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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Mack Herron


    Happy Birthday to Mack Herron
    Born July 24, 1948 in Biloxi, Mississippi
    Died Dec 6, 2015 in Chicago at the age of 67
    Patriot RB/KR/PR 1973-1975; uniform #42


    [​IMG]
    At 5 feet 5 inches, Herron was dwarfed by
    teammates such as offensive lineman Leon Gray

    Mack Willie 'Mini-Mack' Herron was a shooting star. The 5'5 170 lb Kansas State product was an incredibly exciting athlete. Herron provided a reason for New England sports fans to be enthusiastic about the Patriots, in a time when Pats recent history consisted of the Clive Rush/John Mazur/Phil Bengtson era (or should I say 'error').

    [​IMG]

    1973 was Herron's first with the Pats, and he led the NFL with 41 kickoff returns for 1,092 yards, including one touchdown. The following year Herron became a rock star, breaking Gale Sayers' NFL record with 2,444 all-purpose yards. The Pats created a buzz, jumping out to a 5-0 start. Injuries and lack of depth eventually took their toll, but for the first time in eight years the Patriots did not finish the season with a losing record. Herron and Sam Cunningham joined veterans Jim Plunkett and Randy Vataha as reasons to get tickets to watch the Patriots.

    Then just like that Mack Herron's time with the Patriots was over.

    While diabetes was the official cause of his death, Mack Herron's life was a sad story for the final forty years of his life. It has been reported that he was arrested twenty times due to drugs.

    March 16, 2013: Former NFL star facing drug charges again | Chicago Tribune

    Herron has been arrested dozens of times since he left football and has at least seven felony convictions, prosecutors said.

    Dec 7, 2015: Former Patriot running back and return specialist Mack Herron passed away Sunday at the age of 67 | Patriots.com

    Herron signed with the Patriots in 1973 after two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. The 5-foot-5-inch, 175-pound back was affectionately nicknamed "Mini Mack for his diminutive size and became a fan favorite for his electrifying returns and explosive offensive contributions, despite only playing in New England for two-and-a-half seasons (1973-75).

    In his first season with the Patriots, he led the NFL in kickoff return yardage (1,092) and broke eight Patriots return records while totaling 1,839 all-purpose yards in 1973, second only to O.J. Simpson that year. In 1974, his legend grew when he finished ahead of Sam Cunningham as the team's leading rusher with 824 yards and seven touchdowns while also leading the team with 38 receptions, including a team-high five receiving touchdowns. He also led the team in kickoff and punt returns. That year, he finished with 2,444 all-purpose yards for the Patriots, which broke Gale Sayers' 1966 NFL single-season all-purpose yardage record of 2,440 yards.

    Born on July 24, 1948 in Biloxi, Miss., he grew up on Chicago's West Side and was a football standout at Farragut High School. He played his college ball at Kansas State and had a sensational senior season when he led the Wildcats in rushing and led the Big 8 Conference in receiving. He scored 21 touchdowns as a senior, which ranked second in the nation behind Oklahoma's Heisman Trophy winner, Steve Owens. Drafted in the sixth round of the 1970 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, Herron opted for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers instead, where he twice led the CFL in all-purpose yardage.​


    Mourning the loss of 'Mini' Mack Herron | Bill Burt, Eagle Tribune

    There have been several recent deaths of former Boston greats, but this one hurt a little more.

    I wondered why. Why did this feel like a punch to the gut?

    Then it him me. It was about the time Herron arrived in 1973 that pro football started to matter to me.

    I had already been hooked on the Red Sox (see 1967 Impossible Dream) and the Bruins (I remember where I was when they won the Cup in 1970). One of my early recollections of caring about the Patriots was when they hired Chuck Fairbanks before the 1973 season and drafted a pair of superstars in John Hannah and Sam “Bam” Cunningham.

    But my favorite player was the 5-foot-5 running back, “Mini” Mack Herron. But what made Herron special wasn’t just his size, but his “all-purpose” yards as a rusher, receiver, punt returner and kick returner. It mattered to me, and only me, that Herron led the league in a somewhat meaningless stat.

    Like Danny Woodhead nearly four decades later, Herron was hard to tackle because he was so small and played with his shoulders even lower. Herron and “Sam Bam” were a great duo.

    What I realized on Monday, upon hearing about Herron’s passing, was something “kids” under the age of 25 could never understand. The Patriots were bad, sometimes embarrassing, but it didn’t matter. There was something about the hope, probably because under Fairbanks the talent level grew.​

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Jan 7, 2016: Mack Herron's Death and Reverse Mortgage Anxiety

    [​IMG]
    Mack Herron with his sister at their family home in January 2015

    Chicago native Mack “Mini-Mack” Herron used money he made playing professional football to help buy a house for his mother on the city’s West Side in the 1970s.

    The prospect of losing the home to an alleged reverse mortgage scam may have contributed to his death at age 67 last month, according to relatives.

    “He was packing his bags,” said Barbara Herron, younger sister of the former Farragut High School great. “I didn’t know he was packing his things until after he had passed.”

    Herron first burst into prominence at Farragut, where he starred in baseball, basketball and track in addition to his gridiron heroics.

    He continued to stand out at Hutchinson Junior College and Kansas State University, finishing fourth in the nation in touchdowns in 1969. He played professionally for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL and the New England Patriots, where in 1974 he set a single-season record for all-purpose yardage.

    He used some of the money from his football career to help purchase the home in the 1800 block of S. Hamlin Ave.

    Herron’s years on the gridiron took a toll on his body, as did his drug use that led to repeated arrests. Barbara Herron said that at the time of his death her brother was diabetic and dealing with memory loss caused by a football-related head injury.

    But he was also impacted by the strain of potentially being homeless, she said.

    In 2010, Herron’s mother Effie Herron had taken out a reverse mortgage on her home, which had been paid off for years.​


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    • Winner Winner x 1
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Other July 27 Birthdays


    Steve Grogan and Mack Herron are the only Patriots born on July 27, but there are a few others with New England connections born on this date.


    Happy 65th birthday to Bruce Huther (7/23/54)
    University of New Hampshire
    The linebacker played in 97 games from 1977 to 1983, mostly with Dallas. Huther earned a ring while with the Cowboys for Super Bowl XII, and later played in the USFL. Huther graduated from New Hampshire with a degree in zoology, and later earned a master's degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. In 1992, he founded Huther & Associates, an environmental consultancy in Denton, Texas.

    [​IMG]


    Happy 65th birthday to Steve Schindler (7/23/54)
    Boston College
    Schindler was on Denver's list, selected by the Broncos as the 18th overall pick of the 1977 draft. With the following pick the Patriots selected Stanley Morgan. Schindler only lasted two seasons in the NFL, playing 28 games with four starts at guard for Denver. He was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.

    [​IMG]


    Happy 69th birthday to Bob Kuziel (7/23/50)
    Born in New Haven
    Kuziel was a third round draft pick out of Pitt by the Saints in '72. He played in 90 NFL games from 1972 to 1980, mostly with Washington. Bob Kuziel is now a Regional Vice President for Principal Financial Group in Baltimore.


    Frank Sachse (1917 - 1989)
    Quarterback played in the NFL for three seasons, including 1945 with the Boston Yanks. Sachse was also a guard with the Oshkosh All-Stars for two seasons in the National Basketball League.


    Don Eliason (1918 - 2003)
    The end from Hamline College spent one season in the NFL before serving in the US Army for four years in WWII. Eliason played for the Boston Yanks in 1946, and also played for the Boston Celtics in their 1946-47 season.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Ron Burton


    Happy birthday to Ron Burton
    Born July 25, 1936 in Springfield, Ohio
    Died in Boston at age 67 in 2003
    Patriot HB/PR/KR 1960-65; uniform #22

    Pats 1st draft pick, from Northwestern

    [​IMG]

    There is a must-read story on Ron Burton's youth here:
    Ron Burton Sr. - Ron Burton Training Village

    Because of his parental situation, his grandmother kept him in the church to keep an eye on him. He was scorned and laughed at by other kids because of his extreme poverty and lack of athletic talent. Ron was predictably the last child to be chosen for any game or team by other kids. Constantly teased and belittled by his classmates, his middle school administration added insult to injury by not allowing young Ron to try out for the football team. Being of frail build and with no guidance in sports, his middle school actually feared for his well being and Ron was the only student to whom the school refused to give a football uniform.​


    The Boston Patriots' Ron Burton | Tales From the AFL

    Ron Burton came to the Boston Patriots in the first round of the 1960 AFL Draft. Burton was a highly touted back for Ara Parseghian’s Northwestern teams in the late 1950s, and was selected All-America in 1959.

    Burton immediately found a home for himself in the Patriots backfield, and running back punts and kickoffs. He played in 41-of-42 Patriots games from 19601-962, before a devastating back injury caused him to miss the entire 1963 season. During his five-year career, Ron Burton carried the ball 429 times for 1,36 yards (3.6 average) and nine touchdowns. He also caught 111 passes for 1,205 yards and eight scores.

    Ron Burton retired after the 1966 preseason, and immediately went to work for the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Companies in Boston. He developed into a highly successful insurance salesman. Later he transferred to an executive position in public relations, and became one of the nation’s top motivational speakers.

    In 1999, at the age of 64, Burton was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (bone cancer). He lived another three years before passing away in 2003.​

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Sept 15, 2003: Ron Burton, The First Patriot Ever Drafted, Passes Away at 67 | Patriots.com

    As a high school senior, Ron Burton was considered the best football player in the state of Ohio after he earned All-American and All-Ohio honors as a senior. He received 47 scholarship offers that year and chose Northwestern University, where he earned All-American honors during his junior and senior seasons. On Nov. 22, 1959, the American Football League held their inaugural draft and the Boston Patriots selected Burton with their first pick.

    In six seasons with the Patriots he appeared in 69 games and recorded 4,249 all-purpose yards while scoring 18 touchdowns. In 1962, he appeared in every game and recorded career highs with 548 yards and two touchdowns on 134 carries (4.1 avg.). He also added 40 receptions for 461 yards and 4 touchdowns.​

    [​IMG]


    Sept 14, 2003: Ron Burton Passes Away | Patriots.com

    Throughout his playing career, Burton was a leader both on the field and in the community. Following his career, Burton remained in New England, where he raised his family and continued his commitment to philanthropy. In 1985, Ron and his family bought 305 acres of land in Hubbardston, Mass. and built the facilities to host the Ron Burton Training Village, which annually provides a month-long “training camp” atmosphere for inner-city and underprivileged children to help them build self-esteem, self-reliance, respect for others and racial harmony through athletic and educational activities. Thousands of children from throughout New England have attended the camp, which has hosted attendees from as far away as Florida and California.

    This past summer, the New England Patriots created a community service award and named it after Ron Burton. The award will be presented annually to the player who, like Burton, makes the greatest impact in the New England community.

    [​IMG]




    Happy 60th birthday to Brian Holloway
    Born July 25, 1959 in Omaha, NE
    Patriot LT, 1981-1986; uniform #76
    Pats 1st round (19th overall) selection of the 1981 draft, from Stanford

    [​IMG]

    Brian Holloway missed just one game in his six seasons with the Patriots, and was named to three consecutive Pro Bowls. Holloway is also a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1980s. In 2013 his name was in the news when his house was trashed:

    What Happened at Brian Holloway's House? | Grantland

    An NFL player's empty home. A massive teenage party. A tailor-made story of social-media shaming and a former star wronged. Until you dig deeper, that is.​


    So, Yea, Brian Holloway Is Pretty Damn Weird | Deadspin

    Is he just a noble victim of dirty no-good teens, or is he a shady opportunist with a severely cokkeyed view of both himself and the world around him? The answer is that he is both, but he's a whole lot more of the second than he is the first.​


    Since retiring from pro football Holloway has been working as a corporate motivational speaker. Check out the hyperbole:

    Brian Holloway | Bio | Premiere Speakers Bureau

    A Stanford All-American and five-time NFL All-Pro, Brian Holloway, excelled as the team captain of the 1985 New England Patriots, AFC Championship Team. In 1986, at age 26, Holloway was one of the principal architects of the NFL's growth strategy that produced a landmark $18 Billion TV contract in 1998. Look for his distinguished football accomplishments to be recorded in the Pro Football's Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame Coach, Bill Walsh - NFL Dynasty Crafter, calls Brian "A true champion. A playmaker and a leader that calls out the best in people."

    Hired by 258 Fortune 500 Companies, Brian Holloway has set himself apart in delivering high performance value for the hard charging corporate competitors. Brian is recognized for his elite status as a TEAM BUILDING expert. He is a leader. He is a motivator.​




    Happy 41st birthday to Gerard Warren
    Born July 25, 1978 in Lake City, Florida
    Patriot DT, 2010-2011; uniform #92, 62, 98

    [​IMG]

    Gerard Warren was the third overall pick of the 2001 draft by Cleveland. The former Florida Gator played for the Browns, Broncos and Raiders before signing with the Pats at the age of 32. He was considered to be a flop by Cleveland fans, but he was a positive role player while in New England.




    Happy 25th birthday to Cre'von LeBlanc
    Born July 25, 1994 in West Palm Beach, FL
    Patriot CB, 2016 offseason
    Signed as a rookie UDFA in 2016, from Florida Atlantic



    Cre'von LeBlanc came close to making the Pats roster in 2016, and was claimed off waivers by the Bears. He has played in 39 games for Chicago, Detroit, and now Philadelphia in three seasons.

    Sept 5, 2016: Why New England Patriots kept Jonathan Jones over Cre'Von LeBlanc | Mike Reiss, espn

    The New England Patriots lost promising undrafted cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc on waivers Sunday, with the Chicago Bears claiming him. The Bears got a close look at LeBlanc during three days of joint practices in mid-August and then a preseason game.

    "He’s a guy that our college scouts liked coming out in the process and he’s a guy obviously in the preseason that just jumped out," Bears GM Ryan Pace said Monday. "He’s a bit undersized (5-9, 194), but he’s extremely sudden, he’s very sticky in mirroring routes and he’s got excellent ball skills. He just has a knack for going and getting the ball. And that’s been an emphasis on our defense right now. Something that we want to improve on is ball skills and he definitely has that and that’s why he’s here."

    LeBlanc's ball skills were evident in the Patriots' preseason opener when he had a one-handed interception against the Saints in a play that Bill Belichick called "special."

