Vincent Frank "Vinny" Testaverde Sr. is a former American football quarterback who played for 21 seasons in the National Football League. He played college football at Miami, where he was an All-American and won the Heisman Trophy in 1986. Testaverde was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers first overall in the 1987 NFL Draft. After leaving as a free agent, he signed with the Cleveland Browns and was among the personnel transferred to the newly created Baltimore Ravens during a controversial relocation of the team, he joined the New York Jets, where he achieved his greatest success. In the last four seasons of his career, he played with the Dallas Cowboys, the Jets for a second time, the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers for one year each. Testaverde's professional career was principally characterized by its longevity, lasting 21 seasons, playing with seven different teams. However, despite being in the top 10 upon retirement in most career passing statistics, Testaverde was not a notably successful quarterback in terms of wins and losses, remains the highest ranked player in each of those categories not to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
His 123 losses as a starting quarterback is an NFL record, his career regular season winning percentage of 42.3% is the lowest of any quarterback with at least 70 wins. He played in five postseason games in his NFL career with a record of 2–3. Testaverde was born in New York. While living in Elmont, New York, on Long Island, Testaverde went to school at Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, graduated in 1981, he went to Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia for a post-graduate year of college preparatory work. Growing up, he was a fan of the Jets. Testaverde accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Miami, where he played for the Miami Hurricanes football team from 1983 to 1986; as a senior in 1986, he was a consensus first-team All-American and won the Heisman Trophy, on his way to becoming the Hurricanes' all-time leader in career touchdown passes with 48. He played in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl against Penn State for the 1986 national championship, a game in which the Miami Hurricanes were favored, but went on to lose 14–10 after Testaverde threw five interceptions.
Testaverde played an important part in the University of Miami's history as one of the top collegiate football programs of the 1980s and 1990s. Along with Jim Kelly, Mark Richt, Bernie Kosar, Steve Walsh, Gino Torretta, Craig Erickson, Ken Dorsey, Testaverde is considered part of the University of Miami's quarterback dynasty, he was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. On May 7, 2013, Testaverde was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Testaverde was drafted with the first overall pick in 1987, played for the first seven years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After being allowed to leave as a free agent, he spent most of the remainder of his career as a journeyman quarterback spending varying amounts of time with six other teams, the longest period being six years with the New York Jets from 1998 to 2003, he retired after a career that spanned an impressive 21 seasons. Testaverde has thrown for more yards and more touchdowns in the NFL than any other eligible quarterback, not in the Hall of Fame.
Despite his long career and overall statistical achievements, Testaverde only had moderate success in terms of wins and losses. During the regular season as a starter he led his teams to 123 losses, he has led his team to the postseason on three occasions, with an overall postseason record of 2-3. Testaverde was the first overall draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1987 NFL Draft. In his second season, Testaverde struggled with a 47.6% completion rate for 3,240 yards, 13 touchdowns, 35 interceptions. During his tenure in Tampa, Testaverde received taunts from fans and radio personalities about his color blindness. In 1988, a radio station in Tampa rented a billboard that had Testaverde standing in front of a blue background; the billboard read: "Vinny thinks this is orange!" The high number of errors caused his intelligence to be called into question. National Football League Players Association president Gene Upshaw, unaware that his comments could be heard by anyone viewing through a direct satellite uplink, once commented during an NFL Live! commercial break that Testaverde was so dumb that he would drag the electric cord through his swimming pool while trimming the hedges, claimed himself to be a better quarterback than Testaverde.
