteen 31-27 victory against Green Bay in the same game that caused Matt Flynn to become a very sought after commodity - when Flynn threw three touchdowns while subbing for an injured Aaron Rodgers.

    Happy 27th birthday to Jordan Matthews
    Born July 16, 1992 in Madison, Alabama
    Patriot WR, 2018 offseason; uniform #80

    Jordan Matthews was a two-time first team All-SEC at Vanderbilt and Biletnikoff semifinalist. The Eagles grabbed him in the second round of the 2014 draft, and he caught 225 passes for 2,473 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first three seasons.

    Matthews had a revolving door of quarterbacks in Philly: Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez in 2014, Sam Bradford (and Sanchez again for two games) in '15, then Carson Wentz in '16. For whatever reason Matthews' productivity dropped in 2016, and he was traded to Buffalo the following offseason. 2017 was a lost cause due to a thumb injury that required surgery and then a knee injury; he had just 282 yards with the Bills.

    The Pats signed Matthews as a free agent to a one-year contract worth $1 million, with $300k guaranteed. At the time it seemed as if he would be a major factor in the 2018 season after the departure of Brandin Cooks, and Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games. However, Matthews was released with an injury settlement just after the start of training camp. He is now with the San Francisco 49ers.


    Aug 1, 2008: Patriots release injured WR Jordan Matthews | Mike Reiss, espn

    Four other deceased players with interesting life stories and varying connections to the New England area:

    - Harry Connolly (1920-2006); Norwalk native went to Boston College, and the tailback was the 37th overall pick in the 1943 NFL draft.

    - Al Cornsweet (1906-1991): Brown grad was a fullback and coach of the 1931 NFL Cleveland Indians.

    - Herman Gundlach (1913-2005); went to Worcester Academy and Harvard, and was a guard for the 1935 Boston Redskins.

    - Grenny Lansdell (1918-1984); born in Great Barrington, he went on to become one of the great triple threats in college football history. After the war Lansdell proceeded to become a pilot for Trans World Airways for 30 years.

    Other pro football players born on this date include:

    - Barry Sanders, 51 (7/16/68); my condolences if you never saw him play.

    - Max McGee (1932-2007); the unlikely (and hungover) hero of Super Bowl I.

    - Gary Anderson, 60 (7/16/59); one of only two kickers to have a 'perfect' season.

    - Aaron Glenn, 47 (7/16/72); CB was named to three Pro Bowls, with 41 career interceptions and eight career touchdowns.
  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    The Pride of Peabody

    Happy birthday to Jerry DeLucca
    Born July 17, 1936 in Peabody
    Patriot OT/DT 1960-61, 1963-64
    Uniform #74 ('60-'63), #70 ('64)

    Jerry DeLucca was originally a seventh round (84th overall) selection by the Bears in the 1957 draft. He joined the Pats on September 23, 1960 for their inaugural season and started at right tackle for the club's first two years. After Mike Holovak replaced Lou Saban as head coach, he opted for Milt Graham over DeLucca at RT and DT Jesse Richardson, and traded DeLucca to Buffalo just before the start of the 1963 season. DeLucca rejoined the Pats in '63 for depth. Jerry DeLucca played in 31 games for the Patriots with 25 starts over four seasons.

    Gerald J 'Jerry' DeLucca obituary | The Salem News

    Born in Beverly, he was the son of the late Anthony and Stella (Koziski) DeLucca. He was raised and educated in Peabody and graduated from Peabody High School in 1953. He continued his education at Middle Tennessee State where he excelled as a lineman on the football team.

    Following his college football career, Jerry played six seasons of professional football for the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots before retiring in 1964. After retiring from football, Jerry embarked on career selling insurance for All State Insurance and later owned his own insurance agency, Jerry DeLucca Insurance Agency in Peabody before he finally retired many years ago.

    Happy birthday to Brandon Gorin
    Born July 17, 1978 in Muncie, Indiana
    Patriot OT, 2003-2005; uniform #76

    Brandon Gorin played in 32 regular season games for the Patriots, with 18 starts. The Pats went 6-1 in Gorin's seven playoff games, including the Super Bowl 39 victory over Philadelphia. Gorin played in a career-high 14 games with ten starts in that 2004 season, when Corey Dillon set the Patriots' single-season rushing record with 1,635 yards.

    2005 New England Patriots offensive line

    From the PatsFans message board on June 3, 2006:
    No way that Brandon Gorin makes this team ...

    Brandon Gorin vs. Wesley Britt

    Aug 21, 2006 - Patriots Trade OT Brandon Gorin to Arizona |

    Gorin, 28, is in his fifth NFL season and was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the seventh round (201st overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-6-inch, 308-pound offensive lineman was listed as a game-day inactive for all 16 games as a rookie with the Chargers in 2001. He was released by the Chargers following their 2002 training camp and was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Sept. 5, 2002.

    The Muncie, Ind. native spent the remainder of the 2002 season on New England’s practice squad and was signed to the Patriots’ active roster on Jan. 6, 2003. He made his NFL debut in 2003 for the Patriots and played in six regular season games and two playoff contests that season. In 2004, the Purdue product broke into the starting lineup at right tackle, starting 10 of 14 games and all three playoff contests as New England allowed just 26 sacks and averaged more than 4.0 yards per carry for the first time in 19 years.

    Last season, he played in 12 games at right tackle and started the final eight contests of the regular season in addition to both of New England’s playoff games. He has played in played in 32 career games with 18 starts.

    July 28, 2016 - Super Bowl Champion Celebrates Failure | Inside Indiana Business

    Brandon Gorin, who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, is area developer for Marco's Pizza in the Indianapolis market. During a presentation at FailFest today in Fishers, Gorin said the only secret to success he has found as an entrepreneur is "intentional work over time."

    Gorin was born and raised in Muncie. He attended Purdue University before being drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2001. He opened his first Marco's Pizza store in 2011. Since then, he says, while some of his stores have been successful and some have not, "all have taught me lessons." He is area developer for the Indy market, which includes 23 stores, with an additional four in development.

    Brandon Gorin - Owner - MP Indy llc | LinkedIn

    Area Representative for Central Indiana Marco's Pizza

    Happy birthday to Justin Kurpeikis
    Born July 17, 1977 in Allison Park, PA
    Patriot LB, 2004-05; uniform #47


    Justin Kurpeikis was undrafted out of Penn State, where he had been a 2000 All Big 10 Conference first teamer. He spent three years with the Steelers, appearing in nine games. From 2004-05 Kurpeikis was with the Patriots, spending more time on the practice squad than on the 53 man roster. In five games with the Pats he had three tackles (one solo). Kurpeikis also spent time with Cleveland, Detroit, and Hamburg in NFL Europe.

    8/27/2004: Dan Klecko, left, stretches with teammate Justin Kurpeikis

    Post-NFL Kurpeikis owns a physical therapy clinic, and has worked in sales of medical devices.

    Our Team | Atlas Therapy

    Justin Kurpeikis | LinkedIn

    Other pro football players born July 17 with New England connections include:

    - Stalin Colinet, born 7/17/1974; Boston College.
    The defensive lineman was a third round draft pick by Minnesota, and played in 68 games with 42 starts over six NFL seasons.

    - Clyde Smith, born 7/17/1904; Providence Steam Roller.
    A three-time all-pro center, Smith was part of the 1928 championship team from Providence that lost only one game and outscored their opponents by a 3:1 margin.

    - Ed Brawley, born 7/17/1884; born in Boston, Medford High School, Holy Cross.
    After a brief time in the NFL (where he played with Jim Thorpe), Brawley coached football, basketball, and baseball at Allen Military School in
    Waltham and Hillhouse High School in New Haven. From 1922 to 1926 he was the head football coach at Peabody High School as well as the University of Peabody, a semi-pro football team. Ed Brawley was the chair of Peabody High's history department until his death on May 1, 1956.

