This past Wednesday, former NFL player and football coach Ray Perkins passed away at the age of 79.
Perkins playing career began at wide receiver under legendary University of Alabama head coach Bear Bryant from 1964-66, helping the team win national championships in 1965 and 1966 alongside future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Namath and Ken Stabler.
At the professional level, Perkins played for Don Shula’s Baltimore Colts from 1967-71, winning a ring in Super Bowl V.
Following his playing days, Perkins career shifted to coaching, spending over 30 years splitting time between the college and NFL levels.
From 1993-1996, Perkins served as the Patriots offensive coordinator under Bill Parcells after initially starting his coaching career as an assistant for the franchise from 1974-1977.
Perkins influence on the Patriots, including Head Coach Bill Belichick can still be felt to this day.
The Patriots shared a statement by Belichick following the news.
“Ray gave me an opportunity in 1979 to go with the Giants and that was a life-changing moment for me. I’ve always been deeply appreciative of that opportunity and have a ton of respect for Ray. We developed a very close relationship and I appreciate all that he did for the Giants program, which was terrible when he took over in ’79, to make it a highly competitive team in ’81 and ’82 was a strike year. As a former player and coach, Ray had a good perspective on the game. He played for two of the greatest coaches of all time in Bear Bryant and Don Shula. His level of competitiveness and toughness was about as good as anybody I’ve ever been around. With the Patriots, the terminology that Ray and Ron Erhardt used under Coach [Chuck] Fairbanks here in the late 70s, early 80s that then came to New England with Ray and with Bill Parcells after the ’80 season. Certainly the terminology and a lot of the fundamentals and foundation of our offensive system are still in that offense from Ray and Ron back in the late 70s under Coach Fairbanks. So, he had a big impact on my life and my career and I have a ton of respect for Ray and his family. My personal sympathies go out to them as part of the Patriots family.”
Condolences to the family of Ray Perkins, a man who had a keen eye for talent. He hired Parcells, Belichick and Crennel as young assistants and drafted Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms. Leading receiver at Alabama, Bear Bryant always thought he'd be a great coach. Rest easy, Ray.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) December 9, 2020
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Bill Parcells Ray Perkins