    When the Patriots formed their initial 53-man roster, undrafted cornerback Jonathan Jones got the nod over LeBlanc.​

    May 31, 2017: Could Cre'Von LeBlanc be one that got away from Patriots | Patriots Wire - USA Today

    The Bears defensive back spent the season as the No. 2 cornerback after going undrafted out of Florida Atlantic. LeBlanc took the second-most snaps among Bears’ cornerbacks, and finished with 44 tackles, two interceptions in 13 games. In Week 14 with the Bears trailing 14-10, LeBlanc returned one of his interceptions for a touchdown, which gave Chicago the lead in the fourth quarter. Though, they eventually lost.

    LeBlanc also finished with the fifth highest playmaker index in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. He was ranked behind Patriots cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (No. 1) and Malcolm Butler (No. 4). LeBlanc excelled when compared to his rookie peers, too. According to PFF, he had the second-best passer rating against — just behind former No. 5 overall pick Jalen Ramsey.​




    Happy 27th birthday to Kevin Snyder
    Born July 25, 1992 in Mechanicsburg, PA
    Patriot LB, 2015-2016; uniform #45

    The Rutgers alum was signed to the Pats practice squad in December of 2015. He was promoted to the 53-man roster during the playoffs, inactive as a healthy scratch for the AFCCG. Snyder was cut at the end of the 2016 training camp, then released with an injury settlement.

    [​IMG]




    Happy 32nd birthday to Mike Kafka
    Born July 25, 1987 in Chicago
    Patriot QB, 2013 offseason

    Kafka was signed in January of 2013, after sitting out the 2012 season. He was the third string QB behind Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett - and was cut when the Pats signed Tim Tebow.




    Other players born on this date with New England connections:

    Corey Graham, 34 (7/25/85)
    University of New Hampshire
    12-year veteran CB won rings with Ravens, Eagles.

    Kenny Hill, 61 (7/25/58)
    Yale
    Two-time SB winning safety with Giants in the 80s.

    Joe Zapustas (1907 - 2001)
    PFR says he was born in Boston; Find A Grave says Brockton; Wikipedia says Russia
    Joseph John 'Joe' Zapustas | Find A Grave

    Professional Football and Baseball Player. After graduating from Fordham University in 1933, he played two games as an outfielder for the Philadelphia Athletics in the American League before they traded him to Toledo in the American Association.

    In that same year, he was an end for the New York Giants in the National Football League in two games. From 1936 to 1938 he played for the Boston Shamrocks in the American Football League. In 1938, he was an owner/coach on the Shamrocks.

    He spent nearly 40 years as athletic director at Randolph High School and before that served 10 years as a teacher and a coach. In 1981 he was inducted into the Massachusetts Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and in 1990 he was inducted into the Stetson / Randolph High School Hall of Fame. The town of Randolph named its ice skating rink -- the Joseph J. Zapustas Arena -- in his honor.

    Mr. Zapustas also served many years as a boxing referee, officiating bouts featuring legends such as Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson.​


    Richard Hardy (1904 - 1989)
    Boston College
    Racine Tornadoes tackle in the 20s.


    Eddie Tryon (1900 - 1982)
    Born and raised in Medford; Medford High School
    RB in the 20s.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    So many that don't make it



    Happy 25th birthday to Deatrich Wise
    Born July 26, 1994 in St Petersburg, FL
    Patriot DE, 2017-present; uniform #91
    Pats 4th round (131st overall) selection of the 2017 draft, from Arkansas

    [​IMG]

    Deatrich Wise is projected to be a starter on the defensive line along with Michael Bennett, Lawrence Guy and Mike Pennel, though Chase Winovich could take that fourth starting spot over Wise. John Simon, Derek Rivers and Keionta Davis could possibly challenge Wise for playing time as well.

    Deatrich Wise Bio | Patriots.com




    Happy 78th birthday Mike Taliaferro
    Born July 26, 1941 in Houston
    Patriot QB 1968-70; uniform #17

    On July 20, 1968 the Patriots traded 38 year old Babe Parilli to the Jets for Taliaferro, thus creating the maelstrom now known as the Curse of #17.

    Parilli won a Super Bowl ring as Joe Namath's backup. Taliaferro became the bullseye of wrath for frustrated Pats fans, going 8-17 in 25 starts, with 27 TD versus 44 picks.


    [​IMG][​IMG]




    Happy birthday to Bill Larson (1938 - 2015)
    Patriot FB, 1960; uniform #34

    Larson played in only one game for the Pats, before returning to Illinois for a fulfilling life.




    Happy 58th birthday to Andy Ekern
    Pats 12th round (326th overall) selection of the 1983 draft, from Missouri

    The tight end never played for the Pats but did appear in two games with the Colts, before returning to the family farm.




    Happy 34th birthday to Marcus Benard
    Born July 26, 1985 in Adrian, MI
    Patriot DE/OLB 2013 offseason; uniform #58

    Oliver Thomas has a very detailed column on Benard's early NFL career and what led to him being signed by the Patriots, complete with film breakdown:

    July 6, 2013: Off the Grid: Patriots Pass-Rusher Marcus Benard | NEPatriotsDraft.com

    Benard was hitting on all cylinders heading into his third professional campaign. That assurance was short-lived, however. The Browns switched from a 3-4 to a 4-3 scheme over that offseason. In turn, Benard was left without a niche.

    Although on Oct. 10, 2011, playing time became the least of Benard’s worries. After practice, No. 58 crashed his Can-Am Spyder into a highway guardrail and was thrown 80 yards from the initial point of impact.​

    Aug 30, 2013: Patriots release DE Marcus Benard | MassLive.com

    Marcus Benard’s ability to dominate in one-on-one drills wasn’t enough to keep him on the New England Patriots’ roster.

    Benard was in the mix to serve as a backup defensive end behind Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich. The team tried to move him inside as an interior pass rusher at defensive tackle, but the undersized (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) player was unable to succeed in that role.​




    Happy 39th birthday to Robert Gallery
    Born July 26, 1980 in Manchester, Iowa
    Patriot G, 2012 offseason; uniform #72

    In the 2002 draft Gallery was the second overall pick, taken after Eli Manning and just before Larry Fitzgerald, Philip Rivers and Sean Taylor. The Raiders started him at left tackle and then right tackle, but neither worked out. Gallery moved inside to guard and performed well there, but he is considered to be a huge draft bust despite being a starter for eight NFL seasons.

    The Pats signed Gallery at the age of 32 for depth at guard, but he retired early in the 2012 training camp.

    [​IMG]

    May 11, 2012: Robert Gallery: Patriots a new start after career "hasn't been ideal" | PFT

    Aug 4, 2012: Patriots sign Derrick Martin, Kareem Huggins; Gallery retires | Patriots.com




    Happy 29th birthday to R.J. Dill
    Born July 26, 1990 in Athens, Georgia
    Patriot practice squad OT, 2013; uniform #69

    [​IMG]
    Dec 12, 2013: R.J. Dill, (#69), Jordan Devey (#65), Josh Kline, (#67)
    and Matthew Slater (#18) loosen up for a Thursday practice.

    R.J. Dill was originally signed as a rookie undrafted free agent by Jacksonville in April of 2013. He had started out his college career at the University of Maryland but finished at Rutgers.

    Nov 25, 2014: R.J. Dill pulling for Rutgers after leaving Maryland on bad terms

    "Rutgers gave me a chance when I walked away from the University of Maryland and could've been done playing football. For that, I'll always owe Coach (Greg) Schiano and Coach (Kyle) Flood a debt of gratitude."

    Dill redshirted and became a starter under former head coach Ralph Friedgen – now in his first year as offensive coordinator at Rutgers – but says he did not see eye-to-eye with Friedgen's successor Randy Edsall even as he compiled the final 12 of 30 straight starts. He is one of 24 players with eligibility remaining who left the program in Edsall's first 13 months on the job.

    "You go from being treated as a family member to being treated as a piece of meat," Dill said. "That would be a good reason to leave at any point in time. He ended up doing well with some of the guys he's got in there. I guess it was a good decision. It just was at the cost of kids' football careers in my opinion."​

    The Jaguars cut Dill near the end of training camp, and the Pats signed the 6'6, 316 lb lineman to their practice squad. Dill spent most of 2013 with the Pats, but he was never promoted to the active roster. After the season ended Dill signed a reserve/future contract with the Chiefs.

    [​IMG]
    Dec 12, 2013: Austin Collie, Chris Barker, R.J. Dill and Braxston Cave at practice in Foxboro.

    Dill did not last long in KC, cut in May after the first minicamp. He signed with the Rams but was released at the end of their 2014 training camp, and was out of football for the rest of the year. Dallas signed him to a reserve/future contract in January of 2015. The Cowboys placed Dill on IR at the end of training camp, and waived him two weeks later.

    Prior to that Dill had a situation similar to Ben Watson's. After being cut in 2014 he thought he would never get a chance at playing football again. He did get another chance: but ended up with a four game suspension for PEDs:

    In August 2014, I thought my dream of playing in the NFL was over, and I began to transition away from professional football. During these months away from football I noticed a drastic change in my energy and activity levels, so I saw my doctor, and blood tests revealed that my testosterone levels were very low. My doctor suggested that I undergo testosterone replacement therapy, and I accepted the recommended treatment. I completed one round of testosterone replacement therapy in November of 2014, and almost immediately, I felt like my old self again. At this time I was not under contract with any NFL team, nor was I actively pursuing an NFL career.

    Then, in January of 2015, I unexpectedly received a call from the Dallas Cowboys. They were interested in signing me to a futures contract, and after passing a physical, I signed a contract and immersed myself in training for the 2015 NFL season. Unfortunately, my excitement was subdued when in May 2015 I was told by the NFL that I had failed a drug test. While my doctor had told me that the residual amounts of the testosterone would be out of my system about eight weeks after treatment, that was not accurate, and I failed a drug test a full six months after I had received the prescribed treatment.

    Since being notified of my failed test, I attempted to secure a Therapeutic Use Exception ("TUE") from the NFL, but was it was denied because the NFL only permits exogenous testosterone treatment in extreme medical situations. I consulted with my union after the positive test and learned that even in these circumstances, the NFL imposes discipline because having the intention to cheat or break the rules is not required for a violation of NFL's PES policy (or any workplace drug policy). It is very difficult for me to accept that a suspension is imposed by the NFL after I followed treatment prescribed by a medical professional during a time when I was not employed by an NFL team. In my view, this situation carries the weight of an unforgiving label, 'cheater,' which I am not. I live with integrity, on and off the field, and I want people to understand the factual circumstances of my suspension, so that they, and the NFL, understand that I never sought a competitive advantage.




    Other pro football players born July 26 with a New England connection:

    Charley Hannah, 64
    Brother of John Hannah played for the Bucs and Raiders from 1977-88.


    Inky Williams (1893 - 1980)
    All-Pro End from Brown University played for six NFL seasons in the twenties.


    R.J. Cobbs, 37
    DB from UMass got into one game with the Giants in 2006.


    John Williams, 45
    DB for Ravens in '77-'78 is brother of Pats 2001 draft pick Brock Williams.


    John Harris (1898 - ?)
    Born in Plainville CT; played for the 1926 Hartford Blues.
     
  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    The Pats 1968 Draft



    Happy 74th birthday to Aaron Marsh
    Born July 27, 1945 in Dayton, Ohio
    Patriot WR, 1968-1969; uniform #29
    Pats 3rd round (60th overall) selection of the 1968 draft, from Eastern Kentucky

    Split end Aaron Marsh was a 9.7 sprinter in college. He had a nice rookie season, but played only four more pro games after that. Marsh finished his career with 16 starts in 28 games played, averaging 16.3 yards on 27 receptions. He had 439 yards receiving and four touchdowns, and also averaged 21.0 yards on ten kickoff returns.


    Aaron Marsh (2006) - Hall of Fame | Eastern Kentucky University Athletics

    A tailback his first two years for Coach Roy Kidd, Aaron Marsh switched to wide receiver for his final two collegiate seasons and rode that transition into the professional ranks.

    Marsh, one of the first African American student-athletes at Eastern Kentucky University, was a two-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection (1966 and 1967) and selected to the All-Time OVC team. A First Team All-American as a senior, Marsh was invited to play in an All-Star game following the 1967 season.

    Marsh was a third-round selection of the American Football League’s Boston Patriots. He earned 1968 Rookie of the Year honors after making 19 catches for 331 yards and four touchdowns. Marsh also played for the Patriots in 1968. He averaged 22.7 yards per kick return that season, while also recording eight catches.

    Following his playing career, Marsh started and organized a little league for inner-city children in Compton, Calif. In the early 70s. For the past 20 years, Marsh has worked with at-risk kids and served as a mentor with Big Brothers.​

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    From the book From Darkness to Dynasty: The First 40 Years of the New England Patriots:

    More typical of the type of players the roster was filled with by 1968 were rookie wideouts Bill Murphy and Aaron Marsh. The book on Murphy was that he had great hands, but was not only too slow to get open, he also had terrible eyesight and couldn't see a ball thrown his way. Marsh's problems were the opposite. He was fast, a terrific route-runner with great vision, but he couldn't catch the ball to save his life.

    On one occasion, the Pats were set to play a road game in the Houston Astrodome. On the day before the game, the team held a workout in the stadium. The players finished practice, showered, dressed, and went back to the hotel. What no one noticed was that their rookie receivers were nowhere to be found, and no one knew what had become of them. That is, until the hotel switchboard got a frantic, panicky call from someone asking to speak to anyone with the Patriots. It was Murphy and Marsh on the line, calling from inside the stadium. They'd wandered off, somehow managed to get lost, and couldn't find their way out.

    The joke among the writers was that an Astrodome security guard saw them and tossed them their keys, but Marsh dropped them and Murphy couldn't find them.



    The Patriot nosedive of the late sixties began when the entire roster seemed to age simultaneously, creating a situation where there were too many holes to fill at once. That problem was exacerbated when poor management yielded less than stellar drafts. Here is a look at the 1968 draft - which is sadly better than what would happen over the next four years in the post-Mike Holovak, pre-Chuck Fairbanks era.
    • Round 1: DE Dennis Byrd (played only one season, 14 games; never recovered from knee injury during his senior year at college)
    • Round 2: LT Tom Funchess (three season starter, then traded to Houston)
    • Round 3: WR Aaron Marsh (27 receptions in two seasons)
    • Round 4: RB R.C. Gamble (475 yards from scrimmage in two seasons)
    • Round 5: never played in the AFL or NFL
    • Round 6: traded away
    • Round 7: never played in the AFL or NFL

    The only thing preventing this draft from being a complete disaster was three late picks:
    • Round 8, #197: CB Daryl Johnson (three year starter)
    • Round 10, #249: CB John Outlaw (with Pats for 4 seasons - and then became a solid starter in Philadelphia for the next six years)
    • Round 12, #305: LB Jim Cheyunski (started 54 games for the Pats from 1968-72)





    Other pro football players with New England connections born on July 27 include a player that was involved in both Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman becoming New England Patriots:

    Travis Goethel, 32
    April 23, 2010: Traded by Patriots as 2010 6th round pick (190th overall) with 2010 2nd round pick (44th overall, Lamarr Houston) to Raiders for 2010 2nd round pick (42nd overall, Rob Gronkowski)

    Goethel played in 16 games with zero starts over two NFL seasons.


