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

  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Sam Hunt

    Happy birthday Sam Hunt
    Born August 6, 1951 in Longview, Texas
    Patriot ILB, 1974-1979; uniform #50
    Pats 15th round (374th overall) selection of the 1974 draft, from Stephen F Austin University


    Sam Hunt started all but two games during his six years with the Patriots. He is the right inside linebacker, next to Steve Nelson, on the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1970s. The Pats cut Hunt at the end of training camp in 1980; he later signed with the Packers, but never did play in the NFL again.


    Hunt played in 84 games for the Pats, plus two more in the playoffs. He had six fumble recoveries and seven interceptions, including one for a touchdown - that saved the 1976 Pats from what would have been an embarrassing loss.

    Dec 12, 1976: Patriots 31, Buccaneers 14 |

    Ending their first National Football League season with as many victories as they began, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers achieved perfect imperfection Sunday in a 31-14 loss to the New England Patriots. It was the 14th consecutive Sunday without a victory for the Bucs, setting an NFL record for imperfection.

    But in doing so, the playing with a roster that has been changed more than 50 per cent since the season began because of injuries, gave the playoff-bound and now 11-3 Patriots a run for their pride in front of 41,517 Tampa Stadium customers.

    The Bucs led 14-7 late in the third period on Ed Williams' 17-yard touchdown run and Steve Spurrier's 27-yard scoring toss to Morris Owens, but the Patriots revived themselves in time to score 24 points and dish out a few insults along the way to victory.

    Andy Johnson's nine-yard run with 4:59 left in the third period tied the score at 14. Then linebacker Sam Hunt, who wasn't supposed to play because of a pulled hamstring, intercepted a Spurrier pass and returned it 68 for a touchdown with 6: 15 to play in the fourth period to boost New England into a 21-14 lead.

    John Smith's 30-yard field goal made it 24-14 with 2:41 to play and the Patriots twisted the knife when they called time out with six seconds to play so quarterback Steve Grogan could score from a yard out. Grogan's touchdown run gives him 12 for the season, breaking the previous NFL mark for most touchdowns rushing in a season by a quarterback held by Tobin Rote and Johnny Lujack. On top of that, the Patriots allowed linebacker Steve Zabel, who fancies himself a place-kicker but did no kicking all year, to kick the extra point.

    But there were no complaints about the last-second touchdown from Bucs' Head Coach John McKay, who out his first season in the NFL without a victory: "That doesn't bother me," 'an unusually perturbed McKay 'said after the game.

    New England Coach Chuck Fairbanks apologized to McKay at midfield when it was over. McKay's mood was more a result of his own team's imperfection when it could have had the game safely in hand by halftime. Twice in the first half the Bucs put together long drives and were less than 10 yards from scoring when fumbles stopped them without a point.

    That the Bucs' defense, hit hardest by the injury epidemic, could hold the Patriots' offense to only seven points for the better part of three periods, was a major accomplishment. That score was a 69-yard touchdown run by Johnson in the second period. Johnson gained 127 yards on 14 carries and scored twice for the Patriots, who used fullback Sam Cunningham sparingly because of a bruised shoulder.

    The Patriots, as the American Football Conference wild-card team, travel to Oakland next week for the first round of the playoffs against the Raiders. New England's 11-3 record a complete reversal of last year's 3-13 mark. Should the Bucs be able to pull such a reversal next season, they would be 14-0. But right now, one win would be an improvement. Says McKay, "I think I'll take some time off and go hide somewhere"'​

    Sept 5, 2004: Catching up with Sam Cunningham |

    Sam Hunt​


    Happy birthday Steve Burks
    Born August 6, 1953 in Little Rock
    Patriot WR, 1975-1977; uniform #82
    Pats 4th round (91st overall) selection of the 1975 draft, from Arkansas State

    Steve Burks played in 34 games with the Pats, primarily on special teams. The 6'5 WR had 13 receptions for 264 yards, plus four kick returns.

    10/31/2012: Cabot Schools Hall of Fame

    Steve Burks grew up in Cabot and is a 1971 graduate of Cabot High School. At an early age it became obvious that Mr. Burks was a gifted athlete. Not only was Mr. Burks gifted with athleticism, his brother, Reagan, was an Arkansas Razorback under Frank Broyles.

    Cabot was a recruiting stop for most of the top college coaches in America. During Mr. Burks’ senior year he won the state decathlon breaking the record that held for many years. Mr. Burks was the Arkansas Democrat Athlete of the Year and was the 1970’s version of the former Razorback, Matt Jones. Mr. Burks was three years all county in basketball, all state and all star in football, all state and all star in baseball and was drafted by the New York Yankees.

    Mr. Burks spent his collegiate years at Arkansas State as a quarterback. He tied the all time touchdown record in a single game with seven touchdowns and is still the all time ASU scoring leader. Steve was drafted by the New England Patriots and played three years as a wide receiver.​

    Happy birthday Eric Lee
    Born August 6, 1994 in Panama City, Florida
    Patriot LB, 2017; uniform #55

    Eric Lee spent 2016 and 2017 on the practice squad for Houston and Buffalo. He was signed off the Bills practice squad to replace Cassius Marsh, who wasn't working out. Lee had an immediate impact, with eight tackles, one interception, 2.5 sacks, and a pass deflection in his first two games. He is now reunited with Matt Patricia, on the Detroit roster.

    Dec 3, 2017: Who is Eric Lee? He just had the game of his life | NBC Sports Boston

    Dec 15, 2017: 'Unpredictable' football journey leads DE Eric Lee to Patriots | Mike Reiss, espn

    Happy birthday Ray Lucas
    Born August 6, 1972 in Harrison, New Jersey
    Patriot QB, 1996; uniform #15

    Ray Lucas appeared in only two games for the Pats, with no stats. The running QB was one of many players that followed Bill Parcells out of Foxboro to sign with the Jets. He had one successful season, going 6-3 with 14 TD and 7 INT in 1999 as a sub after Vinny Testaverde was injured.

    Interesting article on Lucas here:
    Ray Lucas - My Life of Dad

    His professional football career, however, came to a sudden end at age 30, when a neck injury caused him to collapse on the sideline during training camp. Instructed by NFL doctors that surgery wasn’t an option, Lucas turned to painkillers for relief, but as his tolerance for medication escalated and his NFL insurance coverage expired, he began to plan his suicide.

    . . .

    TR: Do you remember your first official game? What was that experience like for you?

    RL: It was in Green Bay. I was on kickoff coverage. I ran into the wedge and I didn’t know where the hell I was. I actually got into Green Bay’s huddle after I got up off the ground.

    . . .

    AE: Reading the forward by Bill Parcells it seems that he wanted thought very highly of you. For someone with Bill’s influence and respect in the NFL did you feel that having him on your side helped open up some doors during your time in the league?

    RL: First things first. With Coach Parcells, he is a Jersey boy. I am a Jersey boy. There is an unwritten rule that you have to take care of each other. It took me a long time to become a Parcells guy. You have to show him that you have no fear. You have to show him that you are willing do to whatever it takes to be successful.

    People always ask me, how do you become a Parcells guy? The only way that I can explain it is that he will take you to a cliff. He will make you hang off and then step on one of your hands. If you hold on, he will pick you up and put you behind him.​

    Happy birthday Brian Kinchen
    Born August 6, 1965 in Baton Rouge
    Patriot LS, 2003; uniform #46

    Kinchen played tight end for the Dolphins, Browns/Ravens and Panthers from 1988-2000. He also became a long snapper after joining Carolina in 1999. In 2003 he came out of retirement at the age of 38 to reunite with Bill Belichick when the Pats needed a LS late in the season after Lonie Paxton and Sean McDermott were sidelined with injuries. In a bit of trivia it was Kinchen, not Paxton, who snapped the ball on the Adam Vinatieri field goal that won Super Bowl 38 over Kinchen's former team, Carolina.

    Happy birthday Kevin Hughes
    Born August 6, 1965 in New Orleans
    Patriot OT, 2015 offseason

    Hughes was signed as a rookie UDFA by the Rams in 2011. He bounced between the offseason and practice squad rosters of the Rams, Chargers, Packers, and Panthers for four years after appearing in three games for St Louis in 2011. The Pats signed him in May of 2015; he was waived/injured early in training camp and never again played in the NFL.

    Happy birthday Seth Wand
    3rd round (75th overall) selection of the 2003 draft

    April 26, 2003: Wand's draft pick was traded by the Pats as the 2003 3rd round pick (75th overall), along with the Pats 2003 2nd round pick (41st overall, Bennie Joppru) to the Texans in exchange for Houston's 2003 2nd round pick (36th overall, Eugene Wilson) and 2003 4th round pick (117th overall, Dan Klecko).

    Yes, the Patriots won that trade.

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

    Brendan McCarthy (8/6/45 - 8/26/97)
    Born in Boston; Boston College, class of '68

    Diamond Ferri, 38 (8/6/81)
    Born in Stoneham; Everett High School, class of '99

    Some other pro football players sharing this birth date:

    Ken Riley, 72 (8/6/47)
    Pro Bowl CB started 201 games for the Bengals from 1969-1983, recording 65 interceptions.

    Ed Husmann (1931-2018)
    The three-time AFL All-Star DT with the Houston Oilers played in 142 games from 1953 to 1965.

    Bruce Van Dyke, 75 (8/6/44)
    The guard played in 128 games from 1966-76, mostly with the Steelers.

    Donte Moncrief, 26 (8/6/93)

    Kareem Hunt, 24 (8/6/95)

    Mike Frederick, 47 (8/6/72)
    Frederick was part of a lopsided trade between the 49ers and Browns. In 1995 San Francisco sent their 1st round pick (30th overall), 4th round (119th overall) and their 1996 1st round pick to Cleveland in order to move up to the 10th overall pick of the draft.

    San Francisco used that selection on WR J.J. Stokes who had a good but not great career (though he did pick up a ring after appearing in two 2003 games with the Pats).

    Initially Cleveland (ie, Bill Belichick and Ozzie Newsome) looked as though they lost out in the trade. The first round pick was LB Craig Powell; he played in only three games as a rookie and was a draft bust, appearing in just 14 NFL games with zero starts over his career. The third round pick was Frederick, who was a backup DE as a rookie and started only 12 games over a five year career.

    The final draft pick, that 2006 first rounder was used a year later after the Browns became the Baltimore Ravens: Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis.

    Not only that, but: RLKAG
    • Like Like x 1
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Marquise Hill

    Happy birthday Marquise Hill (RIP)
    Born August 7, 1982 in New Orleans
    Died May 28, 2007 at the age of 24 in Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana
    Patriot DE, 2004-2006; uniform #91

    Pats 2nd round (63rd overall) selection of the 2004 draft, from LSU


    Remembering Marquise Hill (video) |

    Marquise Hill Bio |

    June 14, 2004: Marquise Hill Player Journal |

    Aug 16, 2004: Rookie Spotlight: Marquise Hill |

    May 28, 2007: Former Tiger Marquise Hill Found Dead After Accident |

    May 30, 2007: Patriots' Hill mourned as 'a hero to the end' | espn

    May 31, 2007: Patriots players cope with Hill's passing |

    Oct 12, 2007: Gone but not forgotten |


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

    Jerry Rush, 77 (8/7/42)
    Pats 1st round (7th overall) selection of the 1965 AFL draft, from Michigan State
    The defensive tackle was also drafted 25th overall in the second round of the NFL draft by the Lions. Rush stayed close to his hometown of Pontiac and played in 90 games with 65 for Detroit from 1965 to 1971.

