Today in Patriots History The guy who replaced Leon Gray and other January 13 birthdays Happy 65th birthday to Dwight Wheeler Born January 13, 1955 in Memphis, Tennessee Patriot OT, 1978-1983; uniform #62 Pats 4th round (102nd overall) selection of the 1978 draft, from Tennessee State Dwight 'Wimpy" Wheeler had the unenviable task of replacing the great Leon Gray in 1979. Billy Sullivan held a grudge against Gray for a prior contract holdout, and in the 1979 offseason traded the 27 year old All Pro to Houston for a bag of money and a couple of draft picks. Gray continued to perform at an elite level with the Oilers, while the Patriot run blocking and pass protection regressed without him on the line. Wheeler spent three seasons as the Patriot starting left tackle (1979-81), and three more as a backup lineman. He played in 72 games for New England with 40 starts. Happy 57th birthday to Rico Corsetti Born January 13, 1963 in Newton, Massachusetts Patriot LB, 1987; uniform #93 Enrico Corsetti is a local guy who was able to play for the team he grew up rooting for. He went to Belmont Hill High School and Bates College in Maine, then was able to play two of the replacement player games during the player strike in 1987. Happy 58th birthday to Eric Stokes Born January 13, 1962 in Derby, Connecticut Patriot center, 1987; uniform #78 Like Corsetti, Stokes was another local who had an opportunity to join the Patriots as a replacement player; he is credited with one start. Stokes was originally a sixth round draft pick by the Bengals in 1985, out of Northeastern. There are also two Patriot draft picks born on this date, who chose the NFL over the AFL: Jim Bradshaw, 81 (1939) Pats 20th round (158th overall) selection of the 1963 draft, from Tennessee-Chattanooga Played in 62 games over five seasons at safety and punt returner for Pittsburgh. Clarence Childs, 82 (1938) Pats 20th round (155th overall) selection of the 1961 draft, from Florida A&M CB/HB/KR played in 59 games in the sixties, mostly with the Giants. One draft-trade birthday today: Doug Martin, 31 (1989) In 2012 the Patriots traded their first round pick (31st overall) and a fourth to move up to #25, where they selected Dont'a Hightower. Denver then traded the 1.31 pick to Tampa, who chose the running back from Boise State.