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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Pats beat Chiefs in Overtime Thriller



    Sunday January 20, 2019 at 6:40
    2018 AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium
    New England Patriots 37, Kansas City Chiefs 31 in OT
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Andy Reid
    Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes
    Odds: Kansas City favored by 3

    Patriots improve to 13-5, advance to Super Bowl 53
    Chiefs finish 13-5

    44 points were scored from the start of the fourth quarter on, in what was one of the most exciting games in franchise history. As part of the league's 100th anniversary, this game was ranked as the 36th greatest game in NFL history, dubbed The Frozen Shootout.



    Patriots win in overtime classic to set up repeat of SB 36 with Rams | Metro West

    By the time the fourth quarter came, the Patriots looked like they were in control.

    Then all hell broke loose.

    The Patriots entered the final quarter up 17-7. By the time there was 1:57 left on the clock, the lead had changed three times – and not in the Pats favor in this wild AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs. Tom Brady took the field down 28-24 with the seconds ticking away in Sunday’s title game.

    Like he’s done time and time again, Brady orchestrated another fourth-quarter comeback, but this day was different. Rex Burkhead ran in for a 4-yard touchdown to give the Patriots a 31-28 lead with 39 seconds remaining. It took the Chiefs 31 seconds to get a 39-yard game-tying field goal from Harrison Butker.​


    This time it took overtime, but the Pats are back in the Super Bowl | New York Times

    As Tom Brady led the New England Patriots down the field in the crucible of overtime, there was a familiar sense of inevitability, an atmosphere that was both tense and predictable. These were only the latest minutes in a cavalcade of triumphant overtime postseason Patriots moments that stretch from a snowy game in 2002 to the one played in frigid conditions here Sunday night.

    More of Brady’s passes failed than succeeded in the overtime period against the Kansas City Chiefs, but all the ones that mattered most were reliably rifled into the arms of his receivers. As the Patriots neared the Chiefs’ goal line, a winning touchdown and a ninth Patriots Super Bowl appearance this century seemed preordained.​


    Chiefs come up just short vs Patriots in AFC title game | Sports Illustrated

    The Lamar Hunt Trophy was supposed to finally come back home. It was to be won by Kansas City in their stadium, with their MVP quarterback, in what was unquestionably the biggest home game in team history.

    But this game ended like so many of the postseason contests of the last generation for the Patriots—and for the last two generations for Kansas City.

    That the Chiefs were even in position to make their first Super Bowl in 49 years after four quarters against the Patriots was a feat within itself. New England almost doubled Kansas City in time of possession during regulation, had 12 more first downs than the Chiefs and totaled 161 more yards of total offense. The Kansas City offense was shut out in the first half for this first time this season.

    By the time Patriots’ Matthew Slater called heads on the coin toss for overtime, the Chiefs’ defense had been on the field for 39:07 of the 60 minutes, and had to go back onto the field for three minutes and 50 more seconds. First and second downs weren’t an issue, but third downs went like this: Julian Edelman for 20 yards on third-and-10 from the New England 35. Edelman for 15 yards on third-and-10 from the Kansas City 45. Rob Gronkowski—the same Gronk who has one foot in Hollywood and who hadn’t been targeted more than eight times this season—for 15 yards on his 11th target on the day to get inside the red zone.

    “The defense played great but it’s hard to play 50 minutes of football,” All-Pro guard Mitchell Schwartz said. “And we kind of left them on the field the entire day.”​


    Chiefs-Patriots OT game decided by coin toss, and that stings | Kansas City Star

    Chiefs' OT rule change proposal inspired by Patriots falls flat | NBC Sports Boston


    Game Winning Drive:




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  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Sugar Bear Hamilton



    Happy 69th birthday to Ray Hamilton
    Born January 20, 1951 in Omaha, Nebraska
    Patriot NT, 1973-1981; uniform #71
    Pats 14th round (342nd overall) selection of the 1973 draft, from Oklahoma

    Ray Hamilton played in 134 NFL games, all for the New England Patriots. He also worked as an assistant defensive line coach with the Pats from 1985 to 1989 for Raymond Berry, and was the defensive line coach for the 1998 and 1989 seasons under Pete Carroll. Sugar Bear was also employed as a defensive line coach with other NFL teams from 1991 to 2013.

    Hamilton is a member of the New England Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1970s, but he is most well known for being on the wrong end of one of the worst calls by a referee in NFL history. He was incorrectly flagged by Ben Dreith in a 1976 playoff game at Oakland for roughing the passer on a fourth down incomplete pass. Ken Stabler himself later admitted it was the incorrect call.

    The next opponent was Pittsburgh, and at that point the Steelers were dealing with so many injuries they posed no threat in the AFC championship game. That was also a down year for the NFC; there were at least three teams in the AFC that would have beaten any NFC team in the Super Bowl. The winner of the Patriots-Raiders game would be a heavy favorite to become the next champion of the NFL.

    Top 10 Controversial Calls: Sugar Bear Penalty | NFL.com Video




    Happy 54th birthday to Chris Gannon
    Born January 20, 1966 in Brandon, Florida
    Patriot DE, 1990-1993; uniform #91
    Pats 3rd round (73rd overall) selection of the 1989 draft, from SW Louisiana

    Chris Gannon did not make the Patriot roster in 1989, and was claimed off waivers by the Chargers. The Pats re-signed him on April 1, 1990 and he played in thirty games with two starts over the next four seasons. He later went back to UL as an assistant coach from 1995-2000.




    Happy 48th birthday to Alcides Catanho
    Born January 20, 1972 in Elizabeth, New Jersey
    Patriot LB, 1995; uniform #54
    Signed as an undrafted rookie on May 1, 1995

    Alcides Catanho began the 1995 season on the practice squad, and was then promoted to the active roster on September 13. He played in twelve games for the Patriots with one fumble recovery to his credit.




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

    Frank Mattiace, 59 (1961)
    Holy Cross
    The defensive lineman is one of nine Crusaders to make it to the NFL since 1987.

    Tom Rodgers (1923-1992)
    Tackle was drafted by the Boston Yanks in 1947, and played in nine games for that team.




    January 20, 2006:
    The Patriots name Josh McDaniels as their offensive coordinator, while retaining the title of quarterbacks coach. He had unofficially filled the role of OC in 2005 after Charlie Weiss departed to become head coach at Notre Dame.

    On the same date Matt Caracciolo was promoted to Director of Football Operations, handling the daily logistical travel and training camp operations.
     
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  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Bob Kraft buys the New England Patriots
    Bill Parcells hired as Head Coach




    January 21, 1994
    Robert Kraft purchases the New England Patriots from James Orthwein.





    Kraft Anniversary Historic Event For Patriots | PatsFans

    Monday, January 21st marks the 25th anniversary of Robert Kraft, who at the time owned Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxborough Stadium, purchasing the Patriots from James Busch Orthwein. Fearful that Orthwein would move the Patriots to his hometown of St. Louis, Kraft used his ownership of the stadium and the lease he made the Patriots sign as leverage to buy the team. He paid $172 million for the team, stupid money at the time which sent his late wife Myra into a fit of anger. ​


    What pro tennis taught Robert Kraft about owning the Patriots | boston.com

    “I’d rather finish first with no superstars than finish last [with them],” Kraft told the Globe after the 1976 season. “Big names are necessary to the gate, but a winning team is more important than a superstar. … We have a tremendous product to sell. It’s just a matter of having people taste it.”

    And it was likely with that in mind when Kraft made his next big moves. Kraft hired 12-time Grand Slam singles winner Roy Emerson as the Lobsters’ player-coach for 1977, giving the Australian full control to choose his team, then paid $50,000 to acquire the rights to Martina Navratilova, then just 20 but already the No. 2 women’s player in the world.

    “She made a big difference. When we switched to Roy Emerson as a coach, he knew how to bring out the best in her. She won a Wimbledon championship while she was part of the Boston Lobsters,” Kraft told Howe. “To enhance our gate in the summertime, we used to play a few matches down in Cape Cod because our family was there. It was pretty cool. I remember her coming from Wimbledon on global TV to the Cape Cod Coliseum. I had a chance to get close to her, and I realized how important it is to have a marquee star. The combination of the business aspect, the coaching and the star, I learned from World Team Tennis.”​


    Assessing Robert Kraft's quarter-century as Patriots owner | Sports Illustrated

    Robert and Jonathan completed the sale in a conference room in St. Louis in 1994, before hustling to the airport. They had to fly home to tell Myra that they’d spent $172 million, or more than anyone had paid for a team in NFL history, before the news broke. Kraft, his son says, had to bribe airline officials to get them on the next flight back to Boston, and they had to slide some extra cash to their fellow passengers to obtain two seats next to each other. When they got home, the phone rang. It was a lawyer offering Kraft three times the money that he had paid six years earlier for the stadium lease; they wanted to move the team out of Massachusetts. Kraft thought back to the heartbreak he felt as a kid when the Boston Braves were uprooted to Milwaukee, and he refused. Myra was livid.​


    Robert Kraft's Gutsy Investment In The New England Patriots Has Paid Off Big Time | Business Insider

    In 2000, the Patriots were considered just a slightly above average team with a value of $464 million compared to the average NFL team ($423 million). Since then, the value of the Patriots has increased 460% while the average NFL team has increased 237%.​




    January 21, 1993
    Bill Parcells is hired as Head Coach of the New England Patriots.



    Jan 22, 1993: ProJo Patriots Moments: Bill Parcells hired as head coach | Providence Journal

    “I started my coaching career here in New England (linebacker coach in 1980) and I am going to end it here. This will be my last coaching job,” Parcells said.

    Although he doesn’t have the title of general manager, Parcells figures to have strong input on personnel matters, while others handle financial and administrative duties.

    “But this isn’t about control. This is a team. We’re a team, from top to bottom. Anyone that has their own agenda won’t be around long,” Parcells said.

