Tag Archives: Raymond Clayborn

Best Of Social Media: The New England Patriots Remember Martin Luther King Jr.

Robert Alvarez
January 16, 2018 at 10:36 pm ET

Monday marked the federal holiday in the United States that honored civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Taking to social media, many current and former members of the New England Patriots took time to reflect back on King’s legacy and influence on the country with some memorable quotes and photographs.

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Happy #MLKDay

A post shared by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

Best Of Social Media: The New England Patriots Celebrate Christmas

Robert Alvarez
December 26, 2017 at 8:11 pm ET

With a win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, the New England Patriots earned a first round bye for the eighth consecutive season. However despite Week 17 still being a must win game to decide the first or second seed, the team put a pause on the regular season finale next week to celebrate the Christmas holiday with their friends and families on Monday.

Speaking with the media Tuesday, even head coach Bill Belichick answered a Christmas related question with a football twist,

Below are some of the best postings from social media shared by the 2017 Patriots, their wives and former Patriots.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdIkxzBnum6/?hl=en&taken-by=gronk

Merry Christmas To All. From The Harmons 🎄🎁

A post shared by Duron Harmon (@dharm21) on

Merry Christmas!! #flex

A post shared by Dion Lewis (@d_lew33) on

Promise I'm otw with gifts but first Pizza…

A post shared by Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdGTRYAA2fU/?hl=en&taken-by=jhharrison92

Merry Christmas everyone! 🎄🎁 ❄️ @_boomtower

A post shared by Morgan Hart (@morganhart) on

Best Of Social Media: Week 15 Patriots vs Steelers

Robert Alvarez
December 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm ET

Entering Sunday’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the rivals squared off with the winner seeking the AFC’s number one seed and home field advantage for the playoffs with three games to go in the season. Tom Brady came into the game seeking to continue his dominance over the Steel City sporting a 7-2 regular season record.

gameday #LetsGooooo

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc0BGcUAh19/?hl=en&taken-by=bbhulksmash

In the first quarter, the Patriots struck first, with Brandin Cooks immediately rebounding from last weeks struggles as he hauled in a 43 yard deep ball from Tom Brady which help setup the games first touchdown. Running back Rex Burkhead would bang it in from the goal line for an early 7-0 lead.

https://twitter.com/patriots/status/942512190262669312

The Steelers dynamic offense wasted no time and quickly responded to tie the game at 7 when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger found Eli Rogers on this 18 yard touchdown strike.

In the second quarter, both teams traded field goals to knot the score at 10, but Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski provided some highlights leading to the scores.

https://twitter.com/steelers/status/942515740527116288

With the clock winding down on the first half, the Steelers found the end zone for a second time when Roethlisberger found Bryant and the Patriots headed to the locker room trailing, but only by 7 at 17-10.

https://twitter.com/steelers/status/942524754916884480

The Patriots got the ball to open the second half, and in what would be a recurrence all night long, Gronkowski continued to haul in big yardage.

The reception would lead to Brady’s first touchdown pass of the game, but a Stephen Gostkowski extra point was missed, and the Patriots had to settle trailing by one at 17-16.

Like in the first quarter, the Steelers again responded as another member of the “Killer B’s” found the end zone when Le’veon Bell ran the ball in from the three, 24-16 Steelers after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, the Patriots defense began to tighten up for the first time all game despite third down struggles, and Tom Brady drove the Patriots into field goal range for Gostkowski to cut the deficit to five at 24-19.

With two minutes to go in the game, the Patriots were given one more opportunity to retake the  lead following a big third down stop. Brady and Gronkowski went to work.

https://twitter.com/zeus30hightower/status/942547720677543937

Courtesy of three big receptions for 69 yards, Gronkowski helped setup the go ahead score, an eight yard run by the former Pitt Panther Dion Lewis. 27-24 Patriots.

https://twitter.com/kvn_03/status/942550304314273793

The clock had just under a minute for Big Ben to try and rally, and his rookie wideout Juju Smith-Schuster provided instant life on an incredible 69 yard catch and run.

The play setup what appeared to be tight end Jesse James game winning touchdown, but the play was reviewed and ruled not a catch by the officals.

Despite the controversy that ensued the Steelers still had time for another play despite no timeouts, but instead of spiking the ball to setup a game tying field goal, Roethlisberger gambled with a pass, and the result was Duron “The Closer” Harmon.

An incredible goal line stand that brought back memories of Super Bowl XLIX, and the Patriots survived and won in Pittsburgh yet again while taking over the number 1 seed in the AFC and another division title.

A 27-24 final in a thriller and just two divisional games at home remain where the Patriots control their destiny for playoff positioning.