    Some other notable pro football players born on this date:

    - Daryle Lamonica (7/17/41); the Mad Bomber had a career record of 66-16-6 and may have been the league's best player over the final three years of the AFL. In '69 Lamonica led the league in passing yards, touchdowns, TD percentage, lowest sack percentage, and had three 4th quarter game winning comebacks, leading the Raiders to a 12-1-1 record.

    - Eric Moulds (7/17/73); 3-time Buffalo Bill Pro Bowler was one of the NFL's premier wide receivers from 1998 to 2002. Had 764 receptions and 49 TD, with 12,310 all purpose yards.

    - Mike Thomas (7/17/53); RB was the 1975 offensive rookie of the year for Washington, but overuse (813 touches in first three seasons) shortened his career.
  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Deion Branch

    Happy 40th birthday to Deion Branch
    Born July 18, 1979 in Albany Georgia
    Patriot WR, 2002-2005; uniform #83
    Patriot WR, 2010-2012; uniform #84

    Pats 2nd round (65th overall) selection of the 2002 draft, from Louisville

    Franchise Stats and Rankings:
    • 328 receptions ranks 10th in franchise history
    • 4,297 yards receiving (11th)
    • 24 touchdown receptions (13th)
    • 13.1 yards per reception ranks 10th [minimum 200 catches]
    • 30 points in 14 playoff games (10-4 record)
    • Super Bowl 38 champion
    • Super Bowl 39 champion
    • Super Bowl 39 MVP
    Career Stats:
    • 518 receptions for 6,644 yards and 39 TD
    • 64 playoff receptions for 948 yards, 4 TD
    • 3 playoff rushes for 41 yards, 1 TD
    • Albany GA Sports Hall of Fame, 2005
    • Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, 2005

    Relive Deion Branch's record performance in Super Bowl 39 (video) |


  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today In Patriots History
    His Parents Named Him What?!

    Happy 77th birthday to Dick Shiner
    Born July 18, 1942 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania
    Patriot QB, 1973-1974; uniform #11


    Richard Earl 'Dick' Shiner was a legend for one game while at the University of Maryland. The quarterback led the Terrapins to an upset over Joe Paterno and Penn State, in what would be the only Maryland victory over the Nittany Lions during a series between the two schools that ran from 1960 through 1993.

    As a pro football player Shiner was mostly a career backup, on the bench behind Sonny Jurgensen, Frank Ryan, Fran Tarkenton and Jim Plunkett. His only time as a starter included Chuck Noll's first season in 1969 as head coach for the Steelers. Pittsburgh went 1-13 that year, with Shiner 3-16-1 as the starting QB, though to be fair that record was primarily due to an impotent defense.

    In 1973 the NFL implemented the Passer Rating statistic, which is still utilized today. Shiner had the honor being the first quarterback to record a perfect passer rating when he went 13-15 with three touchdowns in week one for Atlanta against the Saints. Ironically he also become the first to have a 0.0 passer rating the very next week, going 2-9 for 17 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

    Dick Shiner's final NFL game is also noteworthy. Jim Plunkett had thrown three touchdowns and the Pats were beating the Baltimore Colts 35-3 while the game was still in the third quarter. Shiner took over, and led the Patriots on an 80-yard drive. He then surprised everyone by taking himself out of the game. Shiner later explained:

    "I wanted [third-string QB] Neil Graff to get experience. Neil was a good kid, and I knew my time in the NFL was coming to an end."

    In his post-football career Shiner worked for a beer distributor, and then retired after spending twenty years in the copier business. He later passed time as an assistant high school football coach.

    2007 ACC Football Legend: Maryland's Dick Shiner | University of Maryland Athletics

    But in 1959 along came one Lee Corso, an assistant coach for Tom Nugent at Maryland and a man on the young end of a career that would lead to collegiate head coaching jobs and his present work as a college football analyst on national television.

    "Coach Corso had come up to Pennsylvania to look at some great running back on a team we were playing," Shiner said. "I come from a town (Lebanon, Pa.) that in the late 1950s numbered, maybe, 12,000 people, and 10,000 of them would show up on Friday night for the high school football game.

    "And coach Corso was in the crowd and when he got there, he maybe didn't know who I was. But I threw four touchdown passes that night.

    "He came to my school a few days later to talk to me. Coaches didn't do that as much as they do now, and that impressed me. That's how I wound up at Maryland."​

    Catching up with ... former Terp QB Dick Shiner | Baltimore Sun

    Against Air Force, a national power in 1963, Shiner led a comeback that rocked College Park. Trailing 14-0 at halftime, Maryland won the game on a 36-yard pass from Shiner to Darryl Hill as time expired.

    The crowd of 31,000 went nuts.

    "See, we were 0-4 and Air Force had just beaten Nebraska," which would win the Orange Bowl that year, Shiner said. "So when I hit Darryl with a bullet on a deep cross, and he hit the end zone, the whole place exploded. They had to clear all of the fans off the field for us to kick the extra point."

    To celebrate, he said, "we all went to Howard Johnson's, on Route 1, where they served hot dogs on toasted buns. They were great."​

    Maryland's Dick Shiner: A legend in his first start is a legend once again | CSTV

    He starred as a throwing quarterback in an era when many head coaches still subscribed to the old theory that two of three things that can happen to a forward pass are bad. "We were throwing the ball 20, 22 times a game, sometimes a few more," Shiner said. "You'd look in the paper on Sunday morning and you'd read that some other ACC team was 4-for-7 passing. We were conservative compared to today's offenses, but we threw the ball a lot for the time."

    Like all those people who show up at Steve Smear's office, Shiner still treasures the victory over Penn State in his first collegiate start. But the memories of a handful of other games remain precious to the man who went on to spend 11 seasons in the National Football League. Among them is a victory over one of Syracuse's legendary teams.

    "It was a great Syracuse team," Shiner said. "The great Ernie Davis was on that team along with a lot of other great players, players like John Mackey, Art Baker at fullback, Roger Brown.

    "Through the first two games, against a really good SMU team and Clemson, I'd been running with the second team and Coach Nugent would put us in for a quarter or two. Then the Syracuse game came up and they were one of the national powerhouses. They were ranked in the Top 10 (seventh).

    "Coach Nugent called those of us on the second team the `Go' team and against Syracuse he sent the `Go' team in in the third quarter. I ran 29 yards, which is an awfully long way for me, and we scored a touchdown and beat that great Syracuse team (22-21)."

    Happy birthday to Stephen Spach
    Born July 18, 1982 in Fresno, CA
    Patriot TE, 2007-2008; uniform #82

    Stephen Spach was originally signed by Philadelphia in 2005, and was out of football in 2006. The Pats signed him on December 13, 2007 when Mike Wright was placed on IR with a foot injury. Spach played in the last three games as well as the AFCCG versus San Diego, as a blocking tight end and special teamer.

    Spach was cut out of training camp in 2008, immediately re-signed, then cut for good after two games. He was waived on Sept 15 when the Pats added Kyle Eckel to the roster. Spach moved on to Arizona, playing in 31 games with 22 starts from '08-'10. From 2005 to 2012 Stephen Spach played in 60 games, with 22 receptions for 137 yards.


    This column is a fairly decent read:

    Alumni Spotlight: Stephen Spach's journey from football to finance | Fresno State College

    Stephen Spach, Associate & LPL Financial Consultant

    Stephen grew up in Clovis, CA and graduated from Fresno State in 2005 where he played tight end for the Bulldogs. He then spent time with six different NFL teams from 2005-2012. He had the opportunity to be a part of an AFC Championship New England Patriots team in 2007, and an NFC Championship Arizona Cardinals team in 2008. His hobbies and interests outside of work include sports, health, music and most importantly, his family.