    “The Patriots have convinced me they are willing and able to bring a championship-caliber team to New England. That was my only concern during our discussions. I have no reservations on that now. If I did, I wouldn’t be sitting here today.”​


    Jan 22, 1993: Patriot brass is super excited to land Parcells | Baltimore Sun

    In the market glut of big-name NFL coaches, none comes with the credentials Parcells has -- two Super Bowl championships.

    The announcement Parcells will be coming to New England was made at a news conference at the upscale Westin Hotel-Copley Place by team owner James B. Orthwein, the St. Louis multimillionaire who purchased the Patriots in May.

    Parcells agreed to become the Patriots' new leader -- he has sweeping powers in all personnel areas, including the draft and the broadening spectrum of the free-agent marketplace -- for a contract, according to a source, worth $1.5 million a season for four years. He made about $1 million his final year with the New York Giants.

    According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula will make $1.4 million in 1993, $1.6 million in '94.

    Parcells is the first coach the Patriots (2-14 last season) have had who had previous success as an NFL head coach. The 11 previous coaches were either former college coaches or NFL assistants.

    The Patriots also interviewed former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka and former Philadelphia Eagles coach Buddy Ryan.​


    Kraft Anniversary Historic Event For Patriots | PatsFans

    From 1990 to 1992, the Patriots won a grand total of 9 games, an average of three per season. And unlike the previous seven-year dark age era which was based on a 14-game season, this dark ages era was played with 16-game schedules. The Patriot win percentage in these three years was .188. One year of former defensive coordinator Rod Rust, then two years of former UMass head coach Dick MacPherson. Patriot football was simply putrid. Awful. Ugly. Make that dawg-ugly.

    Then, as if out of the blue, comes this two-time Super Bowl champion head coach, back from a three-year hiatus for health reasons. Orthwein hired Parcells and gave him the keys to the car. All football decisions were his and his alone. He wouldn’t have coached here if he didn’t have that power. We’ll get back to that power in a bit.

    Parcells lasted four seasons, took his team to the playoffs twice, and wound up taking them to Super Bowl XXXI. But most of all, he put the Patriots on the NFL map. The Patriots became a somebody after three decades of being a nobody (save for perhaps the 1976 and 1985 seasons). Even after Pete Carroll succeeded him, the Patriots have been a somebody. The riches would wait just a few more years. But it all started with The Tuna. From that moment on, being a Patriot fan was permanently different.


     
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  4. Pape

    Pape Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Two summers ago, I had the chance to meet James Orthwein's son. We were in his kitchen, and was talking to him about the Pats of course. Went through the successes of the franchise etc, told him I was a season ticket holder when his dad owned the team, etc... he said the biggest mistake his father ever made was selling the Patriots to Robert Kraft
     
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  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    4th quarter comeback over Jaguars
    Colts turn up the heat



    Sunday January 21, 2018 at 3:00
    2017 AFC Championship Game at Gillette
    New England Patriots 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 20
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Doug Marrone
    Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Blake Bortles
    Odds: Patriots favored by 7½

    Pats improve to 15-3; advance to Super Bowl 52 vs Philadelphia
    Jaguars finish 12-7

    The 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars had a great defense, ranked second in scoring, yardage and turnovers. They limited Buffalo to three points in their wild card game, then won a 45-42 shootout at Pittsburgh to advance to the AFC championship game.

    What they did not have was Danny Amendola and Tom Brady.


    This play from the AFCCG still haunts the Jaguars | boston.com

    The Jaguars did just about everything right through three-plus quarters against the defending Super Bowl champions. The defense pressured Tom Brady, sacking him three times. The offense controlled the clock, keeping the three-time league MVP on the sideline. Together, they built a lead and stretched it to 20-10 with a field goal early in the final frame.

    After that came a play that Jacksonville fans and players are still bitter about, and will be for years. Myles Jack forced a fumble and recovered the ball, with a clear path for a touchdown. Problem was that the referee had blown the whistle and the play was dead. While the Jaguars did maintain possession the lead remained at 10 rather than 17.​


    The Patriots forced a three-and-out and got the ball back. Then on a third-and-18 from their own 25 with 10:49 left to play, Brady connected with Danny Amendola on a 21 yard pass for a first down. The next play was a 31 yard completion to Phillip Dorsett, then the Pats found the end zone on two more passes to Amendola.


    Both teams punted on their next possession, but Jacksonville gean the next drive deep in their own territory. The Jaguars had to punt once again, this time from their nine yard line. Amendola returned the kick 20 yards to the Jacksonville 30, with 4:58 left to play. Five plays later Brady connected with 'Dola again to give the Patriots a four point lead.

    Check out the highlights [19:06] below:




    Sunday January 21, 2007 at 6:45
    2006 AFC Championship Game at the RCA Dome
    Indianapolis Colts 38, New England Patriots 34
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy
    Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning
    Odds: Indy favored by 3

    Pats finish 14-5
    Colts improve to 15-4; play Bears in SB 41

    Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning finally beat the Patriots to advance to the Super Bowl. The Patriots jumped out to a 21-3 lead after an Asante Samuel 39 yard pick six, but the Colts battled back to tie the game three times, and then scored the winning touchdown with 60 seconds left to play.

    About half of the Patriot defense was sick with the flu, and television announcer Jim Nantz commented that the stadium felt like a sauna. Bill Polian had allegedly ordered stadium workers to turn off the air conditioning and turn on the heat, though that report was never factually confirmed.

    In a bit of trivia three linemen scored touchdowns in this game: Logan Mankins and Jeff Saturday on fumble recoveries in the end zone, and former Patriot Dan Klecko on a one yard reception.

    Highlights [11:15]


    Full Game




    Happy 27th birthday to Jordan Richards
    Born January 21, 1993 in Sacramento
    Patriot safety, 2015-2017, uniform #37; 2019, uniform #39
    Pats 2nd round (64th overall) selection of the 2015 draft, from Stanford

    Jordan Richards played in 44 regular season games and 5 playoff games with New England, with seven starts. He was used primarily on special teams, never quite living up to his draft status. The Pats traded Jordan on August 31, 2018 to Atlanta for a conditional 2020 seventh round draft pick.

    After spending time with the Falcons and Raiders, the Pats re-signed Richards on October 2, 2019. He played in three games, strictly on special teams, and was released. Richards spent the remainder of the season with the Ravens.

    2015: 238 defensive snaps (25%), 253 special team snaps (60%) in 14 games
    2016: 18 defensive snaps (2.5%), 151 ST snaps (50%) in 11 games
    2017: 272 defensive snaps (26%), 309 ST snaps (69%) in 16 games
    2019: zero defensive snaps, 57 special team snaps (13%) in three games

    Career stats with Patriots: 50 tackles (41 solo), 3 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. 528 snaps on defense and 770 on special teams. Jordan earned a ring for Super Bowl 51 versus Atlanta, though he did not play in that game.




    Happy 30th birthday to Kanorris Davis
    Born January 21, 1990 in Perry, Georgia
    Patriot ST/SS/LB 2013-14; uniform #36
    Signed as an undrafted free agent on May 3, 2013 from Troy

    Kanorris Davis played in three regular season and two playoff games for the Patriots in 2013, bouncing between the active roster and practice squad three times. During that time he was on the field for 53 special team snaps (64%), and zero on defense.

    Davis was initially signed to the practice squad again after being cut at the end of 2014 training camp. Less than a week later Davis was released again, as the Pats signed WR Marcus Thigpen, OL Chris Barker and TE Allen Reisner to the practice squad. Davis went on to play for the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL, but his pro football career ended in 2016 due to a knee injury.





    Happy 35th birthday to Dan Gronkowski
    Born January 21, 1985 in Amherst NY
    Patriot TE in 2011; uniform #82
    Signed as a free agent on September 6, 2011

    The elder Gronk played in five games with one start while with the Patriots. He was originally a seventh round draft pick by Detroit in 2009, from Maryland. Dan also played for Denver prior to coming to Foxborough, and for Cleveland after the Pats waived him on November 8, 2011. Between those four teams he played in 21 NFL games, with five starts and nine receptions.




    Happy 39th birthday to Johnathan Sullivan
    Born January 21, 1981 in Griffin, Georgia
    Patriot DT, 2006 offseason
    Acquired from New Orleans on June 5, 2006 in trade for Bethel Johnson

    Johnathan Sullivan was originally the sixth overall pick of the 2003 draft. The Saints had traded up to snag Sullivan in a trade with Arizona that netted the Cardinals DE/LB Calvin Pace, WR Bryant Johnson and WR Anquan Boldin. Sullivan played in 36 games with 16 starts in three seasons with the Saints - with only four of those starts coming in year two and three.

    Sullivan was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana near Atlanta three weeks after being traded to New England, with those charges later being dropped. He began training camp on the physically unable to perform list due to being unable to pass his conditioning test, then was activated off PUP on August 7. The Patriots released Sullivan on October 9, 2006; he never did get on the field of play in a regular season game while with the Pats - and never played in the NFL again either, going down in league history as one of the biggest draft busts ever.




    January 21, 1991
    The Patriots announce the initial coaching staff for new head coach Dick MacPherson.

    Bobby Grier, Don Blackmon, Joe Collier Jr, Myrel Moore and Rod Humenick are re-signed as assistant coaches. Dante Scarnecchia is named to coach the offensive line; other position coaches are Dave Uyrus (special teams) and Ivan Fears (receivers). Norm Gerber is the defensive coordinator and Dick Coury is the OC.
     
