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Playoff Player Profile

#52 Ray Lewis - Out of respect for a great player, I thought I would highlight Ray Lewis as the player profile with week. Ray will bring his band of high talent defensive players to Gillette to face the Patriots in what should be a great game.

Ray Lewis was born May 15, 1975 in Bartow, Florida. Drafted by the Ravens in 1996, he has played his entire career for the team, and is the last player remaining from the Ravens' inaugural season. He has been selected to thirteen Pro Bowl and been named an Associated Press All-Pro ten times. He won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 & 2003; he was the sixth player to win the award multiple times. He was also the second linebacker to win the Super Bowl MVP and the first linebacker to win the award on the winning Super Bowl Team. Widely considered to be one of the best linebackers of all time, he played his college footbal at the University of Miami.   

Throughout his career Lewis built a reputation as a leader and intimidating force at middle linebacker. He has led his team in tackles in twelve of his fourteen seasons. The Ravens did not allow a single 100-yard rusher in 51 consecutive games from the 1998 through 2001 seasons. In addition to his run defense, Lewis has also gained a reputation as a complete defender. Since the murder allegations Lewis's image has slowly recovered, and today he is considered one of the most dominant linebackers in the history of the NFL. Sure to be a first ballot Hall of Famer once he retires.

Not just a football player, Ray Lewis has been heavily involved in charitable activities throughout his professional career. Lewis started the Ray Lewis 52 Foundation which is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth. The foundation has funded such events as adopting ten families in Baltimore City community for the holidays, an annual celebrity auction and bowling tournament, the Great Maryland Duck Derby, Thanksgiving food drives on North Avenue in Baltimore and Ray's Summer Days. All proceeds have helped fund the Ray Lewis Foundation.  

 

Patriots 50 Greatest Players #18

Ben Coates #18 – Considered an out-of-nowhere prospect, Coates was picked in the fifth round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Patriots. In 1994, his breakout year, he caught 96 passes, the most ever for a tight end to that point for 1,174 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. He appeared in his first Pro Bowl and would appear in the next four as well. In 1996 Coates had 62 catches for 682 yards and nine touchdowns; the most dramatic was against the Giants in the final game of the regular season as he caught a twelve-yard pass and bulled through Giants defenders for the game-winning score of a New England win. His efforts helped New England to a championship appearance in Super Bowl XXXI.

Patriots 50 Greatest Players #22

Vito "Babe" Parilli #22 – “Babe” played quarterback for the Patriots from 1961-67 and threw for more than 20,000 yards during his career. Parilli was voted to three American Football League All-Star teams and was named the AFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1966 when he threw for 3,441 yards and 31 touchdowns. In addition to his skills as a quarterback, Parilli became known as an excellent kick holder and earned the nickname "gold finger." The combination of holder/quarterback Parilli and kicker/wide receiver Gino Cappelletti came to be known as the "Grand Opera." In 1993, Parilli was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. In 1982, Parilli was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his collegiate career under Bear Bryant at the University of Kentucky.

Patriots 50 Greatest Players #24

Gino Cappelletti #24 – Gino played for his college football at the University of Minnesota. In 1960 he came to the Patriots, from all places, Canada where he played for five years. He lead the American Football leagues in scoring five times and led or tied the NFL in scoring five times as well. Gino was the AFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1964 when he scored 155 points. He is only one of twenty players who were in the AFL for its entire ten year existence, and one of three who played every game their teams played in the AFL as well. Gino is the only AFL/NFL Player to run for a 2 point conversion, throw a pass for a 2 point conversion, catch a pass, intercept a pass, return a punt and a kickoff in the same season. Gino can now be heard sitting alongside Gil Santos as color man on the Patriots Rock Radio Network for all the Patriots broadcasts.

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