    Bill Thomas, 70 (8/7/49)
    Boston College, class of '72
    Bill was the 26th overall pick of the 1972 draft by Dallas. The running back and kick returner never fully recovered from a college shoulder injury, playing in 27 games over three seasons for the Cowboys, Oilers and Chiefs.

    Ken Steinmetz (8/7/24 - 10/13/95)
    Born in Providence; Aldrich High School (Warwick Rhode Island), class of '43
    Ken was only 20 years old when he began a two-year career playing wingback for the Boston Yanks in 1944.

    Some of the other pro football players born on August 7 include:

    Alan Page, 74 (8/7/45)
    Hall of Fame Viking DT was named to nine Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams.

    John Gilliam, 74 (8/7/45)
    One of the NFL's premier receivers in the early seventies, Patcheye went to four consecutive Pro Bowls and averaged 18.5 yards per catch over 11 seasons.

    Chuck Drazenovich (1927 - 1992)
    The linebacker/fullback played for Washington from 1950 to 1959, and also went to four straight Pro Bowls.

    Shane Lechler, 43 (8/7/76)
    The punter played in 286 games and went to seven pro bowls with Oakland.

    Beanie Wells, 31 (8/7/88)
    The running back wanted out of Arizona and was looking forward to a nice payday once he was able to hit free agency, but instead knee injuries and then an Achilles tear ended the career of the former first round draft pick at the age of 24.

    Jess Rodriguez (8/7/01 - 10/12/83)
    The tailback and his younger brother were the first of just three players in NFL history that were born in Spain.

    Lenny Sachs (8/7/97 - 10/27/42)
    The only player in NFL history that came from Chicago's American College of Physical Education. I would have thought a school like that would be a powerhouse in sports.

    Samuel 'Smoke' Salemi (8/7/03 - 10/29/07)
    The wingback from the twenties is included on this list simply because I like the name.
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Horace Ivory

    Happy birthday to Horace Ivory
    Born August 8, 1954 in Fort Worth
    Patriot RB/KR, 1977-1981; uniform #23
    Pats 2nd round (44th overall) selection of the 1977 draft, from Oklahoma


    Horace Ivory was part of one of the best draft classes in Patriot history. That '77 draft class included Raymond Clayborn, Stanley Morgan, Ivory and Don Hasselbeck. The draft pick used on Ivory was one of four acquired in a trade with San Francisco for QB Jim Plunkett: Pete Brock, Tim Fox, Clayborn and Ivory.

    Ivory was the 1B to Sam Cunningham's 1A on the 1978 Patriot team that set an NFL record that will most likely never be broken. That Pats team rushed for 3,165 yards; only two teams were within 500 yards. The Patriots also led the league with 30 rushing touchdowns (the rest of the league averaged 15.7), 180 rushing first downs (the next closest was 160) and 4.7 yards per carry (league average was 4.0).

    Horace scored 11 touchdowns in that 1978 season, and 16 while with the Pats. Knee and hamstring injuries derailed his career though, and with the arrival of Tony Collins in 1981, Ivory was deemed to be expendable and traded to Seattle. At the time Ivory ranked seventh in franchise history with 1,336 rushing yards (he ranks 24th now), and tied for fifth with Larry Garron with 14 rushing touchdowns (they now rank 18th).


    Happy birthday to Jerome Henderson
    Born August 8, 1969 in Portsmouth, Virginia
    Patriot FS/PR, 1991-93 and 1995; uniform #36, #26
    Pats 2nd round (41st overall) selection of the 1991 draft, from Clemson


    Jerome Henderson played in forty games in two stints with the Patriots. He had 107 tackles, seven interceptions plus a fumble recovery. Henderson also appeared in the three playoff games following the 1996 season: the 28-3 victory over Pittsburgh, the 20-6 AFCCG win against Jacksonville, and Super Bowl 31 versus Green Bay. Overall Henderson played in 98 regular season NFL games and seven postseason games from 1991 to 1998.

    Henderson is now the defensive passing game coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. He had previously worked as the defensive backs coach for the Jets, Browns and Cowboys.

    Jerome Henderson Bio |

    Happy birthday to Paul Dombroski
    Born August 8, 1956 in Sumter, South Carolina
    Patriot CB, 1981-1984; uniform #47


    Paul Dombroski played in 36 games over four seasons with the Pats, in a backup and special teams role. He made a key play in a 1984 week 3 game at Sullivan Stadium. Seattle was up 23-0 in the first half before the Patriot defense clamped down, and the Pats rallied to take the lead. Dombroski picked off a Dave Krieg pass on New England's 33 yards line and returned it 23 yards, essentially sealing the miraculous comeback. You can read a thorough description of this game here:

    Eason Rallies Patriots from 23-0 Deficit to Beat Seahawks | fs64sports


    Aug 28, 1984: Patriots place three players on injured reserve; claim three others | UPI

    The New England Patriots placed three players, including All-Pro punter Rich Camarillo, on injured reserve Tuesday and claimed three others on waivers.

    The roster moves pared the Patriots' roster to the NFL's 49-player limit.

    Defensive back Paul Dombroski, a fifth-year pro, second-year linebacker Ed Reynolds, and tight end Brooks Williams, in his seventh season, were recalled after being waived by New England Monday.

    Placed on the injured reserve list along with Camarillo, a fourth-year pro, are second-year linebacker Johnny Rembert and second-year wide receiver Clarence Weathers. Camarillo and Rembert both have knee injuries; Weathers suffered a broken foot early in training camp.​

    Aug 28, 1985: Transactions

    NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -- Cut defensive backs Rick Sanford and Paul Dombroski, defensive end Smiley Creswell, tight end Paul Ricker, nose tackle Milford Hodge and running back Tony Mumford. Placed tackle Darryl Haley on injured reserve.​

    Dombroski had previously been with the Chiefs, and was later with the Bucs and the Browns. He appeared in 63 NFL games, plus one playoff game while with the Pats. Paul is a survivor of breast cancer (yes, you read that correctly).

    Paul Dombroski | The Trust, powered by the NFLPA

    Nov 24, 2015: Preparing for a Personal Cancer "War" | Modern Salon


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

    Blake Countess, 26 (8/8/93)
    Patriot Draft Trade Trivia
    In 2015 Houston traded WR Keshawn Martin plus the draft pick that was eventually used on Countess (2016 6th round, 196th overall) to the Patriots, for the Pats 2016 5th round pick.
    The following April the Pats traded 6.196 and two other draft picks to Miami for their 5th. That fifth was then packaged with a seventh in a trade with Seattle for two draft picks, which turned out to be DE Deatrich Wise and WR Devin Lucien.

    Kalif Raymond, 25 (8/8/94)
    Holy Cross
    Wide receiver has spent time with the Broncos, Giants, Jets, and now Titans.

    Bubba Pena, 70 (8/8/49)
    Born in Wareham; Lawrence High School; Dean College; UMass
    The guard was a 4th round pick by the Browns in 1971. Per his twitter, Bubba was on the 1972 NFL All Rookie Team, in the UMass Amherst Hall of Fame,and the Dean College Athletic Hall of Fame.

    Marcel Shipp, 41 (8/8/78)
    Milford (CT) Academy; UMass
    Running back had 2,261 yards from scrimmage for Arizona in 2002-03.

    Some notable pro football players born on August 8 include:

    Bruce Matthews, 58 (8/8/61)
    Hall of Fame offensive lineman was named to 14 Pro Bowls while playing in 311 NFL games for the Oilers/Titans; he is one of nine family members to play in the NFL.

    Mike Farr, 52 (8/8/67)
    Detroit WR comes from another football family: his father Mel was a Pro Bowl RB and 1967 Offensive rookie of the year for the Lions, brother Mel was a Charger RB, and his uncle led the AFL with 10 interceptions in 1967.

    Jim Sweeney, 57 (8/8/62)
    The center played in 228 games from 1984-1999, mostly with the Jets and Steelers.

    Brian Sipe, 70 (8/8/49)
    Cleveland Brown QB was the 1980 MVP; in a two-year span Sipe engineered eight fourth-quarter comebacks and 11 game-winning drives.

    Fred Miller, 79 (8/8/40)
    Three-time Pro Bowl DT was a ten-year starter for the Colts from '63-'72.

    Charlie McNeil (1936 - 1994)
    His 349 yards on interception returns set a single season record that stood for 43 years.

    Chuck Cherundolo (1916 - 2012)
    Center and linebacker with the Rams and Steelers from 1937 to 1948.

    Anthony Becht, 42 (8/6/77)
    In 2000 the Jets squeezed two first round picks out of Tampa Bay for WR Keyshawn Johnson, and the Bucs won the Super Bowl two years later. The Jets used those two picks on Becht and DE John Abraham. Both teams seemed to benefit dramatically from the trade.

    Trev Alberts, 49 (8/8/70)
    The 5th overall pick of the 1994 draft was a huge bust, starting just seven games over three seasons for the Colts. Alberts was fired from his job as a college football in-studio analyst after pouting about not being on ESPN's first team crew. He then took a job as the athletic director at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and created a stir when he announced the school would be dropping its wrestling program - just hours after the team won their third consecutive NCAA title.
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Pats draft a QB in the sixth round

    Happy 40th birthday to Kliff Kingsbury

    Born August 9, 1979 in San Antonio
    Patriot QB, 2003; uniform #15
    Pats 6th round (201st overall) selection of the 2003 draft, from Texas Tech


    Kliff Kingsbury never got on the field for the Patriots, but he did get a Super Bowl ring. Kingsbury spent the entire 2003 season on IR with an arm injury, and was cut the following September at the end of training camp when teams need to get down to their roster limit.

    Kingsbury spent time on practice squads for the Saints and Broncos, and in 2005 appeared in garbage time for one game with the Jets. New York then allocated him to Cologne for the 2006 NFL Europe season. His pro football playing days finished in 2007 as the third string quarterback of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL.

    The next year Kingsbury took an entry level coaching job at the University of Houston. He quickly progressed, and was named college football's Offensive Coordinator of the year in 2011 after the Cougars scored an average of 50 points per game. That led to being hired as the OC for Texas A&M. In 2012 the Aggies were the only team in college football ranked in the top 15 for scoring offense, total yards, rushing yards and passing yards - and QB Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy.

    A year later at the age of 36, Kingsbury became head coach at Texas Tech. Despite the Red Raiders posting mediocre records (7-5, 4-8, 7-6, 6-7, 5-7), Kingsbury became a hot topic among speculation for coaching hires. Much of that was due to Patrick Mahomes' first season as an NFL starter; Mahomes was the QB in 2016 for Kingsbury when Texas Tech had the 6th best offense in college football. Overlooked was the fact that they also had the worst ranked defense.

    Earlier this year Kingsbury signed a contract to become head coach at USC, then resigned when offered the same position by the Arizona Cardinals. The Vegas over/under on win totals in 2019 for the Cardinals is just five; last year they went 3-13.

    Happy 67th birthday to Bill Bain
    Born August 9, 1952 in Los Angeles
    Patriot OT, 1986; uniform #62


    In 1975 Bill Bain was a second round draft pick out of USC in by the Packers. He arrived in Foxborough at the tail end of a twelve year NFL career for the last three games of the 1986 season, plus the 22-17 playoff loss at Denver. That 1986 season had a rough ending, with Andre Tippett, Clayton Weishuhn and Steve Nelson all going on IR in November, and then Irving Fryar suffering a concussion in an automobile accident.

