Stephen Neal was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent (7/23/01) ... Waived by the Patriots (8/26/01) ... Signed to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad (9/4/01) ... Signed by the Patriots (12/12/01) from the Eagles practice squad ... Placed on injured reserve (10/23/02) ... Placed on reserve/physically unable to perform list (8/26/03) ... Placed on injured reserve (11/10/03) ... Re-signed by the Patriots (3/24/06) ... Placed on reserve/physically unable to perform list with a shoulder injury (8/26/08) ... Activated from reserve/physically unable to perform list (10/20/08) .... Placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury (12/2/10).
View Stephen Neal's Career Statistics >>
Career GP/GS (Playoffs): 85/80 (12/12)
- Since entering the starting lineup at right guard in 2004, Stephen Neal has been part of an offensive line that has helped the Patriots' offense finish in the top ten in total offense six times: 2004 (7), 2005 (7), 2007 (1), 2008 (5), 2009 (3), and 2010 (8).
- Neal started the final nine games of the 2008 season at right guard as part of an offensive line that was a part of the best rushing season for the Patriots in more than 20 years in terms of rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and average yards per carry.
- Neal contributed to a Patriots offense that set all-time NFL records with 589 points and 75 touchdowns in 2007.
- In 2004, Neal became a regular starter on an offensive line that paved the way for Corey Dillon to set the Patriots' single-season rushing record with 1,635 yards.
- In 2009, Neal was part of an offensive line that allowed just 18 sacks, the fewest by a Patriots squad since the NFL moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978.
- Was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury on Dec. 2, 2010 after being inactive due to injury for three games.
- Started at right guard in the first eight games of the season.
- Was part of an offensive line that helped BenJarvus Green-Ellis to a career-high 112 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings (10/31).
2009 (12/12, 1/1)
- Made 12 starts at right guard and helped the Patriots finish third in total offense with an average of 397.3 yards per game, the second highest total in team history to the 411.4 yards of total offense per game in 2007.
- Missed four games due to injury.
- Missed the game vs. the N.Y. Jets (11/22) due to injury before returning to the starting lineup at New Orleans (11/3). Missed the next three games due to injury before returning vs. Jacksonville (12/27) to help the team clinch the AFC East with a 35-7 victory.
- Started in the postseason game vs. Baltimore (1/10).
GP/GS (Playoffs): 66/61 (11/11)
- Started the final nine games of the season at right guard as part of an offensive line that led the Patriots to 356 first downs in 2008, the second highest total in franchise history.
- Activated from the reserve/PUP list on Oct. 20 and played in the final 11 games of the season.
- Was a part of the best rushing season for the Patriots in more than 20 years, totaling 2,278 rushing yards (sixth in team history and the most since 1985), 21 rushing touchdowns (tied for fourth in team history and the most since 1981) and an average of 4.4 yards per carry (fifth in team history and the best since 1983).
- Helped the Patriots rank fifth in the NFL in total offense, averaging 365.4 yards per game - the third-best yards per game average in franchise history.
- Helped the Patriots record a franchise-best three games with 500 or more total net yards, with the team's 530 total net yards at Miami (11/23) standing as the second highest for any game in franchise history.
- Saw his first action of the season, playing in reserve at right guard against Denver (10/20).
- Part of an offensive line that helped the Patriots to 511 total net yards, the team's highest output since 1979, against the N.Y. Jets (11/13).
- Started at right guard and was part of an offensive line that helped Matt Cassel to his second straight 400-yard game at Miami (11/23).
- Part of an offensive line that helped Matt Cassel to a career high four touchdown passes and led Patriots rushers to 277 yards on the ground, the team's highest single-game rushing total since 1985, at Oakland (12/14).
- Started at right guard as the Patriots posted their fourth game of the season with 40-plus points, tying a franchise record set in 2007, and posted 514 net yards despite wintry conditions against Arizona (12/21).
2007 (8/8, 3/3)
- Started at right guard in each of his eight games played in 2007, seeing action in the Patriots first game of the season, games five through nine and games 11 and 12.
- Returned to start each of the Patriots' three playoff games.
