Tom Blanchard
No. 15, 16
Tom Blanchard 1967.jpeg
Born: (1948-05-28) May 28, 1948 (age 74)
Grants Pass, Oregon
Career information
Position(s)Punter
CollegeOregon
NFL draft1971 / Round: 12 / Pick: 304
Career history
As player
1971–1973New York Giants
1974–1978New Orleans Saints
1979–1981Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Career stats

Thomas Richard Blanchard (born May 28, 1948) is a former American football punter with an 11-year career in the National Football League for the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Biography

Blanchard played college football at the University of Oregon, where he was quarterback as well as punter.[1] He led Grants Pass High School to the 1964 state high school football championship as a junior.[2]

Blanchard was drafted by the Giants in 12th round of the 1971 NFL Draft.[3] After 3 years with the Giants he was beaten out for the punting position during the preseason by rookie Dave Jennings and waived.[4][5]

He was signed by the Saints one game into the 1974 season after the Saints waived their opening day punter Donnie Gibbs after Gibbs had fumbled a snap leading to the Saints to lose their first game of the season.[6] With the Saints in 1974 he kicked a 71 yard punt, which was the longest punt in the NFL that season.[3] In 1975 he led the NFL with 3776 punting yards and in 1976 he led the NFL with 101 punts.[3]

He was traded by the Saints to the Buccaneers for a draft pick before the 1979 season after the Saints drafted placekicker Russell Erxleben, who was also able to punt, in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft.[7] Blanchard injured his hamstring in the Bucs' third game of the 1981 season and was waived after recovering, with Larry Swider taking his job in the interim.[8]

His two sons, Tommy (the eldest) and Jimmy (five years the junior) both were starting quarterbacks at Grants Pass High School, leading their respective teams to the playoffs.[9] Tommy's son Jace also played quarterback at Grants Pass High School.[9] After retiring as a player, spent time as the football coach, softball coach and athletic director at Grants Pass High School.[10][11] He retired from these positions in 2013.[11]

References

  1. ^ "UO's Moore point leader". Albany Democrat-Herald. October 14, 1970. p. 18. Retrieved 2022-08-19 – via newspapers.com.
  2. ^ "Grant's Pass, Medford High in Football". Dunsmuir News. December 3, 1964. p. 11. Retrieved 2022-08-19 – via newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b c "Tom Blanchard". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  4. ^ Castellano, Tom (October 3, 1974). "Punter has leg up on stardom in NFL". Daily Record. p. 25. Retrieved 2022-08-19 – via newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Markus, Don (September 11, 1974). "Giants Cut QB Randy Johnson". The Journal News. p. 2D. Retrieved 2022-08-19 – via newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Saints replace Donnie Gibbs". South Idaho Press. September 20, 1974. p. 6. Retrieved 2022-08-19 – via newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Selman, Jim (August 17, 1979). "Bucs Net 'Fair' Catch in Punter Tom Blanchard". Tampa Tribune. p. 1-C. Retrieved 2022-08-19 – via newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Bucs Waive Blanchard". Tampa Tribune. October 20, 1981. p. 4-C. Retrieved 2022-08-19 – via newspapers.com.
  9. ^ a b Henry, Kris (September 3, 2021). "Another Blanchard takes over at Grants Pass". Mail Tribune.
  10. ^ "Student dies in workout". Daily News-Journal. April 23, 1998. p. 2B. Retrieved 2022-08-19 – via newspapers.com.
  11. ^ a b Ulmer, Jerry (2013). "Longtime Grants Pass coach Tom Blanchard to retire". Oregon Live. Retrieved 2022-08-19.