    Other pro football players born August 9 with New England connections:

    Tom Gormley (8/9/91 - 7/24/51)
    Born in Bridgeport; Naugatuck High School
    Played in the inaugural and second season of the American Professional Football Association; the following year the APFA would be renamed the National Football League. Prior to that Gormley played football for three years with the legendary Youngstown Patricians (or Pats, for short). He also later became coach at Catholic University. Tom Gormley spent his post-football career in the service; he was a first lieutenant in the United States Army Quartermaster Corps and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Red Steele (8/9/97 - 3/28/74)
    Percy Davis Steele was an end for the 1921 Canton Bulldogs. In 1924 he bought a home in Honolulu, and married a socialite and former newspaper woman in 1927. Percy Steele was a career U.S. Marine who in 1956 was named assistant administrator of the Marshall Islands. His family had been eyewitnesses to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Percy Steele's daughter Karen became a Hollywood actress, appearing in 18 films, 67 television shows and many television and radio commercials.

    Joe Kozlowsky (1901 - 1970)
    Born, raised and died in Cambridge; Cambridge Latin High School; Boston College
    The tackle stayed local, playing at the Cycledrome for the Providence Steam Roller and at Braves Field for the Boston Bulldogs from 1925 to 1930.

    Charley Granger, 81 (8/9/38)
    Pats 26th round (203rd overall) allotment of the 1961 AFL disbursement draft
    The tackle from Southern University chose the NFL over the AFL, but only lasted one season.

    Notable pro football players born on August 9 include:

    Bill 'Bubba' Forester (1932-2007); a seven-year defensive captain on the Packers, the OLB was named to four Pro Bowls and never missed a game in 11 seasons.

    Gene 'Big Daddy' Lipscomb (1931-63); the 6'9 All Pro defensive tackle was a major part of 1958 and 1959 Baltimore Colts championship teams. He did not go to college and was undrafted; his prior experience was playing on the Marines football team at Camp Pendleton. Demons from a sad upbringing - he never knew the father who abandoned him and his mother was murdered when he was 11 - created an insatiable appetite for women, liquor and drugs, and a path that led to his death due to a heroin overdose at the age of 31. The Ballad of Big Daddy | SI

    Jim Kiick, 73 (8/9/46); part of Miami's threesome backfield that won two superbowls.

    Adewale Ogunleye, 42 (8/9/77); Bears DE had 67 sacks and 95 tackles for a loss.

    John Cappelletti, 67 (8/9/52); RB won the Heisman with Penn State in 1974.

    Henry Marshall, 65 (8/9/54) WR averaged 15.7 yards per catch from 1976-87 with the Chiefs.

    Deion Sanders, 52 (8/9/67); HoF CB returned nine of his 53 interceptions for touchdowns.

    Besides Kliff Kingsbury, there are several other quarterbacks born on this date: Chris Miller, Doug Williams, Matt Moore, Tyler Palko, JaMarcus Russell and John McCarthy.
  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History

    The third and final draft of the Pete Carroll era was a mixed bag. Two first round picks were used on Damien Woody (a center who had to be moved to guard because he was unable to master the shotgun snap) and Andy Katzenmoyer (whose stock had dropped dramatically his senior year, and was constantly sidelined with injuries). The third round pick started one game in two seasons, and four selections in the latter rounds contributed next to nothing for the Patriots. Picking up Kevin Faulk in the second round is the only decision that kept this draft from being a total disaster.

    Happy 44th birthday to Tony George
    Born August 10, 1975 in Cincinnati
    Patriot FS, 1999-2000; uniform #41
    Pats 3rd round (91st overall) selection of the 1999 draft, from Florida


    Houston Antonio 'Tony' George Jr. was a Florida Gator for Steve Spurrier's 1996 national championship team. He played in 31 games with one start over two seasons, then in 2001 was allocated to the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe. George was in training camps for the Pats, Panthers and Titans from 2001 to 2003, but he never again played in the NFL. He retired after missing the cut with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL in 2003.


    Tony George | HEAT Fitness

    Tony George was always fascinated by the process of turning himself into a physical strong safety. And when his playing days were over, he began to train other athletes.

    But at one point, he had to take care of his mind.

    Two seasons with the New England Patriots took more of a toll than he realized. After starting H.E.A.T. Pro Fitness in 2005, he had to step away from his work in 2012 for 18 months.

    “It was catastrophic,” he said. “There were voices in my head and suicidal thoughts. I had to step away so I could see the bright side of things again.”

    He took that time off before returning to work in 2014. H.E.A.T., in Charlotte, N.C., has helped 116 athletes earn college scholarships.

    “I train everyone from everyday people to MMA guys,” George said. “Ray Lewis, Will Smith, guys like that have been through here.​

    Happy 32nd birthday to Ramon Humber
    Born August 10, 1987 in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
    Patriot LB, 2016 (uniform #53) and 2018, #50

    The North Dakota State product played in six regular season games for the Patriots in 2018. He had 105 special team snaps plus two snaps on defense. Humber was also on the postseason roster, appearing in two of the three playoff games and earning a ring in the Super Bowl victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

    Ramon Humber reacts during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough.

    Nov 14, 2018: Patriots sign LB Ramon Humber |

    Humber, 31, spent the 2016 offseason with New England after signing with the team on March 9, before being released on Aug 30. The 5-foot-11, 232-pounder most recently played for Buffalo from 2016 through the first nine games of this season before being released on Nov. 10.​

    Humber is in his 10th NFL season and has played for Indianapolis (2009-10), New Orleans (2010-15) and Buffalo (2016-18). He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Indianapolis in 2009 out of North Dakota State. He made the 53-man roster out of training camp as a rookie and played in all 16 games, starting the final two at linebacker, and finished with 22 total tackles and a team-high of 17 special teams tackles. He added three special teams tackles in three postseason games, including Super Bowl XLIV against New Orleans. Humber played in the first two games of the season for Indianapolis in 2010 before being placed on injured reserve. He was signed by New Orleans on Dec. 1, 2010 after being released by Indianapolis on Nov. 9, 2010.

    Overall, Humber has played in 130 NFL games with 28 starts and has accumulated 234 total tackles, 4½ sacks, five passes defensed, two forced fumbles and 77 special teams tackles.​

    Other pro football players born August 10 with New England connections:

    Lamar King, 44 (8/10/75)
    Born in Boston
    22nd overall pick of the 1999 draft by Seattle, out of Saginaw State. The defensive end was the first pick by Mike Holmgren as GM of the Seahawks. King suffered a dislocated shoulder and torn labrum as a rookie, and that was a sign of things to come. Between calf strains and knee problems that led to microfracture surgery, King played in 57 NFL games with 125 tackles and 12 sacks.

    Maury Dubofsky (1909 - 1970)
    Born and raised in Hartford; Weaver High School
    Offensive lineman for the New York Giants in the thirties.

    Dunc Annan (1895 - 1981)
    Brown University
    Tailback was part of the NFL's first season, playing for several teams in 43 games from 1920 to 1926.

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

    Eddie Meador, 82 (1937)
    The six-time Pro Bowl defensive back played from 1959-1970 for the Rams, collecting 46 interceptions and 22 fumble recoveries.

    Samari Rolle, 43 (1976)
    Rolle had 31 picks from 1998-2008 with the Titans and Ravens. Asa kid, football was always played at family picnics: five cousins (Chad Johnson, Keyshawn Johnson, Antrel Rolle, Brian Rolle and Myron Rolle) also played in the NFL.

    Chuck Walker, 78 (1941)
    DT played from 1964-1975 for the Cardinals and Falcons.

    Walt Harris, 45 (1974)
    Played in 193 games from 1996-2008 at CB, mostly for the Bears and Niners.

    Spergon Wynn, 41 (1978)
    The sixth of The Brady Six, Wynn had 1 TD and 7 INT in the NFL before spending a few years in the CFL. Fortunately he knew his football limits, and prepared well for a second career.

    Speedy Duncan, 77 (1942)
    Averaged 10.9 yards per punt return in his career ('64-'74), leading the league in that category three times.
  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    A couple local alums make the team

    Happy 73rd birthday to Daryl Johnson
    Born August 11, 1946 in Richmond, Virginia
    Patriot CB, 1968-1970; uniform #23
    Pats 8th round (197th overall) selection of the 1968 draft, from Morgan State


    Daryl Johnson started all 42 games for the Patriots in his three years with the Pats. He had five interceptions, two fumble recoveries, one touchdown and one safety. Johnson is a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1960s, in a defensive backfield with CB Chuck Shonta and safeties Ron Hall and Don Webb.

    Happy 68th birthday to Steve Corbett
    Born August 11, 1951 in Dover, New Hampshire
    Patriot guard, 1974-1975; uniform #62
    Pats 2nd round (30th overall) selection of the 1974 draft, from Boston College

    From 1975: Steve Corbett (62) blocks for Mack Herron (42) as Jim Plunkett (16) looks on.

    Steve Corbett was a local guy. He grew up in Dover and went to St Thomas Aquinas High School in his hometown, then Bridgton Academy in Maine for a postgraduate year.

    May 17, 2010: Corbett held the line in Dover and beyond |

    After Bridgton, it was off to BC. Under coach Joe Yukica, Corbett distinguished himself as one of the nation's best offensive linemen. He battled a nagging neck injury during his time with the Eagles, but still performed well enough to be drafted by the Patriots as their top pick in 1974.

    "I had a pretty good career at BC," Corbett said. "A lot of nagging injuries, though. I had neck surgery twice before I joined the Patriots."

    He participated in the Pats' training camp in 1974, but sat out the entirety of what would have been his rookie season due to the surgery. He was back in 1975 and played all 14 games alongside such famous names as Jim Plunkett, Steve Grogan and Hall-of-Famer John Hannah.

    Unfortunately for Corbett, 1975 turned out to be his only season in the NFL.

    "It's hard to be an offensive lineman with a bad neck," Corbett said. "I tried to make a comeback in '79, but I couldn't do it."​

    Regarding Corbett and Wilson:
    Sep 8, 2018: BC-Holy Cross football rivalry better left in distant past | Boston Globe

    Happy 69th birthday to Joe Wilson
    Born August 11, 1950 in Raeford, North Carolina
    Patriot RB, 1974; uniform #23


    Joe Wilson was another local guy: he graduated from Jamaica Plain High School before entering College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. Wilson played in twelve games for the Pats in a backup role and on special teams. His stat line with the Patriots reads 15 rushes for 57 yards (3.8 ypc), three receptions for 38 yards (12.7 ypr) and two kickoff returns for 33 yards.

    Joseph Wilson Bio |

    Wilson was an outstanding running back for Holy Cross from 1970-1972, twice winning the Davitt Award as the team’s top offensive back. At the time of his graduation, Wilson held the all-time school records for most rushing yards in a single game (274 against Rutgers in 1972), a single season (973 in 1971) and a career (2,350). He also holds the record for Holy Cross’ longest ever rush from scrimmage, with a 94-yard run against Boston University in 1970. Wilson ranked third in both points scored (146) and touchdowns scored (24) at the end of his career.

    During his time with the Crusaders, Wilson received the Turco Award as the most valuable player of the 1971 homecoming game against Boston University, and the O’Melia Award as the most valuable player of the 1971 game with Boston College.

    Selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the eighth round of the 1973 National Football League draft, Wilson went on to play two seasons in the NFL for the Bengals and the New England Patriots. He was inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1978, as the youngest man ever enshrined and the first African American to be honored.​

    On a side note, I stumbled across this article while researching Joe Wilson. It is an interesting column on one of his Crusader teammates and four other notables at Holy Cross while Wilson was a student there:

    Perfect Dolphin and the Holy Cross 'Fraternity'

    Happy 43rd birthday to Jed Weaver
    Born August 11, 1976 in Bend, Oregon
    Patriot TE, 2004; uniform #85


    Weaver was a 7th round draft pick by the Eagles in 1999. His best season came with San Francisco in 2003 when he had 35 receptions for 37 yards. Foxborough was the final stop of Weaver's six-season NFL career. He played in ten games with one start for the Pats, and earned a ring for Super Bowl 39, the final game of his career.

    March 30, 2017: Super Bowl Champion, Former Miami Dolphin Jed Weaver on Real Estate | Delray Newspaper

    Winning the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of success in football and it was up to that point the greatest accomplishment of my life. No words can express the excitement and satisfaction I felt once we were crowned champions!​

    Happy 39th birthday to Hakim Akbar
    Born August 11, 1980 in Riverside, California
    Patriot S, 2001; uniform #29
    Pats 5th round (163rd overall) selection of the 2001 draft, from Washington

    Nov 24, 2001: Pats' Akbar hurt in car accident | Cape Cod Times

    Akbar was in satisfactory condition with non-life threatening injuries, said Nancy Cawley, spokeswoman for Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

    Akbar was traveling north on Interstate 95 in Mansfield when his sport utility vehicle went off the highway rolled over at about 1:30 a.m., said State Police Lt. Paul Maloney. Maloney said Akbar was ejected from the vehicle and landed in a marsh.

    He was alone in the car.

    Maloney said speed may have been a factor in the crash, but alcohol does not appear to have been involved. The crash is still under investigation, he said.

    Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he didn’t know the extent of Akbar’s injuries. “I think it’s unlikely he’ll be playing football any time in the immediate future,” he said.​

    Jan 29, 2008: Safety Hakim Akbar: "I tried to play with no fear" | Seattle Times

    In November 2001, a year after Williams was hurt, Akbar suffered a spinal injury and nearly died. He was driving home, alone and tired, after socializing with teammates. He says he fell asleep at the wheel and woke up to find he was speeding down the interstate, going at least 80 mph.

    His Cadillac Escalade went off the road, and Akbar, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was thrown 30 feet through the sunroof. He spent a month in the hospital, eating through an IV, with three fractured vertebrae, broken ribs and an injured hip and shoulder.

    Police said alcohol wasn’t involved. But Akbar was charged with driving with the intent to endanger, among other offenses.

    A doctor told Akbar he wouldn’t play football again. But three months after the accident, Akbar was working out, preparing to make his way back. Although he didn’t play in the Super Bowl, the Patriots presented him with a ring. Afterward, the team released him.

    Akbar’s career became a blur of teams and injuries — the Texans, Rams, Buccaneers, Jaguars and the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders; a torn knee ligament, separated shoulder, pulled hamstring and two dislocated fingers. Since quitting the game in 2006, Akbar has had three surgeries, with three more to go.

    These days, Akbar lives in California. He’s investing in real estate and thinking of starting a bar and grill, maybe with some memorabilia on the walls.

    Oct 19, 2018: Husky Legend: Hakim Akbar | University of Washington Athletics

    A turning point in the 2000 season was when Akbar's close friend and fellow safety Curtis Williams was seriously injured during a game against Stanford, where Williams was left paralyzed. The impact of Williams' unfortunate incident had a dramatic effect on Akbar who was in his third year of playing alongside Williams.

    "Especially when Curtis went down, we did it for him, we wanted to play hard to get him a ring," said Akbar. "We did it for Curtis, we had CW on our jersey, we came together really strong and hard for Curtis and for each other. We all drove off of each other."

    After the end of Akbar's junior season, he declared for the 2001 NFL Draft where he would be taken by the New England Patriots in the fifth round. Though injuries hampered Akbar's play on the field, he was also presented with a different brand of football than he was accustomed to.

    "It was a lot different, it was more of a business," said Akbar on the NFL. "The college game is so passionate. I noticed it was us being told to do our job, everyone does their job and let's go get them. That was our breakdown in the huddle one time, everybody knows their job, and execute your job. I couldn't relate to that. And to that I was frustrated, with the lack of passion that was there. It was more about individuals than a team sometimes. It was a big difference, and it took some adjusting from me to understand it is a business, and it isn't college anymore."

    Akbar received a Super Bowl ring after the Patriots won the 2002 Super Bowl. The NFL career of Akbar would span until 2006 after playing for five different NFL franchises.

    Mar 20, 2002: Pats release S Hakim Akbar |

    The New England Patriots announced that they have released safety Hakim Akbar. The Patriots drafted the 6-foot, 212-pound prospect from the University of Washington in the fifth round (163rd overall) of the 2001 NFL draft. He appeared in six games and recorded five special teams tackles before being placed on the reserve/non-football injury list for the remainder of the season on Nov. 16, 2001.​

    Happy 55th birthday to Rogers Alexander
    Born August 11, 1964 in Washington, DC
    Patriot LB, 1987; uniform #91

    Alexander was fourth round draft pick out of Penn State by the Jets in 1986. He played in all three Replacement Games for the Patriots in 1987.

    Happy 40th birthday to Brock Williams
    Born August 11, 1979 in Hammond, Louisiana
    Patriot CB, 2001-2002; uniform #28

    Pats 3rd round (86th overall) selection of the 2001 draft, from Notre Dame

    Brock Williams never played a down for the Patriots, but he did receive
    a Super Bowl ring - which he infamously pawned for $2,600.

    As a rookie Williams was active in week one, but was a healthy scratch. He then tore his ACL and was placed on injured reserve, missing the entire 2001 season. The following offseason Williams was limited by an ankle injury, and was released as part of final roster cuts. The next day the Patriots signed Williams to their practice squad, then released him for good on October 22. He later spent time with the Bears and Raiders, seeing action in 12 games before ending his NFL career being cut by Oakland at the end of the 2005 training camp.

    Apr 22, 2011: ESPN the Magazine: When athletes can't keep up with their lifestyle, they turn to pawn shops for a loan

    May 25, 2014: Brock Williams' 2001 Super Bowl ring still resides in Las Vegas at that very famous Pawn Shop | Sports Rings

    Aug 11, 2015: A history of misappropriated Patriots rings |

    And one other pro football player born on this date with a New England connection:

    Ned Mathews (1918 -2002)
    The wingback scored ten touchdowns from 1941-1947 with four teams, including the Boston Yanks. Mathews was also head coach of the Chicago Rockets.
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  7. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target Supporter

    Sep 13, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Brian Kinchen! What a story he was! I think he was teaching in a religious school when he came back. If you think genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains, then this is one of those stories that confirms Belichick is a genius.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Tom Neville

    Happy 76th birthday to Tom Neville
    Born August 12, 1942 in Montgomery, Alabama
    Patriot RT, 1965-1977; uniform #77
    Pats 7th round (55th overall) selection of the 1965 AFL draft, from Mississippi State

    Tom Neville was a fixture at right tackle in the early days of the Pats. He is the right tackle on the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1960s and the 35th Anniversary Team.

    Alumni Spotlight: Tom Neville |

    Tom Neville played offensive tackle for the Patriots over 13 seasons (1965-77), outlasting four different head coaches and playing in seven “home” stadiums, Neville had a huge impact on generations of Patriots offensive linemen, but he almost missed becoming a Patriot altogether.

    When Neville arrived at Patriots Training Camp in 1965, wear-and-tear was beginning to catch up with him. He’d already had the kind of college production that would later earn him induction into both the Mississippi State and Mississippi Sports Halls of Fame. A knee injury incurred while playing both ways for the Bulldogs left him unable to pass the Patriots’ physical.

    “They had said it was cartilage and it ended up being ligament. It was a complete tear,” remembered the now-64 year-old diamond dealer, speaking in a thick Southern drawl. “They were going to run us on the 40, and my leg wouldn’t bend enough. It kept catching in the grass. I couldn’t get down in a defensive stance and couldn’t get into the left tackle stance because it was the wrong leg that was extended.

    “They wanted to send me home and come back next year. I said, ‘No, I’ve just driven thirteen-hundred miles, I’m not going home.’ They said, ‘Play right tackle.’ I was able to get down in a stance and I made the team. After the third game I was able to get the starting position.”

    Quickly carving out a niche for himself as an outstanding pass-blocker in Head Coach Mike Holovak’s offense, which featured Vito “Babe” Parilli at quarterback, Neville attended the Pro Bowl in 1966 and again two years later.

    . . .

    In 1973, Chuck Fairbanks took over as head coach. He began rebuilding the team by drafting offensive guard John Hannah fourth overall. Both being from Alabama, Neville and Hannah quickly formed a lasting bond.

    “Tommy was kind of my mentor when I first got there,” said Hannah. “He was in his eighth year. He kind of took me under his wing and helped me adjust to the world of pro football.


    Neville was a staple of the Patriots offense for over a decade, but in 1975, he broke a leg. It healed, but the doctors realized a ligament had been trapped during the healing process. They re-broke Neville’s leg just six months after the original injury, and he was hard-pressed to return before the 1976 season.

    “I came to training camp and didn’t pass the physical, so I didn’t practice with the team,” said Neville.

    “He was running figure eights, and there was a spot on the ground where you could see that he actually wore an eight into the ground trying to get that ankle strong,” remembered Hannah, noting that Neville was activated right before the first game of the season. “To see him rehabilitate himself like that and the kind of effort he put into it was a great example for a lot of us.”

    One player Neville set an example for was rookie center Peter Brock, another first-round offensive lineman. He came aboard the year of Neville’s injury.

    “I was two weeks late getting to Training Camp,” said Brock, who was participating in the Chicago Tribune All-Star game at the time. “Red Miller, who was our offensive line coach, said that I had no free time unless it was spent with Tommy Neville going over the playbook and game plans. I spent all my free time outside of practice and meetings with him. He was in his 12th year. He helped me immensely.”​

    Montgomery to NFL: The AFL Patriot -- Neville chose Pats over Steelers

    Tom Neville’s rookie contract with the then-AFL’s Boston Patriots was only $13,500.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers offered him $1,500 more, but Neville turned it down.

    “The guy who recruited me was a total jerk,” he said.

    The decision worked out in his favor. Neville played 12 of his 14 seasons with the now New England Patriots after the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

    “The Patriots were my family,” said Neville.


    Neville describes his life as being “accidental.”

    Example one — The callus leading to him buying pocket watches and eventually owning a jewelry store.

    Example two — A conversation at a gas station in Montgomery turning into an opportunity.

    “A guy says, ‘Aren’t you so and so?’ I said, ‘Yeah,’” Neville said. “He said, ‘Where you playing football?’ I said, ‘I’m not.’ He said, ‘How’d you like to play for Mississippi State?’ I said, ‘That’d be great.’”

    Two weeks later, Neville was in Starkville practicing. He became a second-team All-American and two-time All-SEC selection for the Bulldogs.

    . . .