    Happy birthday to Bruce Walker
    Born July 18, 1972 in Compton, CA
    Died Nov 7, 2014 at the age of 42
    Patriot NT, 1994-1995; uniform #91


    Aug 17, 1993 - Bruins Suspend Two for Criminal Activity : UCLA : Bruce Walker cannot play until next season | LA Times

    Bruce Walker, a UCLA nose guard, was suspended for a year, and linebacker Jamir Miller must skip the Bruins' season-opener Sept. 4 against California because of recent criminal problems, school officials announced Monday.

    Walker, who has one year of eligibility remaining, will be allowed to redshirt and return for the 1994 football season if he stays out of trouble, UCLA Coach Terry Donahue said. Miller, who led the team in sacks last season and tied for the lead in 1991, is expected to begin practicing today.

    Walker was sentenced to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service last week in Superior Court in Santa Monica after pleading no contest to one felony count of receiving stolen property.

    Miller, Walker and Raul Martinez, a UCLA student, were arrested last April and charged with possession of $15,000 worth of stereo and computer equipment that was stolen from a UCLA dormitory last winter.​

    Bruce Walker was a second round draft pick by Philadelphia in 1994, but was cut at the end of his rookie training camp. He was with the Pats for 11 games the following year, starting five games and finishing the season with 18 tackles (16 solo).

    July 17, 1996 - Medium Rare Injury: Patriots' Lineman Walker Stabbed While Playing Catch With Steak Knife | LA Times

    Bruce Walker, a defensive lineman for the New England Patriots, incurred a stab wound in his chest while he and a friend were throwing a steak knife at each other in a grocery store parking lot.

    Police said that Walker, who played at UCLA, suffered the wound when he missed a catch. He was treated at Southwood Community Hospital in Norfolk and required several stitches, police said.​

    Not surprisingly, Walker did not make the roster following the mysterious knife throwing injury. He spent two years playing for Frankfort in the World League, including their 1998 championship. Walker was part of the San Diego Charger organization for the next two years, but never got on the field due to injuries.

    Other pro football players born on this date with New England connections:
    - John Wetzel (1991; Boston College)
    OT has played in 40 games with 24 starts for the Arizona Cardinals.
    - Mike Pyle (1939; Yale)
    The starting center for the Bears missed just five games from 1961 to 1969. He is the great uncle of San Diego Charger Joey Bosa. Pyle passed away in 2015 after suffering from CTE and dementia.

    Some notable pro football players born on this date:
    - Jerome Barkum (1950); TE had 40 touchdowns with the Jets from 1972-83.
    - George Starke (1948); Columbia grad was Washington's starting RT from 1973-84.
    - Terry Taylor (1961); CB had 25 interceptions over 13 seasons with Seattle and other teams.
    - Lonnie Young (1963); FS played in 147 games from 1985-96, primarily with the Cardinals.
    - Jeff Lageman (1967); DE played in 122 games for the Jets and Jags from 1989-98.
    - Dan Edwards (1926); the all-pro end had 234 receptions and 16 touchdowns from 1948-1954.
    - Ray Ramsey (1921); as a rookie with the Chicago Rockets in 1947 he scored ten touchdowns, leading the AAFC in yards per catch (21.9) and yards per touch (11.4).
    - Bernard Williams (1972); the 14th overall pick of the 1994 draft played only one NFL season. An off season incident led to a disorderly conduct arrest, and a couple weeks later a failed drug test resulted in a six game suspension for marijuana. He didn't fulfill any requirements for reinstatement and instead spent the next seven years in the CFL, XFL and Arena League.
  15. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Hero to Liar to Hero

    Happy birthday to Darius Fleming
    Born July 19, 1989 in Chicago
    Patriot OLB, 2014-2015; uniform #58, #44, #53, #48


    - 11 games played for Patriots, plus five playoff games (Pats went 4-1)
    - 65 defensive snaps, 182 special team snaps in those 11 games
    - Super Bowl 49 champion (28-24 vs Seattle)

    The January 20, 2016 headlines themselves tell most of the story for today's title from above:

    Patriots LB Darius Fleming rescues woman after car accident


    "Trollin" Ben Volin And TMZ Insinuate that Darius Fleming Made Up the Story About Him Saving A Woman From A Burning Car….Walpole Police Slap Em In the Face With Police Report

    Rate Trollin Volin's Apology To Darius Fleming For Insinuating That He Made Up the Story About the Car Crash

    More from actual on-field here:

    March 4, 2016: Patriots release LB Darius Fleming

    Fleming, 26, was originally signed by New England as a free agent on May 16, 2014, and rotated between the practice squad and the 53-man roster over the last two seasons. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder, was drafted by San Francisco in the fifth round (165th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. He spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons on injured reserve with a knee injury and was released by the 49ers on May 12, 2014.

    Fleming played in five games and three postseason games for the Patriots in 2014. He was released by the Patriots on Sept. 5, 2015, signed to the practice squad on Sept. 7, 2015, before being signed to the 53-man roster on Nov. 28. Fleming played in six regular-season games and both postseason games last season, finishing with two total tackles and three special teams tackles in the regular season and one tackle on defense and one special teams tackle in the playoffs.​

    April 23, 2019: Fleming brings message of hard work to students

    Fleming, a cousin of Vanderpoel student Donnevia Nelson, admitted he quit football in elementary school, then tried it again at St. Rita, where he became one of the top players in the nation in the high school class of 2008.

    He earned a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, and he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.

    Fleming won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in February 2015, recovering a dropped punt in the AFC championship game.

    In January 2016, he rescued a woman trapped in a smoke-filled car after a three-vehicle collision. He kicked open the window, cutting his right leg so severely that he needed 22 stitches.

    Fleming, who now works for LinkedIn, said that playing at St. Rita required him to sacrifice his social life in order to be prepared to play his best. The night before a game, his father would massage his son’s back to assist in the preparations, as both knew college coaches would be watching the athlete’s performance.

    He encouraged students to take a similar approach in everything they do. The work begins, he said, as early as kindergarten.

    “If we have a dream of accomplishing something, and we don’t do the necessary steps to make it happen, why should we get the results that we want to see?” Fleming asked the students.

    He expressed his confidence that Vanderpoel students wouldn’t be just dreamers—but doers.

    “We’re going to make things happen,” Fleming said. “You all are a bunch of go-getters in here—some bright, intelligent individuals. You all are beautiful. You can do whatever you want in this world. … But, we can’t wait.”​

    Happy birthday to Ryan O'Callaghan
    Born July 19, 1983 in Susanville, CA
    Patriot RT, 2006-2008; uniform #68

    Pats 5th round (136th overall) selection of the 2006 draft, from Cal


    - 26 games played for Patriots (with 7 starts), plus 3 playoff games
    - 51 NFL games played from 2006-10, with 20 starts

    'Life's great now' for Ryan O'Callaghan, the ex-NFL player who came out as gay

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

    Frank Maznicki
    Born, raised and died in West Warwick; Boston College
    Played HB before and after the war, 1942-47 for Chicago Bears and Boston Yanks.

    Eddie Britt
    Born and raised in Lexington MA; Holy Cross
    Tailback for Boston Redskins, Washington Redskins and Brooklyn Dodgers, 1936-38.

    George Brickley
    Born, raised and died in Everett; Trinity College (Hartford)
    Tailback for 1920 Cleveland Tigers and 1921 New York Brickley Giants (owned by his brother).
    Athletic Director and Head Coach at Everett High School; HC at Woburn High.
    Grandfather of former Boston Bruins LW and hockey analyst Andy Brickley.

    Julius Williams
    Defensive End played 11 games for Jacksonville in 2009.

