Bruce Armstrong was drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft (23rd player selected) and signed July 23, 1987
Bruce Armstrong was drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft (23rd player selected) and signed July 23, 1987 ... He was placed on injured reserve (11/1/92) after tearing the medial collateral ligament and both his anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee at Buffalo (11/1/92) ... Placed on active/physically unable to perform list on July 16, 1993 and activated on July 27, 1993 ... Re-signed a four-year contract on Feb. 15, 1994 ... Re-signed a four-year contract on Feb. 12, 1998 ... Released by the Patriots on Feb. 10, 2000 ... Re-signed a one-year deal on July 16, 2000.Career Highlights
- Armstrong has appeared in six Pro Bowls during his career. Only Hall of Fame offensive guard John Hannah made more appearances as a Patriot (9).
- Armstrong enters the 2000 season as the franchise's all-time leader with 196 career starts and needs to play in just 11 more games to become the franchise's all-time leader with 207 games played. The record is currently held by Julius Adams (206 games played).
- Since joining the Patriots in 1987, Armstrong has started 196 of 204 possible non-strike games (he did not participate in three “strike” games during his rookie year). The only non-strike games missed by the six-time Pro Bowler were in 1992 after suffering what was feared to be a career-threatening knee injury in the eighth game of the season at Buffalo (11/1/92).
- Started the first 44 games of his career at right tackle before making the transition to left tackle in his fourth season, where he has since started 152 of 160 regular season games.
- Voted team captain for the 1996 and 1998 seasons. There were no season captains in 1997, but he was elected team captain at season's end for the 1997 playoffs.
- Now in his 14th year with the Patriots, he is the senior member of the team and the only Patriot to have been retained from the '80s.
Started every game at left tackle for the Patriots, including the last eight after tearing ligaments in his right knee ... Became the Patriots' all-time leader with 196 career starts in 196 games ... His 196 games played ranks second (Julius Adams' 206) in franchise history ... Voted as a Pro Bowl alternate and would have traveled to his seventh Pro Bowl, but elected instead to have reconstructive knee surgery on his right knee immediately after the season. Jets (9/12): Named offensive team captain for the season-opening game ... Credited with a block which cleared the path for Terry Allen's 22-yard touchdown run in the third quarter in a 30-28 victory over the Jets as the offense totaled 396 yards of offense. Indianapolis (9/19): Powered the Patriots to 400 yards of offense, including 108 rushing yards in a 31-28 victory over the Colts ... Anchored a line which allowed just one sack in the game. Cleveland (10/3): Started his 184th game as a Patriot to become the franchise's all-time leader ... He eclipsed Patriot Hall of Famer John Hannah's 183 career starts ... Celebrated his achievement with a 19-7 victory over the Browns and propelled the offense to a season-high 451 net yards ... Patriots improved to a 4-0 record, their second 4-0 start in three years. Denver (10/24): Won the battle in the trenches against the defending Super Bowl Champions as the Patriots rushed for 133 yards and scored 3 rushing touchdowns in a hard-fought 24-23 victory ... It was the first Patriots victory over the Broncos since Sept. 29, 1980 ... The three rushing touchdowns were the most by a Patriots team since 1996 (vs. Miami on Nov. 3). Arizona (10/31): Helped the Patriots pile up 142 yards rushing in their most lopsided victory of the season, a 27-3 win over the Cardinals. Jets (11/15): Named offensive team captain for the Patriots' only Monday night contest of the season. Buffalo (12/26): Moved ahead of Mosi Tatupu (194) into second place among the Patriots all-time leaders for career games played (195) ... He is now second only to Julius Adams' franchise record of 206 games played. Baltimore (1/2/00): Became the only Patriot and one of just 18 NFL players to appear in games spanning the decades of the '80s, '90s and '00s.1998 Season
1998 (16/16; 1/1):