    Neville stayed and earned a starting spot at right tackle to begin a 14-year pro career. An AFL all-star in 1966, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound Neville was a team co-captain for four years. He won the George L. Sargent Award for leadership in 1974 and the Jim Lee Hunt Award as the team’s top lineman in 1977.​

    Mar 15, 2010: The accidental jeweler: Former NFL tackle shares his love of bling

    Tom Neville's wristwatch was giving him a callus.

    It was the 1970s, and Neville was an offensive tackle for the New England Patriots. Jewelry wasn't exactly his thing.

    But that callus was bugging the heck out of him.

    That's when Neville invested in a dapper antique pocket watch. He liked it so much, he bought another, then another -- and that pretty much changed the course of his life.

    . . .

    When Neville lived in Boston, a friend owned a jewelry store, and Neville found himself spending more and more time there -- on days he wasn't roughing it out on the football field. That friend suggested he study to become a gemologist, but Neville said his response at the time was, "Ehh..."

    Though his feeling about studying jewelry was ambivalent at first, he finally ended up earning a degree from the Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica, Calif.

    After opening Tom Neville The Source in 1983, this hometown native has become one of the top go-to guys in the region. Not only for football reminiscences -- but for jewelry. Working in his store in the old Union Bank building, he has a customer base of more than 15,0000 people -- some who come from all over the U.S.​

    I still have this August 12, 2005 copy of The Sporting News in the man cave:


    Happy 33rd birthday to Kyle Arrington
    Born August 12, 1986 in Accokeek, Maryland
    Patriot CB/ST, 2009-2014; uniform #27, 24, 25

    Kyle Arrington was an undrafted cast-off by the Eagles and Bucs when the Pats signed him to their practice squad in 2009. He was promoted to the 53-man roster when Eric Mangini attempted to sign him to the Browns in November of '09. Arrington worked his way up from a special teams standout to four-year starter at corner, and led the NFL with 7 interceptions in 2011. He was also the player who was benched in Super Bowl 49, replaced in that game by one Malcolm Butler.

    Happy 44th birthday to Rod Rutledge
    Born August 12, 1975 in Birmingham, Alabama
    Patriot TE, 1998-2001; uniform #83
    Pats 2nd round (54th overall) selection of the 1998 draft, from Alabama

    Rod Rutledge played in 63 games with 31 starts over four seasons with the Pats. He had 27 receptions for 204 yards and one touchdown.

    One of those 27 catches carries special significance in the history of the franchise: it was the first pass completed by TB12.

    Happy 45th birthday to Greg Spires
    Born August 12, 1974 in Marianna, Florida
    Patriot DE, 1998-2000; uniform #94
    Pats 3rd round (83rd overall) selection of the 1998 draft, from Florida State

    Despite leading the team in sacks (6, tied with Willie McGinest), Spires did not make the 2001 roster. He then spent one season with Cleveland and six with Tampa Bay.

    Sep 3, 2001: Pats release Greg Spires |

    Spires, 26, started two of 16 games for the Patriots last season and recorded 17 tackles, including six sacks. The 6-1, 265-pound defensive end was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 1998 NFL draft. The Florida State product played in 42 games over three seasons and made three starts for the Patriots. He accumulated 47 career tackles, including 9.5 sacks for 74.0 yards, and had four passes defensed.​

    May 14, 2019: Judge orders Spires held on $50,000 bail in stalking case

    Aug 10, 2016: NFL Player's Ex-Wife Blames Bank for Stalking

    Happy 80th birthday to Charley Frazier
    Born August 12, 1939 in Houston, Texas
    Patriot WR, 1969-1970; uniform #81

    Frazier was an All-Star with the Oilers in 1966, averaging 19.8 ypc and scoring 12 touchdowns. He joined the Pats at the age of 30, and had seven TD receptions in 1969.

    Happy 41st birthday to Derrick Burgess
    Born August 12, 1978 in Lake City, South Carolina
    Patriot OLB/DE, 2009; uniform #53

    The Patriots traded for Burgess after the start of training camp in 2009, due to a gap that was never adequately filled with Mike Vrabel shipped off to KC in the Matt Cassel trade. Burgess was nothing special, was late reporting to camp the next year, and cut before the start of the 2010 season.

    Happy 69th birthday to Melvin Baker
    Born August 12, 1950 in Beaumont, Texas
    Patriot WR, 1975; uniform #83

    Baker played in 21 games for five teams over three seasons, including one with the Pats in '75.

    Happy 75th birthday to Teddy Bailey
    Born August 12, 1944 in Hamilton, Ohio
    Patriot RB, 1969; uniform #37

    Teddy was with the Pats in '69 but accumulated no stats.

    Other notable pro football players born on August 12 include:

    Alex Wojciechowicz (1915 - 1992)
    Hall of Fame center and linebacker was the 6th overall pick of the 1938 draft by the Detroit, out of Fordham. He played for 13 seasons and was an integral part of two NFL championship teams with the Eagles.

    R.C. Thielman, 64 (1955)
    3-time All-Pro guard for Atlanta and Washington played from 1977-88.

    Greg Manusky, 53 (1966)
    After a 12-year career as a LB for Washington, Minnesota and KC, he has been the DC for 12 more seasons with SF, SD, Indy and now Washington.
  9. 1960Pats

    1960Pats Supporter Supporter

    Jun 6, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Thanks once again @jmt57 for the great trips down memory lane.
    Ed Philpot does look like Ernie Adams' long-lost cousin.
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  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    The McCourty Twins

    Happy 32nd birthday to Devin McCourty
    Born August 13, 1987 in Nyack, New York
    Patriot FS/CB, 2010-present; uniform #32
    Pats 1st round (27th overall) selection of the 2010 draft, from Rutgers
    • Eight consecutive seasons as defensive team captain
    • Has missed only five games in nine seasons
    • Three-time Super Bowl champion
    • Named to Pro Bowl in 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2017
    • Seven interceptions in 2010 are 2nd most by a rookie in franchise history

    Jan 29, 2019: Devin McCourty is making winning plays for Patriots and Players Coalition | The Undefeated

    ‘You can be out there in the community trying to improve lives … and you can still do your job. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.’

    Jan 11, 2019: Two McCourtys Are Better Than One | Players Tribune

    Devin McCourty player page |

    Happy 32nd birthday to Jason McCourty
    Born August 13, 1987 in Nyack, New York
    Patriot CB, 2018-present; uniform #30

    Jason McCourty was a 6th round draft pick by Tennessee in 2009. He spent eight seasons with the Titans and one with the Browns. On March 15, 2018 Cleveland traded McCourty and their 7th round pick (used on Danny Etling) to the Pats for their 6th round pick. He became a starter in week three after Eric Rowe was injured.

    To put it another way, the Patriots got a starting corner (who played all 16 games, with 834 defensive snaps and 114 special team snaps) in exchange for moving down from the 205th overall pick to the 219th overall pick.

    Not bad for a player considered to be on the roster bubble at the end of training camp.

    March 16, 2018: Get to know Jason McCourty |

    Jason McCourty player page |

    Happy 57th birthday to Audray McMillian
    Born August 13, 1962 in Carthage, Texas
    Patriot CB, 1985 offseason
    Pats 3rd round (84th overall) selection of the 1985 draft, from Houston

    On April 30, 1985 the Patriots ignominiously pulled off one of the worst draft day trades in NFL history. The Pats traded down, picking up and additional second round pick.

    New England sent their first (16th overall) and third (75th overall) draft picks to San Francisco in exchange for the 49ers first (28th overall), second (56th overall) and third (84th overall) picks.

    The Pats used the first round pick on center Trevor Matich, who injured his ankle in preseason and missed all of 1985. Matich started only 11 games over four injury filled seasons before moving on to a career as a long snapper.

    Second round pick Ben Thomas was waived four games into his second season.

    Third round pick Audray McMillian was waived at the end of his rookie training camp.

    The player that San Francisco traded up for lasted a bit longer. You may have heard of his name: Jerry Rice.

    The Houston Oilers claimed McMillian the day after he was waived by the Pats. He went on to play from from 1985 to 1993 with the Oilers and Vikings. McMillian was named to the All-Pro team in 1992 after leading the league with eight interceptions.

    And he's a super good guy too, tirelessly working to change lives for the better:

    Oct 4, 1993: Audray McMillian | Sports Illustrated

    Happy 32nd birthday to Brandon Gibson
    Born August 13, 1987 in West Germany
    Patriot WR, 2015 offseason; uniform #13

    Gibson was the all-time leader in receiving yards and second in receptions at the time he left Washington State. He was a 6th round draft pick by Philadelphia, then traded early in his rookie season to St. Louis. He played alongside Danny Amendola with a carousel of quarterbacks for the Rams (Sam Bradford and Marc Bulger were among the six starting QBs) from 2009-2012. Gibson then went to Miami but tore a patellar tendon in his knee, ending the first of two seasons with the Dolphins prematurely.

    The Pats signed Gibson to a one-year contract early in free agency in 2015. He was placed on IR with another knee injury on August 24, and never again played pro football. Gibson finished his career with 233 receptions for 2,711 yards and 13 touchdowns, in 76 NFL games.

    Other notable NFL players sharing this birth date include:

    Dwight Smith, 41 (1978)
    The safety is the only player in Super Bowl history to run two interceptions back for touchdowns; Smith performed the feat for Tampa Bay in SB 37 off Rich Gannon and the Oakland Raiders.

    Chris Hanburger, 78 (1941)
    Converted from RB to LB at North Carolina, he was considered to be too small and was not drafted until the 18th round. 'The Hangman' was a four-time All-Pro, called the defensive signals for George Allen in Washington, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Cris Dishman, 54 (1965)
    The CB had 43 career interceptions from 1988-2000, mostly with the Oilers.
  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Mr. Versatility: Vrabes

    Happy 44th birthday to Mike Vrabel
    Born Aug 14, 1975 in Akron
    Patriot LB, 2001-2008; uniform #50

    Mike Vrabel was a 1997 third round pick by Pittsburgh, out of Ohio State. He never started in four seasons with the Steelers, and left when his contract expired and he became a free agent. Ironically his only notable play during that time involved the Pats. Vrabel sacked Drew Bledsoe to clinch a 7-6 Steeler victory over the Patriots in the '97-'98 divisional round playoff game. That turned out to be the first of twenty postseason games for Vrabel.

    Bill Belichick saw something in Vrabel that he liked, and signed Vrabel in 2001. He became a starter and proceeded to miss just three games over seven seasons with the Patriots.


    In 2007 Vrabel forced three fumbles, had three sacks, recovered an onside kick, and caught a touchdown pass - in one game. He finished his career with 10 receptions on 14 targets - all for touchdowns. On defense Vrabel was an effective force not only at defensive end an outside linebacker, but also when injuries necessitated him to play inside linebacker in 2005 and 2006.


    Vrabel is a member of the Pats All-Decade Team of the 2000s as well as the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team, alongside linebackers Andre Tippett (HoF), Nick Buoniconti (HoF) and Steve Nelson (who should be in the HoF).

    A look back at the career of Mike Vrabel | (14-page slide show)

    Mike Vrabel: A career retrospective | (21-page slide show for Pats HoF voting)

    Apr 30, 2019: Patriots Hall of Fame: The Case For Mike Vrabel |

    July 13, 2019: Mike Vrabel's wife responds to his 'I'd cut off my d--- to win' comment




    Today in Patriots History

    Happy 32nd birthday to Tim Tebow
    Born August 14, 1987 in the Philippines
    Patriot QB, 2013 offseason; uniform #5

    In 2010 the Ravens traded down, sending the 25th overall pick of the draft to Denver. Baltimore used that on Sergio Kindle, Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson; Josh McDaniels used that Bronco draft pick on Tim Tebow. The quarterback had won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and the BCS championship in 2008 with Urban Meyer's Florida Gators.