    Other pro football players born on this date:

    - Trent Williams; 7-time Pro Bowl LT for Washington
    - LeRoy Butler; 4-time All-Pro safety for Green Bay
    - Jerry Smith; All-Pro Washington TE caught 60 touchdowns from 1965-77
    - J.D. Smith; 49er and Cowboy fullback scored 46 touchdowns from 1958-1966
    - Norm Standlee; FB/LB scored 23 touchdowns despite missing four seasons for WWII
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  16. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Malcolm Mitchell

    Happy 27th birthday to Malcolm Mitchell
    Born July 20, 1992 in Valdosta, Georgia
    Patriot WR, 2016-2017; uniform #19
    Pats 4th round (112th overall) selection of the 2016 draft, from Georgia

    - 32 receptions for 401 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games, with six starts.
    - 6 receptions on 7 targets for 70 yards in the Super Bowl LI victory over Atlanta.

    Read With Malcolm

    Jan 30, 2019 - After 10 surgeries, Malcolm Mitchell still hopes to return to NFL | Mike Reiss, espn

    March 28, 2019 - Malcolm Mitchell reflects on time with Patriots, decision to retire |

    Happy 57th birthday to Larry Linne
    Born July 20, 1962 in Baltimore
    Patriot WR, 1987; uniform #80

    - Played in all three 1987 replacement player games.
    - Led Pats in replacement-game receptions (11), receiving yards (158) and touchdowns (2).
    - Also handled punt return duties, with five punt returns.
    - Has had one of the most successful post-football careers of any former Patriot.

    Larry Linne | Intellectual Innovations

    Larry G. Linne is one of the business world’s most innovative thinkers. Known for making the complex simple, Larry’s powerful thinking strategies combined with his broad and varied experiences has led to a significant, far-reaching career.

    From pro football player to CEO of multiple companies to published author, Larry speaks to thousands of business leaders each year who run world-class organizations. His ideas and training tools have been implemented in businesses of all classifications, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies.​

    Larry G. Linne | Incite Performance Group

    Larry Linne | HNI

    Happy 59th birthday to Ricky Smith
    Born July 20, 1960 in Quincy, Florida
    Patriot KR/PR/DB, 1982-84; uniform #27
    Pats 6th round (131st overall) selection of the 1982 draft, from Alabama State

    - Played in 26 games for the Pats, plus one playoff game.
    - Averaged 22.5 yards on 67 kickoff returns, with one touchdown.
    - Averaged 9.9 yards on 54 punt returns, with a long of 55 yards.

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

    Ron Stone, 48; born July 20, 1971 in Boston.
    Stone went to West Roxbury High School and Boston College. A fourth round draft pick by Dallas in 1994, he was a Pro Bowl RG for the Giants and Niners from 2000-2002. Stone played in 173 games over 12 seasons, plus 11 playoff games. He played in two Super Bowls, winning a championship in Super Bowl 30 when Dallas beat Pittsburgh.

    Happy 31st birthday to Phillip Adams
    Born July 20, 1988 in Rock Hill, South Carolina
    Patriot CB/S, 2011; uniform #26


    - Signed and cut three times during the 2011 season.
    - Played in six games for the Pats with one interception, one pass deflection, eight tackles (seven solo) and one quarterback hit.
    - Was with six teams over six NFL seasons, playing in 78 games.

    Happy 31st birthday to Terrell McClain
    Born July 20, 1988 in Pensacola, Florida
    Patriot DT, 2012; uniform #93

    - Signed on September 26, 2012 when Marcus Forston was waived.
    - Played in one game for the Pats: a 52-28 week four victory at Buffalo on September 30.
    - Cut on October 2, 2012 to make room on the roster for Bobby Carpenter.
    - Has played in 87 games for six teams over NFL seasons.
    - Signed a one-year $4 million with Atlanta in 2018.

    A couple of announcer's nightmares (and torture as a kid growing up):

    John Prchlik, born July 20, 1925.
    Went to Yale and was drafted by the Boston Yanks in 1947. Won two NFL championships as a defensive tackle for the Bobby Layne era Detroit Lions over the Cleveland Browns in the early fifties.

    Dave 'Buster' Hathcock, 76 (born July 20, 1943).
    The defensive back won a championship with Green Bay in what would later become known as Super Bowl I.

    Other pro football players of note born on July 20:

    - Dick Stanfel (1927); Hall of Fame guard was a five-time All Pro for Detroit and Washington in the fifties, winning two NFL championships.

    - Jake Scott, 74 (1945); five-time Pro Bowl safety won two Super Bowls with Miami in the seventies.

    - Jordan Gross, 39 (1980); Pro Bowl left tackle for Carolina started 167 games over his 11-year career.

    - Casey Wiegmann, 46 (1973); the center played in 227 games from 1997-2011, mostly with the Chiefs.

    - D.J. Williams, 37 (1982); linebacker played nine of his 11 seasons for Denver, making 897 tackles with 75 tackles for a loss.
  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    'I didn't know he played for the Pats!'

    Happy birthday to Henry Ellard
    Born July 21, 1961 in Fresno, California
    Patriot WR, 1998; uniform #17


    At the age of 37 Henry Ellard appeared in five games for the Pats, with five receptions for 86 yards. 1998 was the final year of a 16-season, 228-game career. Ellard averaged 16.9 yards on his 814 receptions for 13,777 yards, and scored 65 touchdowns. He ranks 24th in NFL history for all-purpose yards (15,718), 15th in receiving yards and 32nd in receptions - despite being passed by many in recent years who have benefitted from today's pass-happy rules. Since retiring he has worked as a wide receivers coach with the Rams, Jets and Saints; he is now a high school head coach in San Antonio.

    Henry Ellard | Football University

    At the time of his retirement from professional football, Ellard held Rams' team records for career receptions (593), receiving yards (9,761), 100-yard games (26), punt return average (11.3), and total offense (11,663). Counting return yardage, he gained 15,718 total yards in his career. At the time of retirement, his 13,777 receiving yards ranked third all-time in NFL history.

    Ellard was known for using his height and jumping ability to get to high passes, his leadership, and his superior skills as a route runner.​

    Not a happy birthday to Kellen Winslow II
    Born July 21, 1983 in San Diego
    Patriot TE, 2012; uniform #82

    Kellen Winslow the second lasted all of nine days with Bill Belichick. In his one game with the Pats he caught one of the two passes thrown his way, for a 12 yard gain.


    He was originally the sixth overall pick out of Miami in the 2004 draft by the Browns. Winslow's best season was in 2007 when he had 82 receptions for 1,106 yards and five touchdowns. He played in 105 games from 2005 to 2013, totaling 469 receptions for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns.

    Winslow seemed to continually wear out his welcome, perhaps due to no teammates wanting to be assigned to room with him on road games. The last time he made the news it was cringe-worthy.

    June 13, 2019: Kellen Winslow Jr: Dark stories from rape trial, past | SI

    June 13, 2019: Kellen Winslow Jr. repeatedly watched pornography during team meetings | SI

    Happy birthday to Bob Hyland
    Born July 21, 1945 in White Plains, NY
    Patriot C/G, 1977; uniform #60


    Boston College Eagle Bob Hyland was the ninth overall selection of 1967 draft by Green Bay. He joined the Pats for the final season of his 11-year career. After hanging up his cleats he returned to his hometown of White Plains, New York where he owned and operated a sports pub.

    Nov 3, 2009 Election: Full Biography for Bob Hyland

    Hyland was an offensive lineman in the National Football League for eleven seasons, only the second rookie to start for Vince Lombardi. A member of the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers in 1967, this lifelong White Plains resident played for the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, and the New England Patriots.

    Residents of Westchester County have known Bob Hyland as the proprietor of the Sports Page since 1981. Voted Westchester's Favorite Sports Theme Restaurant by Westchester Magazine every year since 1997, the Sports Page has been a genuine part of the commercial renaissance in White Plains.

