Former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan shared his memories of the late Darryl Stingley this morning.
“Darryl was a wonderful guy, a fun guy to be around, a real joy to have as a teammate,” Grogan said. “When I came up as a rookie [in 1975], he was a veteran wide receiver and one of the leaders of the team. He set the tone at practice and was someone you enjoyed being around. To have the injury be so serious, in ’78, it was devastating to all of us.”
Grogan remembers the Sullivan family keeping Stingley on the team’s payroll after the injury, which he felt was a classy gesture by the club’s owners. He last saw Stingley in the 1980s, when the Patriots were playing the Packers in Milwaukee.
Grogan recalled the injury that left Stingley paralyzed in the 1978 preseason game against the Raiders.
“Like any other preseason game, you were planning on getting a quarter or two in and getting out,” he said. “We had a slant pattern called to Darryl, someone flashed early, I double-pumped and threw the ball by him, high and over his head. He and Jack Tatum collided. I had mentioned this before, seeing so many collisions like that when both people got up and shook it off and came back to the huddle. Darryl didn’t get up.”
Summing up his memories of Stingley, Grogan said he was a "great teammate."