    On Jan 8, 2012 Tebow threw a pass to Demaryius Thomas that went for an 80 yard touchdown to shock Pittsburgh in the divisional playoff game. That turned out to be Tebow's final victory as an NFL quarterback. A week later the Pats pounded the Broncos 45-10, sacking Tebow five times while limiting him to 9-26 with 136 yards passing.

    In the offseason Denver signed Peyton Manning, after the Big Forehead had been released following Indy's successful Suck For Luck season. Tebow was traded to the Jets for a bag of footballs, and released after a typical dysfunctional Jete season.

    The Pats signed Tebow as an unrestricted free agent, but he magnificently underwhelmed in training camp and preseason games. Since 2016 Tebow has been playing minor league baseball in the New York Mets organization.

    Happy 79th birthday to Eddie Wilson
    Born Aug 14, 1940 in Redding, CA
    Patriot QB, 1965; uniform #12

    Wilson was a backup with the Texans/Chiefs for three seasons before filling the same role with the Pats in '65. He is the only quarterback in pro football history to start more than one game but have neither a loss nor a win: his career record is 0-0-2. In ten games with the Pats Wilson went 20-46 for 257 yards, with one touchdown pass and three interceptions.

    Happy 67th birthday to Durwood Keeton
    Born Aug 14, 1952 in Bonham, Texas
    Patriot safety, 1975; uniform #29

    The only NFL action Keeton saw was in twelve games for the Pats in '75.

    Happy 58th birthday to Orlando Lowry
    Born Aug 14, 1961 in Cleveland
    Patriot LB, 1989; uniform #91

    Lowry played for Indy from '85-'89 before finishing his NFL career with two games for the Patriots in 1989.

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

    Mike Mamula, 46 (1973); Boston College
    Eagles' DE in the nineties

    Kiko Alonso, 29 (1990); born in Newton
    LB has played for the Bills, Eagles and Dolphins

    Mike Mayock, 61 (1958); Boston College
    Before he became a draft guru, and well before he became a general manager, Mike Mayock was a BC Hall of Fame baseball and football player.
  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History

    August 15, 2002:
    "3 Games To Glory: Patriots Post Season 2002" is released by NFL Films.

    Relives the Patriots amazing run through the 2001 Playoffs and includes their monumental upset over the heavily favorite St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl 36.


    Who in 2002 would have ever guessed there would be so many sequels to this movie?

    Currently you can buy the original for $189 new on Amazon, or $59 used.

    While not the same video as the original above, there is also this from the 2001 season:

  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Sam Bam Cunningham

    Happy 69th birthday to Sam Cunningham
    Born Aug 15, 1950 in Santa Barbara, California
    Patriot RB, 1973-1982; uniform #39

    Pats 1st round (11th overall) selection of the 1973 draft, from Southern Cal

    Sam 'Bam' Cunningham played in 107 games for the Pats. He is the franchise's all-time leading rusher with 5,453 yards, and his 43 rushing touchdowns rank second in team history. He also had 210 receptions; overall Cunningham had 7,358 yards from scrimmage and 49 touchdowns. Sam was the club's leading rusher when the Patriots set the NFL record for most rushing yards in a season with 3,165 yards in 1978.

    Sam Cunningham is a member of the Pats All-Decade Team of the 1970s, the 35th Anniversary Team, and the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team. He was enshrined into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2010.


    In 1970 Sam Cunningham was in a USC backfield along with QB Jimmy Jones, and future Oakland Raider RB Clarence Davis. Collectively they were the first collegiate all-black backfield. On September 12, 1970 USC went on the road to play Alabama in Birmingham for an early season east-west showdown between traditional college football powerhouses.

    Cunningham ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns on just twelve carries as USC trounced all-white 'Bama 42-21. That color barrier changed immediately. An assistant to head coach Bear Bryant later said that "Sam Cunningham did more to integrate Alabama in 60 minutes than Martin Luther King did in 20 years". USC went on to win the national Championship two years later, with Cunningham earning All-American honors.

    Separated from the myths, Sam Cunningham’s story remains an inspiration | LA Times

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  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    The first game at Schaefer Stadium





    Sunday, August 15, 1971 at 8:00 pm: The Patriots made their debut at Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro. Gino Cappelletti kicked a 36-yard FG for the first points scored in the stadium as the Patriots defeated the Giants 20-14 before 60,423 fans.

    The game is more well known for causing the largest non-weather related traffic jam in American history. It was a nightmare for fans driving to the stadium that evening. Thousands were late due to a horrific traffic jam on Route 1; thousands more never got into the game at all. Some of those that did gain entrance were unable to exit after the game until 3 am.

    It was also Gino Cappelletti's last game as a player. He kicked the first field goal in the stadium's history and was released the following week.

    Happy 47th birthday to Ken Walter
    Born Aug 15, 1972 in Cleveland
    Patriot P, 2001-03, 2006; uniform #13

    Ken Walter earned two Super Bowl rings, playing in 46 regular season games and six playoff games with the Patriots.

    Happy 73rd birthday to Bob Adams
    Born Aug 15, 1946 in Stockton, CA
    Patriot TE, 1973-74; uniform #80

    Bob played in 25 games with starts in two seasons with the Patriots. He had 31 receptions for 441 yards, averaging 14.2 yards per catch.

    Happy 44th birthday to Cam Cleeland
    Born Aug 15, 1975 in Sedro-Woolley, WA
    Patriot TE, 2002; uniform #85

    Cam spent the middle of his seven NFL seasons in Foxboro. The 6'5, 272 lb tight end had 16 receptions in twelve games, with one touchdown.

    Happy 55th birthday to Joe Peterson
    Born Aug 15, 1964 in San Francisco
    Patriot DB, 1987; uniform #45

    Joe was a replacement player during the 1987 strike.

    Others born Aug 15 with a New England connection:

    Bob Sullivan (1923-81)
    Born in Lowell; North Andover High School; Holy Cross
    Played halfback and defensive back in the late forties for the 49ers.

    Rocco Canale (1920-95)
    Born in Boston; Boston College
    Offensive lineman played for the Eagles and Boston Yanks from 1943-47.

    Alfred Fincher, 36 (1983)
    Norwood High School; UConn
    The linebacker was a third round pick by the Saints in 2005.

    Jack Fleischmann (1901-1988)
    Played guard for five NFL seasons in the twenties. He was part of the 1928 champion Providence Steam Roller and played in the Cycledrome for three seasons.

    Jeff Queen, 73 (1946)
    Born in Boston
    FB/TE played with the Chargers, Raiders and Oilers from 1969-74.

    John Maskas (1920-83)
    Greek born OL was drafted by the Boston Yanks in 1944.

    There is also a notable pro football player with an interesting story born on this date:

    Tommy Thompson (1916-1989)
    Two-time NFL champion and Eagle Pro Bowl QB from 1940-1950.

    Lurtis Pryor 'Tommy' Thompson

    Lurtis Pryor 'Tommy' Thompson was born in Hutcheson, KS, but grew up in Fort Worth TX. He had a strong arm that enabled him to excel in discus, shot-put, and javelin in high school. He played his college football as a single wing tailback at the University of Tulsa. He started his professional career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (Steelers) in 1940, but was seldom used in their single wing.

    Pittsburgh and Philadelphia traded franchises before the 1941 season and Thompson went to the Eagles. It was with the Philadelphia team that his talents became evident. Under Coach Greasy Neale, Philadelphia install the T-Formation and made Thompson the quarterback.
    Thompson's football career was interrupted for two years when he entered the Army after the 1942 season. He received the Purple Heart when he was wounded while landing with the second wave at Normandy. After being discharged from the Army, he played briefly at the end of the 1945 season.

    His professional career began to reach its peak with the 1947 season, when the Eagles made it to the NFL Championship game, but lost to the Chicago Cardinals 28-21. In the 1948 season he threw a league-leading 25 touchdown passes at a time when the league played only 12, not 16, games a season. The Thompson-quarterbacked teams came back and won the 1948 NFL Championship game 7-0 over the Cardinals, then won the 1949 NFL Championship game 14-0 over the Los Angeles Rams. That year he led the team to a 12-1 season. Tommy Thompson was named the outstanding player in both the 1948 and the 1949 NFL Championship games.

    One of the amazing things about Tommy Thompson was that he was blind in his left eye. Several biographies indicated that he lost the vision in a childhood rock throwing incident. His nephew, Jim Murphy, indicated that it was his understanding that he lost the sight in the eye in a javelin accident.

    As was indicated, not only did he play all those years in high school, college and the NFL, but he served two years in the Army with vision in only his right eye. As an aside, it was reported the his left end at Philadelphia complained that he always gave the ball to the right end. In fact, he couldn't see the left end.
  15. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

    Aug 3, 2005
    Likes Received:
    pity and sad he did not win a Super Bowl...:(
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    The first Pats #87 All Pro TE

    Happy 50th birthday to Ben Coates
    Born August 16, 1969 in Greenwood, South Carolina
    Patriot TE, 1991-1999; uniform #87
    Pats 5th round (124th overall) selection of the 1991 draft, from Livingstone

    Ben Coates did not play football until his senior year at Greenwood (SC) High School. As a result he was not recruited by any college football powerhouses, and went to nearby Division II Livingstone (enrollment: 1,200). Breaking records in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association got him an invite to the NFL combine, but those results were nothing special. It's a surprise Coates was even drafted.


    Coates' first two years in Foxborough coincided with the Dick MacPherson era. The former Syracuse head coach preferred a '21' offensive formation. That meant Leonard Russell at RB, Ivy Joe Hunter or John Stephens at FB, Irving Fryar and Greg McMurtry at WR, and Marv Cook as the single tight end. Cook was a major factor in that Patriot offense - an All Pro in '91, with 148 receptions over those two seasons - but the Pats rarely used a two-tight end set. Coates rarely saw any action; he had only 30 catches and four touchdown in those first two years.


    After a two-win season McPherson was history. In 1993 the Pats hired Bill Parcells, who had a history of success exploiting mismatches for TE Mark Bavaro with the Giants. That same year the Pats also drafted Drew Bledsoe, who was an immense upgrade over Hugh Millen.

    Parcells utilized a two-tight offense for much of that '93 season, in part to help Bledsoe with an outlet, and also to assist the offensive line with blocking. Cook played in 16 games with 12 starts, but his production dropped to 22 catches for 154 yards. Coates led the team with 53 receptions for 659 yards and eight touchdowns. He became Bledsoe's security blanket as well as a fan favorite.

    In 1994 Ben Coates caught 96 passes, setting a single season NFL record for most receptions by a tight end - a mark that would stand for twenty years. That season would be the first of five that Coates was named to the Pro Bowl, first of two 1st-team All-Pro selections (and first of three overall). From 1993 to 1998 Coates had 428 receptions for 4,835 yards and 44 touchdowns. He led the team in receiving touchdowns each of those six seasons, receptions five times, and receiving yards twice. Coates was arguably the number one factor in Drew Bledsoe's productivity and success.


    6'5 Ben Coates was much more than just a pass catching receiver masquerading as a tight end. Like Russ Francis before him, he was a devastating blocker in both the run game and in pass protection.

