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Ben Coates

Career Overview

Coates ranks second on the Patriots' all-time career touchdowns list and leads all tight ends with 50. He ranks third in franchise history with 490 career receptions and fourth in receiving yards (5,471). Those numbers rank first among all Patriots tight ends. Coates was selected to the Pro Bowl five times in five consecutive seasons, following the 1994-98 seasons. When he retired, he held the Patriots single-season record for receptions, which he set in 1994 while making 96 catches. That total also broke the NFL record for tight ends, eclipsing Todd Christensen's mark of 95 set in 1986. The two-time Associated Press All-Pro First-Team selection was the Patriots' leading receiver from 1993-95 and again from 1997-98.

Coates was one of the most reliable pass-catching tight ends in NFL history. His 499 career receptions, a figure that includes his nine seasons with New England in addition to one season with the Baltimore Ravens (2000), rank him sixth all-time among NFL tight ends. He also ranks sixth among tight ends in touchdown receptions (50) and 10th in receiving yards (5,555). From 1994-98, Coates led all tight ends in receptions (375) and touchdown receptions (36) and was second in receiving yards (4,151).

The Greenwood, S.C. native was selected by the Patriots in the fifth round (124th overall) of the 1991 NFL Draft out of Livingstone College. Coates became a consistent performer and set a Patriots franchise record with receptions in 63 consecutive games from 1992-96. He earned his first Pro Bowl berth following a record-breaking season in 1994 when he tallied a then franchise high 96 receptions and led the Patriots in receiving yards (1,174, also a career-high) and touchdown receptions (7). Coates rattled off a streak of six seasons (1993-98) with 50-plus receptions and scoring at least five touchdowns - both of those streaks stand as franchise records.

In addition to his regular-season accomplishments, Coates played in seven playoff games for the Patriots - including Super Bowl XXXI - and caught 22 passes for 204 yards and one touchdown. He posted a game-high six receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI.

Career Highlights

Ben holds the NFL's single-season reception record for a tight end, which he set in 1994 with 96 receptions. It also established a franchise single-season reception record...Ben enters the 1999 season leading all tight ends in receptions (372) and touchdown receptions (36) since 1994...He enters the 1999 season ranked seventh among the Patriots' all-time leading scorers with 290 career points...He has caught over 50 passes and scored at least five touchdowns in each of his last six seasons — which are franchise records...He enters the season with 48 career touchdowns, second only to Stanley Morgan (67) in franchise history...Set a franchise record with receptions in 63 consecutive games from 1992-96...Ben owns franchise records for most receptions in a season (96), most receptions in a game (12), most consecutive games with a reception (63), and shares another team record with 3 touchdowns in a game...He enters the 1999 season with 458 career receptions (second in franchise history) for 5,101 yards (third) and 48 touchdowns (second)...He has led the team in touchdown receptions for six consecutive seasons...He and Drew Bledsoe have combined for 43 career touchdown receptions. Only Steve Young and Jerry Rice have combined for more touchdowns during their careers (72) among active passing tandems...Grabbed a short pass and raced 84 yards for a touchdown vs. Miami (11/3/96). It was the longest reception of his career...Posted a game-high with six receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI...Ben missed the second game of the 1998 season due to an ankle injury, snapping a streak of 113 consecutive games played, dating back to 1991.