- Was part of a Patriots offensive line that allowed just 21 sacks, the fewest for the franchise in 30 years and the then fewest in team history for a 16-game season.
- Helped the Patriots set all-time records for points scored (589) as Tom Brady set an NFL record with 50 touchdown passes.
- Started at right guard on an offensive line that did not allow a sack in 28 pass attempts in the Patriots' victory over the N.Y. Jets (9/9).
- Returned to action and started at right guard against Cleveland (10/7) and helped to create holes for Sammy Morris' second straight 100-yard rushing game.
- Contributed to an offensive line that created the protection for Tom Brady to throw for a franchise-record six touchdown passes at Miami (10/21).
- Part of an offensive line that led the offense to 34 first downs, a franchise record in the Patriots' win over Washington (10/28).
- Returned to action vs. Jacksonville (1/12) in the AFC Divisional playoffs and contributed to an offensive line that helped Laurence Maroney to his first 100-yard rushing playoff game.
- Part of an offensive line that led Laurence Maroney to his second straight 100-yard rushing game in the Patriots' win over San Diego in the AFC Championship Game (1/20).
2006 (13/13, 3/3)
- Started at right guard in all 13 games in which he played, missing three contests due to injury.
- Helped pave the way for the Patriots to record 1,969 rushing yards, the team's second highest total in the last 18 years.
- Member of an offensive line that opened holes for Patriots' rushers to gain 183 rushing yards on 41 carries (4.5 yard avg.) against Buffalo (9/10).
- Part of an offensive line that allowed Patriots' rushers to gain 147 yards against the N.Y. Jets (9/17).
- Started at right guard and was a member of an offensive line that did not allow a sack despite 55 pass attempts against Denver (9/24).
- Member of an offensive front that opened holes for Patriots' ball carriers to gain 238 rushing yards on 41 carries at Cincinnati (10/1), marking New England's highest team rushing total in 13 seasons.
- Part of an offensive line that did not allow a sack on 33 pass attempts against Chicago (11/26).
- Member of an offensive front that allowed Patriots' ball carriers to gain 171 rushing yards on just 31 carries (5.5 avg.) at Tennessee (12/31).
- Member of an offensive front that allowed Patriots' rushers to gain 158 rushing yards on 38 carries (4.2 avg.) in a Wild Card playoff victory over the Jets (1/7).
- Part of an offensive line that allowed just two sacks despite 51 pass attempts at San Diego (1/14).
2005 (16/16, 2/2)
- Started all 16 regular-season games and both playoff games at right guard and was one of just two Patriots offensive linemen to start every game.
- Was part of an offensive line that allowed just 28 sacks.
- Was a member of an offensive line that did not allow a sack on 38 pass attempts against Oakland (9/8).
- Member of an offensive front that opened holes for Corey Dillon to rush for 106 yards on 23 carries and provided enough pocket time for Tom Brady to throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns against Atlanta (10/9).
2004 (16/14, 3/3)
- Played in all 16 games and started the final 14 contests at right guard.
- Member of an offensive line that allowed Patriots' rushers to gain more than 200 rushing yards twice with 225 rushing yards against Cleveland (12/5) and 208 rushing yards against Buffalo (11/14).
- Helped block for Corey Dillon to set the franchise record for single-season rushing yardage.
- Played at both guard spots and was a part of an offensive line that opened holes for Corey Dillon to rush for 158 yards on 32 carries (4.9-yard avg.) against Arizona (9/19).
- Got his first start of the season at right guard and was a member of an offensive line that did not allow a sack on 30 pass attempts against Buffalo (10/3).
- Part of an offensive line that allowed Patriots' ball carriers to amass 225 rushing yards against Cleveland (12/5), the most by New England in 11 years, since piling up 257 yards against Indianapolis on Dec. 26, 1993.
- Member of an offensive line that opened holes for Patriots' rushers to gain 210 yards on the ground on just 39 carries (5.4 avg.) against Indianapolis (1/16), the second best rushing performance in team playoff history.