    "I remind my friends that the job has required me to meet over 1,900 weekly payrolls," observed Hyland. "I live with the daily responsibility of fulfilling obligations to employees and staff, as well as being responsible to pay a myriad of business taxes."

    Hyland's business experience has included over sixteen years as a financial consultant and underwriter with Northwestern Mutual Life and Massachusetts Mutual.​

    Aug 13, 2012: Bob Hyland among 2012 ACC Football Class of Legends

    March 13, 2011: Republicans announce Hyland as their candidate for mayor

    Feb 3, 2017: White Plains: Last Super Bowl for Bob Hyland's Sports Page

    Happy birthday to Scott 'Missin' Sisson
    Born July 21, 1971 in Marietta, Georgia
    Patriot kicker, 1993; uniform #9
    Pats 5th round (113th overall) selection of the 1993 draft, from Georgia Tech

    Aug 6, 2016: Whatever happened to Scott Sisson | AJC

    Sisson was brilliant at Tech, setting a school record of 70 straight consecutive extra points and setting another with 84 points during the 1990 national championship season. That was the year Sisson hit a 37-yard field goal to beat top-ranked Virginia with seven seconds left, a moment that will always be remembered by Tech fans.

    He earned All-American honors his senior season when he hit 79.2 percent (19-for-24) of his field goals.

    In 1993, he was drafted in the fifth round by New England and it would be a sobering experience with coach Bill Parcells. Sisson made only 14-of-26 kicks and veteran Matt Bahr was brought in to handle the job the last three games. The next year, Sisson he kicked well in training camp but Bahr beat him out. Released, Sisson went to Tampa for a week but didn’t make it there either and sat out the season.​

    Happy birthday to Le Kevin Smith
    Born July 21, 1982 in Macon, Georgia
    Patriot DT, 2006-2008; uniform #90
    Pats 6th round (206th overall) selection of the 2006 draft, from Nebraska


    Le Kevin Smith was inactive or did not play in all but three games of his rookie season in 2006. He appeared in 13 games in 2007, as a backup defensive lineman and on special teams. Smith was also a member of the Pats kickoff return unit, which blocked for Ellis Hobbs' 96-yard return against the Raiders in week 15. Smith also played in Super Bowl 42, credited with half a sack. Smith recorded a career high 14 tackles during the 2008 season, playing in 15 games. He finished his career as a Patriot with 18 tackles and one fumble recovery in 31 games played.


    Smith was traded to Denver at the end of training camp in 2009. Two years later he went to his doctor for an MRI due to some discomfort in his neck. It was discovered that he had three bulging spinal discs and spinal cord damage, and could never play football again.

    Feb 2, 2017: Stratford legend Le Kevin Smith shares Super Bowl memories

    Happy birthday to Eric Martin
    Born July 21, 1991 in Los Angeles
    Patriot LB, 2014-2015; uniform #53

    Eric Martin played in four games for the Patriots, with one forced fumble. He made the roster out of training camp, then bounced on and off the practice squad three times.

    Jan 25, 2018: Former Pats player becomes cannabis entrepreneur

    Happy birthday to LaAdrian Waddle
    Born July 21, 1991 in College Station, Texas
    Patriot OT, 2015-2018; uniform #68

    Waddle filled in very nicely when called upon due to an injury, playing in 31 games with seven starts for the Pats. After winning two Super Bowl rings he found a nice payday with the Bills in the offseason: a one year deal worth $2 million, with $400k guaranteed.

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

    Happy birthday to Don Macek
    Born July 21, 1954 in Manchester, NH
    Manchester Central High School, Boston College

    Happy birthday to Joe Restic
    Born July 21, 1926
    Head Coach at Harvard from 1971-1993 and innovator of the multiflex offense.

    Happy birthday to Herb Hannah
    July 21, 1921 - March 28, 2007
    Father of Patriot Hall of Famer John Hannah

    Happy birthday to Robert Hazelhurst
    July 21, 1924 - November 11, 1988
    77th overall pick of the 1947 draft by the Boston Yanks

    Other NFL players born today include Whitney Mercilus, Fred Smoot, Wesley Woodyard, Dale Hackbart, David Carr and Jon Kimmel (one of three brothers to play in the NFL).
    • Like Like x 1
  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    A medley of July 22 Patriot birthdays

    Happy 81st birthday to Don Oakes
    Born July 22, 1938 in Roanoke, Virginia
    Patriot LT, 1963-1968; uniform #71
    Pats 21st round (162nd overall) selection of the 1961 AFL draft, from Virginia Tech


    Donald Sherman Oakes played in all but two games for the Patriots from 1963 to 1968. The left tackle originally signed with the Eagles in '61 as a third round draft pick. He later became a high school football coach in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia.

    Don Oakes, Boston Patriots Football Player, Discusses the Upcoming Super Bowl Game on January 12, 1969

    Hidden Heroes 2015: Don Oakes


    Happy 79th birthday to Bake Turner
    Born July 22, 1940 in Alpine, Texas
    Patriot WR, 1970; uniform #40


    Robert Hardy 'Bake' Turner had a nine-year pro football career, with his final season being 1970 with the Patriots. He was a starter on that John Mazur/Clive Rush 2-12 squad that played at Harvard Stadium, in the final year before the wandering ramblers finally found a permanent home in Foxborough. In 1970 Turner caught 28 passes for 428 yards and two touchdowns despite the fact that the quarterbacks were Joe Kapp and Mike Taliaferro.

    Sept 16, 1970: Jets Career Ends For Bake Turner | New York Times

    Bake Turner went to one Pro Bowl, earned a ring in Super Bowl 3, and scored 25 touchdowns during his pro football career. After hanging up his cleats he started playing guitar:

    #100 Day Project - Bake Turner

    Bake Turner | Blogspot

    Happy 60th birthday to George Crump
    Born July 22, 1959 in Portsmouth, Virginia
    Patriot DE, 1982; uniform #91
    Pats 4th round (85th overall) selection of the 1982 draft, from East Carolina

    March 26, 2007: Postscript: Ex-pro football player made volunteering his sport | The Virginian-Pilot

    George Stanley Crump II came from a line of big bruisers with gentle souls.

    Crump was a 6-foot-4-inch, 260-pound defensive end who played two seasons with the New England Patriots and four years at East Carolina University.

    "He could be mean on the field, but afterward he was just a nice guy," said Rex Gay, Crump's lifelong friend.

    Off the field, after a knee injury ended his professional playing career, Crump, who was known as Stan, dedicated himself to causes such as Special Olympics and did volunteer teaching and coaching.

    His dad, George Crump Sr., who is about 6 feet 6 inches tall, played football as well, and so did his grandfather.

    "He and his dad were the same - they looked tough, but they're basically gentle giants," Gay said.

    Crump died March 11 at age 47 from a blood clot.

    George Crump Sr. watched with pride as his son played at Indian River High School, received a scholarship to ECU and then was chosen by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 1982 draft.

    Unfortunately, he was nagged by a knee injury, and despite several operations and plenty of rehab, he retired after two seasons.​

    March 17, 2013: Daddy's Girl | University of Central Florida News

    “It’s just weird to know that I did make it somewhere. And sometimes it does hurt, because I would love for him to see what we actually talked about,” she said. Losing her father helped her look at life from a new perspective.

    “I think it was sophomore year when I just woke up and thought life is short. Death is so unexpected and I feel like I learned to take advantage of opportunities. It made me realize to do things you love because you never know what going to happen and you need to take risks.”

    Because Crump knows what her father went through as an athlete, she knows how quickly everything can change because of something like an injury. She says that has helped her realize that she wants to pursue something different after college.

    “That’s one thing that kind of scares me about being an athlete. He really focused on just being an athlete and then his career didn’t go the way he wanted to and it really affected him.”