1998 Season

Earned his fifth consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl after starting 14 games for the Patriots and leading the team in receptions for the fifth time in six years ... Missed the second game of the season vs. Indianapolis (9/13) due to an ankle injury ... Listed among the Patriots' inactives at St. Louis (12/13) ... Finished the year with 67 receptions for 668 yards (9.9 avg.) and six touchdowns ... His six touchdowns led the team for the sixth consecutive year ... He has had no fewer than six touchdowns in a single season since 1993 ... Earned Associated Press All-Pro honors (2nd team) ... Either led or shared game-high honors in receptions in seven of his 14 games played ... Led the team with seven receptions for 78 yards in a 30-27 victory over New Orleans (10/4) ... Caught two passes, both for touchdowns, in a 40-10 blowout of Kansas City (10/11) ... They were his first touchdowns of the season ... His first of the day, a 2-yard dump pass from Bledsoe, gave the Patriots a 24-0 lead and moved Coates into second place on the Patriots' all-time touchdown reception leaders with 43 (ahead of Gino Cappelletti's 42 career touchdown receptions) ... It was the only multiple touchdown game of the season by a Patriots receiver ... Led or shared game-high receiving honors in six consecutive games, beginning with four receptions for 49 yards at Miami (10/25) ... Recorded a season-high 10 receptions for 109 yards at Indianapolis (11/1) to earn Miller Lite Player of the Game honors ... It was his fourth Miller Lite Player of the Game award, the second earned playing against Indianapolis ... Followed with five receptions and a touchdown vs. Atlanta (11/8) ... Held game-high honors with four receptions and 70 yards at Buffalo (11/15) to earn Miller LIte Player of the Game honors for the second time in three weeks ... Played a big role in back-to-back come-from-behind victories over division foes Miami and Buffalo in Weeks 12 and 13 ... Led the team with nine receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown, helping the Patriots to a 26-23 victory over Miami (11/23) ... Tied his season-high with 10 receptions the following week vs. Buffalo (11/29) ... His 10th reception of the day was the game-winning touchdown with no time remaining on the game clock to give the Patriots a 25-21 victory ... Caught six passes for 78 yards to help the Patriots to their third consecutive victory, a 23-9 win at Pittsburgh (12/6) ... Caught two passes for 10 yards in the playoff loss at Jacksonville (1/3).

1997 Season

Earned his fourth consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl after starting every game for the Patriots and leading the team in receptions for the fourth time in the last five years ... Finished the year with 66 receptions for 737 yards (11.2 avg.) and eight touchdowns ... His 66 receptions were the third highest single-season total of his career ... His eight touchdowns led the team and ranked second (behind K Adam Vinatieri) in scoring ... Earned All-Pro honors from Sports Illustrated, All-AFC honors from Football News and second-team All-Pro honors from College and Pro Football Newsweekly... Finished second in the league in receptions by a tight end, trailing Denver's Shannon Sharpe by six catches, but had five more touchdowns than Sharpe ... Caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe just 5:01 into the season opener in a 41-7 blowout over San Diego (8/31) ... His touchdown was the first recorded in 1997 (approx. 1:14 p.m. EDT) ... Finished the game with four receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown ... Led the team with four receptions for 54 yards in a 31-6 victory at Indianapolis (9/7) ... Selected as offensive team captain prior to the Jets game (9/14) and caught a 32-yard touchdown pass in a 27-24 overtime victory ... Caught a season-high six passes for 61 yards in a 31-3 victory over Chicago (9/21) ... Led the team with five receptions for 65 yards at Denver (10/6) ... Capped a game-opening drive with a 20-yard touchdown reception in a 33-6 victory over Buffalo (10/12) ... Finished the game with a season-high 92 yards on just four receptions ... Scored his fourth touchdown of the season and the 38th of his career at the Jets (10/19) ... Caught a touchdown pass for the third consecutive week vs. Green Bay (10/27) ... Sustained an injury to his left foot, yet remained in the game and caught five passes for 58 yards at Minnesota (11/2) ... Scored his sixth touchdown of the year and moved ahead of Irving Fryar (363 receptions) into second place among the Patriots' all-time leading receivers ... Named offensive team captain vs. Miami (11/23) and finished with three catches for 39 yards ... Caught six passes for 54 yards and a touchdown in a 26-20 victory at Jacksonville (12/7) ... Scored his eighth touchdown of the season and the 42nd of his career vs. Pittsburgh (12/13) and moved into a second-place tie with Gino Cappelletti among the team's all-time leading touchdown reception leaders ... Caught four passes for 28 yards in the season finale at Miami (12/22), extending his consecutive game reception streak to 17 games ... Sprained his right thumb during the game, but still set a Patriots playoff record vs. Miami (12/28) with his fourth reception of the game- his 20th career postseason reception ... Sprained his right knee in the divisional playoff game at Pittsburgh (1/3) and did not return ... It was the first postseason game of his career in which he did not record a reception.