(.gifs h/t reddit and u/timnog)

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc5hur8hqDs/?taken-by=tombrady

https://twitter.com/barstooluofm/status/942566836931096576

https://twitter.com/danielrainge/status/942772339439226880

https://twitter.com/rayclayborn26/status/942550340095889408

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HAT AND T-SHIRTS!!!

A post shared by Jason+Devin McCourty (@mccourtytwins) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc07FUPhY8A/?taken-by=sweetfeet

Great team win tonight !!!!!!! #AFCEastChamps #DLine #GoPats

A post shared by KingWise (@deatrich) on

https://twitter.com/hollister_jacob/status/942574882545721344

AFC East champs! #patriots #bigboys #myguys #LFG

A post shared by LaAdrian Waddle (@laadrianwaddle) on

Best Of Social Media: Week 7 Falcons vs Patriots

Robert Alvarez
October 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm ET

In one of the most anticipated games of the 2017 season, the New England Patriots prepared to welcome in the Atlanta Falcons for a Super Bowl rematch, and while Bill Belichicks team wasn’t taking the time to think about the past, it was hard to ignore the Gillette Stadium fans reminding both teams of the epic comeback during pregame.

As shared by NESN’s Zack Cox in the tweet below, Patriots long snapper and Naval officer Joe Cardona played a role in providing 200 tickets to men and women serving in the US Armed Services so they would be able to attend the evenings game.

Two Boston College legends met on the field before the game.

https://twitter.com/rayclayborn26/status/922259668306624515

Just before kickoff, the Patriots held a special on field tribute to cancer survivors as part of the NFL’s “Crucial Catch campaign that featured Tom Brady’s mother Galynn making her return to Foxboro.

https://twitter.com/nflnetwork/status/922100486127476737

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bak5D_iFFUG/?hl=en&taken-by=gisele

As for the game itself, the Patriots offense struggled early on to find a rhythm, but the defense stepped up, as Cassius Marsh swatted away three points from the Falcons and fired up the normally “all business” Bill Belichick.

https://twitter.com/patriots/status/922268439162392576

The Patriots would strike first in the second quarter, with Brandon Cooks following the blocking of Rob Gronkowski for a 7-0 lead.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BamHQwaACv-/?taken-by=thearcher14

Midway through the second, an errie fog settled in over the Gillette Stadoum field that would provide an interesting backdrop (and internet memes) for the remainder of the game.

After a Stephen Gostkowski field goal, the Patriots were on the move again, as James White provided even more Super Bowl flashbacks with a touchdown of his own just before halftime. 17-0 Patriots going into the half.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bam0f2EBBAX/?taken-by=sweetfeet

At halftime, the Patriots honored their three Pro Football Hall of Famers with a special ceremony awarding them ”rings of excellence”.

 

In the second half, the Patriots defense continued to stymie Matt Ryan’s offense as two more field goals put the Super Bowl champs ahead 23-0 midway through the fourth.

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant also did his best Nick Folk impression.

Kyle Van Noy provided a huge tackle on fourth down to again keep the Falcons off the scoreboard.

https://twitter.com/patriots/status/922302277624328192

https://twitter.com/marissa_vannoy/status/922470703697416192

With four minutes to go in the game, the Falcons at last broke through on the scoreboard after an incredible touchdown reception by Julio Jones after he jumped above Malcolm Butler.

Give credit where credit is due…. #OnToTheChargers

A post shared by Malcolm CB Butler (@mac_bz) on

https://twitter.com/tombradysego/status/922541728049098752

That would be all the Falcons could muster as the Patriots improved to 5-2 in 2017 following an impressive complete performance on both sides of the ball. A 23-7 victory heading into a home matchup with the San Diego Chargers next week.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaotmofhQYE/?taken-by=tombrady

https://twitter.com/snfonnbc/status/922313223994593280

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Great team win. On to the Chargers #SNF #pats

A post shared by Chris Hogan (@chrishogan_15) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BanMlanlySR/?hl=en&taken-by=bbhulksmash

Give credit where credit is due…. #OnToTheChargers

A post shared by Malcolm CB Butler (@mac_bz) on

Great team win! Still hungry for more.

A post shared by Cassius Marsh (@cassiusmarsh) on

Raymond Clayborn to be honored today at Gillette Stadium

John Morgan
September 24, 2017 at 11:30 am ET

The Patriots will honor the newest member of the franchise’s Hall of Fame today. During a half time ceremony at Gillette Stadium the Pats will hold a ceremony for Raymond Clayborn. The legendary number 26 is coincidentally the 26th person to join the Patriots Hall of Fame.