    * Note on Lamarr Houston, above:
    April 26, 2009: Traded by Jaguars as 2010 2nd round pick (44th overall) with 2009 7th round pick (232nd overall, Julian Edelman) to Patriots for 2009 3rd round pick (73rd overall, Derek Cox)

    April 23, 2010: Traded by Patriots as 2010 2nd round pick (44th overall) with 2010 6th round pick (190th overall, Travis Goethel) to Raiders for 2010 2nd round pick (42nd overall, Rob Gronkowski)




    Hal Broda (1905 - 1989)
    Brown University, class of 1927

    Harold A Broda (1971) - Hall of Fame - Brown University Athletics

    Harold A. Broda '27, captain of the Iron Men and one of Brown's finest ends, had a flair for the spectacular when he stepped on the football field. The long, lean Broda was a track man, and he used his speed to good advantage on the football field. His quickness was obvious on defense, where he would frequently follow a play to the other side of the field and catch a runner from behind. He also used his speed on offense, becoming a favorite target of passing star Dave Mishel.

    Also one of the best track men in the East, Broda ran the 100 and 220. In three consecutive meets in 1925, the native of Canton, OH, won five of six races in these two events against Columbia, Amherst, and Williams. Broda played pro football for the Cleveland Bulldogs.​
     
  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Nick Kaczur


    Happy birthday to Nick Kaczur
    Born July 28, 1979 in Brantford, Ontario
    Patriot RT, 2005-2010; uniform #77
    Pats 3rd round (100th overall) selection of the 2005 draft, from Toledo

    - 68 regular season games played, with 62 staarts
    - 8 playoff games played (5-3)
    - Patriots All-Decade Team of the 2000s

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    • April 23, 2005: Nicholas Jesse Kaczur is drafted by the Patriots
    • July 20, 2005: Signs a 5-year, $2.59 million contract
    • 2005: Begins season as backup to Tom Ashworth. Becomes starting LT in week four after Matt Light is injured
    • Nov 2006: Replaces Ryan O'Callaghan as starting RT
    • 2007-08: As the starting RT, misses only three games due to injuries over two seasons
    • June 2008: Boston Globe reports that Kaczur had been arrested in April for illegal possession of oxycontin after being pulled over for speeding
    • April 2009: Pats draft OT Sebastian Vollmer
    • Aug 24, 2009: Kaczur signs a 4-year, $16 million extension
    • 2009: Starts first 13 games at RT, then leaves with injury in week 15. Vollmer replaces Kaczur, then remains at RT in playoffs after Kaczur is ready to play again.
    • April 2010: Pats draft OL Ted Larsen
    • July 2010: Plan is to move Kaczur inside to guard and leave Vollmer at RT. Kaczur suffers a back injury in first week of training camp
    • Sept 2010: Kaczur makes initial roster over Larsen, who is claimed off waivers by Tampa
    • Oct 12, 2010: After missing almost all of training camp due to a back injury and being inactive for first four games, Kaczur is placed on IR
    • July 29, 2011: Kaczur is released by the Patriots

    June 5, 2008: Patriots' Kaczur arrested; Ex-UT lineman turns informant in drug case, lawyer says | Toledo Blade

    Dec 11, 2008: Man sentenced for selling drugs to Pats player | Sun Chronicle

    Kaczur is not named in court records but The Boston Globe reports that Ekasala's defense attorney, Bernard Grossberg identified the player as the cooperating federal witness. The drug charges were put on hold if Kaczur stays out of trouble for six months.​

    Feb 28, 2011: As Kaczur departs, will Maneri step up? | Tom Curran, NBC Sports Boston

    With the Patriots telling Nick Kaczur to take a pay cut from his scheduled 3.4 million salary in 2011 or expect to be released, it got us thinking about New England's line depth.

    Kaczur had been supplanted at right tackle by Sebastian Vollmer in 2009, but Kaczur also had the versatility to play guard. When Kaczur hurt his back and had season-ending surgery last year, Dan Connolly ably took over as the depth guy at guard (he played on both the left and right sides).​

    July 29, 2011: Patriots release Ty Warren, Alge Crumpler, Nick Kaczur, others | CBS Boston

    The Patriots continued to make moves on Friday, announcing several players had been cut.

    Veterans Defense Lineman Ty Warren and Tight End Alge Crumpler seemed to be the biggest surprises on that list.

    Warren missed last season after undergoing hip surgery. Many expected him to make a big impact this season.

    Crumpler was a team captain last season.

    The Patriots also released Nick Kaczur, Tully Banta-Cain, Tony Carter, Marcus Stroud, and rookie free agent Ryan Coulson.



    Happy 85th birthday to Milt Graham
    Born July 28, 1934 in Chatham, MA
    Patriot RT, 1961-1963; uniform #70

    Milt Graham played in 28 regular season games for the Pats, plus the franchise's first two playoff games.




    Happy 56th birthday to George Colton
    Born July 28, 1963 in Lindenhurst, New York
    Patriot guard, 1987; uniform #63


    Colton was an '87 replacement player, from the University of Maryland.




    Happy 61st birthday to Darrell Wilson
    Born July 28, 1958 in Camden, New Jersey
    Patriot safety, 1981; uniform #47


    The former UConn Huskie appeared in just one NFL game, a November 8 30-27 overtime loss to Miami.




    Other pro football players with New England connections born July 28:

    - Matt Milano, 25 (1994); went to Boston College
    A 5th round pick by the Bills in '87, the linebacker has four interceptions and 121 tackles in his first two NFL seasons.

    - Mike Trainor (1900-1967); born in Bangor
    Wingback for the Buffalo All-Americans in the twenties.

    - Jeff Oliver, 54 (1965); Boston College
    Offensive lineman for the Jets in 1989.

    - Jack O'Hearn (1893-1977); born and raised in Brookline
    Wingback in the twenties for the Cleveland Tigers and Buffalo All-Americans.

    - Bill Stephens (1904-1933); Brown University
    Center for the 1926 Brooklyn Lions.




    Other notable pro football players born on this date:

    OT Chris Samuels
    LB Julian Peterson
    FS Dexter Jackson
    LB DeMeco Ryans
    DE Greg Hardy
    LB Kevin Hardy


    Some interesting trades include players born on July 28:

    - In 2009 the Raiders traded their 2010 6th round, 175th overall (Greg Hardy) and 2009 7th round, 216th overall (Captain Munnerlyn) draft picks to the Panthers, to move up for the 2009 6th round, 202nd overall pick (Brandon Myers).
    -> Hardy and Munnerlyn became solid starters in Carolina; Myers had one good season in Oakland before departing in free agency.

    - In 2012 Houston traded DeMeco Ryans and their 2012 3rd round, 88th overall pick (Nick Foles) to Philadelphia for a 2012 3rd round, 76th overall pick (Brandon Brooks) and a 2012 4th round, 99th overall pick (Ben Jones).
    -> Ryans has been a very good middle linebacker for the Eagles, and Foles was a winning Super Bowl quarterback. Brooks and Jones both left in free agency after four seasons in Houston; ironically Brooks signed with the Eagles, and the right guard was named to each of the last two Pro Bowls.

    - In 1999 Chicago traded their 1st round, 7th overall pick to Washington in exchange for a 1999 1st round, 12th overall pick (QB Cade McNown), 1999 3rd round, 71st overall (WR D'Wayne Bates), 1999 4th round, 106th overall (LB Warrick Holdman), 1999 5th round, 143rd overall (OT Jerry Wisne) and 2000 3rd round 87th overall (TE Dustin Lyman).
    -> Wisne, who turns 43 today, appeared in 7 games for the Bears. McNown lasted two seasons, going 3-12; Bates had 15 receptions and one TD. Holman was a decent starter; Lyman a backup.
    The player Washington drafted: Hall of Fame CB Champ Bailey.



    Today's birthdays also include some first round draft busts:
    Waymond Bryant (#4 overall in 1974)
    Larry Elkins (#2 in 1965; played in only 18 games)
     
  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Pepper Johnson


    [​IMG]



    Happy birthday to Pepper Johnson
    Born July 29, 1964 in Detroit
    Patriot coach, 2000-2013
    Assistant linebackers coach (2000), inside linebackers coach (2001-03), defensive line coach (2004-11), linebackers coach (2012-13)

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    Feb 2, 2001: Crennel introduced in Foxboro | Patriots.com

    Also spending time with the media Friday was Pepper Johnson, now the inside linebacker’s coach. Like Crennel, Johnson has a long relationship with Belichick. He played for Belichick with the Giants, Browns and Jets. Before stepping away from the game after the 1998 season, Johnson had actually wanted to retire before Belichick asked him to play in Cleveland in 1993.

    “I had wanted to retire four years earlier,” Johnson said. “Coach Belichick called me and asked me to help those guys out with the situation they had there. He lured me out of retirement that way, and that’s the kind of relationship he and I have.”

    Johnson spent 2000 with the Patriots as a defensive assistant after Belichick asked him to come in and help out during training camp.

    9/1/2018: Ex-Patriots assistant coach Pepper Johnson pulls no punches in Deadspin interview | Tom Curran, NBC Sports Boston

    Pepper Johnson spent 32 seasons in the NFL as a player and coach. From 2000 through 2013 he was with the Patriots.

    A former player for Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells, Johnson was a defensive coaching mainstay and beloved by his players. But when he was passed over for the defensive coordinator spot in favor of Matt Patricia, it rankled him.

    The launch point in a sprawling interview with Deadspin’s Dom Consentino is Johnson’s departure from the Jets And there’s a lot on their dysfunction from ownership to the coaching staff to what went wrong with Muhammad Wilkerson.

    All of it’s fascinating. But the headline stuff around here is Johnson’s insights on the Patriots and especially Bill Belichick.​


    8/31/2018: Former Patriots coach Pepper Johnson on drinking beers with Bill Belichick | Boston.com

    Uh. [long pause] Belichick would take us out. He would thank us. Most likely it was like a Ruth’s Chris or something like that. Now, have I ever seen Bill with two or three drinks? Yes. But I can’t say I’ve ever seen him—like, he’s not a lush. He came to LT’s 56th birthday in New York; this was when I was coaching with the Jets. The first thing he says to me is something football-related, something LT did or he said—it was something football-related. This guy’s head, it never gets off of football.

    Johnson never wanted to let Belichick see him drunk, lest he get ragged on by the coach.

    “He would have clowned me,” Johnson said. “We’d be watching film. ‘Yeah, you can turn up that Jack Daniel’s or you can drink that, but you can’t sit over here and make this tackle.’ I didn’t want to give him any ammunition.”​


    8/31/18: Q&A: Pepper Johnson on Drinking With Bill Belichick, Spygate, And Why The Jets Can't Get It Together | Deadspin

    They weren’t taping the other team’s signals, though. Wasn’t that the issue with Spygate?

    But just so that you know, what’s more important? A signal, or what someone is saying? The last I checked, I’ve never seen an offensive coordinator or a defensive coordinator—even the guys up in the booth—cover their mouth when they’re talking. So once upon a time you had lip readers that were sitting up there reading lips.

    Who did that?

    It was just teams that were doing that. That’s why I’m kind of presenting that as a question to you. If no one was doing anything—if we’re using the word ‘cheating’ or ‘illegal’—then why do those guys cover their mouth? You cannot watch a video on the sideline, right? So if someone videotaped anybody, that’s for a later date, or a later time. They even make sure that you’ve got people in the locker room from the other team. Like, the equipment guy. I guess those guys sit around just to make sure no one is watching the video, or you have no video hookups like that. So you’re talking about the next game.

    So Spygate wasn’t a big deal because everyone was doing it?

    Let me put it this way: Whomever wasn’t doing anything similar or something like that, they weren’t trying. They didn’t know football.

    Why did Eric Mangini turn you guys in, then?

    Uh. That’s a whole other story.​


    [​IMG]

    May 31, 2019: Pepper Johnson Named Defensive Coordinator For XFL Los Angeles





    Happy birthday to Kenbrell Thompkins
    Born July 29, 1988 in Liberty City, Florida
    Patriot WR, 2013-2014; uniform #85

    Sept 15, 2013: Patriots' Kenbrell Thompkins overcame troubled past | Boston Globe

    On Feb. 28, 2007, Miami police pulled over the 18-year-old Thompkins for reckless driving. As the arrest report details, he “removed from his right rear pocket a clear ziplock bag and dropped it on the ground.” Inside the bag, officers found 18 multicolored packets containing “suspected powder cocaine” and “suspected rock cocaine.” In a separate knotted bag, there were “forty-four pieces of suspected rock cocaine.” Thompkins faced jail time for cocaine possession with intent to sell.​


    Sept 23, 2013: Brady, Thompkins and Dobson write very different story

    For 10 days, the talk was about Brady not trusting his rookie receivers, or those rookie receivers getting fancy new nicknames with the words “Drop” not-so-cleverly fit into their last name...

    Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins responded to a week-plus of negativity with very strong performances. Dobson was Brady’s go-to receiver when he needed a first down, with Dobson picking up three with receptions and also moving the chains another time by drawing a pass interference penalty, while Thompkins stepped up as the red zone target that had been sorely lacking for the past two weeks. Thompson caught his first touchdown pass in the second quarter, and before halftime, Brady looked at Thompkins and Thompkins alone for another touchdown.

    Sept 30, 2013: Thompkins, Edelman carry the load with key offensive pieces still missing

    Thompkins’ night began with a drop when a pass hit him right on the hands, and he would have another big drop later in the game. However, those were mere footnotes by the end of the night due to the rookie’s big game.
    Thompkins finished the night with a team-high 127 yards on six receptions, and that included an incredible show of athleticism on a touchdown reception while diving out of bounds.

    That may not even have been the biggest play of the night for the undrafted rookie out of Cincinnati. That honor may belong to the grab he made over the middle of the field on a third-and-19. He made the catch despite William Moore flying at him like a missile, keeping a drive alive and preventing the Patriots from being forced to punt out of their own end zone. On the very next play, LeGarrette Blount broke free for a 46-yard touchdown run that gave the Patriots a 10-point lead and changed the game.