1996 Season

Earned his third consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl after starting 15 of 16 regular season games for the Patriots and totaling 62 receptions for 682 yards and nine touchdowns ... Earned First-Team All-Pro honors by USA Today and was selected second-team All-AFC by UPI ... Led the team with nine touchdown receptions ... Finished second on the team with 62 receptions, trailing Terry Glenn's 90 catches, which broke a three-year streak of leading the team in receptions ... His 682 yards receiving ranked third, trailing Glenn (1,132 yards) and Shawn Jefferson (771) ... Led the team in receptions in four games, including the season opener at Miami (9/1) when he caught six passes for 69 yards and a touchdown ... Led the team with six receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown vs. Arizona (9/15) ... Registered a season-high and led the team with seven receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown at Baltimore (10/6), including an acrobatic third down reception to keep the Patriots drive alive in the second quarter ... Earned Miller Lite Player of the Game honors, as voted by the New England media, after catching five passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long 84-yard touchdown reception vs. Miami (11/3) ... It was his first 100-yard game since the 1995 season opener vs. Cleveland (9/3) ... His 84-yard reception was the longest completion of Drew Bledsoe's career and was the fourth longest completion in franchise history ... It was also the third longest completion in the NFL in '96 ... Caught his seventh touchdown pass of the season at the Jets (11/10), a 17-yard toss from Bledsoe which tied the game at 24 ... Converted a first down with a 2-yard reception on fourth-and-two in the fourth quarter, which led to the game-winning touchdown on a 2-yard pass from Bledsoe to Byars to secure the 31-27 victory ... Did not start vs. Indianapolis (11/24), snapping a 22-game starting streak, but did catch one pass in the third quarter to extend his consecutive game reception streak to 61 games ... Led the team in receiving with six catches for 71 yards (11.8 avg.) at San Diego (12/1), including a 22-yard reception to open the game ... Scored his eighth touchdown of the season with a 2-yard reception vs. the Jets (12/8), extending his consecutive game reception streak to a team-record 63 games ... Did not have a reception at Dallas (12/15), snapping his franchise record consecutive game reception streak at 63 games, which began on Dec. 27, 1992 vs. Miami ... Closed out the regular season with three receptions for 19 yards and scored his ninth touchdown of the season at the Giants (12/21) ... Recorded each of his three receptions in the fourth quarter and capped a 23-22 come-from-behind victory with a game-winning touchdown with just 1:32 remaining in the game ... His nine touchdown receptions set a single-season career high and tied him with three others for fourth place among the Patriots' all-time single season touchdown reception leaders ... Grabbed three receptions for 18 yards in the Patriots' 28-3 divisional playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers (1/5/97) ... Caught one pass for five yards in the AFC Championship victory over Jacksonville (1/12/97) ... Recorded a game-high with six receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI (1/26/97).