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  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Sterling Moore's deflection and Billy Cundiff's
    wide left gives the Pats a 23-20 victory


    Sunday January 22, 2012 at 3:00
    2011 AFC Championship Game at Gillette
    New England Patriots 23, Baltimore Ravens 20
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh
    Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Joe Flacco
    Odds: Patriots favored by 7

    Pats improve to 15-3; advance to Super Bowl 46
    Ravens finish 13-5


    AFC Championship: Patriots 23, Ravens 20 | Fifth Down

    In a back-and-forth battle that ended in heartbreak for the Baltimore Ravens and kicker Billy Cundiff, the New England Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XLVI with a 23-20 victory on Sunday.

    Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal in the final seconds that would have sent the game into overtime, hooking it wide left. Two plays prior, Ravens receiver Lee Evans failed to hold onto the ball in the end zone. A catch would have given Baltimore the lead and a likely victory. . . .

    The victory gives Brady his 16th career postseason victory, tying him with Joe Montana for the most in NFL history.​


    There is also a good full-game recap from the AP here:
    Patriots beat Ravens 23-20, head to Super Bowl | WBUR News


    The Patriots won their tenth game in a row to win their seventh AFC title. The New England defense had been highly criticized by sports media throughout the year, with the phrase '31st ranked defense' becoming the season's most overused statistic. Patriot defenders pointed out that games were won and lost based on points rather than yardage, and in that category the Pats ranked 15th.

    Ray Rice had set the tone on the very first play from scrimmage when these two teams met in the 2009 wild card game, running for an 83 yard touchdown. Much of the pre-game talk leading up to this rematch centered on how the much maligned Patriot defense would fare against Rice, who led the NFL in 2011 with 2,068 yards from scrimmage.

    Baltimore tried running the ball on first down on each of their first three series. The result was zero yards, loss of one and loss of five, with each of those possessions turning into a three and out. Rice averaged just 3.2 yards per carry on the day, rushing for 67 yards.

    After the first drive of the second half the Patriots led 16-10. The Pats seemed to be controlling the game, but the inability to finish was bothersome: the offense scored only one touchdown on four trips to the red zone, settling for three field goals.

    Baltimore scored on a 29 yard pass from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith on the next drive, and then Danny Woodhead fumbled the ensuing kickoff return. James Ihedigbo sacked Flacco for a loss of 12 on third down at the nine to force a field goal, but the Ravens were up 20-16 with less than a minute to go in the third quarter.

    The Patriots regained the lead on an 11 play, 63 yard drive on their next possession, aided by a penalty on Terrell Suggs that negated an interception. Tom Brady dove in from one yard on fourth down. This came after replay overturned a prior run that had originally been called a touchdown.

    On the final drive Flacco completed four passes to Anquan Boldin to move the ball to the 14. On the final catch Julian Edelman forced a fumble but the ball rolled out of bounds, so Baltimore retained possession.

    On the next play Lee Evans appeared momentarily to catch a go-ahead touchdown, but Sterling Moore knocked the ball out of his hands at the last possible moment. Moore then knocked away another pass on the next play, this one intended for TE Dennis Pitta. Billy Cundiff then infamously shanked the 32 yard field goal attempt, and rather than overtime the game was over.

    The Patriots had won - with a patchwork secondary that included Edelman, Sterling Moore, Antwaun Molden, Nate Jones and James Ihedigbo.

    After the game Harbaugh first whined that the pass play to Evans should have been reviewed. Then there was more conspiracy theories floated when he implied that the Cundiff miss was due to his not knowing it was fourth down, implying that the Patriots had done that to throw the kicker and coaches off. (Note: NFL personnel run the scoreboard, not the home team). Here is the question though: since there was that much confusion, why not call a timeout - rather than send your kicker out late in a frantic, hurried and unprepared manner?

    Is 'scoreboard' excuse legit? | Baltimore Sun

    Harbaugh boots response to joke | Capital Gazette



    Sound FX - 2nd Half:



    Final Play:
     
  7. Hyped

    Hyped PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My favorite part of that win was Terrell Suggs' expression after Cundiff missed wide left....
     
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  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Chris Hogan's 180 yard AFC Championship Game


    Sunday January 22, 2017 at 6:40
    2016 AFC Championship Game at Gillette
    New England Patriots 36, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin
    Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger
    Odds: Patriots favored by 5½

    Pats improve to 16-2; advance to Super Bowl 51 vs Atlanta
    Steelers finish 13-6

    The Patriots entered this game without Rob Gronkowski and with a defense that had been derided in the media for playing against what was considered by some to be soft competition and inferior quarterbacks. Chris Hogan had nine catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns to lead the offense, with the Pats scoring on all three of their third quarter possessions. The second half drives for Pittsburgh consisted of a punt, another punt, fumble on the first play, turnover on downs, and an interception on the first play. The Steelers finally found the end zone late to make the final score more respectable, but only after they were down by 27 points.


    [​IMG]
    No Gronk? No problem: Chris "7-11" Hogan was open all night against the Steelers


    A good recap of the game an be found below:
    Tom Brady and Patriots overwhelm Steelers and advance to Super Bowl | New York Times

    The blemish on a defensive résumé that included the N.F.L.’s fewest points allowed was that New England had conquered quarterbacks of meager stock — Bryce Petty, Brock Osweiler, Jared Goff. Here late in the second quarter, though, was Roethlisberger, who assumed that he had drawn Pittsburgh tighter — New England led by 17-6 at the time — with a touchdown to Jesse James that would be overruled by video review.

    Still, first-and-goal at the New England 1.

    “That yard is so small,” Harmon said. “You would think the Pittsburgh Steelers would be able to get that yard.”

    Stuffed for a loss on first down, DeAngelo Williams — playing in place of the star running back Le’Veon Bell, who sustained an early groin injury — took the handoff again on second. Before he could even take a step, a 320-pound rookie defensive lineman named Vincent Valentine yanked Williams to the ground for a 3-yard loss.

    The stop, which preceded a Roethlisberger incompletion, asserted the Patriots’ primacy. It pushed Pittsburgh into a passing situation. It forced a field goal — the Steelers’ final points until scoring a touchdown with 3 minutes 36 seconds left. They trailed by 36-17.

    “At some point,” cornerback Logan Ryan said, “we just want to try to earn the respect when it’s not given.”​


    [​IMG]
    To this day Steeler fans will insist they were robbed of a touchdown on this play, but let's get real: would it have really made a difference?


    The game is also notable for this amazing run by LeGarrette Blount:


    36 thoughts on Patriots' AFC Championship Game victory over the Steelers | boston.com

    36. Vengeance is near, Patriots fans. Vengeance is near. I cannot wait to see how Roger Goodell justifies going to Atlanta again in two weeks.​


    Steelers vs Patriots AFCCG Highlights [9:17]





    Happy birthday to Bob Reynolds, who would have been 81 today (1939-1996)
    Born January 22, 1939 in Nashville
    Patriot OT, 1972-1973; uniform #74
    Pats 4th round (30th overall) selection of the 1963 draft, from Bowling Green

    The Patriots drafted Bob Reynolds on December 1, 1962, and two days later he was also selected in the NFL draft, by St. Louis. Two weeks later he signed with the Cardinals; he went on to play for nine seasons with them, being named to three Pro Bowls.

    The Cardinals waived Reynolds just before the start of the 1972 season, and the 33 year old tackle was claimed by the Patriots on September 18. He played in 12 games with 11 starts in the final season with John Mazur as head coach, and then in seven games with four starts for Chuck Fairbanks in '73. Reynolds was placed on injured reserve in late October, by that time replaced in the starting lineup by Sam Adams; Reynolds was waived on November 29. He played in 141 games with 120 starts between the Cardinals and Patriots from 1963 to 1973.




    Three other pro football player birthdays on this date with a New England connection:

    James Dearth, 44 (1976)
    On April 17, 1999 the Patriots traded up three spots in the draft to select Damien Woody with the 17th overall pick. In exchange Seattle received the 20th overall pick (traded to Dallas, DE Ebenezer Ekuban), a third round pick and a sixth (Dearth). Ekuban was a decent player, but the Patriots got the better side of that trade.


    Joe Dudek, 56 (1964)
    Born in Boston, grew up in Quincy; North Quincy High School; Plymouth State College


    The longest of Heisman longshots | Sports Illustrated

    What the heck, why not Dudek? | Sports Illustrated

    Dudek has broken every touchdown record known to man in his four years at Plymouth State in Plymouth, N.H. His 79 career touchdowns broke the NCAA record of 66 that Payton set at Jackson State, and the NAIA mark of 77 that Wilbert Montgomery established at Abilene Christian from 1973 to '76. Dudek has rushed for a Division III (yes, III) record 5,570 yards at Plymouth, which has gone 37-6 since he arrived. Many NFL teams have sent scouts to see him play. Somebody must think he's good.

    What the heck? Take a breath of fresh air. Plymouth has no training table, no athletic dorm, no redshirts and no slush funds. There, players shake a man's hand without expecting to find a $20 bill for their trouble. Dudek has taken out a $2,500 student loan all four years and admits he's "loaned out." To make ends meet, he often takes odd jobs, including cleaning up the stadium on Sundays after cleaning up on the field on Saturdays. "It doesn't pay much," says Dudek. "Minimum wage."​


    Bennie LaPresta (1909-1975)
    In the thirties Bennie was a back for the St. Louis Gunners and Boston Redskins.




    January 22, 2014:
    Dante Scarnecchia retires as assistant head coach and offensive line coach after 30 years with the Patriots. New England native Dave DeGuglielmo is hired as the offensive line coach; he lasted two seasons before Scar was lured out of retirement.
     
  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Pats crush 15-1 Steelers at Heinz Field


    No, this is not a duplicate post from yesterday. Four times the Pittsburgh Steelers have ended their season with a loss to the Patriots in the playoffs - and three of those instances have come in the conference championship, one game away from the Super Bowl. No wonder their fans hate the Pats and Pats fans.