Voted offensive team captain ... Anchored the left side of the offensive line for his ninth consecutive season, starting all 17 games, including playoffs ... Extended his streak of consecutive games started to 101 games (including playoffs) ... Helped the Patriots quailify for the playoffs for the third consecutive season, a franchise first ... Powered an offensive line which produced a 1,000-yard rusher (Robert Edwards; 1,115 yards) for the fourth consecutive season, extending a franchise record ... As a unit, the line allowed no more than one sack in six games, including two shutouts, vs. Indianapolis (9/13) and Kansas City (10/11) ... Paved the way for six 100-yard rushing performances, including two 200-yard outings; vs. Kansas City (10/11) and at St. Louis (12/13).1997 Season
1997 (16/16; 2/2):
Voted offensive team captain for the playoffs ... Started every game at left tackle, extending his consecutive starting streak to 86 games, including six playoff games ... Earned Pro Bowl honors for the fourth consecutive season and the sixth time of his 11-year career ... Also earned second-team All-NFL honors from Football Digest ... Anchored an offensive line which allowed just 30 sacks all season and helped power the Patriots to their first back-to-back division titles in franchise history ... With just 30 sacks on 562 pass plays, the line allowed just one sack per 18.7 pass attempts (4th in the NFL) ... That protection provided for a franchise record-tying 31 touchdown passes, including a career-high 28 touchdowns by Drew Bledsoe (3rd in the NFL) ... The line paved the way for RB Curtis Martin, who in just 13 games rushed for 1,160 yards on 274 carries (a career-high 4.2-yard avg.), his third consecutive 1,000-yard season ... Three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons set a new franchise record ... Through the first 11 weeks of the season, the Patriots offense was ranked fourth in the league in total offense (352.8 yards per game) and fifth in points per game (25.4).1996 Season
1996 (16/16; 3/3):
Elected offensive team captain by his teammates ... Anchored the left side of the Patriots' offensive line for the seventh consecutive season, starting every regular season and playoff game ... Earned his third consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl, fifth of his career ... Voted second-team All-Pro by Associated Press ... Anchored an offensive line which allowed just 30 sacks on 658 pass plays, an average of one sack per 21.9 passes (6th in the league) ... Paved the way for RB Curtis Martin's second consecutive 1,000-yard season ... It was the first back-to-back 1,000-yard season by a Patriots rusher since 1967 ... Dominated the left side of the line, which allowed for 598 rushing yards on 141 carries (4.2 avg.) during the season ... Over 40 percent of all rushing yardage was gained on runs to the left side of the line ... Paved the way for Martin to rush for 164 yards on just 17 carries (9.6 avg.) vs. Washington (10/13) ... Anchored a line which dominated the trenches vs. Pittsburgh (1/5/97) in the divisional playoff game, as Martin rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries (8.7 avg.).1995 Season1995 (16/16):
Started every game for the Patriots at left tackle and was one of three Patriots (along with Ben Coates and Curtis Martin) to be selected to the Pro Bowl ... Anchored an offensive line which allowed just 27 sacks on 713 pass plays ... The 26.4 pass plays per sack allowed ranked third in the NFL ... When rushing to the left, the Patriots gained 651 yards on 153 carries, a 4.3-yard average ... Contributed to the rushing success of rookie running back Curtis Martin, who rushed for 1,487 yards and 14 touchdowns on 368 carries, setting franchise records in each category ... Martin picked up 538 of those yards on 130 carries (4.1 avg.) in Armstrong's direction.1994 Season1994 (16/16, 1/1):
Started every game at left tackle, including the Patriots' playoff game at Cleveland (1/1/95) ... Anchored an offensive line which allowed only 22 sacks for an offense which (including sacks) totaled 721 pass plays ... 32.8 pass plays/sack ranked fourth in the NFL ... Line did not allow more than three sacks in any game all season and allowed no more than one sack in seven games.
