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Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End
Bring yourself back to a time when the New England Patriots were a dynasty in progress– a time when guys like Bruschi, Vrabel, Law, and Harrison were the stallworts of an intimidating defense that helped bring three Super Bowls to Foxboro, MA, in four seasons. The truth is, just as important as those guys, were the role players on those defenses– Randall Gay, Earthwind Moreland, and of course, the oft-forgotten Hank Poteat.
Hank Poteat played his college football at Pitt, and was drafted by his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round in 2000, and for two seasons returned punts and kicks for the Steelers. He experienced limited success in that role with Pittsburg, scoring his only NFL touchdown, but didn’t make his first NFL start until he landed in New England before game 15 of the 04-05 season. In his debut for the Pats, against the Brooks Bollinger-led Jets, he recorded a sack and a forced fumble, stripping the aforementioned Bollinger on the same play. He would get a ring as a Patriot that season, and would go on to split time between the Patriots and Jets the following year.
Poteat’s career ended in Cleveland, playing for then-head coach Eric Mangini, for whom he’d played in New England and New York when Mangini was an assistant. Hank Poteat started 20 games total in his NFL career, recording a total of 197 tackles, 3 sacks, and 4 picks. He also has a bitchin Website which looks even more in need of updating than Obscure Athletes. Love it.