    Thanks to Thompkins and Edelman, Tom Brady topped the 300-yard mark for the first time of the season. Of his 316 yards, 77.5 percent of it came from the duo of Thompkins and Edelman and just 71 yards coming from the rest of the team.

    Oct 14, 2013: Patriots play best game of season in comeback against Saints

    In their most memorable victory in recent memory, the New England Patriots capped a 70-yard drive with a Tom Brady touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds remaining in the game to pull out a 30-27 win over the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium Sunday. In spite of their offensive struggles this season, the Patriots remain in first place in the AFC East with a 5-1 record.​




    July 30, 2014: Thompkins playing with more confidence, aggressiveness

    “He earned that starting position with his good play and his consistency, but this year he is way passed that,” said Belichick. “Experience has a lot to do with that, and his offseason work also has a lot to do with it. He knows what to expect and has a much better understanding so he can play with more confidence and more aggressiveness.”

    Thompkins had a decent rookie season after going undrafted out of Cincinnati in 2013, finishing the year with 32 receptions and four touchdowns in 12 games. But he had just nine receptions in the second half of the year, and was inactive for four games towards the end of the season. We’ll see if he can put together a complete season in his second year in the league.​


    Sept 7, 2015: Patriots happy to have Kenbrell Thompkins back

    Kenbrell Thompkins got caught in a roster riptide last season. Dropping him wasn’t something the Patriots wanted to do, but something they felt they had to do.

    Proof? The day after his Saturday release, Belichick said during the Patriots pregame show that "I enjoyed working with KT. Hope we get an opportunity to work with him in the future."

    That time has come around again as Thompkins has been re-signed to the Patriots practice squad.

    Thompkins got released at a time when the Patriots offense couldn’t be the Patriots offense because of protection problems up front. I would argue that Thompkins may be better than Aaron Dobson. Thompkins wasn’t a second-round pick, though. It will be interesting to see whether Thompkins can recreate some of the chemistry he built with Tom Brady in 2013.​


    Kenbrell Thompkins played in 14 games with nine starts with the Patriots. He caught 38 of the 80 passes thrown his way, for 519 yards (13.7 ypc) and four touchdowns. Thompkins also played for the Raiders and Jets. He played in 33 NFL games, with 70 receptions for 893 yards and four TDs.






    Happy birthday to Mark Levoir
    Born July 29, 1982 in Minneapolis
    Patriot OT, 2008-2010; uniform #64




    Happy birthday to Braxston Cave
    Born July 29, 1989 in Granger, Indiana
    Patriot center, 2014 offseason; uniform #60




    Other pro football players born July 29 with New England connections:

    - DE Keith Willis (1959): Northeastern
    139 games played from 1982-93, mostly with Pittsburgh

    - FB Greg Comella (1975): born in Wellesley, Xaverian High School
    Played in 88 games from 1998-2004, primarily with the Giants. Now the business manager of his family's Comella's Restaurants.

    - OT Mike Gulian (1900): Newton High School, Brown University
    Played for five seasons, including 1925-27 for the Providence Steam Roller.

    - OT Pete Rostosky (1961): UConn
    Appeared in 35 games for the Steelers from 1984-86.

    - QB Gary Marangi (1952): Boston College
    Went 0-7 with 7 TD, 16 INT for Buffalo in 1976.

    - DB/RB Al Kowalski (1921): Central HS, Bridgeport CT
    34th overall pick of the 1945 NFL draft.




    Some notable pro football players sharing this birthdate:

    - QB Dak Prescott, 26 (1993)

    - LB Jeff Herrod, 53 (1966); played in 153 games over 11 seasons, all but one for the Colts.

    - RB Les Josephson, 77 (1942); scored 28 TD with 5,377 yards from scrimmage for the Rams from 1964 to 1974.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    The French Patriot


    Happy birthday to Richard 'Le Sack' Tardits
    Born July 30, 1965 in Biarritz, France
    Patriot LB, 1990-1992; uniform #53

    [​IMG]

    Richard Tardits learned to speak English as a high school exchange student in Augusta, Georgia. Against his father's wishes he stayed in the US and became the University of Georgia's career leader in sacks. Tardits played in 27 games for the Patriots over three seasons.

    Richard Tardits, first Basque-born NFL Player

    Tardits played rugby at junior level for Biarritz Olympique, and represented the French national side at the same level. Moving to the United States to attend college he took up football and played for the Georgia Bulldogs. There, he held the record for most sacks (until surpassed by David Pollack in 2004), earning the nickname “Le Sack.”​

    Below is a detailed and worthwhile biography on the very interesting life of Richard Tardits.

    'Le Sack' Always Took the Right Fork in the Road | University of Georgia Athletics

    His reluctance for self-aggrandizement is admirable, but seldom has any college had a player who embodied the student athlete concept as did Richard Tardits. You must keep in mind that he didn't grow up from infancy with a familiarity with football or a natural appreciation of the nuances of the popular American sport. When he was a senior, he was studying for a Masters degree, taking 25 hours. There was an NCAA rule that stipulated that he could only take 22 hours, so he audited courses like art appreciation, photography, and typing, the last a skill he knew he would need one day in the business world. When he earned an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a remarkable achievement for someone who learned to speak English as a high school exchange student in Augusta, Georgia, where he visited longtime family friend, Dr. Edouard Servy, he took the money and learned to fly an airplane and maintains an active pilot's license today.​

    There is also this, more relevant to Patriots fans:

    From that point on, Richard played and practiced with the heart of a lion while placing unending emphasis on his academic options. Looking back, he realizes that his academic emphasis was not in his best interests in regard to an NFL career but has no regrets. "I was in the middle of working for my MBA degree and did not prepare for the NFL combine as a result," Richard said. Yet he knew what he had to do to make the team in the specialized NFL system. With his speed, he learned to cover backs out of the backfield and made the team at Arizona. Traded to the New England Patriots, he knew he was a better pass rusher than Andre Tippett, who was getting by on experience. "Once you are established in the NFL, they are not going to cut you if you have experience," he said.

    The then-lowly Patriots made a move for rebirth and hired Bill Parcells. By this time, Richard was injured. After a team meeting, Parcells told him, "You won't be well by training camp, so we are going to release you." Tardits knew the rules and said, "Coach I am injured, you cannot cut me." Parcells curt reply, was, "Sue me."

    That did not offend Richard, who understands how cutthroat business is in the NFL. "Parcells was right. I would not have recovered by training camp." With no place for bitterness in his life, Tardits holds no grudge and says wistfully, "I would have liked to have played for a coach like Parcells." While in Boston, Richard applied for Harvard Law School and was admitted, but he knew he could not play in the NFL and take classes, so he opted not to enroll--one of the few regrets in his life.​




    Happy birthday to Stephen Starring
    Born July 30, 1961 in Baton Rouge
    Patriot WR/KR, 1983-1987; uniform #81
    Pats 3rd round (74th overall) selection of the 1983 draft, from McNeese State

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    Stephen Starring (2000) - Hall of Fame - McNeese State University Athletics

    A running quarterback who could also pass was the best way to describe Stephen Starring. He came out of Vinton and led the Cowboys to an Independence Bowl game appearance in 1980, passing and rushing for 1,980 yards. He holds the school season rushing record for quarterbacks of 974 yards. Three times he led the Cowboys in total offense and passing and he ranks seventh on the all-time passing list with 3,083 yards on 181 completions and is 12th in rushing with 1,906 yards. He was the team MVP in 1980 and the SLC offensive player of the year. He also became an all-American in track and field and won three SLC titles, two in the high hurdles and one in the long jump. He went on to a pro football career, playing with the New England Patriots and in the Super Bowl.​

    Foxboro Stadium History - 1983 | Patriots.com

    Fans got an indication of what they could expect from their club in the season opener at the newly renamed Sullivan Stadium. In the first of many big plays in 1983, quarterback Steve Grogan hit rookie wide receiver Stephen Starring on a 73-yard touchdown bomb for New England’s first score of the season.
    Stephen Starring appeared in 72 regular season games for the Patriots, with 23 starts. He had 112 receptions for 1,865 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 16.7 yards per catch. Starring also averaged 21.1 yards on 107 kickoff returns, 5.7 yards on 19 punts, and returned 15 kickoffs in the playoffs. After five seasons with the Patriots Starring split 1988 with Detroit and Tampa Bay in what was his final year in the NFL.




    Happy birthday to Lex Hilliard
    Born July 30, 1984 in Kalispell, Montana
    Patriot FB, 2012; uniform #30

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    Sept 4, 2012: Patriots Sign RB Lex Hilliard; Release OL Matt Tenant | Patriots.com

    Hilliard, 28, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2009-10). The 5-11, 235-pounder signed with Minnesota as an unrestricted free agent on March 21, 2012 but was released by Minnesota on Aug. 31, 2012. He originally entered the NFL as a sixth round draft choice (204th overall) by Miami out of Montana in 2008. Hilliard spent his rookie campaign on the Miami practice squad. He has played in 48 NFL games with four starts and has 39 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns and 26 receptions for 210 yards and two touchdowns.​

    The Patriots released Hilliard two weeks later, his spot on the roster going to Kellen Winslow Jr. (who lasted just one week). In two games Hilliard had one carry for two yards, appearing on nine offensive snaps and nine special team snaps.

    Sept 19, 2012: Patriots Announce Branch, Winslow Signings; Bring Back Koutouvides | CBS Boston

    Koutouvides will replace linebacker Mike Rivera on the roster, who was released by the team along with wide receiver Greg Salas and fullback Lex Hilliard.​

    Aug 15, 2018: Lex Hilliard ‘ran over a lot of guys’ with Montana Grizzlies | Montana Sports

    “I think his work ethic. I know he worked hard. One thing I remember about Lex, there was a point during a game where he had busted his thumb or something and he had a pin in it. During the game, the pin had stuck out through his thumb. I remember them, with pliers, trying to get the pin out. I remember going, ‘Man this guy, he’s tough.’ I don’t care what you do in the weight room or on the field, he’s trying to get this pin pulled out of his thumb so he can go back in there and play. That memory sticks in there.​

    June 25, 2016: Ex-Griz Hilliard hits back at adversity | Montana Standard

    After stints with the Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots and Jets, Lex lost his NFL job in the summer of 2013. He moved back to Kalispell and four months ago he, wife Rebekah and their four stay-at-home kids lost their home to a fire.

    Life wasn't exactly a bowl of cherries before the fire. Lex took a job as assistant coach for the Kalispell Flathead football team last fall, but even then -- two years after losing his first love to a fractured shoulder blade -- football was still a sore spot.

    "The first year or so after I got done it was, 'Oh, I'm working hard. I'm coming back.' Everything seemed to be going in place," he recalled. "Then I got my first x-ray and things weren't healing right and the doctors told me give it more time. I go for a second x-ray a couple months later and things still weren't looking right. Then it's almost at a year and six months and I go for another checkup and things still aren't looking right."

    Someone in a white coat tells you your first love is gone, the one you've been courting since you were 4 years old, it's tough. Lex didn't really know anything else. Never needed a job résumé. Never really went through a job interview.

    "When you have to step outside the norm and do something else, it's kind of intimidating," he offered.​




    Happy 43rd birthday to Marc Megna
    Born July 30, 1976 in Fall River
    Patriot LB, 1999-2000; uniform #96


    Born and raised in Fall River, Marc Megna is a member of the 1994 class of Durfee High School. The two-tim All-American was a sixth round draft pick out of Richmond by the Jets in 1999. Megna appeared in four games for the Pats in 2000. He also played with Cincinnati, and spent two seasons in NFL Europe. In 2002 he signed with the Montreal Alouettes and was an all star and Grey Cup champion in his first of four seasons in the CFL.

    [​IMG]

    Megna Method

    Marc Megna, '99 - Former football player draws on personal experiences to develop career as a fitness coach | University of Richmond

    My NFL Journey Part 7 | 212 Health & Performance

    Fitness Model and ex NFLer Marc Megna Interview | The Athletic Build

    Marc Megna Interview | CutAndJacked.com




    Other pro football players with New England connections born on July 30:

    Ben Claxton, 31 (7/30/80)
    On April 27, 2003 the Patriots moved eight spots up in the draft, sending their 4th round (128th overall) and 5th round (157th overall) draft picks to the Broncos in exchange for Denver's 4th (120th overall). The Patriots used that selection on CB Asante Samuel. Denver selected Bryant McNeal and Claxton; both were cut during their rookie training camp and neither one ever played for the Broncos.

    During the 2008 training camp Claxton was studying for his LSAT when a workout was scheduled for him with the Patriots. That workout never happened; by the time he arrived the Pats had already signed former Detroit Lion Barry Stokes.


    Sonny Gordon, 54 (7/30/65)
    Gordon grew up in Ohio but was born in Lynn. He was originally a 6th round pick of the Bengals in 1987 who was waived in the final cuts, and picked up by the Buccaneers just after the start of the season. Gordon saw some playing time over seven games on special teams and also recorded six tackles in a backup role. He did not make the roster out of camp the following season, and never played in the NFL again after leaving Tampa Bay.




    Other pro football players born on this date include:

    - Reggie Roby (1961-2005)

    - Robert Porcher, 50

    - Dwight White (1949-2008)

    - Willie Harper, 69

    - Galen Fiss (1931-2006)
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  9. Actual Pats Fan

    Actual Pats Fan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They both went to K-State, but were only teammates briefly on the Pats in 1975.

    The 70's Pats brought much more than just hope. We belonged on top of the mountain in 1976.
     
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  10. Actual Pats Fan

    Actual Pats Fan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Steve Grogan never made any excuses.

    His team owner explicitly demonstrated the franchise's practical objection to winning, and Steve still led his teammates to sacrifice and achieve and exceed their potential to win more huge games against formidable opponents with vastly more supportive ownership than any other NFL player not named Tom Brady that I have ever heard of.

    He and his 1976 Patriots teammates stand alone in history as the group which should have spent the last 42 years with Super Bowl rings adorning their fingers. Steve Grogan is not only a Super Bowl winning-level quarterback, he is superior to a dozen others who won titles.

    Raymond Berry brought immediate respect and a commitment to winning when he was hired in 1984; unfortunately he never possessed a vision of the forest that was not good, not great, but championship level quarterbacks in Steve Grogan and Doug Flutie who were effective, victorious, healthy and active, for the trees of a first round draft pick named Tony Eason who was a sack and pick machine project for the entirety of his pro career.