1993 Season1993 (16/16):
Made an extraordinary recovery from a severe knee injury in 1992 to regain his starting left tackle position ... Anchored an offensive line which allowed only 23 quarterback sacks all year, second in the NFL (NY Jets allowed 21) ... Offensive line allowed only one sack in the final six games of the season and helped the Patriots complete a season-ending four-game winning streak ... One of the best performances of the season came in a 38-0 triumph over Indianapolis (12/26) in which the Patriots rushed for a season-high 257 yards, the most by the Patriots since totaling 281 yards vs. Cincinnati in 1985.1992 Season1992 (8/8):
Started the first eight games of the season at left tackle before suffering torn ligaments in his right knee at Buffalo (11/1) ... The injury included tears of the medial collateral ligament and both his anterior and posterior cruciates in his right knee ... He was placed on the injured reserve list the following day (11/2), which ended his consecutive game starting streak at 84 games and eliminated any chance of him making his third consecutive Pro Bowl appearance.1991 Season1991 (16/16):
Started all 16 games at left tackle and was selected to play in his second consecutive Pro Bowl ... Anchored a line which produced the team's first 3,000-yard passing performance in five years when Hugh Millen passed for 3,073 yards ... Played an important role in the success of Leonard Russell, who rushed for 959 yards and four touchdowns and earned Rookie of the Year honors ... Helped the offense roll up 400 total yards in a 23-17 overtime victory vs. Indianapolis (12/8).1990 Season1990 (16/16):
Made the transition to left tackle and started every game ... His dominance of the opposition was evident by the fact that he was selected to start in his first Pro Bowl at left tackle, an amazing accomplishment considering the team's 1-15 finish ... Armstrong was the team's sole representative selected, continuing a 15-year tradition of Patriots in the Pro Bowl ... Named first-team All-AFC by Pro Football Weekly ... Recipient of the Jim Lee Hunt Award, which is awarded annually to the team's top interior lineman.1989 Season1989 (16/16):
Played in all 16 games at right offensive tackle and was selected second-team All-AFC by UPI ... Started vs. Miami (9/17) despite suffering from a hairline fracture in his right hand ... Blocked for four different quarterbacks during the season; Steve Grogan, Marc Wilson, Tony Eason and Doug Flutie ... The foursome combined for nearly 4,000 yards passing (3,957) ... The rushing tandem of John Stephens and Robert Perryman totaled 1,395 yards and nine touchdowns that season ... Also made one solo tackle on special teams, his first career NFL tackle.1988 Season1988 (16/16):
Started all 16 games at right tackle ... Elected first-team All-Pro by Football Digest and The Sporting News ... Earned All-AFC honors from Football News and UPI ... Voted second-team All-Pro by Associated Press ... Paved the way for John Stephens, who totaled 1,168 yards and four touchdowns on 297 carries to earn Rookie of the Year honors ... His 1,168 yards rushing was the fourth-best single season total in franchise history ... His 297 carries was second only to Jim Nance's 299 in 1966 (that total has since been eclipsed by Leonard Russell and Curtis Martin) ... Combined with Perryman, the rushing tandem combined for 1,616 of the team's 2,120 total rushing yards.1987 Season1987 (12/12):
Started all 12 games at right tackle during the strike-shortened season ... Named Patriots' Rookie of the Year by the 1776 Quarterback Club of New England and was selected on virtually every all-rookie team ... Named co-winner (with Garin Veris) of the Jim Lee Hunt Award, which is presented annually to the club's top interior lineman as selected by the coaches ... First rookie to start on the club's offensive line since John Hannah in 1973 ... Played entire season with a special shoulder harness, which was required after he injured it during both mini-camp and training camp ... Underwent shoulder surgery on Dec. 30, 1987 to repair the damage.College
Made the transition from tight end to left tackle three days into spring drills during his junior season in 1985 upon coach Howard Schnellenberger's urging ... Started that fall and did not allow a sack in his last seven games, despite playing the position at only 240 pounds ... Did not allow a sack during his senior campaign ... Played in the Senior Bowl after being selected a first-team All-South Independent by Associated Press ... Voted the team's Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 1986 ... Originally recruited to Louisville as a tight end in 1983 and caught seven passes for 103 yards in five starts that season ... In 1984, he started all 11 games at tight end and finished second on the team with 26 receptions for 289 yards and three touchdowns.Personal
Bruce Charles Armstrong was born on Sept. 7, 1965 in Miami, Fla. ... He earned All-American honorable mention and all-county acclaim as a tight end at Central High in Miami, Fla. ... Named school's top scholar-athlete as a senior ... High school coach, Rudy Barber, played for the Miami Dolphins in 1968 ... Lettered three times in track and football ... Majored in political science at Louisville ... His wife, Melinda Yvette Armstrong, recently bought and now operates a salon in Alpharetta, Ga. ... The Armstrongs have two children — Candace Lynne (4/12/84) and Nicholas Charles (5/8/95).