The Patriots lost a team legend this week. Former running back Andy Johnson has passed away from an undisclosed illness, New England announced recently.
Johnson played for the Pats for nine seasons beginning in 1974, when he was drafted in the fifth round out of Georgia. A dual-threat quarterback in the SEC, he converted to running back and totaled 2,017 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns and 1,807 receiving yards and nine receiving TDs while in New England. Aside from one last season with the Boston Breakers of the USFL, Johnson spent his entire professional career with the Patriots.
Johnson cracked the 1,000 yard mark in 1976, when he posted 1,042 rushing yards and 10 TDs. He helped lead the Patriots to the playoffs that year and helped set the all-time team record for rushing yards in a single season as well (3,165 in 1978). Johnson was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and made the Patriots team of the decade for the 1970s.