His numbers continued to improve, in the 1992 season, his last with Tampa Bay, he threw for a 57.5% completion rate for 2,554 yards, 14 touchdowns, 16 interceptions. Testaverde signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Cleveland Browns in 1993. After spending half a season as a backup to his former Hurricanes teammate Bernie Kosar, he became the starter after Kosar's release by Browns head coach Bill Belichick. Testaverde spent three seasons in Cleveland, in 1994 led the team into the playoffs where they won the AFC wildcard game against New England before being defeated by Pittsburgh. After 1995, he moved with most of the Browns roster and staff to Baltimore and played two seasons with the newly formed Baltimore Ravens. Testaverde made his first Pro Bowl appearance in 1996 with the Ravens. Said football statistics site Football Outsiders of Testaverde's unlikely 1996 season, "The real reason the Ravens ranked first in rushing was, believe it or not, Vinny Testaverde, out of his gourd as
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves; the offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal; the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football; the first match of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, the concept of downs; the sport is related to Canadian football, which evolved parallel and contemporary to the American game, most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are present in Canadian football. American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States; the most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually all of them men, with a few exceptions. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In the United States, American Football is called "football". The terms "gridiron" or "American football" are favored in English-speaking countries where other codes of football are popular, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. American football evolved from the sports of rugby football. Rugby football, like American football, is a sport where two competing teams vie for control of a ball, which can be kicked through a set of goalposts or run into the opponent's goal area to score points. What is considered to be the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, two college teams; the game was played between two teams of 25 players each and used a round ball that could not be picked up or carried. It could, however, be kicked or batted with the feet, head or sides, with the ultimate goal being to advance it into the opponent's goal. Rutgers won the game 6 goals to 4. Collegiate play continued for several years in which matches were played using the rules of the host school.
Representatives of Yale, Columbia and Rutgers met on October 19, 1873 to create a standard set of rules for all schools to adhere to. Teams were set at 20 players each, fields of 400 by 250 feet were specified. Harvard abstained from the conference, as they favored a rugby-style game that allowed running with the ball. After playing McGill University using both Canadian and American rules, the Harvard players preferred the Canadian style having only 11 men on the field, running the ball without having to be chased by an opponent, the forward pass and using an oblong instead of a round ball. An 1875 Harvard–Yale game played under rugby-style rules was observed by two impressed Princeton athletes; these players introduced the sport to Princeton, a feat the Professional Football Researchers Association compared to "selling refrigerators to Eskimos." Princeton, Harvard and Columbia agreed to intercollegiate play using a form of rugby union rules with a modified scoring system. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, although Yale did not join until 1879.
Yale player Walter Camp, now regarded as the "Father of American Football", secured rule changes in 1880 that reduced the size of each team from 15 to 11 players and instituted the snap to replace the chaotic and inconsistent scrum. The introduction of the snap resulted in unexpected consequences. Prior to the snap, the strategy had been to punt. However, a group of Princeton players realized that, as the snap was uncontested, they now could hold the ball indefinitely to prevent their opponent from scoring. In 1881, both teams in a game between Yale-Princeton used this strategy to maintain their undefeated records; each team held the ball. This "block game" proved unpopular with the spectators and fans of both teams. A rule change was necessary to prevent this strategy from taking hold, a reversion to the scrum was considered. However, Camp proposed a rule in 1882 that limited each team to three downs, or tackles, to adva
Adam Matthew Vinatieri is an American football placekicker for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. He has played in five Super Bowls: four with the New England Patriots and one with the Colts, winning with the Patriots in 2001, 2003, 2004 and with the Colts in 2006, he holds the NFL record for most Super Bowl wins by a kicker. He holds NFL records, among all players, for most points scored, most postseason points scored, most field goals made, most overtime field goals made, he is the only player to score 1,000 points with two teams. As of 2019, Vinatieri, 46, is the oldest active player in the 4th oldest of all time. Due to his numerous accolades and records, Vinatieri is considered to be one of the greatest kickers in NFL history. Noted for his kicking accuracy and success under pressure, Vinatieri has converted several of the most crucial field goals in NFL history, including the game-tying and winning kicks in blizzard conditions in the infamous "Tuck Rule Game", game-winning kicks in the final seconds of two Super Bowls.
