Punting his way into Patriots' histoy
Catching up with Tom Yewcic
ARLINGTON, Massachusetts -- He played six seasons for the Boston Patriots and is considered one of the team's greatest punter's of all time.
A versatile athlete, Tom Yewcic is second, behind only Rich Camarillo, on the Patriots' all-time list in punts (378) and punt yardage (14,553).
Yewcic played for the Patriots from 1961-1966. Although he is one the greatest punters of all-time, Yewcic did much more than just punt. He also played quarterback and threw for 1,374 yards and 12 touchdowns over his six-year career.
It was a little different then than it is today, said Yewcic. Today you are talking about a 53-man roster and talking specialization as far as centers, punters and kickers. When I was playing it was only a 32-man roster and they couldnt afford to have specialization.
With a 32-man roster, you had to play more than one position in order to make the team. I was really a halfback coming out of high school, but when I went to Michigan State they converted me over to quarterback. It wasnt a big adjustment.
Yewcic's versatility was not surprising. He came to the Patriots after a professional baseball career in the Detroit Tigers organization. Yewcic made it to the Major Leagues as a catcher, but recorded only one at bat in 1957 and stuck out.
It was a great opportunity, said Yewcic. It was tough then and it was tough to make a team. In the six years I played I spent that one year with Detroit and I only batted one time. I enjoyed playing baseball. I played a few years of Triple-A, a year of A-ball, and one year with Detroit."
Yewcic did not have a favorite sport. It all depended on the season.
I was a seasonal guy, said Yewcic. I liked to play football when football was on. I liked to play basketball when it was on and baseball when it was on. My first year at Michigan State I played all three. I had to give up basketball because it was too much.
After his only at-bat with the Tigers, Yewcic played three more seasons in the minors before switching to football.
I felt as though if I wanted to get into a career I would rather coach football than I would manage baseball, said Yewcic about switching from baseball to football. I had a little more interest in that.
These days, Yewcic resides in Arlington with his wife Jane. They have two children, Tom and Carol.
I was with the Patriots as a player, a coach, and a scout for over 20 years, said Yewcic. When the Patriots were going to make a change in 81 I got offered a job to go to Denver to coach with Red Miller. I turned it down because I was more concerned with the stability of family life and the kids were in eighth and ninth grade then. I thought it would be a good idea to stay put.
Since then Yewcic has been involved in the medical business selling medical supplies to doctors and hospitals.
A friend of mine from Michigan State was in the business and asked me to come in and work, said Yewcic. I took a shot at it and have been in it ever since.
Yewcic has also stayed involved with the NFL and the Patriots. He serves as the contact person and Tournament Coordinator for the New England Chapter for NFL Alumni. It is a position he has held for 23 years now.
When you are lucky enough to be able to play and get something out of the game then you need to give something back, said Yewcic. One of the ways you can do it is by doing charitable work for different charities that needs as much help as they can get. I just got involved, liked it and am still involved.
As far as the current Patriots, Yewcic is very excited for this season and thinks they have a great chance to defend their Super Bowl title.
I think (this season) has a rosey outlook, said Yewcic. I see some good things coming and they are well rounded. They won it last year and then they added depth to the team and improved their running back situation. They have a quarterback who is second to none and thats where it starts.