    For all of this, Steve Grogan's greatest contribution is his behavior and character displayed off the field. He put the team first, remains eternally humble and is a true role model for young people who look up to celebrities and sports stars.

    Steve Grogan, John Hannah, Julius Adams and all their teammates are the men who put the New England Patriots on the map and established them as championship contenders in the modern pro football era.

    Unmatched inaccurate denigration and belittlement of them and their accomplishments by local and national media, the National Football League, opponents and even so-called recent fans of the team continue to endlessly promulgate, is and always will be the same horse manure employed by Ben Dreith and his crew back in December of 1976. Publications and contemporary media endlessly continue to state that the Patriots prior to present ownership were a "laughingstock", a "humiliation", a "disgrace" and "losers". All of the above mentioned parties are in fact the real losers. The Patriots of the 70's and the 80's were winners. No amount of spin or take can ever change that.

    The present generation, due primarily to the present ownership, believe and take as fact all of the myths propagated about the Patriots prior to 1994. What can they conclude? "Um, I guess we were okay, but Billy Sullivan was Hitler..." And, no one, especially current ownership, realizes let alone admits that this denigration of the team is the foundation for rampant, industrialized [NFL, BSPN, etc.] contemporary attempts to diminish team success this century.

    During Steve's first training camp, coach Chuck Fairbanks said about him, "This kid can really be something in this league, if he can ever learn to control his temper."

    Grogan did just that, channeling all his anger toward personal perseverance, achievement and focus on the football field.

    Amongst an endless string of memories, I like to think of an afternoon in Foxborough in the Fall of 1985, when after another hapless start Tony Eason was knocked out of the game, and Steve was clearly nervous and you could see his mind was going a mile a minute. We all knew, this was his - our - chance. He put everything together, withstanding a formidable pass rush led by rookie Bruce Smith, to lead us to the first of six straight wins and a chance at the playoffs.

    He continued to do nothing but win for the rest of the decade, and continue to be benched in favor of Eason in huge playoff games.

    Here is a source of comical amusement which had me guffawing, so it's a good idea to bring your sense of humor when you glance at it (this means you @Joker) because there is an astoundingly long list of stiffs who aren't fit to carry Steve Grogan's jockstrap listed ahead of him as all time quarterbacks:

    The Top 100 Quarterbacks In NFL History

    He is listed 74th.

    I can only conclude after seeing this that Steve Grogan is the 25th best quarterback in the history of the National Football League. I think realistically it's maybe more like 30 or 35, but
    check this out:

    Peyton Manning is 4th.

    John Elway is 5th.

    Fran Tarkenton is 9th.

    And, get ready:

    Doug Flutie is...90th. Nine. Zero.
     
    • Genius Genius x 1
  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Pats' first Deep Threat



    Happy birthday to Art Graham
    Born July 31, 1941 in Somerville
    Pats split end, 1963-1968; uniform #84
    Pats 1st round (7th overall) selection of the 1963 draft, from Boston College

    As were many players in the early days of the Boston Patriots, Art Graham was a local guy. He was born and raised in Somerville, and went to Matignon High School and Boston College.

    In his rookie season Art Graham caught five touchdown passes and averaged 26.2 yards per catch. He played in 75 games over six seasons for the Patriots, with 199 receptions for 3,107 yards and 20 touchdowns.

    Through the first twenty years of the franchise's existence, Art Graham ranked third in yards receiving and touchdown receptions. He is a member of the Pats All-Decade Team of the 60s at wide receiver, alongside flanker Jim Colclough and end Jim Whalen. Graham is also in the BC Athletics Hall of Fame.

    [​IMG]

    Jan 20, 2010: Alumni Spotlight: Art Graham | Patriots.com

    When Art Graham started his Boston Patriots career in 1963, it was customary for players of that era to hold a side job, which they worked in the offseason, to supplement their income. Graham, who was raised nearby in Somerville, Mass., was no exception. In the offseason, the Boston College product returned to his hometown to work his "part-time, full-time" job as a probation officer. He never relinquished the position, working 34 years in Somerville before retiring.

    "It was rewarding work," said Graham (1963-68), who is honored as one of two wide receivers on the Patriots 1960s All-Decade Team. "It's always nice to be able to contribute in the community that you grew up in."

    Graham's roots to the region run further still.​

    [​IMG]

    A member of BC's Athletics Hall of Fame, the former Patriots deep threat came from an athletic family. His father spent several seasons during the 1930s in the Red Sox farm system. Although his father never saw time with the big club, Graham found it particularly rewarding when he was drafted by the Patriots with the seventh overall pick in the 1963 AFL Draft.

    "It was a great moment for my family," Graham said. "I think it's any athlete's dream to play for their hometown team."

    Graham fondly recalled his Draft Day memory.

    "We'd played Holy Cross that weekend and the AFL Draft was held on a Saturday afternoon, so we'd just finished playing when I found out that I was drafted. Then, the NFL Draft was on the following Tuesday. So we all had a joke that the guys that were drafted into the AFL all went missing over that weekend because they didn't want the NFL teams to be able to contact us."

    The Patriots acted swiftly and offered Graham a $10,000 signing bonus before the Cleveland Browns took him in the 11th round of the NFL Draft. Patriots owner Billy Sullivan tried to bring the sides to a speedy agreement by enlisting a BC professor of ethics, who told Graham that he had entered into a ‘moral contract' with his hometown team.​

    [​IMG]


    Graham hesitated. He'd played in the East-West Shrine game that year with fellow end Tom Hutchinson of the University of Kentucky, who'd been taken by the Browns with their first-round pick.

    "I looked at him and said, ‘I'm better than he is.' But I think they looked down on a lot of schools in the East and I don't think BC had the reputation it has today.

    "But we knew we could play."

    Still, Graham couldn't pass up the opportunity to play in Boston and proceeded to prove his worth in his rookie season. He was named Patriots Rookie of the Year in 1963 after setting a team record with 26.2 yards per catch and five touchdowns, including a franchise-long 77-yard bomb from Babe Parilli.

    "I used to joke that it was amazing that I - an Irish kid - ever got the ball from a quarterback named Parilli with a receiver named [Gino] Cappelletti and a tight end named [Tony] Romeo," Graham laughed.

    [​IMG]


    Graham and his ability to stretch the field - together with fellow BC alum Jim Colclough and Cappelletti - helped to form a potent aerial attack led by Parilli.

    "It was pretty unusual at that time to throw the ball as much as we did," Graham said. "It's pretty typical now that you see Tom Brady or Drew Brees throw the ball 30, 35 times. Sometimes you'd see Babe [Parilli] doing that back then. You just didn't see that much."

    A true New Englander, Graham has lived with his wife, Judy, on Cape Cod since his retirement. The couple has two daughters, Leigh and Lynne.​




    Happy birthday to Antonio Langham
    Born July 31, 1972 in Town Creek, Alabama
    Pats cornerback, 2000; uniform #38

    Langham played in 15 games with seven starts for the Pats, in what would be his final NFL season. He was originally the ninth overall pick of the 1994 draft by the Browns in 1994, but never lived up to that draft status.




    Happy birthday to Rich Griffith
    Born July 31, 1969 in Tucson
    Patriot TE, 1993; uniform #88
    Pats 5th round (138th overall) selection of the 1993 draft, from Arizona

    Griffith was on the field for just three games with the Patriots. From 1995 to 2000 he played in 87 games with Jacksonville as a backup and special teamer.




    Other pro football players with New England connections:

    - William Gholston, 28 (7/31/91)
    November 1, 2012: Traded by the Pats as their 2013 4th round pick (126th overall) to Tampa Bay for the Bucs' 2013 7th round pick (226th overall, Michael Buchanan) and Aqib Talib.

    - Sean Conover, 35 (7/31/84)
    Born in Brockton, grew up in Whitman; went to Whitman-Hanson High School
    Played defensive end briefly with the Rams and Titans from 2006-2009, and then with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League in 2010.

    Aug 31, 2008: Whitman's Conover cut from Titans' roster

    Whitman’s Sean Conover was one in a group of 22 players waived by the Tennessee Titans as they cut their roster to the NFL regular-season limit of 53 on Saturday.

    A 6-5, 275-pound defensive end, Conover signed with the Titans as a rookie free agent out of Bucknell University in 2006.

    In two seasons with the team, the 24-year-old Conover appeared in 11 games, starting two, totaling 25 tackles.

    On Thursday night, Conover appeared in the Titans’ 23-21 preseason win at Green Bay and made one tackle. His most productive game this summer occurred in the Titans’ second preseason game when he contributed two tackles to their 17-16 win over the Oakland Raiders at Tennessee’s LP Field.

    After earning a spot on the Titans’ practice squad as a rookie, Conover was promoted to the team’s active roster on Nov. 22, 2006, and went on to finish that year with 21 tackles in six games, including two starts. His most productive day as a pro occurred in his NFL debut when he was credited with seven tackles and a quarterback pressure from his right end position in a 24-21 victory over the New York Giants in Nashville.

    Conover appeared in just five games, all in a reserve role, and made four tackles last year.

    A standout defensive end-tight end and star forward on the basketball team during his days at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, Conover went on to Bucknell where he began his career as a tight end and was shifted to the other side of the ball when Tim Landis took over as head coach.

    A two-time All-Patriot League selection at Bucknell, Conover was voted the league’s defensive player of the junior when he boasted career highs in tackles (55), tackles for loss (18), sacks (10.5), forced fumbles (five) and passes defensed (four).

    He left Bucknell ranked fifth in school history in sacks with 17.5.​




    Other notable pro football players born on July 31 include:

    Norm Snead

    DeMarcus Ware

    Kevin Green

    Jonathan Ogden

    Chris Hinton

    Gerry Philbin

    A.J. Green
     
  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    One-Third of the UNH Russian Front



    Happy birthday to Ilia Jarostchuk
    Born August 1, 1964 in Utica, New York
    Patriot LB, 1990; uniform #50

    Ilia Jarostchuk was a 5th round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals from the University of New Hampshire in 1987. He spent '87 with the St. Louis Cardinals, '88 with the Dolphins, and '89 with the (renamed) Phoenix Cardinals, before joining the Patriots. Jarostchuk played in twelve games with one start while with the Pats.

    After the end of his sports career due to injury, Ilya did not lose touch with the Patriots. He actively participates in the community as a volunteer, visiting children's hospitals with other veteran players, and helps out at many Patriot events.

    Since 1998 Ilya has been deeply involved with the Holy Epiphany Russian Orthodox Church in Roslindale. There he has performed many tasks: overseen the finances, taught classes and served as a school principal and director.

    For his daytime job Ilya has a genuine career, as he works as a sales executive of neurosurgical products by Johnson & Johnson.

    March 24, 1990: Patriots sign Jarostchuk | UPI

    Sept 14, 2013: Moscow Patriots

    The visit to Moscow by the former New England Patriot Linebacker, Ilia Jarostchuk, was extremely eventful. Ilia attended the Moscow Patriots team practices and met with the coaches, players, and the club’s administration. On August 24, Mr. Jarostchuk joined the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, at midfield for the coin toss prior to the 2013 Russian Championship Game in American Football. This game was broadcast live across all seven Russian time zones, and ended as the best Russian championship game ever played.

    Upon returning home, Ilia shared his experience with the owner of the New England Patriots, Mr. Robert Kraft, a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist. Prior to Ilia’s departure for Moscow, Robert Kraft gave Ilia some gifts to present to the Moscow Patriot team – a cap with the New England Patriots logo for every member of the Moscow Patriots team. The Moscow players were very touched by Mr. Kraft’s gift and well wishes. A team photograph was taken with all the players wearing their Moscow Patriots jerseys, and New England Patriots caps. The team then responded in like fashion, by presenting Mr. Kraft with a gift from Moscow – an actual game helmet with the team’s logo. Ilia delivered this gift to Mr. Kraft in person on the field before the last preseason game against the New York Giants.

    After hearing the story about the trip to Moscow and the development of American football in Russia, Mr. Kraft expressed his desire to help the Moscow Patriots and directed his VP of Media Relations, Stacey James, and Community Relations Manager, Donna Spigarolo, to place this on his agenda as something to follow up.

    At the present time, the Moscow Patriots’ players and coaches provide training to many players from other Russian cities. Partnering with such a powerful partner as Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots could bring American football to a whole new level in Russia!

    We thank Mr. Kraft for his pledge of support, and will continue to hold high and proud the banner of the New England Patriots in Moscow – GO PATRIOTS!​

    [​IMG]


    Ilia Jarostchuk - Patriots Alumni

    Feb 8, 2019: From Russia with Love: Former Patriots travel to Russia for Super Bowl outreach | Newburyport News

    [​IMG]
    Pictured from left to right are Ilia Jarostchuk, Max Lane, Ron Stone and Steve Nelson,
    in front of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square.


    UNH Magazine: 'The Russian Front' Revisited

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Ilia '87, Alex '89 and Basil '89 Jarostchuk

    In UNH football, it's not often that members of the defense team psych out opponents by speaking Russian. But for the Jarostchuk brothers, who played Wildcat football in the late '80s, a comment like "Ya vozmu sorok shest—A ti vozmi tritsatz dva!" (I'll take 46—you take 32!) while waiting for the snap was a fun way to unnerve the opposition.

    Ilia Jarostchuk '87 was the first brother to be offered a football scholarship, and to arrive at UNH, where he majored in civil engineering.

    Basil Jarostchuk '89 followed his brother to Wildcat country, majoring in Russian, and then Alex Jarostchuk '89. Alex, 6'5" and more experienced on the football field, was courted by many schools—Syracuse even sent a recruiter to Durham to seek Ilia and Basil's blessing. In the end, it was academics, not athletics, that lured him to UNH. "The UNH athletic department always supported the academics first. That was one of the biggest factors," says Alex, a chemical engineering major. A sister, Anya, arrived at UNH in 1987 but stayed for just a year. By then, sportswriters had dubbed the three brothers "the Russian Front." "She had to leave because she couldn't get a date," jokes Ilia. "Who wants to confront the Russian Front?"

    All three brothers credit UNH with setting them on successful career paths. Ilia was drafted in the fifth round in 1987 by the St. Louis Cardinals and played in the NFL for six years, including a stint with the New England Patriots. Today, he works in medical device sales for neurosurgical products at Johnson & Johnson. Basil lives in New Jersey and also works in sales and marketing for medical devices. Alex is associate director of engineering for Pfizer in Massachusetts.