    "I didn't want to just catch passes. We had guys like Shannon [Sharpe] and other people in the league that were going to be pass-catching tight ends, but [my question was], 'When are we going to start looking at the complete tight end?'"

    When he retired Ben Coates ranked second in franchise history with 490 receptions (now sixth), third with 5,471 receiving yards (now sixth) and second with 50 receiving touchdowns (now third). He is a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1990s, the Pats 35th Anniversary Team, the Patriots Team of the Century in 2000, and the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s. When Coates retired he was the fourth all-time leading receiver among tight ends in NFL history, behind only Ozzie Newsome, Shannon Sharpe and Kellen Winslow - all of whom are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 2000 Ben Coates left Foxboro and signed with Baltimore, where he won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in his final NFL season.

    Ben Coates was elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2008. He has spent some time coaching high school football, but mostly 'is enjoying being a dad to his three kids after missing out on their early years because of his playing career'.

    There's a good Q&A from Mike Reiss with Ben Coates from last season, when Gronk was about to eclipse Coate's franchise record for receptions by a tight end:

    Ben Coates appreciates what Rob Gronkowski is doing | Mike Reiss, espn

    For more on Ben Coates, check these links out:

    Ben Coates | The Patriots Hall of Fame

    Ben Coates elected to Patriots Hall of Fame |

    New England Patriots of the Past: Ben Coates | Last Word on Pro Football

    The great Rob Gronkowski - Ben Coates debate | Fansided


    • Like Like x 1
  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Game Delayed Due To Fire

    On August 16, 1970 the Patriots played a preseason game against Washington. It managed to become a memorable part of the early years of the franchise.



    The Patriots played this exhibition game at BC's Alumni Stadium because Harvard was utilizing their stadium for tryouts that day. The stands at The Heights had been freshly painted. Some reports claims that the fiasco began after a fan threw a lit cigarette into a trash bin; others state the blaze was ignited when a popcorn machine beneath the bleachers malfunctioned and caught fire.


    Fans evacuated to the safety of the field, mingling with players like Sonny Jurgensen while the game was halted. After the fire was doused fans returned to a seat of their choosing that was hopefully neither charred, soaked, or overly warm. Washington won the game 45-21.


    Happy birthday to David Givens
    Born Aug 16, 1980 in Youngstown, Ohio
    Patriot WR, 2002-2005; uniform #87
    Pats 7th round (253rd overall) selection of the 2002 draft, from Notre Dame


    This 2015 piece by Tom Curran sums up David Givens' contributions to the Patriots:

    Best of the Belichick Era: Number 40 -- David Givens | NBC Sports Boston

    David Givens was a rock-solid weapon for the Patriots in some of their biggest games. Givens wasn’t tall but he was jacked -- 6-feet, 212 pounds -- and his ability to use that solid frame to make catches in traffic was vital to the success of two Super Bowl champions. How important was he in the playoffs? He caught a touchdown pass in seven of the eight playoffs games he played for the Patriots.

    Givens’ emergence began in 2003, when the Pats started their NFL-record 21-game winning streak. He finished the season with 34 catches for 510 yards and caught another 17 passes in three playoff games, including a touchdown in the Super Bowl win over the Panthers. In 2004, he had his best season as a pro with 56 catches for 874 yards. Again, he was a focal point in the playoffs with 12 catches in three games, including an outstanding catch in the back right corner of the end zone on a dart from Tom Brady against the Eagles.

    Givens had another 54 catches for the 2005 Patriots, who were dumped from the playoffs by the Broncos. He then went to Tennessee on a lucrative free-agent contract, but caught only nine passes for the Titans before knee problems ended his career. He later would file suit against Tennessee, arguing the Titans gave him poor medical advice and allowed him to play on an injured knee.​


    June 26, 2010: A smoothie transition: Former Patriot David Givens pours his positive energy into new business venture | Mike Reiss, espn


    Happy birthday to Trey Flowers
    Born Aug 16, 1993 in Huntsville, Alabama
    Patriot DE, 2015-2018; uniform #98
    Pats 4th round (101st overall) selection of the 2015 draft, from Arkansas

    Mar 11, 2019: Losing Trey Flowers Hurts, But DE's Detroit Departure Is Typical Patriots | Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

    As a rookie, Flowers played in all of one game. He was inactive throughout the season and was eventually placed on IR on Dec. 1. Rookie season over. No tackles, no forced fumbles, no sacks, no picks. No nothing.

    Not much was made of Flowers’ presence on the roster in the offseason that followed, and he was generally quiet through the first half of the 2016 season. Then, the Patriots and Flowers unleashed that untapped potential, and he broke out for seven sacks and 23 total tackles in the next seven games. In Super Bowl LI against the Falcons, he picked up 2.5 sacks on Matt Ryan, one of which helped push the Falcons out of field-goal range late in the fourth quarter.

    A star was born.

    Flowers put forth a solid season in 2017, establishing himself as a force on the edge and the interior, as a pass rusher and a run stopper. He did the same thing in 2018, making a critical sack of Patrick Mahomes in the AFC title game to push the Chiefs out of field-goal range before halftime and contributing to the New England defense holding the No. 2-ranked Rams offense to just three points in Super Bowl LIII.

    With that, Flowers quite quickly went from unheralded fourth-round pick, to mostly forgotten rookie, to suddenly being the best player available in free agency.

    And to be clear, the 25-year-old should remain a consistent, impactful player for the Lions. But as is the case with most every big-money contract in the NFL, it’s nearly impossible for any player to produce at a level that matches the dollar cost that is attached to these free-agent mega deals.​

    Happy birthday to Isaiah Stanback
    Born Aug 16, 1984 in Seattle
    Patriot WR, 2009; uniform #9

    Stanback was a QB at the University of Washington, drafted in the 4th round by the Cowboys to be converted to WR in 2007 - and also drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2006. Dallas waived him at the end of camp in 2009, and the Pats signed him to their practice squad. Stanback was promoted to the main roster when Brandon Tate went on IR, and he was active for six of the final eight games, with two starts. Stanback finished the 2009 season with three receptions for 22 yards and one kickoff return for 22 yards. He was waived the following May when the Pats re-signed OLB Derrick Burgess.

    Others born this date with a New England connection:

    Gregg Robinson, 63 (1956)
    Born in Palmer MA; Minnechaug Regional HS (Wilbraham); Dartmouth College
    The 6'5 DE/NT was a 6th round pick in '78, playing in all 16 games for the Jets in his only season in the NFL. After that he was a Marketing Rep for IBM, spent 10 years as a diplomat in the US State Department, was a VP at Morgan Stanley, a Partner with Sweeney & Co., and is now a Managing Consultant for International Research.

    Walt Brewster (1907-1985)
    Born in Plymouth
    Tackle for the 1929 Buffalo Bisons.

    Michael Reed, 47 (1972)
    Boston College
    DB played briefly with Carolina in 1995-96.

    Bob Garner (1923-1972)
    Born and died in North Adams
    Tackle for the 1945 Giants.

    Other 8/16 pro football notables:

    Frank Gifford (1930-2015)
    Before he became a MNF broadcaster The Giffer was an 8-time Pro Bowl halfback with the Giants, inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1977.

    Kevin Williams, 39 (1980)
    6-time Pro Bowl DT played in 203 games from 2003-2015, mostly with Minnesota.

    Bill Glass, 84 (1935)
    4-time Pro Bowl DE for the Browns played from 1958-68.

    Ryan Kerrigan, 31 (1988)
    Washington LB has 84 sacks and has been named to four Pro Bowls.

    Woody Peoples (1943-2010)
    Pro Bowl RG for the 49ers in the 70s.

    Christian Okoye, 58 (1961)
    The Nigerian Nightmare did not play football until age 23. He became an All Pro with the Chiefs, leading the NFL in 1989 with 1,480 yards rushing.
  18. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

    Aug 3, 2005
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    After Gronk i will put him at 2nd place of our best Te ever...Ben Coates one of the greatest...

    3rd probably Francis
    • Like Like x 1
  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Eugene Wilson

    Happy 39th birthday to Eugene Wilson
    Born Aug 17, 1980 in Maywood, Illinois
    Patriot FS, 2003-2007; uniform #26

    Pats 2nd round (36th overall) selection of the 2003 draft, from Illinois

    Eugene Wilson was a starter as a rookie, replacing Tebucky Jones at safety. He had four interceptions that season, and a pair of pass deflections in Super Bowl over Carolina before being suffering a groin injury. The absence of Wilson and Rodney Harrison was a key (but often overlooked) factor in how Carolina was able to come back and rack up points in that game.

    11/20/2005: Eugene Wilson holds up the ball after an in interception
    in the final seconds of a game against the Saints.

    The following season Wilson again had four picks, plus two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He drew the ire of Tony Dungy on a hard hit on Reggie Wayne, with St Tony incorrectly ranting to officials that the play should have drawn a penalty. Dungy, Bill Polian and their friends on the Competition Committee would institute rule changes and 'points of emphasis' that would hurt aggressive defenders like Wilson and Rodney Harrison, and benefit indoor pass-heavy offenses such as their own Colts.

    Eugene Wilson lays a massive hit on Colt WR Reggie Wayne, preventing him from catching a fourth-quarter pass during the AFC Championship.

    In the AFCCG Wilson intercepted Ben Roethlisberger twice and broke up another of Ben's passes, as the Patriots defeated Pittsburgh 41-27. Wilson had four tackles and two passes defensed in Super Bowl 39, but had to leave that championship game as well when he injured his right shoulder on a kickoff return with 1:03 left to play in the first half.

    12/16/2007: Eugene Wilson (26) celebrates a pick-six off Kellen Clemens with Asante Samuel; the play gave the Pats a 7-0 lead. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Jets 20-10 and improve to 14-0; Eric Mangini's Jets dropped to 3-11.

    Wilson played in 62 games for the Patriots over five seasons with the Patriots. He had ten interceptions (one pick-six), 28 passes defensed, four fumble recoveries and 251 tackles. He also played in ten playoff games and earned two Super Bowl rings. He apparently keeps a low profile now, possibly due to the way his name was used in headlines when his father got himself in trouble.

    Jan 31, 2015: Eugene Wilson's NFL career a fading memory in the region | NWI Times

    Sept 1, 2009: Eugene Wilson on low hit from Brett Favre: "What was up with that?"

    Happy 53rd birthday to Zefross Moss
    Born Aug 17, 1966 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Patriot RT, 1997-1999; uniform #77


    Zefross Moss had spent six seasons with the Colts and two with Detroit before joining the Pats in '97 at the age of 31. The Pats had let 35 year old LG William Roberts go, and moved RT Max Lane to fill Roberts' position. Moss came in and spent the next three seasons as the team's starter at right tackle.

    Over an 11-season career Moss played in 154 games with 137 starts, plus four playoff games.

    Happy 29th birthday to Greg Scruggs
    Born Aug 17, 1990 in Cincinnati
    Patriot TE, 2016; uniform #83

    Oct 5, 2016: TE Greg Scruggs catches a pass in between practice team members
    Devin Lucien, left, and Glenn Gronkowski during practice in Foxboro.

    Scruggs was a late (232nd overall) draft pick by Seattle in 2012; he was with the Seahawks until 2014, and then the Bears for two seasons - where he was converted from DE to TE. In late September of 2016 the Pats signed (and quickly waived) defensive tackles Anthony Johnson, and then John Hughes. That opened a roster spot for Scruggs, who was signed on October 1. Scruggs was on the game-day inactive list for two weeks, then placed on season ending IR. He received a ring for Super Bowl LI versus Atlanta, but never played in the NFL again. Scruggs is now the Director of Player Development at the University of Cincinnati, and serves on the board of directors at Boys Hope Girls Hope.

