Over the course of the last 58 years, the New England Patriots have had a plethora of talented wide receivers. From Gino Cappelletti to Randy Moss and Wes Welker, the New England Patriots office at Last Word on Pro Football agrees that one wide receiver stands above the rest. Over the course of the off-season, the New England Patriots office at Last Word on Pro Football is profiling at different Patriots legend each week. Last week three-time Super Bowl champion Tedy Bruschi was profiled. This week we take a look at the best wide receiver on our franchise team, Stanley Morgan.
Stanley Morgan: New England Patriots of the Past
The Versatile Volunteer
Stanley Morgan was born in 1965 in Easley, South Carolina. In 1972 he led Easley High School to the state championship. After high school Morgan committed to playing football at the University of Tennessee. At Tennessee Morgan was known as a very versatile athlete. He played running back and wide receiver in the tough Southeastern Conference (SEC) for the Volunteers.
As a freshman, Morgan was primarily used as a wide receiver racking up 522 yards and four touchdowns. His breakthrough season came in 1974 when he totaled 1,578 yards and 14 touchdowns. His 1975 junior campaign saw him used primarily as a running back. Morgan ran for 809 yards and 10 touchdowns. His senior season saw him named to the All-SEC team as both a running back and wide receiver. Morgan was honored by Tennessee by being inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2000.
Pat Patriot, meet Captian Morgan
Stanley Morgan was drafted with the 25th overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft. Morgan’s speed helped him transition to being a full-time wide receiver. He averaged over 20 yards per reception during his first six seasons with the Patriots including a franchise record 24.1 in 1978. He also led the league in receiving touchdowns with 12 in 1979.
Morgan had 1,000 receiving yards on three occasions (1979, 1981, and 1986). Morgan’s best season came in 1986. He caught 86 balls for 1,491 yards and ten touchdowns. Due to his impressive seasons, Stanley Morgan was named to four Pro Bowls (1979, 1980, 1986, and 1987) and twice named to the second All-Pro Team (1980 and 1986). Morgan was a member of the 1985 AFC Champion Patriots. In Super Bowl XX Morgan caught six passes for 51 yards in the loss to the legendary Chicago Bears squad. After 13 seasons with the Patriots Morgan was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in 1990.
Stanley Morgan still owns the franchise record for most 100 yard games with 38 and is second to Kevin Faulk with 10,479 all-purpose yards. Morgan retired after the 1990 season with the Colts and finished his career with 11,835 total yards and 73 total touchdowns.
Captain Morgan Sails Off Into the Sunset
Stanley Morgan has gone down as one of the most underrated players in NFL history. Due to his career numbers, Morgan arguably deserves a spot in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His Patriots career was honored on August 27, 2007, when he was inducted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame. Morgan’s football life was extended into the XFL where he was the wide receivers coach for the Memphis Maniax. NFL Network named him the number nine Patriot of all time.