    Since her father’s death, Crump says she is even closer to her family than ever before.​

    Happy 36th birthday to Steven Jackson
    Born July 22, 1983 in Las Vegas
    Patriot RB, 2015; uniform #39

    Jan 2, 2016: Days after Steven Jackson had accepted retirement, Belichick and Patriots came calling | Providence Journal

    JACKSON STAYED IN SHAPE throughout 2015, but as football seemingly moved on without him, he started to move on with his life. He even re-enrolled at Oregon State, taking a family business class online.

    Then Thanksgiving came.

    Jackson and his family invited 20 to 30 people to their house for a potluck dinner. It was his first Thanksgiving when he didn’t have to worry about weighing in the next day. Jackson didn’t make a big announcement, but for the first time, he thought he was done with football. He sat on his couch and actually enjoyed watching games on TV like a fan would.

    “To be honest with you, Thanksgiving weekend was my farewell to myself to the game,” Jackson said. “I was transitioning well. Went back to school, continuing my education there. But as far as football, I was slowly getting back to becoming a fan and watching the game and enjoying, instead of criticizing it and looking at schemes.”

    Just a couple weeks later, Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount suffered a season-ending hip injury, and Bill Belichick threw a wrench into Jackson’s retirement plans. Jackson was in Foxboro for a tryout on Dec. 16. Six days later, he was signed. Last weekend, nearly a month after that dinner, Jackson was on the field as the Patriots took on the New York Jets.

    “I’m very fortunate in that I took good care of myself throughout the season,” Jackson said. “I just live a healthy lifestyle and it paid off.”

    Jackson’s work ethic has impressed Belichick already. He’s also shown diligence in learning the playbook, his assignments and blocking schemes, and in getting on the same page with Tom Brady.

    “That takes work, it takes effort,” Belichick said. “You’ve got to build those relationships and that communication, and I think he worked really hard at that and continues to.”​

    Jan 24, 2016: Steven Jackson scores a touchdown against the Broncos in the first quarter in the AFC Championship game, for his first playoff touchdown

    Best of Steven Jackson | [14-photo slideshow]
    • 2,336 yards from scrimmage led NFL in 2006 (6th all-time)
    • 11,438 career yards rushing (18th all-time)
    • 15,121 career yards from scrimmage (23rd all-time)
    • 69 career rushing touchdowns (31st all-time)
    • 71.5 career yards rushing per game (36th all-time)
    • 11 consecutive seasons with 4+ rushing touchdowns (NFL record)
    • 11 consecutive seasons with 40+ yard run (NFL record)
    • 870 consecutive touches without a fumble (NFL record)

    Happy 42nd birthday to Aric Morris
    Born July 22, 1977 in Winston-Salem
    Patriot safety, 2003; uniform #28

    Aric Morris played in four games for the Pats. In the 2003 week two 31-10 win over Philadelphia he had two special team tackles, and intercepted a Donovan McNabb pass intended for Todd Pinkston 33 yards, effectively sealing the victory. Morris played in 51 NFL games over four seasons, and later signed with the San Antonio Texans of the CFL.

    May 9, 2003: Patriots sign two safeties, Aric Morris and Scott Farley |

    Morris, 25, joins the Patriots after three seasons with the Tennessee Titans. Last year, he appeared in all 18 Titans games, including both playoff games, and finished second on the team with 18 special teams tackles.

    The 5-foot-10-inch, 212-pound safety was originally drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL draft out of Michigan State. Over the past three years, he has participated in 47 of 48 possible games, including 10 starts in 2001. He is credited with 56 career tackles, including 1.5 sacks, and 45 special teams stops.​

    Happy 55th birthday to Kitrick Taylor
    Born July 22, 1964 in Los Angeles
    Patriot KR/WR, 1989; uniform #49

    Kitrick Lavell Taylor was a 5th round pick by the Chiefs in 1987, out of Washington State. His claim to fame is being on the receiving end of Brett Favre's first NFL winning touchdown pass, a 35-yard catch to defeat the Bengals on September 20, 1992.


    Taylor appeared in four games for the Patriots, with three kick returns as his stat line. In 47 NFL games with the Chiefs, Pats, Chargers, Packers and Broncos he averaged 9.0 yards on 68 punt returns with one touchdown, and caught 36 passes for 414 yards and one other TD.

    Happy 31st birthday to Robert 'Reggie' McClain
    Born July 22, 1988 in Lusby, Maryland
    Patriot CB, 2015 (offseason); uniform #22


    July 22, 2015: 5 things you didn't know about Patriots CB Robert McClain |

    Robert McClain Art

    The artist, Robert McClain, was born and raised in Philadelphia before moving to Lusby, Maryland as a child where he attended Patuxent High School. Mr. McClain took his artistic and football talents to the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. In 2010, Mr. McClain was drafted by the Carolina Panthers, and has spent time with the New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Away from the gridiron, Mr. McClain loves spending his free time with family and friends, drawing and sketching, playing with Melo, and volunteering at the Atlanta Humane Society.​

    Other pro football players born on July 22 with New England connections:

    - Dan Johnson, 49 (7/22/70)
    Born in Malden, went to Malden High School and University of Maine.
    OT played in 34 games for the Bengals from 1993-95.

    - Roland Nabors (7/22/24 - 12/3/99)
    157th overall selection by the Boston Yanks of the 1947 draft.

    - Don Irwin (7/22/13 - 6/8/83)
    FB was the 56th overall pick of the 1936 draft, by the Boston Redskins. The following year George Preston Marshall moved the club to Washington, and Irwin was part of that team that won the 1937 NFL championship. Irwin played in 29 games with 15 starts, scoring six touchdowns in his four years with the Skins.
  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Larry McGrew

    Happy birthday to Lawrence McGrew
    Born July 23, 1957 in Berkeley, California
    Died April 5, 2004 at the age of 46
    Patriot LB, 1980-1989; uniform #50

    Pats 2nd round (45th overall) selection of the 1980 draft, from Southern Cal


    Former Patriot linebacker Lawrence McGrew dies at 46 |

    McGrew played 10 seasons for the New England Patriots before finishing his career with the New York Giants in 1990. He was originally drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 1980 NFL draft (45th overall) after earning defensive MVP honors as a senior at Southern Cal. He started 98 of 122 games over the next 10 seasons (1980-89) for the Patriots and compiled 730 career tackles, including 14.5 sacks. McGrew recorded a career high in 1984 with 167 total tackles. He completed his 11-year career as a member of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants in 1990.


    April 27, 2016: A second round historical synopsis |

    Larry McGrew recovered a fumble on the second play of Super Bowl 20,
    setting up a field goal. It turned out to be the highlight of the game for Pats fans.

    There was an odd story of somebody attempting to impersonate McGrew:

    Sept 12, 2003: Gavilan coach fired, jailed | Gilroy Dispatch

    This column gives a glimpse of the type of person Larry McGrew was:

    April 9, 2004: Former BHS Standout, NFL Champion Dies at 46 | Berkeley Daily Planet

    Charyce McGrew described her husband as a jokester, who never got caught up in his fame and remained totally devoted to his family. When he was on the road, she said, he would call 10 times a day. “I would pick up the phone and tease him and say ‘what do you want stalker?’ If he went two hours without calling, I knew something was wrong,” she said.

    At Berkeley High, Williams said, McGrew was a beloved cut-up. “We’d put on shows for people. People wanted to see us act goofy,” he said. McGrew, though, took football seriously. He lifted weights religiously and made second team all-county as a senior, despite suffering a broken ankle.

    After a year at Contra Costa College, he enrolled at USC where he starred on a team that won a share of the national championship his junior year. Artie Gigantino, the press secretary for the Oakland Raiders, joined the team as an assistant coach for McGrew’s senior year, and remembered the linebacker as a cool customer. “My first game as a coach I was literally upchucking in the locker room and Larry put his arm around me and said, ‘Relax, we’re USC, we always win.”