Vinatieri was born in Yankton, South Dakota, on December 28, 1972, the second of Judy M. and Paul Vinatieri's four children. His great-great-grandfather was Italian, his other ancestry includes German and English, his younger brother Beau was a placekicker at Black Hills State University before graduating in 2003. When Vinatieri was five years old, his family moved to South Dakota; as a child, he enrolled in classes for children with learning disabilities. Vinatieri attended Central High School in Rapid City and was a letterman in football, basketball and track. In football, he earned first team All-State honors as a senior, he graduated from Central High School in 1991. Before starting at kicker, Vinatieri was middle linebacker; when asked why he no longer played one of those positions, he replied, "I'm 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, the linebackers aren't that small, neither are the quarterbacks." Vinatieri first enrolled in the United States Military Academy at West Point but only lasted two weeks, before deciding to return home, where he enrolled in South Dakota State University.
He was a four-year letterman there as a placekicker and punter and he finished his collegiate career as SDSU's all-time leading scorer with 185 career points as well as being awarded first-team all-conference honors in each of his seasons. Vinatieri spent the fall of 1995 training to compete professionally, he received a tryout for the World League of American Football, earned a roster position with the Amsterdam Admirals as a placekicker and punter. In 1996, Vinatieri was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent to be a placekicker, he played in New England for the first 10 years of his NFL career, during which he played in four Super Bowls, winning three titles. In his rookie season, he chased down and tackled Dallas Cowboys returner Herschel Walker on a kickoff, leading then-Patriots head coach Bill Parcells to tell his rookie kicker "You're not a kicker—you're a football player." His first Super Bowl appearance was in his rookie season of 1996, when he played with the Patriots in their 35–21 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI.
One of his kickoffs in the Super Bowl was returned by Desmond Howard for a Super Bowl-record 99 yards and a touchdown that ended the Patriots' bid for a comeback. In the 2001 playoffs, during a blizzard against the Oakland Raiders in the final game at Foxboro Stadium, Vinatieri kicked a 45-yard field goal into a swirling winter wind to tie the game 13–13 and send it into overtime; the Patriots won the game on another field goal of 23 yards by Vinatieri. In Super Bowl XXXVI that season, Vinatieri kicked a 48-yard field goal on the final play to give the New England Patriots their first Super Bowl victory, a 20–17 upset win over the St. Louis Rams, who were 14-point favorites coming into the game. Two years in the 2003 season, in an identical situation, he kicked a 41-yard field goal with four seconds left in Super Bowl XXXVIII to boost the Patriots to another championship; this time, the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32–29, making Vinatieri the first player to be the deciding factor in two Super Bowl games.
In 2004, Vinatieri led the NFL in scoring with 141 points. In a game against the St. Louis Rams, Vinatieri scored 16 points, threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Troy Brown on a fake field goal attempt. In Week 10, against the Buffalo Bills, he scored a career-high 17 points on five field goals and two extra points, he went on to score a field goal and three extra points in the Patriots 24–21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. By the time Vinatieri finished his final season with the Patriots in 2005, he had kicked 18 game-winning field goals with less than one minute remaining, including the postseason. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, he had a career field goal percentage of 81.9 percent, fifth highest in NFL history. In his time in New England, his community involvement included helping Christian athletes, D. A. R. E. and the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau. He was a spokesperson for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island's teen anti-smoking contest, appeared in commercials for Boston-based pizza Papa Gino's.
Vinatieri finished his 10 seasons with the Patriots a
American football rules
Game play in American football consists of a series of downs, individual plays of short duration, outside of which the ball is dead or not in play. These can be plays from scrimmage – passes, punts, or field goal attempts – or free kicks such as kickoffs and fair catch kicks. Substitutions can be made between downs, which allows for a great deal of specialization as coaches choose the players best suited for each particular situation. During a play, each team should have no more than 11 players on the field, each of them has specific tasks assigned for that specific play; the objective of this game is to score more points than the other team during the allotted time. The team with the ball has 4 plays to advance at least 10 yards, can score points once they reach the opposite end of the field, home to a scoring zone called the end zone, as well as the goal posts. If the offense succeeds in advancing at least 10 yards, they earn a "first down" and the number of tries allotted is reset and they are again given 4 tries to advance an additional 10 yards, starting from the spot to which they last advanced.