    The Jarostchuk brothers overlapped as football players only for the 1986 season, but the Russian Front nonetheless has left a lasting legacy of pride. All three brothers maintain strong connections to their Russian heritage, taking leadership roles in the Russian Orthodox church. While the quirky story of UNH's Russian Front captured the attention of Wildcat football fans, it also gained the brothers an even greater notoriety among Russian immigrant families throughout the country. It was one of the first times, says Basil, that the media portrayed their heritage in a positive light.​
     
  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    The Carpenters



    Happy 53rd birthday to Marion Butts
    Born August 1, 1966 in Sylvester, Georgia
    Patriot RB, 1994; uniform #44

    16 games (15 starts)
    703 yards on 243 rushes (2.9 yards per carry), with 8 touchdowns

    NFL career: 5,185 yards rushing from 1989-1995; 43 touchdowns
    Two Pro Bowls

    [​IMG]
    May 29, 1994: Will Butts be right one to help carry the Patriots? | Hartford Courant

    True, Marion Butts has never played a down for Parcells or the Patriots. But as the coach always tells his players, "I go by what I see." And what he has seen of Butts in a Chargers uniform these past five seasons made Parcells want him like a hot meal on a cold day.

    April 25, the second day of the draft, Parcells got him, acquiring Butts and a third-round pick for the Patriots' third- and fifth-round selections. If not for Leonard Russell's refusal to accept the Patriots' $1.4 million offer, there would be no ifs, ands or Butts.

    But Butts agreed to $1.4 million. And now, despite being the 1993 Patriots' leading rusher -- and second in the AFC -- the unsigned Russell may never again wear a Patriots uniform.

    But as the Patriots ended their three-day veterans minicamp Thursday, even Parcells wondered if his good fortune will be as good as he first thought.

    "Any time you trade for a player that has been someplace else, you always wonder in the back of your mind why you're able to [make the trade]," Parcells said. "Hopefully, I've researched him enough to know. He's not susceptible to injury, and he's quite a physical player. If we can get three or four years out of Marion, that would be great."

    Butts will be 28 when the 1994 season begins.​


    July 25, 1995: Dolphins consider Butts, Highsmith at FB | Ft Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

    The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Butts hurt his right knee and had arthroscopic surgery during training camp with the Patriots last season. New England had acquired him in a trade with San Diego. Patriots coach Bill Parcells hoped to build the running game around Butts' inside ability.

    However, Butts was tentative because of the knee injury. He gained 703 yards on 243 carries, averaging a career-low 2.9 yards, and scored eight touchdowns.

    "It was a slow start after I hurt my knee," said Butts, who gained 1,225 yards in 1990. "I didn't jell with the offensive line. They had a quarterback in [Drew) Bledsoe that they were going to go to after things didn't work out."​




    Happy 30th birthday to Shea McClellin
    Born August 1, 1989 in Caldwell, Idaho
    Patriot OLB, 2016-2017; uniform #58

    14 games (4 starts); 380 defensive snaps, 218 ST snaps
    39 tackles (16 solo); 2 fumble recoveries; 1 sack; 3 QB hits; 1 TFL
    3 playoff games (3-0); one Super Bowl ring

    NFL career: 66 games (35 starts); 200 tackles; 8½ sacks; 23 QB hits; 17 TFL

    May 29, 2018: Shea McClellin prepared to move on from playing career because of cumulative effect of concussions| Mike Reiss, espn

    "I'm still staying ready, still working out. I've learned to never say never, there's always a chance that I could still play again, but for now all my focus is on coaching high school," said the 28-year-old McClellin, who has accepted a position as linebackers coach at Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho.

    A star defensive end at Boise State from 2008-2011, McClellin said he has had five documented concussions in his career.​

    June 3, 2018: McClellin: Two years with Pats the best of my career | Mike Reiss, espn

    "I definitely think it starts from the top, Bill [Belichick] and Mr. Kraft, and then it just trickles down," he said. "Then you have leaders like Tom [Brady] and Matt [Slater] and Dev [Devin McCourty] -- the captains. When you come in as a new guy or a young guy, and you see how laid-back and easy-going the captains are; they'll just come up and talk to you and genuinely want to know about how you're doing and how your life is. I think that's something that makes the chemistry and camaraderie that much better. When the older guys really care about you, it makes you want to play for them and for your teammates, and not just for yourself."

    McClellin said he's still following the team closely and will be a "Patriots fan for life." He added he hopes to return to attend a game at some point in the 2018 season.

    As for those critical of the Patriots, he pointed out that it's hard for those who haven't played for the team to have an educated opinion.

    "I would say a lot of guys don't know what they're talking about, because they haven't experienced it," he said. "When you have a winning culture, everyone is going to hate on it. That's what comes with it, it's the way it is. It's hard for someone who hasn't been in the situation to say, ‘Oh, it's like this, it's like that.' It's a winning culture and you're going to get slander and hate -- that's just the way it is. From my standpoint, I absolutely enjoyed my time there -- from the coaches to the owners, players and trainers."​

    May 16, 2018: Shea McClellin joins Mountain View High | Idaho Statesman
    Jan 30, 2019: Former Patriot McClellin talks Super Bowl, NFL Life | Idaho Statesman (podcast)

    After a six-year NFL career, former Boise State standout Shea McClellin is hanging up the cleats — at least for now — and picking up a whistle.

    Mountain View High announced Wednesday that McClellin is joining the Mavericks' staff as a linebackers coach.

    "I don't like to pass up good opportunities, and it was a really good one," McClellin said.

    McClellin, who spent last year on injured reserve for the New England Patriots, was the No. 19 overall pick by the Chicago Bears in 2012. A Marsing High graduate, he was sidelined with concussions last season that kept him out as the Patriots lost to the Eagles in the Super Bowl. He played in the Patriots' Super Bowl LI win over the Falcons in February 2017.​




    Happy 51st birthday to Rob Carpenter
    Born August 1, 1968 in Amityville, New York
    Patriot WR, 1991; uniform #81

    9 games (1 start); 3 receptions for 45 yards

    NFL career: 60 games (5 starts); 51 receptions for 607 yards (11.9 ypc), 1 TD
    7.2 ypr on 40 punt returns

    Aug 31, 2015: Feasting with Rob Carpenter

    Carpenter was taken by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 1991 NFL draft, but was claimed by the Patriots at the end of the preseason. Things didn’t work out in New England and Carpenter was left unprotected for Plan B free agency.

    Once he was free to look around for a new team, Carpenter went on a tour and visited with several clubs, including his hometown Jets. It was a no-brainer. Carpenter chose to come home to play for the team that he — and most of his family — rooted for.

    “It was a great thing,” said Carpenter. “I knew that was going to be the team that I was going to sign with.”

    Carpenter played in 35 games for the Jets from 1992-94, recording 19 receptions for 244 yards and his only NFL touchdown catch. He played his final NFL season with the Eagles in 1995.​




    Happy 36th birthday to Bobby Carpenter
    Born August 1, 1983 in Lancaster, Ohio
    Patriot LB, 2012; uniform #59

    4 games (zero starts); 2 tackles
    6 defensive snaps, 74 special team snaps

    NFL career: 93 games played, 10 starts

    Oct 2, 2012: Patriots Re-Sign LB Bobby Carpenter | Patriots.com

    The New England Patriots announced today that they have re-signed LB Bobby Carpenter and signed TE Alex Silvestro to the practice squad.

    In addition, the Patriots released DL Terrell McClain. McClain was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 26, and played in a reserve role last Sunday at Buffalo. The team also released OL Thomas Austin from the practice squad.

    Carpenter, 29, is a veteran of six NFL seasons with Dallas (2006-09), Miami (2010) and Detroit (2010-11). He joined the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent from Detroit on April 5, 2012 and was released on Sept. 1 following training camp. The 6-2, 250-pounder was originally drafted in the first round (18th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft by Dallas out of Ohio State.​

    April 17, 2019: Best, worst draft picks by the Cowboys | Dallas News

    The Cowboys saw something in Carpenter that few, if any, other NFL teams did and believed he could play inside in a 3-4 defense. Carpenter's game was based more upon speed and pass coverages than point-of-attack strength, and he was ill-equipped for the role. The blame falls upon the Cowboys' scouting department, not Carpenter. Coach Wade Phillips found a role for Carpenter in 2009. Used primarily in pass-coverage situations, Carpenter had two sacks and participated in 46 tackles. Carpenter had only 1 ½ sacks in his first three seasons combined, while participating in 50 tackles. He was traded to the Rams in 2010.​




    Happy 43rd birthday to Leonta Rheams
    Born August 1, 1976 in Tyler, Texas
    Patriot DT, 1998-99; uniform #75
    Pats 4th round (115th overall) selection of the 1998 draft, from Houston

    6 games played, zero starts
    3 tackles (2 solo)

    Memphis Maniax XFL - Leonta Rheams




    Happy birthday to John Spagnola
    Born August 1, 1957 in Bangor, PA
    Patriot TE, 1979 offseason
    Pats 9th round (245th overall) selection of the 1979 draft, from Yale

    Zero games played with the Patriots

    NFL career:
    133 games (80 starts)
    263 receptions for 2,886 yards (11.0 ypc) and 15 TD

    John Spagnola - Managing Director, PFM Advisors




    Two other NFL players born on this date with New England connections:

    Armand Cure (8/1/19 - 12/5/03)
    Born in New Bedford; New Bedford High School; University of Rhode Island
    Running back for the 1947 Baltimore Colts had two carries for a loss of one yard.

    Jason Perry, 43 (8/1/76)
    Went to Milford Academy for a year of prep school before college
    A 4th round pick by the Chargers, the safety played in 36 games from 1999 to 2002.




    And some notable pro football players sharing this birthdate:

    Clay Matthews (1928-2017)
    The grand patriarch of pro football had two sons (Clay, Bruce) and four grandsons (Casey, Clay, Jake and Mike) play in the NFL. The family has combined to play in 877 games. The original was a tackle and defensive end for the Forty Niners in the 1950s.

    Edgerrin James, 41 (8/1/78)
    The Edge was the 4th overall pick of the 1999 draft, and as a rookie he led the NFL in rushing with 1,553 yards and in touchdowns (17). James ranks 13th all-time in rushing yards (12,246), 15th in yards from scrimmage (15,610) and 20th in rushing touchdowns (80).

    Cliff Branch, 71 (8/1/48)
    The wide receiver was a major factor in three championship seasons with the Raiders. Branch was an All-Pro for three straight seasons ('74-'76) and played in 22 postseason games, back when the playoffs were much more abbreviated than they are now. Cliff Branch had 501 receptions in an era that featured much less passing than today, for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns.

    Doug Sutherland, 71 (8/1/48)
    Defensive Tackle from the Division 3 University of Wisconsin-Superior (enrollment: 2,400) played in 164 games from 1970-81, almost all with the Minnesota Vikings.

    Alvin Reed, 75 (8/1/44)
    The Prarie View alum was a two-time AFL All-Star tight end, catching 144 passes for 2,015 yards and 9 touchdowns from 1968-70.

    Mike Wallace, 33 (8/1/86)
    He made a splash with 2,450 receiving yards from 2010-11, and 24 touchdowns in his first three seasons with Pittsburgh. Wallace was never again quite as productive. He spent last year on IR; his 538 career receptions for 8,072 yards and 57 touchdowns put him in the hall of very good, but not the HoF.
     
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  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Brandon Browner



    Happy birthday to Brandon Browner
    Born August 2, 1984 in Sylmar, California
    Patriot CB, 2014; uniform #39

    March 14, 2014: Patriots sign CB Brandon Browner to three-year deal | SI.com

    Cornerback Brandon Browner's time with the Seattle Seahawks ended ignominiously when he was suspended indefinitely last December for multiple violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy. Browner had first been suspended in late November, and was facing a possible year-long suspension as a Stage 3 offender in the NFL’s drug program. Browner was suspended four games late in the 2012 season for a violation of the league’s policies against performance-enhancing substances, which is separate from the NFL’s drug policy. As a result, he missed the Seahawks' run to the Super Bowl and the franchise's first NFL championship, though Seattle's defensive excellence was something that he helped build.

    On March 4, Browner tweeted that he had been reinstated by the NFL, and he will serve a four-game suspension to start the 2014 season -- that was going to happen no matter where he went. The New England Patriots were apparently undeterred by this, signing Browner to a three-year, $17 million deal on Friday evening. Browner had been meeting with the Pats since Thursday, and the Redskins and Saints also expressed interest.

    The Seahawks plucked Browner out of the Canadian Football League in 2011, and the 6-4, 221-pound defender made the Pro Bowl in his first season in Seattle. Through 2011 and 2012, Browner and Richard Sherman combined to make life very, very difficult for opposing receivers with their size and aggressiveness.

    Browner’s suspension is also more complicated story than is typical. When he first came into the league in 2005, he failed a drug test while in the Denver Broncos’ employ. The Broncos released him in 2006. After that, according to a source familiar with the situation, Browner ran low on money and was sleeping on friends’ couches to stay solvent while he waited for another shot at pro football. He was automatically placed in Stage 3 of the program because he missed multiple notifications for drug tests when his cell phone service apparently lapsed. Browner played with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League from 2006 through 2010, and maintained his Stage 3 status when he returned to the NFL with the Seahawks in 2011.

    Browner passed multiple tests per week from 2011 through 2013 without a hitch, but failed another non-PED test, and that tripped the year-long suspension. Had he not missed those notifications years ago, he would face a few missed game checks at best, and a four-game suspension at worst. Browner’s appeal concluded in late November, and the Seahawks had been awaiting a result for almost a month.








    [​IMG]

    March 12, 2015: Brandon Browner leaves New England for New Orleans Saints

    The New Orleans Saints signed former New England Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner to a three-year contract -- their first new free-agent addition in an offseason that has so far been dominated by subtractions.

    Browner's three-year deal is worth $15 million, including $10 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

    Browner becomes the second starting cornerback from the Super Bowl champion Patriots to leave the team this week. Darrelle Revis signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the New York Jets earlier this week after the Patriots declined his $20 million option for 2015.

    Browner, 30, is a big, physical corner (6-foot-4, 221 pounds) who made the Pro Bowl in 2011 and played for the past two Super Bowl championship teams. He spent last year with the Patriots after spending the three previous seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.​


    Dec 4, 2018: Brandon Browner gets eight years in attempted murder case | CBS Sports

    Browner "pled no contest to 1 count of attempted murder and 2 counts of willful child endangerment" when he appeared in court Tuesday, in exchange for having three other charges dropped.

    As a result, the former NFL cornerback received eight years in prison.