    Sunday January 23, 2005 at 6:30
    2004 AFC Championship Game, at Heinz Field
    New England Patriots 41, Pittsburgh Steelers 27
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher
    Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger
    Odds: New England favored by 3

    Pats improve to 16-2; advance to Super Bowl 39
    Steelers finish 16-2

    This perspective from a Pittsburgh Steeler fan sums up the first half, when the Patriots jumped out to a 24-3 lead:
    The 12 Most Heartbreaking Playoff Losses In Pittsburgh Steelers History: #3

    This AFC Championship Game, played at home, was especially painful since there is no question in my mind that the Steelers could have whooped Philadelphia in the Super Bowl. In fact, we had already beaten New England and Philly in back-to-back weeks during the regular season making this loss hard to swallow. It was also painful physically. The temperature of 11 degrees was the coldest playoff game in Pittsburgh history and one of the coldest Steelers' games ever, period. With the wind-chill, it was somewhere in the minus category.

    For the first time all season, our rookie quarterback looked like a rookie quarterback. The clock struck midnight for Ben Roethlisberger, who previously had been brilliant, albeit in a limited system. Roethlisberger's first pass of the game was picked off by Eugene Wilson, putting the Steelers in the hole, 3-0. The Steelers drove to the New England 39-yard line on their next possession, but Jerome Bettis' fumble was recovered by ex-Steeler Mike Vrabel. On the very next play, Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady hit Deion Branch with a 60-yard touchdown strike. After a Jeff Reed field goal, the Patriots scored again on Tom Brady's second touchdown pass, this time to David Givens. Trailing 17-3, Pittsburgh drove down the field and looked ready to score when Roethlisberger was intercepted by Rodney Harrison, who bolted 87 yards for a touchdown. At half the score was 24-3. Three horrific first-half turnovers took all the air, cold as it was, completely out of the stadium.


    Even though the Patriots scored 41 points, the stars for this game were on defense. Rodney Harrison had the 87-yard pick six, a game-high 12 tackles (nine solo), one tackle for a loss and a pass deflection. Eugene Wilson had two interceptions, and Tedy Bruschi had nine tackles (eight solo). Jarvis Green had a strip sack and five tackles subbing for Richard Seymour (out with a knee injury), and Mike Vrabel had six tackles (five solo) and a fumble recovery created by Rosevelt Colvin.

    Tom Brady completed 67% of his passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. His 60 yard touchdown pass to Deion Branch on the first play after a Jerome Bettis fumble on 4th-and-one set the tone for the night, putting the Patriots up 10-0. Branch had four receptions for 116 yards to go with that TD, plus two rushes for 37 yards. David Givens had five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown, and Corey Dillon scored on a 25-yard carry to restore the lead to 21 points in the third quarter, squashing any thoughts of a Steeler comeback.


    Rodney Harrison's pick-six gave the Patriots an insurmountable 21-point lead:



    Patriots vs. Steelers 2004 AFC Championship Game: Grudge Match | NFL Films (7:24)



    AFC Championship 2004 Patriots at Steelers | Full Game Video:

    .







     
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  10. Pape

    Pape Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    hell yes
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Shelby Jordan


    Happy 68th birthday to Shelby Jordan
    Born January 23, 1952 in Saint Louis
    Patriot RT, 1975-1982; uniform #74
    Signed as a 2nd year free agent on April 2, 1974

    I remember the first time I saw Shelby Jordan up close. It was at a preseason game, against the Browns if I recall. A group of Patriots were warming up near our end zone seats. There was this one guy that was just immense, dwarfing all the other football players. That Patriot was 6'7 Shelby Jordan.


    Shelby Jordan was originally drafted in the seventh round by the Houston Oilers in 1973, from Division III Washington University in Saint Louis. Jordan spent the '74 season on injured reserve, then started all 14 games the following season.

    On May 3, 1976 Jordan was sentenced to two years in prison for selling cocaine to a federal narcotics agent, based on guidelines under the Youth Correctional Act for persons between the ages of 18 and 25. He returned to play ten games in 1977, and was the full time starter at right tackle for the next five seasons.

    Jordan held out for a better contract in 1983, resulting in fines of $1,000 for each day of training camp that he missed. Chuck Sullivan and Jordan's agent eventually worked out a deal - with what seems today to be an odd ticky-tack detail. Rather than forgive the fines, or adjust the new contract based on subtracting those fines, Sullivan still expected that money to be repaid. The original deal was to have the money paid in two annual installments of $15,000. When Jordan came back wanting to make it three yearly payments of $10,000 each Sullivan withdrew his four-year extension offer. NFL free agency was still ten years away; at that point the Patriot contract offer was for Jordan to play for previous salary of $180,000, minus $38,000 in fines.

    Nine days later the Patriots traded Jordan to Oakland for a 1985 fourth round draft pick. The Raiders immediately gave Jordan a raise and an extension. In the first of his four seasons in Oakland the Raiders won a Super Bowl.

    Shelby Jordan was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013. He and his wife fund and direct a Los Angeles-based nonprofit economic-development corporation that provides affordable urban housing and services for families and seniors.

    [​IMG]

    The Shelby Jordan holdout saga has taken another strange turn | UPI

    Shelby Jordan named to CAC/SCAC All-Time Team | WUStL Athletics

    Shelby Jordan (2013) - Hall of Fame | National Football Foundation




    Happy 35th birthday to Antwaun Molden
    Born January 23, 1985 in Warren, Ohio
    Patriot CB, 2011; uniform #27
    Waiver claim from Houston on August 31, 2011

    Antwaun Molden was originally a third round draft pick by Houston in 2008. Despite the Texans having the worst defense and worst pass defense in 2010, he was unable to make it on their 2011 roster. The Pats claimed him off waivers and he played in all 19 games that season, with two starts. He had 36 tackles, two interceptions, two pass deflections and one fumble recovery while with New England. He later played with the Giants, Jaguars and in the CFL for Toronto.

    Football Journey: Antwaun Molden | espn, Mike Reiss

    Nothing came easy for Patriots Antwaun Molden | CBS Boston

    [​IMG]




    Happy 28th birthday to Kelcy Quarles
    Born January 23, 1992 in Hodges, South Carolina
    Patriot DT, 2014 (offseason) and 2015 (practice squad)
    Claimed off waivers from the Giants on Aug 31, 2014

    Quarles was with the Patriots for four days prior to week one in 2014, and on the practice squad for two weeks in 2015. he also spent time with the Giants, Colts and Browns, appearing in two NFL games.

    Patriots sign DL Kelcy Quarles | Patriots.com

    The New England Patriots signed DL Kelcy Quarles to the practice squad and released TE Allen Reisner from the practice squad today.

    Quarles, 22, was claimed off waivers from the New York Giants on Aug. 31, 2014 and then released on Sept. 3, 2014. He was originally signed by the Giants as a rookie free agent out of South Carolina on May 12, 2014. The 6-foot-4, 294-pounder, was released by the Giants on Aug. 30, 2014. He played in 35 games with 28 starts during a three-year career at South Carolina, finishing with 105 total tackles and 13 sacks. Quarles attended Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy for one year prior to transferring to South Carolina.​




    Three other pro football players born on this date with a New England connection:

    Josh Keyes, 27 (1993)
    Boston College
    Linebacker has bounced between six teams since 2015.

    Bob Barrabee (1905-1984)
    Born in Malden; Malden High School; Cushing Academy
    An end for the Staten Island Stapletons in the early thirties.

    Joe Carpe (1903-1977)
    Boston Bulldogs, 1929
    Tackle played in the NFL from 1926-1933, winning a championship in his rookie season with the 14-1-2 Frankford Yellow Jackets.
     
  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Hank Bullough



    Happy birthday to Hank Bullough, who would have been 86 today
    Born January 24, 1934 in Scranton PA
    Patriot Defensive Line Coach, Assistant Head Coach 1973-1977
    Patriot Defensive Coordinator, 1978-19799

    Hank Bullough is a major influence in NFL history, the architect of the 3-4 Fairbanks-Bullough defense. He passed away two months ago, on November 24, 2019. Bullough was a coach in New England for six seasons. Prior to that he had won a ring in Super Bowl V as the linebackers coach for Baltimore. After the Sullivans chose Ron Erhardt to succeed Chuck Fairbanks as head coach, Bullough became the defensive coordinator for the Bengals. While there in '81 Cincy made it to the Super Bowl, losing to the 49ers by five points due to four turnovers; in '83 the Bengals had the NFL's #1 ranked defense.


    Recurring scheme: Making the switch to the 3-4 defense is an old trick for Patriots

    Bullough said he suggested it to Fairbanks prior to the 1974 season.

    "We were the first," claimed Bullough. "We had gone through a tough season in '73 and our defensive line wasn't very good. We had drafted Steve Nelson and Sam Hunt and they were two good-looking kids at linebacker, and I said to Chuck, `Let's go to the 3-4,' and that's what we did."

    Nelson had played the 3-4 at North Dakota State for four years. Hunt was also a big, raw linebacker out of Stephen F. Austin, and the two young guys were in the middle with Steve King and veteran George Webster on the outside.

    "It worked out well because we had Ray [Hamilton] at the nose and we brought in Mel Lunsford the year before from Washington in a trade and Mel was decent against the run," said Bullough. "We had acquired Tony McGee from Chicago in '74 and he played the end on passing downs, and we had Julius Adams playing the other side."

    The Patriots went 7-7 that season, and really struggled in '75 with a 3-11 record. But by `76, with the infusion of rookies Tim Fox and Mike Haynes in the defensive backfield and talented Steve Zabel at outside linebacker, the Patriots had a standout defense.

    "The 3-4 definitely allowed you to have good matchups on defense," said Nelson.

    To this day, Bullough says of the 3-4, "It's the best defense in football."​


    On the trail of the two gap 3-4 gives a good historical timeline on the evolution of the 5-2 Oklahoma defense, and tracking of defensive influences throughout the careers of Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells.