    Oct 1, 2016: Getting a feel for new TE Greg Scruggs | Mike Reiss, espn

    Oct 7, 2016: The life of a Patriots newcomer: TE Greg Scruggs always has a pen handy |

    Happy 27th birthday to Brock Vereen
    Born Aug 17,1992 in Valencia, California
    Patriot safety, 2015-2016; uniform #25

    Shane's younger brother was originally a fourth round pick by the Bears in 2014. The Pats signed him to their practice squad on November 18; 2015; he was waived during the 2016 training camp.

    Happy 38th birthday to Chas Gessner
    Born Aug 17, 1981 in DC
    Patriot WR, 2003

    A 6'5 receiver was an All-American in both football and lacrosse at Brown University. The Pats allocated him to Berlin in NFL Europe. Four months after Super Bowl 38 (for which he would receive a ring), Gessner was part of the Berlin Thunder winning the World Bowl championship. He later signed with the Jets, Bucs and Seahawks, and played a few years of Arena Football. Gessner is the founder of Vitality RX, a men's health program.


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

    Hank Soar (1914-2001)
    Born in Alton, RI; Pawtucket HS, Providence College; lived and died in Pawtucket
    Pro Bowl fullback played for the Giants from 1937-1946. His 23 yard touchdown reception was the winning score in a comeback victory over the Packers in the 1938 NFL championship game.

    Kasim Edebali, 30 (1989)
    Kimball Union Academy; Boston College
    The DE/OLB has played in 62 games; he is now with the Eagles.

    Tommy Tomlin (1894-1949)
    Born and raised in Waltham; Waltham HS
    The Syracuse grad played left guard for several teams in the twenties.

    Mack Lee Hill (1940-1964)
    Born in Quincy
    An All-Star with the Chiefs, he led the AFL in yards per carry in '64 (5.5) and '65 (5.0).

    Fred Sweet (1901-1976)
    Brown University
    Fred was a running back and kicker for the Providence Steam Roller in 1925-26.

    Some other pro football players born Aug 17:

    Isiah 'Butch' Robertson (1949-2018)
    Six-time Pro Bowl linebacker played for 12 years and helped the Rams win six straight NFC West titles from 1973 to 1978.

    Ed McCaffrey, 51 (1968)
    In a three-year span after the age of 30 the WR had 236 receptions with 3,388 yards and 26 touchdowns - more than he had had in the previous seven years combined.

    Alex Sandusky, 87 (1932)
    Missed just one game from 1954-66, blocking for Johnny Unitas as the Colts RG.

    Don Muhlbach, 38 (1981)
    Pro Bowl LS has played in 231 games for the Lions

    Knuckles Boyle (1909-1943) makes this list because I like the name.
  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Adalius Thomas

    Happy 42nd birthday to Adalius Thomas
    Born Aug 18, 1977 in Equality, Alabama
    Patriot LB, 2007-2009; uniform #96

    While Adalius Thomas is most remembered for how things ended poorly with him in Foxboro, it is worth pointing that it wasn't always that way. He was an incredibly athletic defender with Baltimore, capable of playing nearly every position on the field. That versatility is why Bill Belichick was willing to "back up the Brink's truck" to pay him when he hit free agency. Thomas was initially a beast with the Patriots, until he broke his arm against the Bills late in the 2008 season.

    Things went south in 2009 for whatever reason. He was a healthy scratch for a game against Tennessee, then was one of three players who were sent home after arriving late to a morning meeting due to a snowstorm. One day after the 2010 draft the Patriots released Thomas. As far as I know no other teams offered him a workout or contract - or perhaps it was he that was not interested - and his NFL career was over.

    Feb 4, 2010: Adalius Thomas details falling out | Mike Reiss, espn

    “After the Buffalo game, the first game of the year, something happened and I was like ‘I really don’t understand this,’" Thomas said.

    “I really don’t want to go into it, because I still don’t understand it. I had a meeting and I just really didn’t understand some of the stuff I was being told. So I knew at that point it was bigger than what was on the surface. It was something bigger than that. You guys watch the games. I was used totally differently this year than I was last year before I broke my arm. Even before I came back, I was told that I was going to be used differently.”


    Asked more about the meeting after the Bills game, Thomas said it wasn’t about a specific play but more his overall performance and “whether or not it was sufficient.”

    “It’s the first game back and the way some stuff went down, I just really didn’t understand it,” he said. “It was a confusing meeting to me. I understood some of it, but a lot of it was just confusing and it even got more confusing as the year went on.”

    One theme that came up a few times in the interview -- and seemed to be at the root of Thomas' frustration -- was Thomas pointing out that the coaches critiquing his play weren’t on the field themselves. It sounded like Thomas felt that he was being overcoached.


    “The way they coach things and do things may be totally different than how I see it,” he said. “There is a checks-and-balance system that really is not going to marry up because regardless of what you see as a player on that play, it really doesn’t matter if someone else sees it differently. Unless you’re on the field, there are a million things going on at one time. So when you see something and you go, you don’t have time to sit back and think or whatever.

    “Monday through Saturday is for coaches. Sunday has to be for the player. You do adjustments and everything like that, which is great, but at the same time you can’t coach every single thing during the game. It’s just impossible to do because there are so many things going on. A player can’t tell you every single thing that happens in front of him because it happens so fast and there is the next play. You’re trying to go to the sidelines trying to recap everything and it’s kind of hard to do that.”​

    Apr 26, 2010: Patriots release Adalius Thomas |

    Thomas, 6-2, 270 pounds, originally signed with New England as an unrestricted free agent on March 3, 2007. Last season, he played in 14 games with 11 starts and finished with 31 total tackles, three sacks and two passes defensed. Thomas has played in 135 NFL games and has accumulated 584 tackles, seven interceptions, 17 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and 79 special teams tackles.​

    Apr 26, 2010: Adalius Thomas never found a home with Pats | Jeff Howe, nesn

    When asked in February about the tension between Thomas and Belichick, a Patriots source told, “Yeah, everybody saw that. That was no secret.”

    Thomas has thrown some passive-aggressive jabs at Belichick through the media — at least twice last season from the Pats’ locker room, and then again during separate interviews with 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Boston Globe — stoking a fire he obviously didn’t want to simmer.


    It wasn’t solely Thomas’ fault, but his constant whining will leave him remembered as the bad guy. Plus, Belichick and the Patriots won three Super Bowls before Thomas arrived — as Thomas’ former Ravens teammate, Ray Lewis, pointed out in 2007 — so the head coach will usually earn the benefit of the doubt in such occasions.

    Still, it just wasn’t the right fit. Thomas signed a $35 million, five-year contract prior to the 2007 season — the most money the Patriots have ever dished out to a free agent — and he played well at the start of his career in New England. He had a 17-game stretch from 2007-08 when he recorded 13 sacks, including his masterful two-sack performance in the Super Bowl.


    But Thomas had only registered three sacks since that point. In that most recent stretch, he played in 17 games, missed seven due to injury and was benched twice. While Thomas has showed he can be a very strong pass rusher, he couldn’t excel with the other responsibilities Belichick levied to his outside linebackers. Credit Belichick with some blame in that regard, too, because he wasn’t always putting Thomas in a position to succeed.

    When Thomas stopped playing at a high level on the field, he became testier behind the scenes, and it sounds like he was able to further act out his displeasure after the Patriots lost leaders Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour. This wasn’t Thomas’ first temperamental issue, either.

    After leaving the Ravens, he got into a war of words with Lewis, the longtime Baltimore leader who called Thomas a “coward” and noted the Ravens needed to adjust their schemes to coddle Thomas. Sound familiar?​

    Apr 26, 2010: Patriots release veteran LB Adalius Thomas | espn

    In the end, it was a pairing in which both sides didn't get what they felt was advertised.

    Thomas had issues with his role, expecting to be used as more of a pure pass-rusher, while the Patriots were disappointed with Thomas' production and presence in the locker room.

    Given the timing of the release, it appears the Patriots tried to trade Thomas during the draft and when nothing materialized, they went ahead with the release.

    "After the draft, we talked about the personnel and looked at our roster and so forth, and we made that decision to move on with the players that we have," Belichick told Boston sports radio station WEEI. "He was a good football player, he came in and had a heck of a year for us in '07. Again, at this point in time, we felt like this was the direction we had to go on."

    Happy birthday to Jess Richardson
    Born Aug 18, 1930 in Philadelphia
    Died 6/17/75 at the age of 44
    Patriot DT 1962-1964; uniform #75

    Jess Richardson played for eight seasons with the Eagles before finishing his career with the Pats. He may be most well known for being the last lineman to play pro football without a faceguard.

    Happy 63rd birthday to Dave Browning
    Born Aug 18, 1956 in Spokane, Washington
    Patriot DE, 1983; uniform #74

    Dave was a 2nd round draft pick by Oakland in '78, and was part of the Raiders SB 15 winning team. After five seasons with the Raiders he played in twelve games for Ron Meyer's 1983 8-8 club, in his final season of pro football.

    Other players born on Aug 18 with a New England connection:

    Taylor Moton, 25 (1994)
    Pats draft pick trade
    The Pats traded the 64th overall pick of the 2017 draft to Carolina on 3/10/17, which the Panthers used to select Moton. In return the Pats received Kony Ealy and another draft pick - which was traded again. Eventually the Patriots used the picks to select Derek Rivers and Antonio Garcia. Moton is now the starting RT for Carolina.

    Dan Orlovsky, 36 (1983)
    Born in Bridgeport; Shelton (CT) High School; UConn
    While he is most well known for inadvertently running out of the back of the end zone, the career backup QB did enough to collect paychecks for 12 full NFL seasons.

    Les Olsson (1909-1972)
    Boston Redskins, 1934-36
    Les started at RG in 57 games over five seasons, plus two championship games - including Washington's 28-21 victory over the Bears in 1937.

    Nate Freese, 29 (1990)
    Boston College
    The kicker was a 7th round draft pick by the Lions in 2014. His NFL career ended abruptly after four missed field goals in his first three games.

    Some notable pro football players sharing this birth date:

    Greg Pruitt, 68 (1951)
    Browns RB had three consecutive seasons with 1,000+ yards rushing, then was named to his fifth Pro Bowl with Oakland at the age of 32 when he led the NFL in punt returns.

    Brian Mitchell, 51 (1968)
    Washington KR/PR/RB led the NFL in All-Purpose Yardage four times from 1994-1998. His 23,330 career APY is a mere 216 yards fewer than record holder Jerry Rice. At that time his 2,477 all-purpose yards in 1994 was the second most in a single season in NFL history.

    Matt Snell, 78 (1941)
    The three-time Pro Bowl fullback had far more to do with the outcome the historic Super Bowl III than Joe Namath did. Snell ran for 121 yards and a touchdown that day to propel the Jets to a 16-7 upset over the Colts.

    Jeremy Shockey, 39 (1980)
    The brash tight end had 547 receptions and 37 TD from 2002-2011.

    Dontari Poe, 29 (1990)
    Pro Bowl NT for KC is now with Carolina.

    Bart Scott, 39 (1980)
    Highly opinionated linebacker played in 172 games with the Ravens and Jets from 2002-2012.

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