- Member of an offensive line that opened holes for Patriots' rushers to gain 112 yards on 28 carries in New England's 24-21 victory over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
- Was placed on the physically unable to perform list during training camp (8/26) and was subsequently moved to injured reserve (11/10).
- Made his NFL debut against Miami (10/6).
- Started in his first NFL game a week later against Green Bay (10/13) but left the game due to injury.
- Placed on injured reserve (10/23).
2001 (0/0, 0/0 - New England; 0/0 - Philadelphia)
- Signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent (7/23) but was later waived (8/26).
- Signed to the Eagles practice squad (9/4).
- Signed to the Patriots active roster (12/12).
- Listed among the Patriots day of game inactives for the final three games of the regular season and all three postseason games, including Super Bowl XXXVI.
- Neal was a championship wrestler at Cal State-Bakersfield and did not play football in college.
- Completed his CSUB wrestling career in style, winning his second NCAA Division I title and winning the Dan Hodge Award, known as the Heisman Trophy of wrestling.
- Also won the U.S. Freestyle Championship, the Pan-American Games title and the World Championships.
- Was 44-0 for CSUB in 1999 and broke CSUB's school record for pins in a season (31) and in a career (71).
- He also finished as the school record holder for career wins at CSUB with 156, including an 88-match win streak to finish his career, with 49 pins in that stretch.
- Under his leadership, the team won its second Pac-10 title in 1999, and placed eighth at the NCAA Division I Championships, the team's third top eight finish in four years.
- Went into the Pac-10 record books in 1999, becoming the conference's first four-time champion in the same weight class and just the second four-time champion ever.
- He completed his career undefeated in Pac-10 competition with a record of 34-0, also best in conference history.
- His career dual-meet record was 61-3, and 37-0 over his last two seasons (1998-99).
- Found success for the third consecutive year at the prestigious National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic, pinning Oklahoma's John Henry Ward in just 25 seconds.
- He also won his third-straight Midlands Championships title, picking up the Dan Gable Outstanding Wrestler Award and the Gorrianran Award for the most falls in the least amount of time.
- In 1998, he became just the third Roadrunner wrestler to complete an undefeated and untied season along with Olympians Joe Gonzalez and John Azevedo.
- Compiled a 151-10 record in four seasons at CSUB while earning All-America honors all four years ... Placed second at nationals as a sophomore and fourth as a freshman.
- His academics earned accolades as well, as he was a four-time Academic All-American and a four-time Pac-10 Academic All-Conference first team.
- Stephen Matthew Neal was born the son of Jack and Illys Neal on Oct. 9, 1976 in San Diego, Calif.
- A five-sport athlete at San Diego High School, he competed in wrestling, football, swimming, tennis and track and field.
- Finished fourth in the state his senior year with a 45-2 record at 189 pounds.
- Wrestled against 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams while wrestling at San Diego High.
- Wrestled against and defeated former WWE Champion Brock Lesnar while at Cal State-Bakersfield.
- Would like to become a college wrestling coach following his pro football career.
- Majored in physical education at CSUB.
- In 2008, spoke to over 500 Medford, Mass. Elementary school students on the importance of reading and staying in school.
- Served as an honorary coach in the 2008 BELL Bowl, a fundraiser at Gillette Stadium to benefit the BELL Foundation.
- Steve and his wife, Jodee, were married in 2002 and have two daughters, Colby and Jillian, and a son, Gunnar.
- Stephen was a championship wrestler at Cal State-Bakersfield and did not play football in college. He compiled a 151-10 record during his wrestling career at CSUB, including two NCAA Division I titles.
- Stephen won the Dan Hodge Award, known as the Heisman Trophy of wrestling in 1999.
- With budget cuts threatening the Cal State Bakersfield Athletic department this past spring, Neal took an increased role in fundraising efforts, collecting autograph memorabilia from his friends in football and the wrestling world to auction, among other things.
- Stephen joined fellow linemen Sebastian Vollmer and Damione Lewis at the Ahearn Middle School in Foxborough to kick off "Read Between the Lines," a summer reading blitz intended to inspire kids to read over the summer.
- Wrestled against and defeated former WWE Champion Brock Lesnar while at Cal State-Bakersfield.