    Reports at the time indicated that Browner "allegedly physically harmed and made threats to kill the victim inside the residence" and stole a $200,000 Rolex watch.

    As it turns out, Browner broke into the house of an ex-girlfriend about 30 miles east of Los Angeles in La Verne and allegedly threatened to kill her. The woman's two children were present when the incident occurred.

    Browner, who had been arrested multiple times in the previous calendar year, won multiple Super Bowls, one with the Seahawks (the original LOB victory over Peyton Manning's Broncos) and another with the Patriots (the following year on the infamous goal-line interception of Russell Wilson).

    The former Pro Bowler was an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State in 2005, where he was a highly penalized defensive back. He would get picked up the Broncos, but put on IR before he could play for Denver. Browner would eventually spend several years in the CFL before returning to the NFL as a member of the Seahawks' famed secondary.

    He spent 2015 with the Saints, where he set an NFL record for most penalized player in league history, but has not played in the NFL since.​





    Happy birthday to Owen Pochman
    Born August 2, 1977 in Renton, Washington
    Patriot kicker, 2001 offseason
    Pats 7th round (216th overall) selection of the 2001 draft, from Brigham Young

    Granted, it was only a seventh round draft pick. But why? Why not use the pick on one of your soon to be undrafted rookie free agents?

    Maybe this decision was the 'chip on the shoulder' incentive that fueled Adam Vinatieri for the next two decades.


    [​IMG]

    Oct 27, 2003: Expect 49ers to have another kicker today | SFGate

    So long, Owen Pochman. We hardly knew ye.

    "I've not seen a kicker influence a game negatively as dramatically as today," Donahue said, and no one could dispute that after the 49ers lost 16-13 in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals.

    Donahue's comment called for clarification.

    Did he mean, uh, ever?

    "Not in my career," he said.

    At least Donahue still has a career. Pochman, a 24-year-old left-footed kicker, is starting today on his post-49ers career. He missed a 45-yard field- goal attempt in the second quarter, missed a potential game-winning, 35-yard field-goal attempt with 2:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, and then ended his career in San Francisco by kicking off out of bounds to begin the overtime, setting up the Cardinals at their 40-yard line.

    For the record, Pochman's last kickoff was supposed to be deep down the middle, said special-teams coach Larry Mac Duff. Well, it was neither deep nor down the middle. It bounced out of bounds around the 15-yard line.

    "Special teams weren't very damn special," coach Dennis Erickson said.

    Strange how things turn out. A year ago, the 49ers drafted Jeff Chandler. In the first two games this season, Chandler made six of seven field-goal attempts. Nevertheless, the 49ers wanted a stronger kickoff leg, so they replaced Chandler with Pochman.

    [​IMG]

    Owen Poachman | Hilton & Hyland

    After a five year career in the NFL, Owen began his initial foray into real estate as an investor, buying and flipping property in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Having played at the highest level in professional football, Owen has built a broad-ranging clientele consisting of seasoned real estate investors, athletes, and entertainers.

    A graduate of Brigham Young University, Owen was drafted by the New England Patriots as a place kicker. He went on to play for the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. Combining his sports background with his passion for architecture and design has allowed Owen to flourish in the real estate market. That, coupled with his instincts, persistence, and vast knowledge of the Los Angeles market has led to sales throughout the city, spanning from the beach to the Hollywood Hills.

    Thriving on a challenge, Owen is a dedicated and relentless professional when searching for the perfect property for his client. Committed to delivering the highest level of personalized service to his clients, Owen diligently approaches every transaction with the same focus and work ethic.​




    Some Patriot draft connections include:

    Jordan Lucas, 26 (8/2/93); Kansas City Chiefs safety

    September 28, 2015: Traded by Patriots as 2016 6th round pick (204th overall) to Bears for Jon Bostic

    March 17, 2016: Traded by Bears as 2016 6th round pick (204th overall) with Martellus Bennett to Patriots for 2016 4th round pick (127th overall, Deiondre' Hall)

    April 30, 2016: Traded by Patriots as 2016 6th round pick (204th overall) with 2016 6th round pick (196th overall subsequently traded, Blake Countess) and 2016 7th round pick (250th overall subsequently traded, Scooby Wright) to Dolphins for 2016 5th round pick (147th overall subsequently traded, Quinton Jefferson)

    April 30, 2016: Traded by Patriots as 2016 5th round pick (147th overall) with 2016 7th round pick (243rd overall, Kenny Lawler) to Seahawks for 2016 7th round pick (225th overall, Devin Lucien) and 2017 4th round pick (131st overall, Deatrich Wise)​


    Will Whitticker, 37 (8/2/82); Green Bay Packers guard

    April 24, 2005: Traded by Patriots as 2005 7th round pick (246th overall) with 2005 6th round pick (195th overall, Craig Bragg) to Packers for 2005 6th round pick (175th overall subsequently traded, Anttaj Hawthorne)

    April 24, 2005: Traded by Patriots as 2005 6th round pick (175th overall) to Raiders for 2005 7th round pick (230th overall, Matt Cassel) and 2006 5th round pick (136th overall, Ryan O'Callaghan)​





    Others born on this date with New England connections include:

    Foyesade Oluokon, 24 (8/2/95)
    Yale, class of 2018; Atlanta Falcons linebacker.

    Elmer Volgenau (8/2/00-12/6/65)
    Born in New Haven; he was an offensive lineman in the twenties for the Rochester Jeffersons.




    Other pro football players born on this date include:

    Ace Gutowsky (8/2/09-12/4/76)
    One of six NFL players that was born in Russia, the FB led the NFL with 146 carries with the Detroit Lions in 1934, and 857 yards from scrimmage in 1936.

    Tom Rafferty, 65 (8/2/54)
    Right guard and then center played in 221 NFL games, all with Dallas from 1976-1989.

    Billy Cannon (8/2/37-5/20/18)
    The Heisman Trophy winning running back from Oklahoma tilted the balance of power when he signed with the upstart American Football League. Cannon was part of three victorious AFL championships, two with the Oilers and one with the Raiders.

    Matt Hazeltine (8/2/33-1/13/87)
    The Pro Bowl 49er linebacker missed just eight games from 1955 to 1970.

    Golden Tate, 31 (8/5/88)
    The WR had 90 or more receptions in four consecutive seasons, from 2014 to 2017.
     
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  15. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Galynn and Tom Sr have a baby boy


    On August 3, 1977 Galynn Patricia Brady gave birth to her fourth child, and first son.

    As the saying goes, the rest is history.


    Happy birthday to Tom Brady
    Born August 3, 1977 in San Mateo, California
    Patriot QB, 2000-present; uniform #TB12

    Pats 6th round (199th overall) selection of the 2000 draft, from Michigan



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Nancy, Maureen, Julie, Tom Sr., Galynn and TB12

    [​IMG]
    1986: Tom and his mother Galynn


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    1998: Tom and his sister Nancy


    [​IMG]
    1995: From Junipero Serra High School


    [​IMG]
    From 1998, at the University of Michigan


    [​IMG]
    2005: Saturday Night Live


    [​IMG]









     
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    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    'I'll rent by the week, please'




    Happy birthday to Chris Barker
    Born August 3, 1990 in West Covina, CA
    Patriot guard, 2013-2015; uniform #64

    Games played w/Pats: 6
    Games played in NFL: 6

    Chris Barker was Ventroned almost as much as the original yo-yo, Ross Ventrone.

    July 31, 2017: Cleveland Browns placed G Chris Barker on IR after sustaining an Achilles injury during training camp.

    May 19, 2017: Cleveland Browns acquired G Chris Barker off waivers from New England.

    May 18, 2017: New England Patriots waived G Chris Barker.

    February 7, 2017: New England Patriots signed G Chris Barker.

    September 4, 2016: New England Patriots added G Chris Barker to the practice squad.

    September 3, 2016: New England Patriots waived G Chris Barker.

    January 25, 2016: New England Patriots signed G Chris Barker to a Reserve/Future contract.

    November 19, 2015: New England Patriots added G Chris Barker to the practice squad.

    November 18, 2015: New England Patriots cut G Chris Barker.

    November 17, 2015: New England Patriots waived G Chris Barker.

    November 14, 2015: New England Patriots activated G Chris Barker from the practice squad.

    October 9, 2015: New England Patriots added G Chris Barker to the practice squad.

    September 30, 2015: New England Patriots cut G Chris Barker.

    September 19, 2015: New England Patriots added G Chris Barker to the practice squad.

    September 9, 2015: New England Patriots cut G Chris Barker.

    September 7, 2015: New England Patriots added G Chris Barker to the practice squad.

    September 1, 2015: New England Patriots waived G Chris Barker.

    February 5, 2015: New England Patriots signed G Chris Barker.

    October 30, 2014: New England Patriots added G Chris Barker to the practice squad.

    October 29, 2014: New England Patriots cut G Chris Barker.

    October 16, 2014: New England Patriots activated G Chris Barker from the practice squad.

    September 3, 2014: New England Patriots added G Chris Barker to the practice squad.

    September 2, 2014: New England Patriots cut G Chris Barker.

    September 1, 2013: New England Patriots acquired G Chris Barker off waivers from the Miami Dolphins.

    August 31, 2013: Miami Dolphins cut G Chris Barker.

    May 3, 2013: Miami Dolphins sign undrafted rookie free agent G Chris Barker.




    Happy birthday to Landon Cohen
    Born August 3, 1986 in Spartanburg, SC
    Patriot DT, 2010-2011; uniform #66 & #65

    Landon Cohen was signed by the Pats on December 22, 2010. He played in the final two games of the season, starting one and recording three tackles. Cohen was waived as part of final roster cuts at the end of training camp on September 3, 2011. He was re-signed by the Pats on September 21, but was waived again on September 27.

    With Pats: 3 Games Played (with one start); 4 solo tackles.
    NFL Career: 40 games played (9 starts); 48 tackles (32 solo), 6 tackles for a loss, 2 QB hits and one forced fumble.
    Postseason: 3 games played (one with Patriots, the 2010 28-21 loss to the Jets). Cohen was with Seattle for the Pats 28-24 Super Bowl 49 victory over the Seahawks.

    Pro Football Career History:
    • Detroit Lions (2008–2009)
    • Jacksonville Jaguars (2010)
    • New England Patriots (2010)
    • Seattle Seahawks (2011)*
    • New England Patriots (2011)
    • Arizona Cardinals (2012)*
    • Philadelphia Eagles (2012)*
    • Dallas Cowboys (2013)
    • Chicago Bears (2013)
    • Buffalo Bills (2014)*
    • Seattle Seahawks (2014–2015)
    • Ottawa Redblacks (2016–2017)
    * Offseason and/or practice squad member only

    Career highlights and awards
    • Grey Cup champion (2016)
    • Two-time Second-Team All-MAC (2006, 2007)
    Jan 26, 2015: How Landon Cohen went from parking cars to making Super Bowl history in less than a month | Yahoo Sports




    Happy birthday to Vincent Fuller
    Born August 3, 1982 in Baltimore
    Patriot safety, 2011

    Dec 21, 2011: Patriots sign Fuller; he takes one of the roster spots vacated by DL Eric Moore (who was released the previous day) and DE Andre Carter (placed on injured reserve with a leg injury).

    Dec 23, 2011: Pats promote DB Sterling Moore and DE Alex Silvestro from the practice squad to the active roster; Fuller is released.

    Dec 21, 2011: Patriots Sign Veteran S Vincent Fuller | Patriots.com

    Vincent Fuller, 29, is in his seventh NFL season after entering the NFL as a fourth round draft pick (108th overall) of the Tennessee Titans out of Virginia Tech in 2005. After being released by Tennessee on Sept.3, 2011, Fuller signed with Detroit on Oct. 6 but injured his elbow in an Oct. 10 game vs. Chicago and was placed on injured reserve. He was taken off the injured reserve list when he was released by Detroit on Dec. 6.

    Fuller, 6-1, 192 pounds, has played in 76 NFL games with five starts and has registered 163 total tackles and six interceptions with four of them returned for touchdowns.
    Fuller attended the Fordham University School of Law and obtained his JD. Since 2017, he has worked for Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.




    Oh, and this guy (who lasted a bit longer than the three above) is celebrating a birthday today as well:

    Happy birthday to Tom Brady
    Born August 3, 1977 in San Mateo, California
    Patriot QB, 2000-present; uniform #TB12
    Pats 6th round (199th overall) selection of the 2000 draft, from Michigan




    Six pro football players with New England connections:

    Chris Lindstrom, 59 (8/3/60)
    Born in Weymouth; graduated from Weymouth South High School and Boston University.
    The defensive end was the 205th selection (8th round) of the 1982 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Lindstrom played for the Bengals, Niners, Bucs and Chiefs up until 1987. His brother Dave was also a DE, playing in 118 games for the Chiefs from '78-'85, and his son Chris was the 14th overall pick of the 2019 draft by Atlanta.

    Bert Shurtleff (8/3/97 - 2/15/67)
    Born in Adamsville, RI; went to East Greenwich Academy and Brown University.
    Was a center in the twenties for the Providence Steam Roller and Boston Bulldogs.

    Louis 'Duke' Abbruzzi (8/3/17 - 12/6/82)
    Born in Warren, RI; went to Warren High School and University of Rhode Island.
    Played halfback and defensive back for the Boston Yanks in the forties.

    Jeff Yeates, 68 (8/3/51)
    Boston College, class of '73
    Defensive end was a 4th round draft pick by Buffalo, and went on to play in 142 games for the Bills and Chiefs from '73 to '84.

    Ralph Horween (8/3/96 - 5/26/97)
    Played fullback, halfback, punter and drop-kicker for the undefeated Harvard Crimson football teams of 1919 and 1920, which won the 1920 Rose Bowl.
    Halfback, kicker and assistant coach for the Chicago Cardinals in the twenties.
    After retiring from football Horween attended Harvard Law School, became a patent attorney, and later a federal government official. He was also a successful businessman, as he raised cattle and helped run the family leather tannery business, Horween Leather Company. He was the first NFL player to live to the age of 100.

    Kory Blackwell, 47 (8/3/72)
    UMass, class of '97
    Corner for the Giants and Browns, '97-'99; later played in the XFL and Arena league. He worked as a juvenile counselor, and is now a probation officer in New York City.




    Other notable NFL players born August 3:

    Lance Alworth, 79 (8/30/40); Hall of Fame flanker was an amazing talent with the Chargers, and possibly the best player in the history of the AFL.

    Maxie Baughan, 81 (8/3/38); 9-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Eagles and Rams played from 1960 to 1974.