If the offense does not advance at least 10 yards during their 4 downs, the team without the ball regains control of the ball. On offense, points are scored by advancing the ball into the opponent's end zone for a touchdown, or by kicking the ball from the playing field through the raised vertical posts which are most situated on the end line of the end zone for a field goal. After scoring a touchdown, the offense is given an additional opportunity from the 2-yard line to attempt to score. Conversion attempts are used to score 1 or 2 points as follows: The offense may attempt a field goal kick, worth 1 point; the offense may attempt to re-advance the ball into the opponent's end zone for a two-point conversion worth 2 points. While the opposing team has possession, the defense attempts to prevent the offense from advancing the ball and scoring. If an offensive player loses the ball during play or the ball is caught by a defensive player while still in the air, the defense may attempt to run into the offense's end zone for a touchdown.
The defense may score points by tackling the ball carrier in the offense's own end zone, called a safety. Collegiate and professional football games are 60 minutes long, divided into four quarters of 15 minutes each. In high school football, 12 minute quarters are played; the clock is stopped however, with the result that a typical college or professional game can exceed three hours in duration. The referee controls the game clock and stops the clock after any incomplete pass or any play that ends out of bounds. In addition, each team is allowed 3 timeouts in each half; the clock runs during the action of plays, with a few exceptions known as untimed plays. The clock may be stopped for an officials' time-out, after which, if the clock was running, it is restarted. For example: if there is a question whether or not a team has moved the ball far enough for a first down, the officials may use a measuring device to determine the distance. While this measurement is taking place, the officials will signal for a stoppage of the clock.
Once the measurement is finished and the ball is placed at the proper location, the referee will signal for the clock to restart. Additional situations where officials may take a time-out are to administer a penalty or for an injured player to be removed from the field. In addition to the game clock, a separate play clock is used; this counts down the time the offense has to start the next play before it is assessed a penalty for delay of game. This clock is 25 seconds from when the referee marks the ball ready for play; the NFL and NCAA use a 40-second play clock that starts after the previous play ends, though for certain delays, such as penalty enforcement, the offense has 25 seconds from when the ball is marked ready. The purpose of the play clock is to ensure that the game progresses at a consistent pace, preventing unnecessary delays. Overall, clock management is a significant part of the game. Officials call for media time-outs, which allow time for television and radio advertising, they stop the clock after a change of possession of the ball from one team to the other.
Successful PATs, a field goal try, or a kickoff may warrant stopping the clock. If an instant replay challenge is called during the game, the referees signal for a media time out; the referee signals these media time-outs by first using the time out signal extending both arms in a horizontal position. Teams change ends of the field at the end of the first quarter and the end of the third quarter, though otherwise the situation on the field regarding possession, downs remaining and distance-to-goal does not change at these occasions. Separating the first and second halves is halftime. Both halves, any overtime, begin with kick-offs — the kicking team is decided by a coin toss. In the NFL, an automatic timeout is called by the officials when there are two minutes left in both the second and the four
A fumble in American and Canadian football occurs when a player who has possession and control of the ball loses it before being downed, scoring, or going out of bounds. By rule, it is any act other than passing, punting, or successful handing that results in loss of player possession. A fumble may be forced by a defensive player who either grabs or punches the ball or butts the ball with his helmet. A fumbled ball may be advanced by either team, it is one of three events that can cause a turnover, where possession of the ball can change during play. Under American rules a fumble may be confused with a muff. A muff occurs where a player drops a ball that he does not have possession of, such as while attempting to catch a lateral pass or improperly fielding a kicking play such as a punt. Ball security is the ability of a player to maintain control over the football during play and thus avoid a fumble. Thus, losing possession of the ball via a fumble includes not only dropping the ball before being downed.
