Former Patriots quarterback/punter Tom Yewcic dies

Getty Images

Former Patriots punter/quarterback Tom Yewcic has died, the team announced Wednesday. Yewcic was 88.

The Steelers made Yewcic a 27th-round choice in 1954 out of Michigan State. But Yewcic opted to play baseball, signing with the Detroit Tigers.

Yewcic spent time in the minor leagues before playing one game at catcher for Detroit on June 27, 1957. He signed with the Patriots in 1961 following a half a season with Toronto of the Canadian Football League.

Yewcic was chiefly a punter in 1961 and the first half of 1962. He was pressed into service as a starting quarterback when Babe Parilli was injured, and Yewcic sparked the Patriots to three consecutive victories.

Yewcic punted 377 times for 14,553 yards during his career. In addition to punting and playing quarterback, he was also used as a receiver and running back.

In 77 career regular-season games, Yewcic completed 87 passes for 1,374 yards and 12 touchdowns. He added 72 carries for 424 yards and four touchdowns and seven receptions for 69 yards.