While I most certainly hoped Clayborn would get the nod this year, I wasn’t expecting it to turn out this way. I was very pleasantly surprised that the voting by Patriot Nation looked beyond recent star players. Thank you to all Patriot fans who did a bit of research that resulted in Clayborn’s induction. Fans could have easily gone along with the more recent memories. Richard Seymour, a future Pro Football Hall of Famer in my opinion, was a finalist. So was Mike Vrabel, a key defender for three championship teams, and one of the most versatile players in NFL history.

Clayborn set the franchise record with 36 career interceptions (since tied by Ty Law). He returned three kickoffs for touchdown his rookie year, averaging 31 yards per return that season. Clayborn became a starter his second season and along with Mike Haynes combined for one of the best cornerback tandems in NFL history.

Don’t take my word on it; consider what the Pro Football Hall of Fame CB had to say on the subject.

“(NFL.com) did a poll of the top cornerback tandems, and they had myself and Lester Hayes at No. 1,” recalled Haynes. “You know what? Myself and Raymond might have been just as good. Really. Raymond Clayborn was a star.”

Clayborn was a three-time First Team All Pro but stats alone do not adequately state his impact. He was part of a core group of players that turned the franchise around from the worst team in the league to one of the NFL’s best. Perhaps if he had a Super Bowl ring – which was earned but stolen away in the Ben Dreith travesty – he and some other players from the late seventies would have been held in higher regard. Clayborn played in a team record 161 consecutive games and was named to the Patriots All-Decade Team for both the 1970s and 1980s.

Congratulations to Raymond Clayborn on this well deserved honor.

Patriots To Honor Raymond Clayborn At Halftime On Sunday vs Texans

Robert Alvarez
September 22, 2017 at 12:04 pm ET

2017 New England Patriots Hall of Fame inductee Raymond Clayborn will be honored one final time this season in a special halftime ceremony at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon against the Houston Texans.

Per the Patriots official press release;

“Clayborn, a Texas native who currently resides in Katy, Texas, just outside of Houston, was voted by fans as the 26th person to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. He was officially inducted into The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon in a ceremony on the NRG Plaza on July 29.” 

“Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowl player (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career that extended from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977 and quickly established himself as one of the game’s best cornerbacks, as well as a superb kickoff returner. He set a franchise record with 36 career interceptions, a record which Ty Law tied in 2004 and remains today, 28 years after Clayborn finished his Patriots career. His 555 interception return yards rank second in franchise history to Law’s 583 return yards. Clayborn also returned 57 kickoffs for 1,538 yards and three touchdowns. As a rookie in 1977, he returned 28 kickoffs for 869 yards and led the NFL with a 31.0-yard return average and returned three kicks for touchdowns, both of which remain franchise records. He is one of just 20 NFL players since the 1970 merger to finish a season with a better than 30.0-yard average on kickoff returns (min. 20 returns) and is the only Patriots player to accomplish the feat. ” 

Belichick Has Kind Words For Patriots’ Clayborn

Ian Logue
July 28, 2017 at 5:00 am ET

With Raymond Clayborn set to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame on Saturday night, Bill Belichick was asked on Thursday about the former New England defensive back finally earning the honor of having his name added to the Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon.

Clayborn’s induction ceremony is set to be held just outside on the NRG Plaza and will begin shortly after the end of practice that morning.

Belichick reflected on Clayborn as a player, as well as what it was like to match up against him.

“Yeah, really good,” said Belichick of Clayborn.  “The Patriots had a lot of great players in that day. I coached against them when I was at the Giants. They were a hard team to defend. Coach [Chuck] Fairbanks and his staff – and Ernie [Adams] and I have talked about it a lot – there was a lot of talent here, a lot of great players.”

He also pointed out that he had Clayborn at the end of his career while Belichick was the head coach in Cleveland, but that didn’t change his opinion of him as a talented player, or as a consummate professional.

“You know, I had Clayborn for a year when I was in Cleveland, obviously at the end of his career,” said Belichick.  “But, great person, very professional, a good corner. Again, corners had a lot – formations weren’t as spread out, so they were involved more in run force tackling than at times they are, not that they’re not involved, but that was, I’d say, much higher. It was more prevalent then. But, yeah, good all-around player, could run, tackle, athletic, make great plays on the ball – good football player.”

The good news is The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is free and open to the public.  So if you’re on hand Saturday after training camp, don’t miss the opportunity to witness a small bit of history.

Raymond Clayborn Named 2017 Patriots Hall of Fame Inductee

Robert Alvarez
May 22, 2017 at 9:09 pm ET

The New England Patriots formally announced on Monday that cornerback Raymond Clayborn had been selected as the 26th member of the teams Hall of Fame following a vote by the fans.