    McGrew spent most of his 11-year NFL career with the New England Patriots. He led the team in tackles in 1985, the year the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl, but is best known for being the defender William “The Refrigerator” Perry stampeded over for a touchdown in the Chicago Bears victory over the Patriots in the championship game. His friend Williams said that when a teammate asked McGrew if he was all right as he lay on the ground after the play, McGrew replied, “I’m OK, but I’m going to be on ESPN for the rest of my life.”

    Injuries took their toll on McGrew, who ended his career as a reserve on the 1990 Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Though his skills deteriorated, Charyce said, McGrew’s spirits were always high. “Larry never sulked. I can’t remember him ever complaining,” she said. “For him, it was just work.”

    An inoperable neck injury made it difficult for McGrew to work after his football days were over, Charyce said. Tyler, also a resident of Lancaster, said he and McGrew often exercised together at a local gym. He said McGrew made friends with everyone and never played up his NFL past. “He was never Lawrence McGrew the football player, he was always just Larry.”​

    Nov 23, 1986: At Sullivan Stadium the Pats took down
    Buffalo QB Jim Kelly six times in a 22-19 victory.​

    Happy birthday Terry Glenn
    Born July 23, 1974 in Columbus, Ohio
    Died Nov 20, 2017 at the age of 43
    Patriot WR, 1996-2001; uniform #88

    Pats 1st round (7th overall) selection of the 1996 draft, from Ohio State

    Nov 20, 2017: Terry Glenn's emergence with Patriots was something special | Boston Globe

    When Parcells aired his grievance, he did so with what would become one of the most memorable quotes in franchise history, though you probably won’t find it etched in granite at Patriot Place any time soon: “If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.”

    The irony was that Glenn was precisely the ingredient those young Patriots needed to add to the recipe. He caught an NFL rookie-record 90 passes in ’96 while joining Bledsoe, running back Curtis Martin, and tight end Ben Coates on a dynamic young offense that advanced all the way to Super Bowl XXXI, which they lost to the favored Packers.​

    Nov 20, 2017: Former Patriot WR Terry Glenn Passes Away |

    In his six seasons with the Patriots (1996-2001), Glenn played in 68 games and recorded 329 receptions for 4,669 yards and 22 touchdowns. He currently ranks eighth in team history in receiving yards and ninth in receptions.​

    Happy 31st birthday to James Develin
    Born July 23, 1988 in Gilbertsville, PA
    Patriot FB, 2012-present; uniform #46


    James Rittenhouse Develin has had an interesting career. After graduating from an Ivy League college he couldn't get on the field for the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz of the Arena Football League, and then signed with the Florida Tuskers of the short lived United Football League. Fast forward to present day and Develin has accumulated three super bowl rings and is making more than most of his fellow Brown University alumni.

    Jan 29, 2015: From Boyertown to Yard Dawgz to Patriots | Philadelphia Inquirer

    Happy 43rd birthday to Kato Serwanga
    Born July 23, 1976 in Kampala, Uganda
    Patriot CB, 1999-2000; uniform #31

    Kato Serwanga played in 31 games for the Patriots, with three starts. He had three interceptions, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, seven pass deflections and 67 tackles (57 solo). Serwanga later spent one season in Washington, and two with the Giants.

    Dec 14, 2001: Serwanga's Long Journey Is Rewarded | Washington Post

    Happy 28th birthday to Aaron Dobson
    Born July 23, 1991 in Dunbar, West Virginia
    Patriot WR, 2013-2015; uniform #17

    Pats 2nd round (59th overall) selection of the 2013 draft, from Marshall

    With so much focus on the success of the Patriots over the last few years, it is easy to forget what a flop this draft pick was. In three seasons Dobson played in 24 games with 13 starts, catching 53 of the 98 passes thrown his way (54%). Dobson had 698 yards receiving and four touchdowns. After his rookie season Dobson had just 20 receptions for 179 yards and no TDs. He later signed contracts with Detroit and Arizona, but never played another game. As seen below, at least he invested his signing bonus wisely.


    Happy 34th birthday to Scott Chandler
    Born July 23, 1985 in Bedford, Texas
    Patriot TE, 2015; uniform #88

    Scott Chandler had 23 receptions for 259 yards, playing in 15 games with four starts in his one season in Foxborough. He played in 90 NFL games with 205 catches for 2,379 yards and 21 touchdowns.

    This Mike Reiss column details what the Patriots envisioned when the team signed Chandler - and why it did not work out.

    Nov 19, 2015: Exploring why TE Scott Chandler hasn't had more impact with the Patriots

    As a game-plan offense, the Patriots mix and match personnel liberally, and one of the things they look for early in games is how defenses will match up against their two-TE package of Gronkowski/Williams or Gronkowski/Chandler. More often than not, defenses are viewing Chandler as a receiver and thus playing nickel (five defensive backs) against the two-TE package of Gronkowski/Chandler. So in essence, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels then has a call to make: "Do I like my chances with the two-TE package of Gronkowski/Chandler vs. nickel or the three-WR package with receiver Danny Amendola in Chandler's place vs. nickel?" In those situations, the three-WR package has trumped the two-TE package of Gronkowski/Chandler, as it's basically a choice of Amendola vs. Chandler.​

    April 2, 2016: Knee surgery for TE Scott Chandler will 'probably keep me from playing again' | NBC Sports Boston

    Happy birthday to Johnson Bademosi
    Born July 23, 1990 in D.C.
    Patriot CB, 2017; uniform #29


    Johnson Bademosi played in every game for the Pats in 2017, logging 284 special team snaps and 214 defensive snaps. Most of the playing time on defense came in a three game span in midseason, when the Stanford alum filled in as a starter when Stephon Gilmore was injured. He also saw plenty of playing time in the playoffs; Bademosi was the player who took over in place of Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl 52 versus Philadelphia. He left the following offseason when Houston offered him a two-year, $6.25 million contract which made him the NFL's highest paid special teams player.

    Oct 17, 2017: Johnson Bademosi on the rise among Patriot newcomers | Mike Reiss, espn

    Other birthdays with New England connections:

    K.J. Wright, 30
    LB was the player Seattle drafted with the pick received from Pats in trade for Deion Branch

    Matt Birk, 43 (Harvard)
    6-time Pro Bowl center for Vikings

    Bruce Huther, 65 (UNH)
    LB won a SB with Dallas

    Nate Dingle, 48 (Wells, Maine)
    LB from 1995-97

    Wasswa Serwanga, 43
    Kato's brother spent three years in the NFL
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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Steve Grogan

    Happy 66th Birthday Steve Grogan
    Born July 24, 1953 in San Antonio, Texas
    Patriot QB, 1975-1990; uniform #14
    Pats 5th round (116th overall) selection of the 1975 draft, from Kansas State

    Chuck Fairbanks selected Steve Grogan in the fifth round of the 1975 NFL draft out of Kansas State

    Steve Grogan |

    Steve Grogan was a model of toughness and longevity, playing in 149 games over his 16-year playing career from 1975-1990. He remains not only a fan favorite for his gritty style but also a favorite among former teammates. An athletic quarterback, Grogan rushed for an NFL record 12 touchdowns in 1976 and for 35 during his career.

    Grogan led the 1976 team to within seconds of the AFC Championship game. That team, which suffered a controversial playoff loss to the Raiders, is considered by many as one of the best in team history. He also helped lead the Patriots to their first AFC Championship in 1985. Grogan ranks among the leaders in team history in nearly every passing category.

    Despite playing quarterback, he was still revered as one of the hardest hitters and toughest players in Patriots history. Grogan was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1995 after spending parts of three decades with the club.​

    Steve Grogan quickly saw action in his rookie season.
    He played in 13 games, starting seven of the last eight contests.