    3 Philosophies of the 3-4 defense is a good primer for those that may want to learn more about defensive fronts and strategies.

    [​IMG]

    The Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 features 3 defensive linemen. The Tackles are head up on the Guards in 4-techniques, and the Nose Guard is in a head-up 0 Technique on the Center. Two Linebackers are in 30-Techniques over the Guards, and two more Linebackers are outside, somewhere between 1×1 and 3×3 off of the End Man on the Line of Scrimmage (which can vary much more depending on the offensive formation).

    The Defensive Linemen are playing a 2-gap technique, attacking and reading the Defensive Linemen. One of the Linebackers will be included in the pass rush in most cases. This version of the 3-4 Defense matches up well with Cover 2 and Quarters coverages because of its 7 man front.​

    A couple of 2011 articles by Mike Dussault look at Bullough's defensive philosophy.

    The Patriots 3-4 Defense in a nutshell | PatsPropaganda

    New England Patriots Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 Defense Essentials | PatsPropaganda

    When people think of the 3-4, they associate it with Pittsburgh’s Zone Blitzing scheme. Pittsburgh’s Zone Blitz 3-4 is just one of three versions of this defense. The other two versions of this defense that are used much more than the Zone Blitz are the Phillips 3-4 and the Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 [which the Patriots run]. Not all 3-4 defenses are created equal, nor are the players that play in these systems.

    Despite the fact that the Bullough can be confusing, the system relies on a lot on “bend; don’t break” thinking. The system will often give up short yards in the run, and blitzes are not common. The idea is that the longer the offense is on the clock, the longer it takes them to score, and the more plays the offense risks an interception, fumble, or a fourth down.

    The key to the success of Belichick’s style is flexibility of personnel. To be able to switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 to a dime defense and all points in between requires versatility at nearly every position. Players have to be able to run and cover and hit. Linemen have to be strong enough to hold the point in the 3-4, but get upfield in a 4-3. Defensive backs have to be very good in zone coverage but competent in man coverage when needed. It requires special skills, but also an above-average football IQ. Compared with the base Dungy-Kiffin scheme, which probably started with as little as three or four fronts and a couple of zone coverages, Belichick’s hybrid is a maze meant to confuse and confound.​

    Hank Bullough | Revolvy

    Bullough's first coaching position was at his alma mater, Michigan State, where he served for 11 seasons. In 1970, he became linebackers coach for the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League (NFL) under head coach Don McCafferty.

    As defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots in the 1970s Bullough is credited, along with his college teammate Chuck Fairbanks, with being a significant figure in bringing the 3–4 defense to the NFL. After Fairbanks was suspended prior to the final game of the 1978 season, Bullough's and fellow assistant Ron Erhardt were named co-head coaches for the remainder of the season. After the season Patriots owner Billy Sullivan appointed Erhardt head coach instead of Bullough. Bullough would remain defensive coordinator for one more season with the Patriots.

    In 1980, new Cincinnati Bengals head coach and former Green Bay Packers teammate, Forrest Gregg wooed Bullough to install the 3–4 defensive system in Cincinnati. Two seasons later the Bengals would go to the Super Bowl where they fell just short against the San Francisco 49ers. While with the Bengals, Bullough also tutored Dick LeBeau who, not only would succeed Bullough as defensive coordinator but, is credited as the innovator of the 3–4 zone blitz scheme.

    Bullough also served as defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers in 1984. He was named the head coach for the Pittsburgh Maulers of the United States Football League (USFL) for the 1985 season, but the team folded after the 1984 season he instead moved on to the Buffalo Bills, where he replaced Kay Stephenson for the final 12 games of the 1985 season.​


    Within Patriot folklore Bullough is most well known for part of the fiasco of the 1978 season. Head coach Chuck Fairbanks had had enough of Billy Sullivan's cheapness and meddling from his sons, and word got out that Fairbanks had accepted a position with the University of Colorado. Sullivan fired/suspended Fairbanks - eight days before they were about to play a postseason game. Rather than name a single interim head coach, the mind trust decided to have Bullough be the head coach when the Pats were on defense, and Ron Erhardt the head coach when the team was on offense.

    Typical bizarreness for the Sullivan-era Patriots.

    Bullough suffered a stroke in 2014, but his children and grandchildren are still quite athletic.

    All in the family: The Bulloughs are the 'First Family of Football' at Michigan State

    [​IMG]



    There is even a bit of discussion on Bulloughs defense here on the PatsFans message board, from 2009: Thoughts about the switch to the 4-3


    Michigan State football legend Hank Bullough dies at 85 | mlive.com

    Henry 'Hank' Bullough obituary - East Lansing, Michigan
     
  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Denver edges Pats in AFCCG, 20-18



    Sunday January 24, 2016 at 3:00
    2015 AFC Championship Game at Sports Authority Field
    Denver Broncos 20, New England Patriots 18
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Gary Kubiak
    Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning
    Odds: Patriots favored by 3

    Patriots finish the 2015 season at 13-5
    Broncos improve to 14-4; move on to Super Bowl 50 versus Carolina

    On a 4th-and-10 with 1:34 left to play, Tom Brady connected on a 40 yard pass play to Rob Gronkowski, giving the Pats first and goal at the ten yard line. Brady hit Gronk again for the touchdown with twelve seconds to play, but a two-point conversion attempt to force overtime failed.


    There was much second guessing after the game due to the Patriots twice going for it in the red zone in the fourth quarter - and failing both times. This was also the game when Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point early; had that attempt been good then the Patriots would not have needed to go for two at the end of the game.

    Denver Broncos defeat New England Patriots in wild finish | OregonLive

    Tom Brady, Patriots denied by Broncos | The Boston Globe

    On an unseasonably warm afternoon in which the Patriots never led, Sunday’s AFC Championship game wasn’t decided until the final seconds. A 4-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski on fourth down — after a 40-yard completion on another fourth-down play — brought the Patriots within 2 points with 12 seconds left. But the 2-point try failed, Brady’s pass intended for Julian Edelman was tipped by former Patriot Aqib Talib and intercepted by Bradley Roby.




    Happy 29th birthday to Duron Harmon
    Born January 24, 1991 in Dover DE
    Patriot Safety, 2013-present; uniform #30 (2013-2017); #21 (2018-
    Selected in the 3rd round (91st overall) of the 2013 draft, from Rutgers

    Duron Harmon | patriots.com

    Harmon was inactive for the first game of his pro football career (9/8/2013 vs Buffalo). He has played in every Patriot game since: 111 regular season games, 17 postseason games.

    During those 111 games he has had 3,809 snaps on defense, and 501 on special teams.

    Defensive Snap Counts (and percentage)
    2013: 427 (39%)
    2014: 280 (26%)
    2015: 601 (55%)
    2016: 506 (49%)
    2017: 702 (66%)
    2018: 636 (61%)
    2019: 657 (65%)

    In his seven seasons Harmon has 17 interceptions, 28 passes defensed and three fumble recoveries. He also has 175 tackles (137 solo).

    Over the course of 17 playoff games Harmon has played the Patriots are 13-4. He has four postseason interceptions: late in the third quarter of the 2014 divisional round win off Joe Flacco; late in the fourth quarter to seal the win in the 2016 divisional round win over Houston; on the two yard line off Nick Foles in Super Bowl 52; and most recently in the fourth quarter against the Titans.

    Harmon has earned three Super Bowl rings, for the victories over the Seahawks, the Falcons and the Rams.










    Happy 29th birthday to Michael Buchanan
    Born January 24, 1991 in Homewood, Illinois
    Patriot DE, 2013-2014; uniform #99
    Pats 7th round (226th overall) selection of the 2013 draft, from Illinois

    The Patriots acquired the draft pick used on Buchanan as part of the trade that sent Aqib Talib from Tampa to Foxboro. Buchanan played in 15 games his rookie season, registering two sacks and a fumble recovery. He also played in the two 2013 playoff games, and appeared in three games the following year before landing on IR with an ankle injury. He was waived on May 7, 2015 but he did get a ring for being part of the 2014 super bowl champions.




    Happy birthday to Gary Jeter, who would have been 65 today
    Born January 24, 1955 in Weirton, West Virginia
    Patriot DE, 1989; uniform #99
    Signed as a veteran free agent in 1989

    The Patriots signed Jeter at the age of 34 for what would be his final year in the NFL. He played in 14 games, with seven sacks for New England. Jeter had been the fifth overall pick of the 1977 draft, splitting twelve seasons with the Giants and Rams. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 61.




    Happy 27th birthday to Anthony Johnson
    Born January 24, 1993 in Baton Rouge
    Patriot DT, 2016; uniform #96
    Signed May 9, 2016 as a free agent

    Johnson split 2016 between the practice squad and active roster, appearing in four games with one start. He is credited with eight tackles and two QB hits in those games. From 2014-2018 Johnson played in 22 NFL games, also spending time with Miami, Washington, the Jets and the Colts.




    Happy 48th birthday to Jay 'Sky' Walker
    Born January 24, 1972 in Los Angeles
    Patriot QB, 1994-95
    Pats 7th round (198th overall) selection of the 1994 draft, from Howard

    Walker spent 1994 on the practice squad and was allocated to Barcelona for the WLAF in '95. While there he injured in a game when he had to pass on every play, due to no running backs being available. Walker later spent two seasons as a backup QB in Minnesota; he is now a state representative in Maryland, and owner of a financial services firm.

    Quarterbacks' Sneak: WLAF to NFL | New York Times




    January 24, 1973:
    The New England Patriots hire Chuck Fairbanks as head coach.




    Other January 24 pro football birthdays with a New England connection:

    Dorsett Davis, 41 (1979)
    Draft Day Trade
    In 2002 the Pats traded a third round draft pick (later used on Davis) and a first (QB Patrick Ramsey) to Washington to move up from #30 overall to #21, selecting TE Daniel Graham. Davis played in 14 NFL games for the Broncos in 2003.