1995 Season

Coates led the Patriots in receiving for the third consecutive year and tied Stanley Morgan's 84 reception performance (in 1986) to rank second (behind his own record of 96 receptions) among the franchise's all-time single-season reception leaders ... Finished the year with 84 catches for 915 yards and six touchdowns to lead all NFL tights ends for the second consecutive year, despite drawing multiple defensive coverages designed to stop him ... Earned Associated Press First-Team All-Pro honors and returned to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl for his second straight season ... Earned numerous postseason awards for his 1995 performance, duplicating many of the honors he received in 1994 ... Ranked fifth in the AFC in receptions (84) and ninth in the conference in receiving yards (915) ... 30 of Coates' 84 receptions and four of his six touchdowns came on third down ... Over 60 percent of his receptions (51 of 84) were good for Patriots first downs ... Opened the season with nine catches for 106 yards vs. Cleveland (9/3), his seventh 100-yard performance of his career ... Became a magnet in the red zone, attracting multiple defenders every time the Patriots penetrated enemy territory ... Recorded his first touchdown of the year in the 10th game of the season at Miami (11/12) ... The 8-yard touchdown was one of just two receptions on the day ... Rebounded with nine receptions for 89 yards vs. Indianapolis (11/19) ... Followed that performance with his first career three-touchdown game, on just six receptions (60 yards) at Buffalo (11/26) ... Grabbed seven receptions for 90 yards the following week vs. New Orleans (12/3) ... Recorded a season-high with 11 catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns at Pittsburgh (12/16) ... His 11 receptions tied three others (Leroy Thompson, Tony Collins and Art Graham) to rank second among the Patriots' all-time single-game reception leaders ... His two touchdowns at Pittsburgh marked the sixth multiple touchdown performance of his career, with two multiple touchdown outings in each of the last three seasons ... Closed out the season with four receptions for 56 yards at Indianapolis ... 70 of his 84 receptions were caught within 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, yet he averaged over 10 yards per reception, totaling 362 yards after the catch ... Turned a short pass across the middle into a season-long 35-yard reception vs. Buffalo (10/23) ... His longest touchdown reception of the year was 15 yards ... Five of his six touchdowns were scored from within the 10-yard line ... Had just four dropped balls all season.

1994 Season

Earned First-Team All-Pro honors for his record-breaking performance in 1994 ... Elected to his first Pro Bowl as a starter ... Led the Patriots in receptions (96), receiving yards (1,174), longest reception (62-yard touchdown) and most touchdown receptions (7) ... His 96 catches set an NFL receiving record by a tight end, breaking Todd Christensen's record of 95 receptions in 1986 ... Coates eclipsed the Patriots' reception record of 84 catches set by Stanley Morgan in 1986 ... Led the AFC in receptions and finished fourth in the NFL following only Minnesota's Cris Carter (122 receptions), San Francisco's Jerry Rice (112) and Atlanta's Terance Mathis (111) ... His 1,174 yards receiving ranked fourth in the AFC and ninth in the NFL ... His 1,174 receiving yards was the second-best single-season performance in franchise history, trailing only Stanley Morgan's 1,491 yards in 1986 ... Eclipsed the 100-yard receiving plateau five times ... Led the team in receptions in eight games ... He caught more passes in 16 games in 1994 (96 total) than he had in his 48 previous games from 1991 through 1993 (83 total receptions) ... Opened the season with a career-high 161-yard effort on eight receptions (20.1 avg.) including touchdowns of two and 62 yards at Miami (9/4) ... His 161 receiving yards ranks sixth in team history ... The 62-yard reception was the longest of the season ... Followed with nine receptions for 124 yards (13.8 avg.) and two touchdowns vs. Buffalo (9/11) ... Two scores vs. Buffalo was the third consecutive two-touchdown effort dating back to the '93 season finale vs. Miami (1/2/94) ... Recorded eight receptions for 108 yards in a 31-28 victory at Cincinnati (9/18), his third consecutive 100-yard game of the season ... Scored on a 7-yard reception with just 27 seconds remaining in the first half in a 23-17 victory over Detroit (9/25) ... Led the Patriots with six catches for 87 yards in a 17-16 victory over Green Bay (10/2) ... Followed with nine receptions for 123 yards vs. the Raiders (10/9) ... Led the team with seven receptions for 92 yards the following week at New York (10/16) ... Set a Patriots record with 12 receptions for 119 yards (9.9 avg.) in a 12-10 victory at Indianapolis (11/27) ... The previous franchise record was 11 receptions in a game, set by Art Graham in 1966 and later tied by Tony Collins (11/29/87), Leroy Thompson (11/13/94) and equaled in 1995 by Coates (12/16/95) ... Led the Patriots receiving efforts in two of the final three games of the season with six grabs and a touchdown vs. Indianapolis (12/11) and five catches and a touchdown at Buffalo (12/18) ... Capped his All-Pro year with six receptions for 79 yards in the playoff loss at Cleveland (1/1/95) ... Caught twice as many passes as the leading receivers on two other teams WRs Cleveland's Derrick Alexander (48 receptions) and Tampa Bay's Lawrence Dawsey (46).