    Steve Grogan | Last Word on Pro Football

    The 1978 Patriots still own the record for most rushing yards in a season, and Grogan was a large part of that success. While that offense primarily ran through Sam Cunningham, Grogan added some impressive numbers of his own. On the season, Grogan recorded 539 yards on the ground, becoming one of four members of the 1978 Patriots with 500 or more rushing yards.

    While Grogan was best known for his legs, he still possessed plenty of arm talent. His best statistical season came in 1979 when he threw for 3,286 yards and a league-leading 28 touchdown receptions. His 16.0 yards per completion also led the league.

    Perhaps what defined Grogan the most was his unparalleled toughness. Grogan was arguably the toughest quarterback in the game and played through an endless string of injuries throughout his career. During his 16-year career, Grogan endured five knee surgeries, a cracked fibula, two ruptured disks in his neck, a broken left hand, two separated shoulders, three concussions, and plenty more. Despite all this, nothing could keep Grogan from returning to the field. He had a certain blind fearlessness about him which made him an immediate favorite throughout the New England area.​

    Grogan became only the 26th passer in NFL history to throw for over 25,000 yards.

    Aug 21, 2010: Steve Grogan Played 'The Patriots Way' | Joe Gill, for

    Grogan was drafted by Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks in the fifth round of the 1975 draft out of Kansas State. He was one of the school's all time passing and total offense leaders. Grogan not only beat you with his arm but he was exceptionally quick for a man standing at 6'4".

    The Patriots already had their franchise quarterback in place when he was drafted. Former Heisman Trophy winner, Jim Plunkett had been the Patriots starter for his first four years in the league. However, Coach Fairbanks was not afraid to make a move if a player was under-performing. It didn't matter who he was.

    In 1978, Grogan was part of a lethal rushing attack that amassed an astounding 3,156 yards which is still the most rushing yards by a team in league history. The elusive signal caller contributed 539 yards to the lethal running game. This success on the ground helped lead the Patriots to their first home playoff game.

    Grogan closed the decade with his best passing season. He threw for over 3200 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was becoming a multi threat with his precision passing and his ability to tuck away the ball and run.​

    Grogan led the NFL with six game winning drives in 1978, then led the
    league in touchdowns, touchdown percentage and yards per catch in '79.

    Long before Tom Brady, Steve Grogan was the Pats' QB | Fox Sports

    Longtime quarterback Steve Grogan spent 16 seasons in the NFL, all with the New England Patriots, and played in 149 games under center from 1975 to 1990. At the time of his retirement, Grogan was the Patriots’ all-time leader in passing yards (26,886) and passing touchdowns (182), and he is still fourth in team history with 35 rushing touchdowns during his career. He was inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1995, and his No. 11 is the only one currently retired by his alma mater, Kansas State.

    For the past 22 years, Grogan has owned and operated Grogan Marciano Sporting Goods in Mansfield, Massachusetts. The store was opened in the 1970s by Peter Marciano, the brother of boxing great Rocky Marciano, and sells equipment and uniforms to youth leagues, high schools and small colleges across southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

    On his fondest NFL memories: “Playing in a Super Bowl in January of ‘86 after the ‘85 season was pretty special. Going into the game it didn’t look like I was going to play — Tony Eason was the starter — but I wound up playing most of the game. It wasn’t a very entertaining or fun game to be a part of (Chicago won 46-10), but at least I was a part of it, and that’s pretty special. And then there’s the whole season in ‘76, when I took over the starting job from Jim Plunkett and we went to the playoffs for the first time in over 10 years. That season was pretty special, too. We had a whole bunch of young draft picks and free agents on that roster, with some veteran leadership, and we went from 3-11 in ‘75 to 11-3 in ‘76, and into the playoffs. That whole run was really a lot of fun.”

    On the '85 Bears: “They had a good offense, but their defense was one of the best I ever saw — maybe the best I ever saw. They just had so much talent and they came at you from all kinds of different angles. They played a lot of single coverage and dared you to throw the ball downfield because they knew you weren’t going to have time to. My coaches, after they’d seen the film (of Super Bowl XX) during the offseason, they told me that, in two and a half quarters, I’d thrown the ball 31 times and gotten knocked down on 29 of them. So it made for a long afternoon.”​

    At the time of his retirement, Steve Grogan owned nearly every Patriot passing record.
    He is perhaps the last NFL quarterback to call his own plays from the huddle.

    A record in no rush to be broken |

    Lest anyone think the team’s quarterback was some pretty boy who played the part of a spectator in the proceedings, be advised that Grogan – as gritty a player as this franchise as ever known – was a willing and active participant. Tucking the ball under his arm, Grogan carried it 81 times for 539 yards and five touchdowns that year.

    It was the “Foxboro 500” as the 1978 Patriots became the first team in league history to boast four backs who eclipsed 500 yards in a season.

    Grogan’s passing totals (2,824 yards and 15 touchdowns) may have been extremely modest by today’s standards, but here was a dual threat who more than complemented his arm with his legs, averaging a team-leading 6.7 yards per carry while exceeding 500 yards on the ground in the fourth season of a 16-year career that would lead him into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

    When all was said and done, the 1978 Patriots had a run-pass mix of 671-390 (the 671 rushing attempts in a season remain a franchise record). Their 3,165 yards on the ground exceeded the previous record of 3,088 yards set by the 1973 Bills in a season in which one back, O.J. Simpson, accounted for 2,003. The ’78 Patriots produced a league-record 181 first downs on the ground and ran for a team-record 30 TDs.

    To put all of this in its proper context, think of it this way: Over the course of the regular season, the 1978 Patriots averaged 41.9 carries and 197.8 yards rushing per game.

    Far more often (11 times) than not (five times), the ’78 Patriots exceeded 200 yards rushing in a regular-season game, peaking with 279 in a 14-10 win at Buffalo on Nov. 5.​

    Steve Grogan's stats include 182 passing touchdowns, 35 rushing touchdowns, 26,886 yards passing,
    2,176 yards rushing, 14.3 yards per completion, and twenty 4th quarter or overtime game winning drives.

    Jan 1, 2002: Top 10 Most Memorable Games at Foxboro: #7 |

    Did you ever have one of those days that everything just seemed perfect? When the sun shined brightly and you had that little extra spring in your step? And no matter what decisions you made they all seemed to work out in the end?

    On Sept. 9, 1979, Steve Grogan and the New England Patriots had one of those days, and the New York Jets were buried under the avalanche of a record-setting offensive explosion. The Patriots set four team records that day and equaled four more. When the sun officially set on the hapless Jets, the Patriots walked out of Schaefer Stadium with a 56-3 romp and in turn earned the first career victory for Head Coach Ron Erhardt, as well as the No. 7 spot on this top 10 list.

    "They just couldn't cover anybody all day long," Grogan remembered. "They played a lot of combination coverages and they kept leaving Harold [Jackson] and Stanley [Morgan] open all day. Ron let me go and I called the game. They kept double teaming Russ [Francis] and I kept going to Harold and Stanley on deep posts for touchdowns."

    Try five touchdowns - covering 208 yards. Basically, the Patriots game plan went something like this: run the ball effectively to start, then have Grogan drop back and figure out which of his targets was being single covered, then loft perfect spirals into their arms for touchdowns.

    The first went to Jackson for 49 yards. Next it was Morgan's turn for 37. Both of those came in the first quarter as the Patriots jumped to a 14-3 lead. The second quarter was more of the same. Morgan grabbed a 50-yarder just behind cornerback Bobby Jackson, who was burned repeatedly in the game. Late in the first half, Harold Jackson started and ended a brief one-play drive with a 44-yard touchdown to give New England a 35-3 halftime lead.

    Jackson added another - for 28 yards - midway through the third quarter and Grogan and the rest of the starters watched from the bench as the backups finished off the Jets.​

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019

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