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81 Russ Francis TE
Year: 13 Yrs/Pat: 7
Pro Bowl: 1976, 1977, 1978
Acquired: D-1, 1975, (16th) / FA, 1987
Born: Apr 3, 1953 Seattle WA
From 1989 Patriots' Media Guide
In 1988 led tight ends with 11 catches for 161 yards (14.6 avg.) in starting eight of the 12 games he played...started first two games - vs. Jets on 9-4 and at Minnesota on 9-11 before suffering hamstring injury (in second quarter of latter contest)...had three catches in two games - at Miami on 11-20 for 40 yards and vs. Tampa Bay on 12-11 for 16 yards...started last six games ...had 74 yards on two catches, one for 51 yards at Indy on 11-27...he and QB Grogan are the elder statesmen on team, with both coming to club in 1975...does fine job both as a pass catcher and blocker...sixth in club history in catches with 207, fifth in club history in reception yardage with 3,157, tied for ninth in club history in TDs (28, tied with Irving Fryar)...has averaged 12.8 catches a season in his career, for 404.7 yards...needs eight games to reach 100 games in NE career...had arthroscopic surgery on knee to remove bone fragments on 1-19-89...came to NE final week of 1987 season (signed on 12-23) and played in one game (at Miami on 12-28)...waived by San Francisco on 12-16-87, coming off Injured Reserve where he was placed on 12-4 due to back injury...has had five seasons with more than 500 yards receiving...was traded to San Francisco on 4-27-82 (day of draft) going along with a Patriots' 1982 second round pick - NE received SF's first round pick in 1982 (selected nose tackle Lester Williams), two second round picks (selected LB Andre Tippett and OT Darryl Haley) and a fourth round pick (LB Brian Ingram)...retired from game in 1981...in 1986 with 49ers, tied for second highest single season reception total with 41 catches (also done in 1980, his final year with Patriots)...his 85 catches in 1985-86 were his best two season totals...in 1985 had career high 44 receptions...in 1984 had 20 catches in first eight games before going on IR with neck problem for six weeks...caught five passes for 60 yards in Super Bowl XIX win...in 1983, had four TDs...came on strong during playoffs with eight catches and 15.4 average...in 1982, returned to football following one year retirement and finished third on team with 23 catches (had eight catches at Kansas City on 12-26)...in final year with Patriots, 1980, was second on team in receptions with 41 for 664 yards (his career best)...was also third on team in scoring in 1980 with 48 points (eight TDs, tops on NE and fourth best in AFC)...started 15 of 16 games in 1980...in 1979 finished third on NE with 39 catches for 557 yards, although missed four full games and parts of two others due to injury...missed playoff action in 1979 because of motorcycle accident...was tops on team in receptions in 1978 with 39 catches for 543 yards...missed four games late in 1977 season with rib injury...has caught 100 yards worth of passes three times in career (all as a Patriot, with best coming with 139 yards on six catches vs. Pittsburgh on 9-26-76)...capped off 1976 season with great playoff performance at Oakland on 12-18-76 with four catches for 96 yards and one TD in 24-21 loss...was the 16th player selected in the 1975 draft; played in all 14 games starting in 11 his rookie season...was second top receiver on team as rookie with 35 catches for 636 yards and four TDs and was named to UPI and Football Digest all-rookie teams...caught passes in first 13 games as pro (streak ended in season finale at Baltimore).
Games Played/Started: 1975 -14/11, 1976 -13/12. 1977 -10/10, 1978 -15/15, 1979 -12/12, 1980 -15/15, 1981 -Did Not Play, 1982 -9/4, 1983 -16/16, 1984 -10/8, 1985 -16/16, 1986 -16/14, 1987 -9/7, 1988 -12/8. Total: 167/148 (92/83 with Patriots and 75/65 with 49ers).
Played eight games/started seven for San Francisco in 1987 before being waived on12-16-87. Picked up by Patriots on 12-23-87 and played in final game of the season at Miami on 12-28. All 22 receptions in 1987 were with the 49ers.
Other Stats: Rushing: 1976 -two for 12 yards.
From 1989 Patriots' Media Guide
Played tight end for Oregon from 1972-74 (came to school as a QB, switching to TE as frosh...missed most of sophomore season with ankle injury...named All Pac 8 and HM All America as junior...ranked third in conference his junior year with 31 catches for 495 yards...did not play football as a senior.