Russ Francis

Hawg73

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Russ was a tremendous player. Just a brilliant athlete and colorful character who played during an era when if a TE caught 40 he was doing great.

One random Russ story was that one day I was sitting close to the press box at the old stadium. Russ was sitting in there as he had returned to visit from his sudden "retirement" that caught everybody by surprise. I don't know why he wasn't on the sideline but recall there were some hard feelings at the time. I thought he looked a bit lost sitting there -- like he missed football. Anyhow, he looked up and noticed me. I gave him a little "hang loose" Hawaiian hand wave and he smiled and waggled one in return. Made my day.
 

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Russ was a tremendous player. Just a brilliant athlete and colorful character who played during an era when if a TE caught 40 he was doing great.

One random Russ story was that one day I was sitting close to the press box at the old stadium. Russ was sitting in there as he had returned to visit from his sudden "retirement" that caught everybody by surprise. I don't know why he wasn't on the sideline but recall there were some hard feelings at the time. I thought he looked a bit lost sitting there -- like he missed football. Anyhow, he looked up and noticed me. I gave him a little "hang loose" Hawaiian hand wave and he smiled and waggled one in return. Made my day.
Howard's world famous "All World Tight End"
Cool before cool was cool.
 

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He was the original "All World" tight end.
That was a special moment for a Patriots fan. Cosell himself not only noticed a Patriot, which had never happened much for positive reasons, but gave
him one of the great nicknames of all time. It wasn't winning a Super Bowl, but that was a pretty cool time.

I figured it would be a good idea to find a highlight clip to show people that might think we are just old guys who are puffing up a dude who is
inferior to today's TEs and ran across the one posted below that has good quality film clips. I think somebody that never saw him play could spend two minutes
watching him and come away impressed. He was a physical freak and the list of comparable talents at that position would be a short one.

Was Russ a better pure athlete than Gronk? I don't know, but........damn.

View: https://youtu.be/6y50WR9rTHU
 

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so like gronk, retired, came back with another team and won a sb.i do remember him a little. he was close to the end of his career when i started watching football.
 

BostonTim

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He was the original "All World" tight end.

That was a special moment for a Patriots fan. Cosell himself not only noticed a Patriot, which had never happened much for positive reasons, but gave
him one of the great nicknames of all time. It wasn't winning a Super Bowl, but that was a pretty cool time.

I figured it would be a good idea to find a highlight clip to show people that might think we are just old guys who are puffing up a dude who is
inferior to today's TEs and ran across the one posted below that has good quality film clips. I think somebody that never saw him play could spend two minutes
watching him and come away impressed. He was a physical freak and the list of comparable talents at that position would be a short one.

Was Russ a better pure athlete than Gronk? I don't know, but........damn.

View: https://youtu.be/6y50WR9rTHU

That was a special moment for a Patriots fan. Cosell himself not only noticed a Patriot, which had never happened much for positive reasons, but gave
him one of the great nicknames of all time. It wasn't winning a Super Bowl, but that was a pretty cool time.

I figured it would be a good idea to find a highlight clip to show people that might think we are just old guys who are puffing up a dude who is
inferior to today's TEs and ran across the one posted below that has good quality film clips. I think somebody that never saw him play could spend two minutes
watching him and come away impressed. He was a physical freak and the list of comparable talents at that position would be a short one.

Was Russ a better pure athlete than Gronk? I don't know, but........damn.

View: https://youtu.be/6y50WR9rTHU
Cool!

Cheers, BostonChoppedLiver
 

dchester

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That was a special moment for a Patriots fan. Cosell himself not only noticed a Patriot, which had never happened much for positive reasons, but gave
him one of the great nicknames of all time. It wasn't winning a Super Bowl, but that was a pretty cool time.

I figured it would be a good idea to find a highlight clip to show people that might think we are just old guys who are puffing up a dude who is
inferior to today's TEs and ran across the one posted below that has good quality film clips. I think somebody that never saw him play could spend two minutes
watching him and come away impressed. He was a physical freak and the list of comparable talents at that position would be a short one.

Was Russ a better pure athlete than Gronk? I don't know, but........damn.

View: https://youtu.be/6y50WR9rTHU
Yeah, I still think Fairbanks was the best GM the Pats ever had, but far from the best coach, (even though he had some good ideas, like the 3-4 defense).
 

Hawg73

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Yeah, I still think Fairbanks was the best GM the Pats ever had, but far from the best coach, (even though he had some good ideas, like the 3-4 defense).
I agree. Best GM for sure. Chuck had a rare eye for football players and athletes and his Patriots teams had a bunch of guys that stood up to or exceeded most players more than 50 years later.

Is there a better all-around large running back than Sam Cunningham today? Who? He could block, catch, leap and take it to the house with pure speed. Why he mainly played fullback was a different question. Sam was a freak.

Mike Haynes? He's the best all-around CB and Kick/Punt Returner I've ever seen, although he proved too valuable to risk doing that for long. Pure athletic skill.

Hannah and Russ? Please.

I wonder if those guys were College kids today (and had modern training methods) where they'd be ranked against the 2021 class. Hannah would probably be downgraded by his height, but he might've weighed 305 and run a 4.6. Imagine if Francis actually loved football and dedicated himself to being great.

Anyhow, this thread gave me a chance to school the youth of today that there were absolute beasts playing back then. And we had some of the best in the league.
 

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I agree. Best GM for sure. Chuck had a rare eye for football players and athletes and his Patriots teams had a bunch of guys that stood up to or exceeded most players more than 50 years later.

Is there a better all-around large running back than Sam Cunningham today? Who? He could block, catch, leap and take it to the house with pure speed. Why he mainly played fullback was a different question. Sam was a freak.

Mike Haynes? He's the best all-around CB and Kick/Punt Returner I've ever seen, although he proved too valuable to risk doing that for long. Pure athletic skill.

Hannah and Russ? Please.

I wonder if those guys were College kids today (and had modern training methods) where they'd be ranked against the 2021 class. Hannah would probably be downgraded by his height, but he might've weighed 305 and run a 4.6. Imagine if Francis actually loved football and dedicated himself to being great.

Anyhow, this thread gave me a chance to school the youth of today that there were absolute beasts playing back then. And we had some of the best in the league.
My dad took me to the Browns -Pats MNF game in 1977 & I had to the opportunity to see those men play. I was 12. I'm pretty sure that both Bam & Francis found the endzone. Great game browns won in ot 30-27 I believe. One of the things that stood out was both Sipe & Grogan took some hits that would be completely illegal today but they just got up & kept grinding. Two different QB's but both were tougher than a keg of nails. My old man loved Bam. He kept saying watch him he never gets knocked back on his ass. Yep, football was different then for sure.
 

Hawg73

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lol, how did nobody check on this.
It was probably me that approved it. That's why I wrote above "his Patriots teams had a bunch of guys that stood up to or exceeded most players more than 50 years later."

For some reason, it popped into my head just before I went to sleep that my arithmetic was way off. If you use 1976 as the high point for most of those players then it's now about 44 years later.

That is the first mistake I've ever made here. Pretty sure.
 
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