1993 Season

Started 10 of the 16 games he played, including the final seven of the season ... Led the team with 53 receptions ... Finished the season ranked sixth among NFL tight ends in receptions and second in touchdown receptions with eight ... His eight touchdowns led the team and ranked fourth in the AFC ... Averaged one touchdown for every 6.6 receptions ... Voted the Offensive Player of the Year by the 1776 Quarterback Club of New England ... Credited with six special teams tackles and added two tackles after Patriot turnovers ... His longest reception of the year was a pass over the middle which he turned into a 54-yard touchdown in the season opener at Buffalo (9/5) ... It was the first career touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Drew Bledsoe ... Recorded a season-high six receptions on three occasions ... Grabbed six aerials for 39 yards in the home opener vs. Detroit (9/12) ... Registered his first 100-yard game at Indianapolis (10/31) with six receptions for 108 yards to earn Miller Lite Player of the Game honors, as selected by a local media panel ... Added six catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns in the 33-27 OT victory over Miami in the season finale (1/2/94) ... Scored two touchdowns on only four catches in the Patriots' first victory of the season, 23-21 at Phoenix (10/10) ... Was the only Patriots receiver to top the single-game 100-yard plateau in 1993 ... Led the Patriots in receptions in six games and in receiving yards on five occasions.

1992 Season

Played in all 16 games with starts vs. San Francisco (10/11) and at Kansas City (12/13) ... Caught 20 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns ... Credited with six special teams stops ... Had season-high five receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown vs. San Francisco (10/11) ... Caught three passes for 35 yards and a touchdown vs. Cleveland (10/25) ... Had a 2-yard touchdown reception at Indianapolis (11/15).

1991 Season

Played in all 16 games during rookie season ... Started two games at tight end when Patriots opened up in a two tight end formation ... Finished the season with 10 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown ... Led the team in special teams tackles with 12 ... First career reception was a 6-yard pass from Tommy Hodson in the season opener at Indianapolis (9/1) ... Caught second pass of his career and added two special teams tackles vs. Minnesota (10/20) ... Had a season-high four catches for 41 yards at Buffalo (11/3) ... Caught first career touchdown with seven seconds left in regulation to tie the game in a 23-17 overtime victory vs. Indianapolis (12/8).


Three-year letterman at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. (1987-88, 1990) ... Earned First-Team All-CIAA and Black College Sports All-American honors as a senior after catching 36 passes for 504 yards (14.0 avg.) and nine touchdowns ... Played basketball as a junior after sitting out the football season ... Finished collegiate career with 103 receptions for 1,228 yards and 18 touchdowns ... Took home Livingstone's Most Valuable Player awards in 1987, 1988 and 1990 ... Won the Baxter Holman Memorial Award as a freshman and the S.W. Lancaster Award as a sophomore.


Ben Terrence Coates was born on Aug. 16, 1969 in Greenwood, S.C. ... Played only one season of football at Greenwood (S.C.) High and was voted the team's Most Valuable Player ... Majored in sports management at Livingstone College ... Earned Most Improved Player honors on the Livingstone College track team as a sophomore ... Ben is married (Yvette) and have five children: Lauren, Brianna, Brittany, Destiny and Ben Jr