    Kris Jenkins, 40 (8/3/79); 4-time Pro Bowl DT with the Panthers and Jets.

    Todd Christensen (8/3/56 - 11/13/13); tight end was a major factor in two championship seasons for the Los Angeles Raiders. He twice led the NFL in receptions, and from '83 to '86 he had 349 receptions for 4,394 yards and 33 touchdowns.

    Todd Gurley, 25 (8/3/94); Ram running back has led the NFL in touchdowns each of the last two seasons, and in four years has already accumulated 6,430 yards from scrimmage and 56 touchdowns.

    Walter Tin Kit Achiu (8/3/02 - 3/21/89); the Hawaiian tailback makes this list for his nickname: Sneeze Achiu.
     
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  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    The Well Runs Dry on Patriot Birthdays


    Happy birthday to Eddie Cade
    Born August 4, 1973 in Casa Grande, Arizona
    Patriot safety, 1995; uniform #41

    Eddie Ray Cade played in ten games for the Patriots in 1973.
    His claim to fame is being the only Patriot born on August 4.

    Therefore, here are some random photos and trivia for today's entry:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Some of the home fields and towns used for Boston Patriots exhibition games (the phrase 'preseason game' would come later, thanks to some creative NFL marketing) include:

    Alumni Field (UMass), Amherst MA
    Alumni Stadium (Boston College), Chestnut Hill MA (five times)
    Brown Stadium, Providence RI
    Cawley Memorial Stadium, Lowell MA (three times)
    Conley Stadium, Providence RI
    Fitton Field, Worcester MA
    Harvard Stadium, Allston MA (four times)
    Jarry Park, Montreal QC (8/25/1969 vs Detroit)
    Nickerson Field (Boston University), Boston MA
    Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium (UMass), Hadley MA

    And there are these post-1970 preseason games, as the New England Patriots:
    Olympic Stadium, Montreal QC (8/9/1990 vs Pittsburgh)
    SkyDome, Toronto ON (8/14/93 vs Cleveland)
    Estadio Azteca, Mexico City (8/17/1998 vs Dallas)

    There was also a game versus Seattle scheduled for 8/8/2007 at Worker's Stadium in Beijing, China that was postponed to 2009 and eventually canceled.


    The Patriots have also played these regular season games:

    Wembley Stadium, London (10/25/2009 'at' Tampa Bay Bucs; won 35-7)
    Wembley Stadium, London (10/28/2013 'at' St Louis Rams; won 45-7)
    Estadio Azteca, Mexico City (11/19/2017 'at' Oakland Raiders; won 33-8)



    [​IMG]



    The Patriots are entering their 60th year of professional football.

    During that time the franchise has experienced a total of 18 losing seasons.

    Just consider that tidbit a little something to keep in your back pocket for when somebody proclaims that the Patriots were 'always awful' pre-Brady/Belichick.




    [​IMG]



    Gino Cappelletti: Valuable Versatility | Patriots.com

    All he did was blossom into a standout offensive player, but he also began growing into an iconic community figure that even opened a social club in Boston called The Point After.

    “In 1966, I started to work for WBZ-TV as a sports anchor doing the nightly news,” Cappelletti recalled. “Our owner understood that it was good for our team to get the exposure, saw the public relations value and he convinced our coach to allow for me to handle this assignment. The restaurant was started in 1967 in Copley Square and it was the hottest place to go in town. All of the sports figures from all across the other sports were there when they were in town. I do think it helped put the AFL in the spotlight.”​

    [​IMG]

    To the best of my knowledge, from left to right:
    1. Ed Philpott (Ernie Adams' long-lost cousin)
    2. Ross O'Hanley
    3. Charley Long (behind O'Hanley)
    4. Larry Garron (back row, behind Long and hidden by St Jean)
    5. Len St. Jean
    6. Joe Bellino (behind St Jean)
    7. Bob Cappadona (behind Bellino, back row)
    8. Ron Burton (front row, middle)
    9. Butch Songin (behind Burton and Gino)
    10. Gino Cappelletti
    11. Unknown (behind Parilli, can't see enough of his face)
    12. Babe Parilli
    13. Art Graham
    14. Houston Antwine




    Patriot Training Camps:

    1960-1961
    UMass, Amherst MA
    Most Games: Alumni Field, Amherst MA

    1962-1968
    Phillips Academy, Andover MA
    Most Games: Various (see above)

    1969-1975
    UMass, Amherst MA
    Most Games: Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Hadley MA; Schaefer Stadium, Foxboro

    1976-2002
    Bryant College
    Most Games: Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium

    2003-present
    Gillette Stadium
    CMGI Field/Gillette Stadium​







    Boston Patriots Regular Season Home Stadiums by year:

    1960: Nickerson Field
    1961: Nickerson Field
    1962: Harvard Stadium (home opener); Nickerson Field (6 games)
    1963: Alumni Stadium (home opener); Fenway Park (6 games)
    1964: Alumni Stadium (home opener); Fenway Park (6 games)
    1965: Fenway Park
    1966: Fenway Park
    1967: San Diego Stadium (home opener); Fenway Park (6 games)
    The Pats had to open the season with four road games and then a bye in order to appease Tom Yawkey and the grounds crew at Fenway. Unforeseen when the schedules were made was the Sox playing in the postseason. As a result the Pats home opener against the Chargers was played in San Diego on October 8.​
    1968: Legion Field, Birmingham AL (home opener); Fenway Park (6 games)
    After the Impossible Dream Red Sox of 1967 zoomed in popularity, the baseball team refused to let the Patriots play in September (even though the Sox were on the road on Sept 22).
    The AFL-NFL merger was already in the works (eventually completed after the 1969 season) and every team was facing a requirement of a stadium with at least 50,000 seats. The Patriots were in a tenuous spot, receiving no cooperation on a new stadium deal from city and state politicians in Boston.
    In April of 1968 AFL execs steered the Jets-Patriots game there to test Alabama’s taste for a professional team in the heart of college football country, eyeing a potential new home for the Patriot franchise.
    1969: Alumni Stadium

    In 1970 the team became the New England Patriots and began playing at Schaefer Stadium, in Foxboro.


    [​IMG]






    Two others born on this date with a New England connection:

    Art Braman (8/4/97 - 8/12/67)
    Born in Torrington CT; Phillips Exeter Academy; Yale
    Left Tackle for the Racine Legion in the twenties.

    John Joseph 'Jumbo" Yonakor (8/4/21 - 4/18/01)
    Born in Boston; Mechanic Arts High School
    DE for the Browns and others from 1946-52

    [​IMG]




    Other pro football players born Aug 4 with fun names include:

    Momcilo Gavric (1938); Croatian kicker for SF in 1969

    Melvyn 'Mel' Maile Tom (1941); Honolulu DE for the Eagles and Bears, 1966-75

    Mike Michel (1954); P/K was a 5th round by the Dolphins in 1977

    Marshall Maquell McFadden (1986); LB for 10 games from 2012-14

    Shaunard Trudell Harts (1978); Boise State safety played 51 games with KC from '01-'04

    Canute Curtis (1974); Bengals LB for 70 games from '97 - '02

    Lou Cordileone (1937); Jersey native and Sopranos extra

    Vince Costello (1932-2019); Browns MLB 1957-1966 and another Sopranos extra

    Edgar 'Edd' Gregg (1897-1961); double word score on the letters d and g
     
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    Steelers in same time frame: 17 losing seasons.

    I don't recall them being labeled a laughingstock.
    Cowboys: 17 losing seasons in their history (1960)

    49ers since '60: 25 losing seasons

    Packers since '60: 19 losing seasons

    Raiders history (1960): 23 losing seasons

    Only Patriots fans deprived of seeing their team winning the Super Bowl wearing their real logo and uniforms.

    Hearing Jonathan Kraft going on on Monday about how his family grew up "loving the Patriots" just doesn't ring true; as Robert took his sons to the meaningless last game of a losing season when, aided by a wrong call by the officials, the Patriots won in overtime in the first season wearing a logo and uniform unfit for the dregs of the USFL, which has in the quarter century since been universally evaluated as by far the worst in football, and the fifth-worst logo and uniform in college and professional history.

    Robert Kraft says he decided then and there that he had to buy the team. Then. So that's when he fell in love with the Patriots.

    I can instantly think of over 100 meaningful, relevant huge wins in our history prior to 1993, and the idea that something basically pitiful is valued above them is inescapably insulting. This behavior pretends that we don't exist, that we never existed.

    In 1987, Ted Turner somehow came to decide to restore the Atlanta Braves uniforms, and they abandoned the ridiculous pajamas they'd worn for 15 years. They looked like champions when they won the World Series in 1995.

    Ironically, Robert Kraft talks about how hurt he was as a youngster when the Braves left Boston.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    'In The Line of Duty'



    Happy posthumous birthday to Larry Carwell
    Born August 5, 1944 in Vada, Georgia
    Died January 9, 1984 at the age of 39
    Patriot CB, 1969-1972; uniform #41


    Larry Carwell was a third round draft pick by the Oilers in 1967, out of Iowa State. He was a four-year starter for the Patriots at left corner, from '69-'72 in a period of time when there was not much support from either the pass rush or the offense. Carwell had ten interceptions (with one touchdown) for the Pats, plus 13 punt returns and two kickoff returns.


    Remembering Larry Carwell

    Larry Carwell was an exceptional Iowa State football player from 1964-66. He was also a huge success as a professional, playing six seasons (1967-72) in the AFL for the Houston Oilers and New England Patriots, collecting 14 career interceptions along the way.

    A native of Campbell, Ohio, Carwell lettered three years at Iowa State as an outstanding defensive back. He tallied 127 tackles and picked off seven passes in his career. On Oct. 8, 1966, Carwell picked off two Kansas passes and returned the interceptions for 123 return yards. His interception return yardage that day is still a Cyclone school record.

    Carwell started over 50 games in the AFL during his distinguished professional career. He had five interceptions for the Patriots in 1971 and returned two interceptions for touchdowns in his career.

    Unlike today’s professional athletes, players in the 1970s were underpaid. They needed a second career to survive, and Carwell was determined and ready for another challenge.​

    [​IMG]


    Carwell entered the United States Drug Enforcement Administration in 1974 shortly after retiring from the pros. He soon became a special agent for the DEA, and on Jan. 9, 1984, Carwell, along with four Air Force servicemen, died in a helicopter crash during an anti-narcotics mission.

    Larry Carwell was stationed in Houston with the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration’s Houston Field Division soon after becoming a special agent. He was a Sunday school teacher for a local Baptist church and active in drug prevention and sports programs in the community.

    Carwell was sent to Miami with the task of stopping drug runners in the Bahamas. During the 1980s, cocaine smuggling was at its peak and the Bahamas was a key link in the smuggling chain.

    Just off the coast of the Bahamas, his helicopter developed complications. The aircraft suffered from a dual engine flame out and crashed into the sea. All five bodies were never found.

    Carwell was 39 years old.​

    [​IMG]





    Happy 57th birthday to William Roberts
    Born August 5, 1962 in Miami
    Patriot LG, 1995-1996; uniform #76

    [​IMG]

    William Roberts was a first round draft pick in 1984, playing for the Giants until '94. He was a two-year starter with the Pats, one of many former G-Men recruited by Bill Parcells while in the twilight of their careers. He even followed the Big Tuna back to Jersey for his final NFL season with the Jets in '97 - which makes him a guy who played 195 games, for three different teams - and only one head coach.




    Happy 40th birthday to Will Allen
    Born August 5, 1978 in Syracuse
    Patriot CB, 2012; uniform #26

    Will Allen was another former Giant. New York tabbed the corner from Syracuse as the 22nd pick of the 2001 draft. Allen spent five seasons with the Giants and five more in Miami before a final training camp in Foxboro.

    Aug 28, 2012: What IR means for Allen, Barrett and Larsen | Mike Reiss, espn

    Allen, who came off the field after warm-ups in Wednesday and Thursday practices in Tampa, didn't play Friday night against the Buccaneers.

    Usually when a player is placed on injured reserve, that means they are lost for the season.

    But in this case, the option is there for the team to work out injury settlements with all three players at any time. If the injury settlement is worked out within five days of them being placed on injured reserve, the option opens for that player to potentially return to the team later in the season.

    A negotiated injury settlement would be for a specific number of games. The team could then approach the players about returning six games after the number of games settled upon.​


    Mar 1, 2017: Former Patriot player sentenced to six years for Ponzi scheme | Boston Globe

    Prosecutors said Allen and Daub ran a Massachusetts company, Capital Financial Partners, that took in more than $35 million from investors between 2012 and 2015, supposedly to loan money and then earn money on the interest.

    Some of the loans the duo claimed to issue never existed, authorities said, and in other instances, Allen and Daub exaggerated the size of the loans they made. They used new investments to repay existing investors, claiming the money was coming from loan payments.​


    Mar 1, 2017: Former NFL CB Will Allen sentenced to six years in prison for Ponzi scheme | USA Today

    Will Allen was sentenced to six years in prison and three years of supervised release as well as ordered to pay $16.8 million in restitution by a federal judge on Wednesday for his role in a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

    Co-defendant Susan Daub received the same sanctions when U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young announced the sentence in Boston. Allen, 38, and Daub, 56, pleaded guilty in November to two counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy and one count of money laundering as part of a $35 million fraudulent loan scheme targeted at professional athletes.

    “The sentences imposed by the court today send a strong message – those who defraud investors to unjustly enrich themselves will pay a hefty price,” Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation Joel P. Garland said in a statement “As a former professional football player, Mr. Allen’s conduct is especially egregious. He used his status as an NFL athlete to legitimize his dealings with investors. We are proud to bring our financial expertise to joint investigations of this magnitude, and help prevent future victims of such schemes.”

    “The defendants’ elaborate Ponzi scheme robbed many of the investors of a stable financial future,” Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb said in a statement. “The significant sentences the court imposed today should remind investment professionals to handle their clients’ money with the transparency and integrity that the law requires.”​





    Other pro football players born August 5 with New England connections:

    Freddie Scott, 67 (8/5/52); Amherst


    Ernie McCann (1902 - 1971); Hartford Blues


    Sky August (1904-1993); Providence Steam Roller


    Dwight Bingham, 58 (8/5/61); Stamford CT




    Some of the other pro football players born on this date include:

    Roman Gabriel, 79 (8/5/40)

    Bruce Coslet, 73 (8/5/46)

    C.J. Spiller, 32 (8/5/87)

    Wendell Hayes, 79 (8/5/40)

    Howie Ferguson (1930 - 2005)

    Gary Beban, 73 (8/5/46)
     

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