    Greg Jerman, 41 (1979)
    Born in Hyannis
    Played on the offensive line for Miami and Buffalo from 2002-2005.

    Tyler Catalina, 27 (1993)
    Born in Worcester; Wachusett Regional High School
    Offensive lineman has been with Washington, Minnesota and Carolina from 2017-2019.

    Dick Smith (1912-1980)
    Boston Redskins center, 1933.

    Mike Purdy (1895-1950)
    Dean Academy (now Dean College) in Franklin, MA; Brown University
    Blocking back and wingback for three seasons in the early twenties.
     
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  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Danny Woodhead


    Happy 35th Birthday to Danny Woodhead
    Born January 25, 1985 in North Platte, Nebraska
    Patriot RB 2010-2012; uniform #39
    Signed as a free agent on September 18, 2010

    At 5'8 and 175 pounds, no college football powerhouses were interested in Danny Woodhead. He stayed local and attended the school his parents attended, division 2 Chadron State. While there he set NCAA records for most rushing yards in a single season (2,740), most 200 yard rushing games (19) and consecutive games scoring a touchdown (39).


    Between his size and being a D2 player, the NFL took the same approach colleges did and did not invite Woodhead to the rookie combine. The running back was only able to show off his abilities at a pro day; his times in the 40 and vertical would have ranked second among running backs, and his 60 yard shuttle was better than any RB at the combine.

    The Jets signed Woodhead as an undrafted free agent immediately after the 2008 draft. He spent '08 on injured reserve after tearing his ACL early in training camp, and was released after one game in '09. When the Pats signed Woodhead a few days later many suspected it was simply an intel move on New England's week two opponent. A roster spot had opened up when Denver was in dire need of a running back, and had bought high in a trade for Laurence Maroney. The Pats still had Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Kevin Faulk. Woodhead was inactive for the game vs the Jete, but Faulk suffered a season ending knee injury that day.

    The next week Woodhead saw limited action, but gained 42 yards on three carries and scored a 22 yard touchdown in a 38-30 win over Buffalo. His playing time quickly increased as it was apparent he was not only a capable runner and receiver, but also a reliable player who rarely fumbled or dropped a pass, willing to effectively block much larger pass rushers.

    Woodhead played in 45 regular season games in three years in New England. He scored 14 touchdowns and gained 2,181 yards from scrimmage, averaging 4.8 yards per carry and 10.7 ypc on 92 receptions; he also returned 22 kicks for another 48 yards. Woodhead also played in six playoff games for the Patriots, with one touchdown.


    San Diego signed Woodhead as an unrestricted free agent on March 15, 2013; he retired from pro football on March 17, 2018. In ten NFL seasons Woodhead had 5,694 all purpose yards with 15 rushing touchdowns, 17 receiving TD, and two 2-point conversions.

    Danny Woodhead Retires: The Exit Interview | Sports Illustrated

    Danny Woodhead made a name for himself in the NFL by being the everyman's player, the underdog, the undrafted running back with a diminutive 5' 8" frame, full of grit.​




    Happy 49th Birthday to Vincent Brisby
    Born January 25, 1971 in Houston
    Patriot WR 1993-1999; uniform #82
    Pats 2nd round (56th overall) selection in the 1993 draft, from NE Louisiana

    The 1993 draft was one of the better ones in Patriot history, and certainly the best since the Chuck Fairbanks era. Drew Bledsoe was the first overall pick and the Pats picked up Troy Brown in the 8th round. With three second round picks the Pats added LB Chris Slade, OL Todd Rucci and WR Vincent Brisby.

    Until Curtis Martin arrived in 1995, the Bledsoe/Parcells Patriots had no running game. (How else do you explain Bledsoe throwing 70 passes in one game?) Drew flung it around to Ben Coates, Michael Timpson and Brisby - a lot. In his first three seasons Brisby had 169 receptions for 2,504 yards and ten touchdowns. Unfortunately the completion rate on passes to Brisby was poor, with the receiver able to catch only 43.8% of the 386 passes thrown his way.

    In 1996 Brisby signed a large contract extension, then dealt with a hamstring injury in training camp - and did not get on the field until week 12. Parcells famously stated that he "recovered from open-heart surgery faster than Brisby had (from the hamstring injury). That's the truth. I'm not kidding you."

    Brisby's first catch of the '96 season did not come until the Super Bowl against Green Bay. He lasted three more seasons under Pete Carroll, buried on the depth chart behind Terry Glenn, Shawn Jefferson and Troy Brown.

    Aug 15, 2000: Patriots Cut Brisby | Hartford Courant

    Vincent Brisby, who caught 66 passes in 1995 but only 48 since, was one of eight Patriots cut Monday.

    Most people go with what and whom they know, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who spent 12 years as a Giants assistant, is no different. He has brought in Chris Calloway, who played seven seasons with the Giants and caught 22 passes for 314 yards and one touchdown last season with the Falcons.

    Among those cut, the biggest surprise was that Brisby hung on as long as he did. NFL, as TV analyst and former coach Jerry Glanville loves to say, means Not For Long. Yet Brisby, 29, who signed a multimillion dollar contract before the 1996 season, then was promptly injured, hung on despite catching zero, 23, and seven passes the next three seasons. He was healthy in 1999, but then-Patriots coach Pete Carroll thought so little of him that he didn't activate him for four of the first five games.​


    Considering that Brisby had only three notable seasons it is a bit of a surprise to see where he ranks all time in Patriot franchise history:
    • 3,142 career receiving yards was ninth most in franchise history at the time (16th now).
    • 217 career receptions was eighth most in Pats history then (17th now).
    • 14.5 yards per reception ranks eighth best in club history (minimum 200 catches).

    Former Patriot Vincent Brisby inducted into his Louisiana College Hall of Fame | patriots.com

    Vincent Brisby Hall of Fame (2015) | University of Louisiana Monroe




    Happy 53rd birthday to Darryl Wren
    Born Jan 25, 1967 in Tulsa
    Patriot CB, 1993-94; uniform #27
    Waiver claim from Bills on Aug 31, 1993

    Darryl Wren played in twenty games over two seasons in New England. In '93 he started five games and had three interceptions, with 35 tackles. The Pats attempted to trade him to Seattle late in training camp in '04 for a sixth round draft pick, but that trade was voided when Wren failed his physical. He was originally a third round pick by Buffalo in '91, from Pittsburgh State.




    Happy 55th birthday to Jerry McCabe
    Born Jan 25, 1965 in Detroit
    Patriot LB, 1987; uniform #52

    The Holy Cross alum was a replacement player for three games in '87; he also spent the next three seasons with the Chiefs.




    Some other New England pro football players born on this date:

    Ken Bungarda, 63 (1957)
    Born in Hartford
    OT from Missouri was drafted by the Bengals in '79, also played with 49ers.

    Ray Preston, 66 (1954)
    Lawrence High School
    Played in 122 games for the Chargers at linebacker from 1976-1984.

    Tom Toner (1950-1990)
    Born in Woburn; Swampscott High School
    Linebacker was drafted by Green Bay in '73 and played for the Packers until '77.

    Vito Ananis (1915-1994)
    Born in Cambridge; Cambridge Rindge Tech; Boston College
    Halfback and defensive back for Washington in the forties.

    Jack Flavin (1900-1965)
    Born in Portland, Maine; Portland High School
    Fullback in the twenties with the Buffalo All-Americans.




    January 25, 2016:
    Dave DeGuglielmo is fired as offensive line coach, and Dante Scarnecchia is rehired for that position.
     
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  15. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today In Patriots History
    New Orleans Super Letdowns



    Sunday, January 26, 1997 at 6:30
    Super Bowl 31 at the Louisiana Superdome
    Green Bay Packers 35, New England Patriots 21
    Head Coaches: Bill Parcells, Mike Holmgren
    Quarterbacks: Drew Bledsoe, Brett Favre
    Odds: Packers favored by 14

    Final Records: Packers 16-3, Patriots 13-6

    Perhaps if Tuna wasn't spending so much of his time negotiating a contract to coach the Jets, he could have focused a bit more on Desmond Howard and special teams.





    Sunday January 26, 1986 at 5:00
    Super Bowl 20 at the Louisiana Superdome
    Chicago Bears 46, New England Patriots 10
    Head Coaches: Raymond Berry, Mike Ditka
    Quarterbacks: Tony Eason, Steve Grogan; Jim McMahon
    Odds: Chicago favored by 10

    Final Records: Bears 18-1, Patriots 14-6

    Fun Fact I: the Bears did not take the lead in this game until less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter.

    Fun Fact II: Many people still hold a grudge against Ditka for rubbing it in by giving the football to 'The Fridge' Perry to score at the goal line for Chicago's final touchdown, rather than to Walter Payton.

    Key Stats: too many to count.
    • Six turnovers
    • 11 rushes for 7 yards
    • Eason: 0-6, one fumble lost, 3 sacks for -28 yards
    • Total Yards: 408 to 123
    • Time of Possession: 39:15 to 20:45
    • Offensive plays: 73 to 47

    The Patriots had already won their Super Bowl the previous week in the Squish the Fish Game. Chicago had Buddy Ryan's 46 defense, something that the NFL had not yet figured out how to counter. They would do so within two years, and Ryan became a braying has-been.





    January 26, 2000:
    Bill Belichick drops lawsuit against Jets and NFL

    Bill Belichick dropped the antitrust lawsuit he had filed against the National Football League and the Jets yesterday, one day after the judge in the case refused to grant a temporary restraining order that would have allowed Belichick to negotiate with other teams for a new job.

    Belichick filed the lawsuit on Monday, hoping that the judge would grant him the freedom that N.F.L. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue did not when he ruled last Friday that the Jets still own Belichick's rights.

