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Leon Gray

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Leon Gray

Leon Gray
No. 70, 74, 72
Date of birth (1951-11-15)November 15, 1951
Place of birth Olive Branch, MS
Date of death November 11, 2001[1]
Place of death Boston, MA
Career information
Position(s) Tackle
College Jackson State
NFL draft 1973 / Round: 3 / Pick 78
Career history
As player
1973-1978 New England Patriots
1979-1981 Houston Oilers
1982-1983 New Orleans Saints
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981
Honors

AP First-team All-Pro selection (1978, 1979, 1980) 1× NEA First-team All-Pro selection (1979)
PFW First-team All-Pro selection (1978, 1979, 1980)
PFWA First-team All-Pro selection (1978, 1979, 1980)

2× NEA Second-team All-Pro selection (1978, 1980)
Career stats
  • Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Leon Gray (November 15, 1951 - November 11, 2001) was an American football tackle in the National Football League for the New England Patriots, Houston Oilers, and the New Orleans Saints. Gray played college football at Jackson State University.

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • College career 2
  • NFL career 3
  • Post-NFL activities 4
  • Death 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Gray was born on November 15, 1951 in Olive Branch, Mississippi as one of 10 children.[2] He graduated from East Side High School in Olive Branch and earned academic and music scholarships to Jackson State University.

College career

While at Jackson State, Gray played football for the Tigers from 1970-1973 as an offensive tackle. At the end of his senior season, he received several honors, including a First-team All-SWAC selection and team MVP. He was also named to the All-American teams of both Playboy and Ebony Magazines, as well as the Pittsburgh Courier. Gray was nicknamed "Big Dog" in college due to his size (295 lbs.)[3]

NFL career

Gray was selected in the third round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. However, due to their depth at offensive line, he never played for the team. He was cut before the start of the 1973 NFL season and claimed on waivers by the New England Patriots. Gray was recommended to Chuck Fairbanks, who had just taken over as head coach of the Patriots, by an Eastern Airlines pilot named Bruce Kostamo who had played for Fairbanks in high school.[5] Gray played in the final nine games of the '73 season, starting eight at left tackle. He continued to develop during the 1974 and 1975 seasons and by 1976 he was viewed as one of the best left tackles in the game. Gray was not only strong at run-blocking, but in pass-protection, as well. He was a major factor in quarterback Steve Grogan being sacked only 14 times in 1977.[2] Along with guard John Hannah, the two formed what was generally considered the best guard/tackle tandem in the NFL.[2] Gray and Hannah also combined with tight end Russ Francis to form one of the strongest left-side trios in the league. At the end of the 1976 NFL season, Gray was selected to play in the Pro Bowl for the first time. Due in no small part to the efforts of Gray and Hannah, the Patriots enjoyed one of the finest seasons in franchise history in '76, finishing with an 11-3 record. This earned them the AFC Wild card spot and a rematch with the Oakland Raiders. The two teams had met at Schaefer Stadium in week four of the regular season and the Patriots had handed the Raiders their only loss, a 48-17 drubbing. The rematch in Oakland would not go as well and the team's hopes of winning it all were ended by a close and controversial loss to the eventual Super Bowl champions in the 1976 AFC Divisional playoff round.

Despite the tough loss, the Patriots were seen by observers as one of the main Super Bowl contenders going into the All-Pro Harold Jackson to go along with Russ Francis made their passing attack more potent. Running the ball was still first priority for the team, however, and the Patriots finished that season with a team-total of 3,165 yards, an NFL record that still stands. Gray was rewarded for his role in this by being named to the All-Pro First-teams' of the AP, Pro Football Weekly and the PFWA and was also selected to play in the Pro Bowl for the second time. Despite all this, controversy would once again derail the Patriots championship hopes. Late in the regular season, with the team 11-4 and the AFC East divisional winner, Chuck Fairbanks announced that he had decided to leave the Patriots after the conclusion of the 1978 season to become head coach at the University of Colorado. The news angered some players and particularly enraged owner Billy Sullivan.[9] Sullivan suspended Fairbanks for breach of contract and the team lost their regular season finale against the Dolphins, 23-3. Fairbanks was reinstated for the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Houston Oilers, but the damage was done and the Patriots were beaten by the Oilers 31-14 in the first postseason game played at Schaefer Stadium.

Shortly before the start of the

  • , Wednesday, November 14, 2001.The New York Times"Leon Gray, 49, All-Pro Football Lineman,"

External links

  1. ^ findagrave.com
  2. ^ a b c patriots.com
  3. ^ bleacherreport.com
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ p. 101.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ sportsillustrated.cnn.com
  10. ^
  11. ^ p. 101.
  12. ^ patriots.com
  13. ^ patriots.com
return p

end

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function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '

function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --

end

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function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '

function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


References

On November 11, 2001, Grey was found dead at his home in the West Roxbury section of Boston.[13] It is believed that he died of natural causes. Gray is survived by a son, Leon, Jr.

Death

Gray worked in construction in the Boston area after his retirement from football.

Post-NFL activities

Gray was named to the Patriots All-1970s Team, but was notably absent from their 35th (1994) and 50th Anniversary (2009) Teams. [12]

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