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4. Steve Grogan
Record as starter: 75-60 (0-3 playoffs)
Quick look at stats: 52.3 percent completion rate, 26,886 yards, 182 touchdowns, 208 interceptions, 69.6 rating
Until Brady finishes the 2015 season, Grogan will remain the longest-tenured player in Patriots history. The guy spent all 16 years of his career with the Patriots, and that time commitment alone gives him a boost over the likes of Cassel and Eason, the latter of whom he played alongside throughout the eighties. Eason didn’t take the Patriots to Super Bowl XX on his own; Grogan was 5-1 as a starter that season.
As a sophomore pro, Grogan set the single-season record for rushing touchdowns for a quarterback (12), which would stand until Cam Newton trumped that total in 2011. 1976 was indeed the height of Grogan’s career, as he piloted the Patriots to a franchise-best 11-3 record. Grogan’s running ability flashed again in 1978 when he amassed 539 yards on the ground.
Grogan’s legacy is one of toughness. He accrued a ton of injuries over the decade and a half he played: cartilage damage and bone chips, separated shoulders and broken legs, herniated neck discs and concussions… the list goes on. But Grogan was always there in New England, a true Patriot if there ever was one.
Here is a cool interview of Grogan by Monday Night Football back in 2000.
Next: 3. Babe Parilli