    ''The main purpose of the case from Bill's perspective was to seek emergency relief so he had the opportunity to coach now,'' Jeffrey Kessler, Belichick's lawyer, said. ''Since it became apparent the court wasn't going to give us that relief, we had to decide what other options we could pursue. That option didn't work out.''

    . . . . .

    '''His goal is not to not be a coach and get damages,'' Kessler said. ''He wants to be a coach. If necessary, if all else fails, then he will pursue his claim for damages. Right now, what he wants to do is be permitted to work again. He wants it very clear that what he is seeking was to become free. He's trying to avoid the damage. If it turns out he can't, we'll consider other alternatives.''


    The Jets had no comment on yesterday's development.

    Belichick's immediate future remains murky. A team that wants his services may have them, but it will have to pay compensation to the Jets. The New England Patriots, who asked for permission to speak to Belichick on Jan. 3, have had talks with the Jets to try to reach a deal, but so far those talks have produced no resolution.

    Meanwhile, the Patriots have also had talks with candidates who would fill the general manager and head-coaching posts separately, the two jobs that Belichick would presumably fill by himself if he had the freedom to make a deal with New England. Yesterday, the Patriots met with Dom Capers, the defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    The Patriots are one of just two N.F.L. teams that now need a head coach.​
     
  16. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today In Patriots History
    Brandon Bolden



    Happy 30th Birthday to Brandon Bolden
    Born January 26, 1990 in Baton Rouge
    Patriot RB/ST 2012-2017, 2019-present; uniform #38
    Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 12, 2012 from Ole Miss

    - Earned two Super Bowl rings with Patriots, with 11 postseason wins with the Pats.
    - His grandfather, Frank Pitts, played ten years in the NFL. Pitts was a split end who played in Super Bowl I and IV with the Chiefs.
    - 2012 FedEx Ground Player of the Week in week four. Bolden ran for 137 yards and a TD on just 16 carries in the 52-28 victory at Buffalo, including runs of 20 and 27 yards.
    - The 8.6 yards per carry in that game ranks as the third most for a single game in Patriots history with a minimum of 15 rushing attempts. Only Curtis Martin (9.6 ypc on 17-164 vs Washington on Oct 13, 1996) and Tony Collins (9.2 ypc on 23-212 vs the Jets, Sept. 18, 1983) rank higher.
    - Needs just 20 more yards rushing to become the 34th player in franchise history to run for 1,000 yards.
    - His nine career rushing touchdowns ranks 27th in team history, tied with Mack Herron, Robert Edwards, Ron Burton and Jim Plunkett.



    In the 'We're on to Cincinnati' Game in 2014 Bolden had two special teams tackles and forced a fumble on a kickoff that Kyle Arrington returned nine yards for a touchdown. Later that season Bolden blocked his first NFL punt in a win at San Diego that led to a Patriot touchdown. It was the Patriots' first blocked punt since 2010.

    While with Miami in 2018 Bolden ran the ball twice against the Patriots - and he scored touchdowns both times. This past season the Pats began to use Bolden as a kick returner for the first time; he ran 23 kicks back at an average of 22.4 yards.

    Career Regular Season Stats as a Patriot:
    98 games with eight starts
    231 carries for 980 yards (4.2 ypc), with nine touchdowns
    56 receptions for 484 yards, 8.6 ypc, three touchdowns
    1,464 yards from scrimmage and an average of 5.1 yards per touch
    12 touchdowns and 89 first downs
    781 offensive snaps and 1,721 special teams snaps




    Happy 62nd birthday to Mike Hubach
    Born January 26, 1958 in Cleveland
    Patriot punter, 1980-1981; uniform #6
    Pats 11th round (293rd overall) selection of the 1980 draft, from Kansas

    Mike Hubach averaged 38.0 yards per punt as a rookie, dead last in the NFL in 1980. He was outperformed by Rich Camarillo in training camp, but head coach Ron Erhardt overrode special teams coach Gino Cappelletti, and kept Hubach to start the 1981 season - because he also handled kickoff duties.

    After five games and a 38.2 yard average the Pats waived Hubach. Rather than sign Camarillo they turned to Ken Hartley, who was even worse and lasted only two games. The Pats finally signed Camarillo, who became one of the NFL's best punters in the eighties and nineties.

    Oct 7, 1981: Patriots still trying to find a punter | UPI

    Oct 19, 1981: Punting-poor Patriots sign Rich Camarillo | UPI

    Nov 7, 1981: Sports People: Camarillo Finds Niche | New York Times




    Happy birthday to Judson Flint, who would have been 63 today
    Born January 26, 1957 in Farrell, Pennsylvania
    Patriot defensive back, 1979
    Pats 7th round (177th overall) selection of the 1979 draft, from Memphis

    Judson Flint missed all of his rookie season due to a knee injury. He was the last player waived after training camp in 1980, and was picked up by the Browns. Flint played in 38 straight games for Cleveland before being sidelined with a broken ankle, and played in only one more game after that. In his post-NFL career Judson Flint was a supervisor for the Mercer County Housing Authority in Pennsylvania until he retired in 2012. He passed away in 2018 at the age of 61.





    Two other old timers born on this date with a New England connection:

    Lefty Jamerson (1900-1980)
    Hartford Blues
    Lefty briefly (three games) played end in the NFL, and pitched (one game) for the Red Sox in the twenties. He later was a head coach at Memphis State and at Davidson College.

    Larry Weltman (1899-1959)
    Born in Pittsfield, MA; Pittsfield High School
    At Syracuse he was a tailback on the football team, and known as a solid defender on the basketball team. Larry was a blocking back in the NFL for Rochester in the twenties.
     
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  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Patriots Hire Bill Belichick



    January 27, 2000:
    Patriots name Bill Belichick their 14th head coach in franchise history.


    New England traded three draft picks, including a 2000 first-rounder, for two Jet draft picks and the right to hire Belichick as the team's head coach.




    [​IMG]


    There is a very well detailed history of how the trade occurred below, including conjecture at that time that Oakland was the best fit for Belichick, to assessment of what the Jets received in return:

    Was Belichick to New England the best trade in league history? | Grantland

    In the meantime, both teams made moves. The Jets promoted linebackers coach Al Groh to the head-coaching gig. The Patriots, unsure if they could hire their desired candidate, expressed interest in the likes of Mike Martz, Tom Moore, and Gary Kubiak before interviewing Raiders defensive coordinator Willie Shaw, Bears offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, and Jaguars defensive coordinator Dom Capers.​


    Kraft, Patriots still smiling on 20th anniversary of Bill Belichick trade | Boston Herald

    Patriots owner Robert Kraft made a major decision two decades ago on behalf of the franchise that was initially met with eyeball rolls and skepticism on many fronts.

    When Kraft sent a first-round pick to the Jets for the right to hire Bill Belichick, the prevailing view was that he would ultimately regret the move.

    Funny how that turned out.

    Six Super Bowl championships, nine conference crowns and 16 division titles later, Kraft is smiling. The trade for Belichick is one of the moves that’s defined his ownership, and helped build a dynasty. In fact, it’s one of the greatest trades in NFL history.​


    Looking back at Belichick's two decades of dominance | patriots.com

    The numbers are staggering:
    • 6 Super Bowl titles
    • 9 AFC titles
    • 17 AFC East division titles
    • Career record – 302-139 (.685)
    • Regular season – 273-127 (.683)
    • Postseason – 31-12 (.721)
    • Patriots record – 267-94 (.740)

    Lack of buzz about Bill Belichick hire 20 years ago comical in hindsight | Mike Reiss, espn

    On Page 85, a story that gauged fan reaction to the hire was modest. Some were expecting a bigger name like Marty Schottenheimer, or a package deal of Dom Capers as coach and Tom Donahoe as general manager. "I think the combination of Capers and Donahoe was more promising," one fan was quoted as saying.

    In a story headlined It's all so crazy, it just might work, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote, "Belichick's behavior in recent weeks indicates he might be enough of a wacko to be an effective head coach."​


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Troy Brown leads Pats to upset
    over Steelers for AFC championship


    Sunday January 27, 2002 at 12:40
    2001 AFC Championship Game at Heinz Field
    New England Patriots 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher
    Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe; Kordell Stewart
    Odds: Pittsburgh favored by 10

    Pats improve to 13-5; advance to Super Bowl 36 versus Rams
    Steelers finish 14-4, with plenty of time to unpack their bags

    It was reported that prior to this game Pittsburgh head coach Cowher told his players to have their bags packed and business in order, in order to avoid distractions heading into the Superbowl.

    Oops.

    Maybe the Steelers should have been more focused on special teams. Or not given the Patriots additional incentive with bulletin board material.

    Here is a summary from the perspective of a Steeler fan:

    The 12 Most Heartbreaking Playoff Losses In Pittsburgh Steelers History: #5

    With the Patriots traveling to Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship Game, the Good Lord decided to make this game "special" for Coach Belichick. First, after a beautiful 64-yard punt by Josh Miller got Pittsburgh out of trouble and put New England in such, the Steelers were penalized for illegal procedure when Troy Edwards stepped out of bounds covering the punt. On Miller's mulligan, Troy Brown ran 55 yards into the end zone giving the Patriots a 7-0 lead. After a Kris Brown field goal cut the lead to 7-3, Tom Brady was knocked out of the game with a knee injury. Divinely, replacement Drew Bledsoe came in and looked like Johnny Unitas. He took New England down the field and threw an 11-yard touchdown arial to David Patten. The seven-point favorite Pittsburgh Steelers trailed New England 14-3 at halftime.

    Another Steelers' mistake in the third quarter gave the Patriots the ball on Pittsburgh's 35-yard line after a fumble. But the Patriots were stuffed, the Steelers drove down the field, the Good Lord was concerned, so out came another heavenly "special." Kris Brown's field-goal attempt was blocked by a defensive tackle, picked up by Troy Brown, who ran about 10 yards before throwing a lateral pass to Antwan Harris, who ran 49 yards for a touchdown. The Patriots led, 21-3, causing all the angels to learn how to high-five.