If the ball is fumbled the defensive team may recover the ball and advance it to their opponents' goal. The same is true for the offense, but when the offense recovers the ball it tries to down it. In American football the offense cannot advance the ball if it recovers its own fumble on fourth down, or in the last two minutes of a half, unless the ball is recovered by the fumbler. However, if the offense fumbles the ball, the defense recovers and fumbles back to the offense, they would get a first down since possession had formally changed over the course of the play though the ball had never been blown dead. In American football, there is no separate signal to indicate a fumble recovery. If the offense recovers its own fumble, the official will indicate the recovery by a hand signal showing the next down. If the defense recovers the fumble, the official will indicate with a "first down" signal in the direction the recovering team is driving the ball; some officials have erroneously used a "first down" signal when the offense recovers its own fumble and the recovery did not result in a first down.
This is not the same thing as when a forward pass is not caught. In this latter case, it is an incomplete pass. However, if the receiver catches the ball, but drops it after gaining control of the ball, considered a fumble. Any number of fumbles can be committed during a play, including fumbles by the team on defense. Most famously, Dallas Cowboys defender Leon Lett fumbled during Super Bowl XXVII while celebrating during his own fumble return. A sometimes controversial rule is referred to as "the ground cannot cause a fumble". If a player is tackled and loses control of the ball at or after the time he makes contact with the ground, the player is treated as down and the ball is not in play. However, in the NFL and CFL, if a ball carrier falls without an opponent contacting him, the ground can indeed cause a fumble; this is because in those leagues the ball carrier is not "down" unless an opponent first makes contact, or the runner is out of bounds. If a player fumbles in most other leagues, as soon as the knee or elbow touches the ground, the ball carrier is considered down.
It is possible for the ground to cause a fumble in college football if the ball hits the ground before any part of the ball carrier's body touches the ground. An example was the fumble by Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner vs. Tennessee in 1998; the effects of fumbles vary when the ball goes out of bounds without being recovered: A fumble going out-of-bounds between the end zones is retained by the last team with possession. If the ball was moving backwards with regard to the recovering team, it is spotted where it went out of bounds. If the ball was moving forwards, it is spotted. A fumble going out-of-bounds in the endzone being attacked results in the defending team assuming possession via touchback if the offensive team forced the ball into the endzone. If the defensive team forced the ball into the endzone it is a safety for the offense. A fumble going out-of-bounds in the endzone being defended is ruled a safety if the offensive team forced the ball into the endzone. A fumble going out-of-bounds in the endzone being defended is ruled a touchback if the defensive team forced the ball into the endzone.
The ball is turned over to the defensive team. In all cases, a fumble recovered by an out-of-bounds player is considered an out-of-bounds fumble if the ball never leaves the field of play. In addition, a punted or place-kicked ball that touches any part of a player on the receiving team, whether or not the player gains control, is considered to be live and is treated like a fumble. Lateral passes that are caught by a member of the opposing team are recorded as fumbles as opposed to interceptions. Since footballs tend to bounce in unpredictable ways on artificial turf, attempting to recover and advance a fumbled ball is risky for those with good manual coord
Richard Vershaun Seymour is a former American football defensive tackle who played in the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Georgia, was drafted by the New England Patriots sixth overall in the 2001 NFL Draft. Seymour played in seven Pro Bowls, was named to five All-Pro teams, was a member of three Super Bowl-winning Patriots teams. During his career he was considered one of, if not the best, defensive lineman in the NFL, he has been described as the best #6 overall draft pick of all time. Seymour was selected to the Pro Bowl both as a 3-4 defensive end, he played fullback on short yardage and goal line situations. However, this ended when he suffered a knee injury on a one-yard Corey Dillon touchdown run against the San Diego Chargers in October 2005. At Lower Richland High School in Hopkins, South Carolina, Seymour won first team All-Region honors, first team all-area honor; as a senior, he was voted the team's best defensive lineman, was a team captain, won an All-Area Player of the Week award, led his team to four All-Area Team of the Week honors, finished the season with 8 sacks and 83 tackles.