This year, Clayborn beat out defensive end Richard Seymour and linebacker Mike Vrabel after previously losing the public ballot the last three years. (Law 2014, McGinest 2015 and Faulk 2016)

Per the Patriots press release;

“Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowl player (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career that extended from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977 and quickly established himself as one of the game’s best cornerbacks, as well as a superb kickoff returner. He set a franchise record with 36 career interceptions, a record which Ty Law tied in 2004 and remains today, 28 years after Clayborn finished his Patriots career. His 555 interception return yards rank second in franchise history to Law’s 583 return yards. Clayborn also returned 57 kickoffs for 1,538 yards and three touchdowns. As a rookie in 1977, he returned 28 kickoffs for 869 yards and led the NFL with a 31.0-yard return average and returned three kicks for touchdowns, both of which remain franchise records. He is one of just 20 NFL players since the 1970 merger to finish a season with a better than 30.0-yard average on kickoff returns (min. 20 returns) and is the only Patriots player to accomplish the feat.”

“I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond’s entire Patriots career,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner. One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket.”

The Patriots will honor Clayborn in a special ceremony at The Hall at Patriot Place on a date to be determined around the time training camp opens.

https://twitter.com/PatriotGreat26/status/866733366548332544

https://twitter.com/bigsey93/status/866743058200657920

Patriots Announce 2017 Hall Of Fame Finalists

Robert Alvarez
April 21, 2017 at 7:19 pm ET

On Friday, the New England Patriots announced the three finalists for the 2017 induction into the teams Hall of Fame at Patriot Place.

This year’s finalists include cornerback Raymond Clayborn, defensive lineman Richard Seymour and linebacker Mike Vrabel.  Clayborn is a finalist for a fourth straight year, Vrabel is a finalist for the second straight year, while Seymour is a first-year eligible finalist.

Seymour and Vrabel were key contributors to a Patriots defense that helped bring three Super Bowl championships in four years back to New England and both were named to the 50th Anniversary and 2000’s all-decade teams.

Seymour was named to five straight Pro Bowls with the Patriots from 2002-2006 and earned four straight first team All-Pro honors from 2003-2006. Vrabel earned Pro Bowl and NFL All-Pro honors following the 2007 season after registering 12½ sacks and was named a team captain four times. His most memorable moments came in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX when he caught a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in both games.

Clayborn was selected to the Patriots 1970’s and 1980’s all-decade teams and is tied with cornerback Ty Law with a team-record 36 career interceptions.  His 555 interception return yards are second in franchise history to Law’s 583. During his 13 seasons with the Patriots, he helped the Patriots to 10 winning seasons, including four postseason berths.  He also set a franchise record by playing in 161 consecutive games, a record that still stands.

Fans have the opportunity to select the 26th member to The Hall through an online vote at patriots.com/2017hof 

Stalemate may lead to no entry to Pats HoF for Raymond Clayborn

John Morgan
April 12, 2017 at 8:30 pm ET

I just read this disheartening Mike Reiss article from his espnBoston blog:

Logjam among senior candidates for Patriots’ Hall leads to stalemate

Arguably the biggest surprise of Wednesday’s New England Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee meeting was the stalemate among voters between senior candidates Raymond Clayborn (cornerback) and Leon Gray (offensive tackle).

The column goes on to point out how difficult it is for older players such as Clayborn and Gray to gain entrance to the Patriots Hall of Fame, because fan voting inevitably results in younger, more recently retired players winning that popularity contest.

In regards to the ten-person senior committee, a nominee has to receive at least 80% of the votes. Neither side wanting Clayborn or Gray backed down, so neither got enough votes. Fred Marion and Ron Burton were the other nominees.

Reiss has a rather ominous speculation for those of us that have lobbied not only for Clayborn, but for more consideration and genuine opportunity for those that were part of the franchise prior to 2000.

It sparks the question of whether either will break the 80 percent senior threshold in the coming years to earn induction.

Is it time to change the process for Patriots Hall of Fame?

The time has come to at least reconsider the entire process for enshrinement to the Patriots Hall of Fame. It was a nice gesture by Robert Kraft to include fans by having them vote for the three finalists. That process however has proven to be flawed. The most recently retired players are fresh in people’s minds, and garner more votes. Older players don’t stand a chance of recognition.

Maybe the roles should be reversed. Have fans vote for the nominees, with a maximum number on the players and/or coaches from each decade. Then send those nominations to the entire committee to be pared to three finalists. Have the entire committee reconvene and vote on the winner. Make the whole process transparent by making the votes public.

We already waited too long for Houston Antwine, Jim Nance, Julius Adams and Chuck Fairbanks to be honored publicly, before they passed away. Let’s not let that happen again with Raymond Clayborn and other Patriot legends.