    If you have ever met a Steeler fan then you know that the Pittsburgh area is still salty, making excuses and conspiracy theories for every Steeler loss to the Pats to this day.







     
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  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History

    Overshadowed by the 20th anniversary of the Bill Belichick trade and the 18th anniversary of Drew Bledsoe coming off the bench to defeat the Steelers for the AFC Championship are a few birthdays, highlighted by running backs Stevan Ridley and Fred Taylor.


    It seems difficult to believe that Stevan Ridley is just one year older than one of yesterday's birthdays, Brandon Bolden.

    Happy 31st birthday to Stevan Ridley
    Born January 27, 1989 in Natchez, Mississippi
    Patriot RB, 2011-2014; uniform #22
    Pats 3rd round (73rd overall) selection of the 2011 draft, from LSU

    The 2011 draft was a good one for the Patriots, with the team selecting tackles Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon, running backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, as well as backups Ryan Mallett and Ras-I Dowling. The Pats originally had the 60th overall pick in the second round but traded down - getting Ridley 13 spots later, and picking up a fifth round pick that was used for Cannon.

    As a rookie Stevan Ridley gained 5.1 yards per carry as part of a running back by committee that was headed by BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The following year Ridley had the best season of his career, rushing for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the playoff loss to Baltimore old nemesis Bernard Pollard gave Ridley a concussion on a helmet to helmet hit, resulting in a fumble.

    Ridley already had four fumbles in the regular season and would have four more in 2013, resulting in a loss of playing time. After fumbling for the third game in a row early in a game against the Broncos he was benched. Ridley was a healthy scratch the following week, with LeGarrette Blount assuming the role as lead running back.

    The final play of Ridley's career with the Patriots came on October 12, 2014. The running back tore his ACL and MCL, landing him on IR. As a consolation prize Ridley did get a ring for the Super Bowl victory over Seattle that season.

    Stevan Ridley signed with the Jets the following offseason, but the knee injury lingered. He bounced between six teams over the next four seasons, last playing in 2018. In 74 NFL games Ridley rushed for 3,102 yards and 24 touchdowns.






    Happy 44th birthday to Fred Taylor
    Born January 27, 1976 in Pahokee, Florida
    Patriot RB, 2009-2010; uniform #21
    Signed as a veteran free agent on Feb 27, 2009

    Fred Taylor rushed for over 1,200 yards six times with Jacksonville from 1998-2008. The Pats signed the 33 year old Florida Gator a week after being waived by the Jaguars. Unfortunately his time in Foxboro was defined by injuries. Taylor suffered an ankle injury after the fourth game of 2009 against the Ravens; he would not return until the final game of the season. Then in 2010 a toe injury kept Taylor off the field for ten weeks.

    In 13 games with the Pats he averaged 4.0 yards per carry, rushing for 424 yards and four touchdowns. Over 13 NFL seasons Taylor totaled 14,079 yards from scrimmage and scored 74 touchdowns. His 11,695 yards rushing ranks as the 17th most in league history.


    On a side note, Fred Taylor was part of a very one-sided trade. On Feb 13, 1998 the Jaguars traded QB Rob Johnson to Buffalo. In exchange Jacksonville received a first round pick, ninth overall (used on Taylor), plus a fourth round pick. Johnson had been a backup to Mark Brunell and Buffalo head coach Wade Phillips immediately named Johnson the starter, with the former USC QB signing a five year contract for what was big money back then.

    Johnson suffered one injury after another and Doug Flutie took over, with far better results. Johnson infamously publicly whined 'I'm not a backup', and later owner Ralph Wilson meddled by forcing Phillips to start Johnson in a playoff game. Over the course of his career Rob Johnson was 12-17 as a starting quarterback, a shark contrast to the career that Fred Taylor had.




    Happy 55th birthday to Tom Rehder
    Born January 27, 1965 in Sacramento
    Patriot OL, 1988-1989; uniform #76
    Pats 3rd round (69th overall) selection of the 1988 draft, from Notre Dame

    Tom Rehder played in all 32 games in his two seasons with the Patriots, with zero starts. He was signed by the Jets as a free agent in 1990, and spent one season with the Giants.




    Happy 64th birthday to Sidney Brown
    Born January 27, 1956 in New Orleans
    Patriot CB, 1977-1979; uniform #21
    Pats 3rd round (82nd overall) selection of the 1977 draft, from Oklahoma

    Sidney Brown had been recruited by Chuck Fairbanks when Brown was in high school and Fairbanks was the Sooners head coach. Brown spent his rookie season on injured reserve, then played in every game the following year. Brown was injured early in the 1979 training camp and spent another season on IR, and never made it back to the NFL after that.




    January 27, 1970 at the Belmont Plaza Hotel in New York
    Day One (rounds 1-7) of the 1970 NFL Draft

    Like many drafts from this time period, the 1970 draft explains quite a bit about why they were as bad as they were in the years immediately following the merger.

    With the fourth overall pick the Pats selected DT Phil Olsen. He spent his first season on IR and then escaped as a free agent in a front office oversight the following offseason.

    The Pats didn't have a second round pick, having traded that away with Leroy Mitchell to Houston for Larry Carwell, Charlie Frazier, Sid Blanks and Ronnie Caveness. Carwell was a decent player but Mitchell was better. Frazier was a past his prime 30 year old receiver. Blanks was strictly a backup, and Caveness didn't make the Patriot roster. The Oilers got the better end of the deal even before figuring in the 31st overall pick of the draft.

    The third and fourth round picks were used on LB Mike Ballou and RB Eddie Ray; both were gone after one season. The Pats had traded their own fifth round pick to the Jets for OT Ezell Jones, who lasted a year and a half, but they also had a fifth from Miami from the dubious Nick Buoniconti trade. The Pats used that selection on Bob Olson, who did not make the roster and never played in the NFL.

    The Patriots did not have a sixth round pick, having traded that away to Buffalo the previous year for safety/punter Tom Janik. That would turn out to be the best value for the Pats of the entire 1970 draft. Then in the seventh round the Pats added Odell Lawson, who returned kicks for the Pats as a rookie, playing in a total of 16 games before moving on.




    January 27, 2008
    Mike Holovak passed away at the age of 88

    Holovak was an All American selection at Boston College, playing in both the Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl. After Naval service as skipper of a PT boat in the South Pacific during World War II, he played professional football for the Los Angles Rams and the Chicago Bears.

    He later returned to Boston College to become head football coach. In 1960, he was hired as the first Director of Player Personnel for the Boston Patriots. He was named the team's head coach in 1961 and continued in that capacity through 1968.

    Holovak later served as general manager and president of player personnel for the Houston Oilers, now Tennessee Titans, retiring in 1998.​




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

    Fritz Pollard (1894-1986)
    Bates College; Brown University
    Hall of Fame tailback from the 1920s was the first African American player in the NFL, as well as the first to be a head coach.

    Deon Anderson, 37 (1983)
    Born in Providence; Hope High School in Providence; UConn
    Drafted by the Cowboys in 2007, the fullback spent four seasons with Dallas.

    Dennis Cambal, 71 (1949)
    Born in Waltham; Phillips Andover Academy
    The tight end was drafted by Oakland in 1972, and later played for the Jets.

    John Badaczewski (1922-1999)
    Boston Yanks, 1946-48
    Two-way lineman played in the NFL for eight seasons.
     
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  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today in Patriots History
    Stephen Gostkowski


    Happy 36th birthday to Stephen Gostkowski
    Born January 28, 1984 in Baton Rouge
    Patriot kicker, 2006 - present
    Pats 4th round (118th overall) selection of the 2006 draft, from Memphis

    I can remember wondering why the Patriots wasted a fourth round draft pick on a kicker, and having many fans of opposing teams warn me - and agreeing with them - that the Pats had royally screwed up by letting Adam Vinatieri go for an unproven rookie. Um, well, .... can I get a Mulligan on that?

    [​IMG]
    • Three-time Super Bowl Champion
    • Two-time First Team All Pro
    • Four-Time Pro Bowl selection
    • Four-Time AFC Special Teams Player of the Month
    • Six-Times AFC Special Teams Player of the Week
    • Five-Time NFL Season Leader in Points Scored
    • Three-Time NFL Season Leader in Field Goals Made

    Patriot Franchise Records
    Ghost ranks first in franchise career rankings for field goals, field goal attempts, field goal percentage (minimum 20 attempts), extra points, extra point attempts, extra point percentage (minimum 75 attempts), and points scored.

    His 1,775 points scored nearly laps the field: it is 617 more than any other player in Patriot history. Gostkowski's 158 points scored in 2013 is the most ever for the franchise, shattering a seemingly unbreakable team record that had stood for 49 years.


    Career NFL Rankings
    • 1,775 Points Scored is 12th all-time
    • 87.4% Field Goal Accuracy is 5th all-time
    • 374 Field Goals is 15th all-time
    • 664 Extra Points is 8th all-time

    Other Milestones
    • Only player in NFL history to score more than 150 points in multiple seasons; Gostkowski has accomplished that feat five times
    • Is one of only three players (Don Hutson, Gino Cappelletti) to lead the league in scoring five times
    • 158 points scored in 2013 is 5th most for a kicker in NFL history
    • Ranks 6th in NFL history with 38 field goals made in a single season (2013)

    Playoffs
    • 205 career points scored is 2nd all-time
    • 28 playoff games is 4th all-time, one behind Jerry Rice
    • 88 extra points made is most all-time
    • 39 field goals made is 2nd all-time
    • 15 extra points made in a single postseason is 4th most (2014)
    • 8 field goals made in a single postseason is 7th most (2006)

    Stephen Gostkowski Biography - Patriots.com
     

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