Seymour attended the University of Georgia, where he played for the Georgia Bulldogs football team from 1997 to 2000. He was part of a defensive line that consisted of four future first-round draft picks: Seymour, former Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcus Stroud, New Orleans Saints defensive end Charles Grant, former Patriots teammate Johnathan Sullivan. A housing and consumer economics major, Seymour was a four-year letterman at Georgia who played in 41 games for the Bulldogs, starting 25, he finished his career with 223 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 25.5 tackles for losses and 35 quarterback pressures. He was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 1999 and 2000; as a senior, Seymour was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and Walter Camp Football Foundation. Seymour appeared in nine games during his 1997 freshman year at right defensive tackle, made two tackles and had a quarterback pressure, he appeared in every game in 1998 as a sophomore and made 4 starts, finishing fourth on the team with 69 tackles, 4 sacks and 14 quarterback pressures.
In 1999, as a junior, Seymour started all 11 games at right defensive tackle and led the team with 74 tackles, including 10 tackles-for-loss, four sacks and seven quarterback pressures. He intercepted a pass, he was named SEC defensive player of the week for his performance against the South Carolina Gamecocks. In that contest he collected six tackles, including a pair of sacks, three stops for minus 12 yards and a pressure that resulted in an interception in a 24-6 victory; as a senior, Seymour started ten games at right defensive tackle, recording 78 tackles and a team-leading 10.5 tackles for loss, 1-1/2 sacks plus 13 quarterback pressures. He earned SEC player of the week honors following his performance versus the Tennessee Volunteers. Seymour was drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft. On July 24, 2001, the Patriots signed Seymour to a six-year, $14.3 million contract. He played in 13 games in his 2001 rookie season, starting 10 of them, amassing three sacks as a 4-3 defensive tackle.
Seymour missed the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals as well as two late October games with a leg injury. In Super Bowl XXXVI, Seymour started at defensive tackle and earned a Super Bowl ring for the Patriots' victory over the St. Louis Rams; the 2002 season saw Seymour starting all 16 games at 4-3 defensive tackle in his second season in the NFL, collecting 5.5 sacks and an interception en route to his first Pro Bowl appearance. Seymour had a presence on special teams, blocking field goals in back-to-back November games against the Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings. With the Patriots defense moving to a 3-4 in 2003, Seymour moved outside to defensive end in the scheme and was named a defensive team captain for the first time in his career. Despite missing a game against the Denver Broncos in October due to a leg injury, Seymour finished with a career-high eight sacks and 57 tackles in 15 games played, he was twice named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, after blocked field goals against the Miami Dolphins in Week 7 and the Tennessee Titans in the divisional playoffs.
Seymour and the Patriots would go to win their second championship in three years, defeating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Seymour was elected to the 2004 Pro Bowl and was a first-team All-Pro selection following the season. Seymour started all 15 games he played in during the 2004 season, but missed the final regular season and first two playoff games against the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers after injuring the MCL in his right knee in Week 16, he recorded the first touchdown of his career on a 68-yard fumble return against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. Seymour's tackle and sack numbers dipped from the previous season to 39 tackles and five sacks, but he was still named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl and was again a first-team All-Pro choice. Seymour earned his third Super Bowl win with a Patriots victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, a game he started. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Seymour held out of the 2005 offseason minicamps and missed the first four days of training camp in hopes of securing a new contract.
While the Patriots did not fulfill Seymour's request, they did give him a pay raise for the 2005 season in order to end his holdout. In April 2006, Seymour signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension through the 2009 season. Seymour's 2005 season began with the defe
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos compete as a member club of the National Football League's American Football Conference West division, they began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. The Broncos are owned by the Pat Bowlen trust and play home games at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Prior to that, they played at Mile High Stadium from 1960 to 2000; the Broncos were competitive during their 10-year run in the AFL and their first seven years in the NFL. They did not complete a winning season until 1973. In 1977, four years they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and advanced to Super Bowl XII. Since 1975, the Broncos have become one of the NFL's most successful teams, having suffered only seven losing seasons, they have won eight AFC Championships, three Super Bowl championships, share the NFL record for most Super Bowl losses.
They have ten players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: John Elway, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, Willie Brown, Tony Dorsett, Terrell Davis, Brian Dawkins, Ty Law and Champ Bailey. The Denver Broncos were founded on August 14, 1959, when Minor League Baseball owner Bob Howsam was awarded an American Football League charter franchise; the Broncos won the first-ever AFL game over the Boston Patriots 13–10, on September 9, 1960. On August 5, 1967, they became the first-ever AFL team to defeat an NFL team, with a 13–7 win over the Detroit Lions in a preseason game. However, the Broncos were not successful in the 1960s. Denver came close to losing its franchise in 1965, until a local ownership group took control and rebuilt the team; the team's first superstar, "Franchise" Floyd Little, was instrumental in keeping the team in Denver, due to his signing in 1967 as well as his Pro Bowl efforts on and off the field. The Broncos were the only original AFL team that never played in the title game, as well as the only original AFL team never to have a winning season while a member of the AFL during the upstart league's 10-year history.
In 1972, the Broncos hired former Stanford University coach John Ralston as their head coach. In 1973, he was the UPI's AFC Coach of the Year, after Denver achieved its first winning season at 7–5–2. In five seasons with the Broncos, Ralston guided the team to winning seasons three times. Though Ralston finished the 1976 season with a 9–5 record, the team, as was the case in Ralston's previous winning seasons, still missed the playoffs. Following the season, several prominent players publicly voiced their discontent with Ralston, which soon led to his resignation. Red Miller, a long-time assistant coach was hired and along with the Orange Crush Defense and aging quarterback Craig Morton, took the Broncos to what was a record-setting 12–2 regular season record and their first playoff appearance in 1977, first Super Bowl, in which they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, 27–10. In 1981, Broncos' owner Gerald Phipps, who had purchased the team in May 1961 from the original owner Bob Howsam, sold the team to Canadian financier Edgar Kaiser Jr. grandson of shipbuilding industrialist Henry J. Kaiser.
In 1984, the team was purchased by Pat Bowlen, who placed team ownership into a family trust sometime before 2004 and remained in day-to-day control until his battle with Alzheimer's disease forced him to cede the team to Joe Ellis in 2014. Dan Reeves became the youngest head coach in the NFL when he joined the Broncos in 1981 as vice president and head coach. Quarterback John Elway, who played college football at Stanford, arrived in 1983 via a trade. Drafted by the Baltimore Colts as the first pick of the draft, Elway proclaimed that he would shun football in favor of baseball, unless he was traded to a selected list of other teams, which included the Broncos. Prior to Elway, the Broncos had over 24 different starting quarterbacks in its 23 seasons to that point. Reeves and Elway guided the Broncos to six post-season appearances, five AFC West divisional titles, three AFC championships and three Super Bowl appearances during their 12-year span together; the Broncos lost Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants, 39–20.
The last year of the Reeves-Elway era were marked by feuding, due to Reeves taking on play-calling duties after ousting Elway's favorite offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan after the 1991 season, as well as Reeves drafting quarterback Tommy Maddox out of UCLA instead of going with a wide receiver to help Elway. Reeves was fired after the 1992 season and replaced by his protégé and friend Wade Phillips, serving as the Broncos' defensive coordinator. Phillips was fired after a mediocre 1994 season, in which management felt he lost control of the team. In 1995, Mike Shanahan, who had served under Reeves as the Broncos' offensive coordinator, returned as head coach. Shanahan drafted rookie running back Terrell Davis. In 1996, the Broncos were the top seed in the AFC with a 13–3 record, dominating most of the teams that year; the fift