Former Patriots center Jon Morris: “I give the Krafts all the credit for making the alumni feel so special”
Former New England center Jon Morris discussed the outstanding relationship that the Patriots and the Kraft family maintain with the team’s alumni following his recent selection to the Patriots Hall of Fame.
“I consider this the crowning achievement of my football life and I am so thankful to the Kraft family and the selection committee for allowing me to experience this feeling,” said Morris, who played the first 11 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Patriots (1964-74).
“When I first retired from the Patriots, the alumni were not meant to feel welcome,” Morris continued. “I don’t say that to be critical, it was just different. Once your career was over, it was over. You cannot be a player forever and we understood that.
“But, when the Kraft family came along, they changed all that. It hasn’t been just a one-time thing, either. They have maintained a relationship with the alumni since he bought the team. I just think that is the neatest thing that has ever happened. It is one of the reasons that being in the hall of fame is such a big deal. They have made it a big deal. I give the Krafts all the credit for making the alumni feel so special and I look forward to being a part of this year’s hall of fame ceremony.”
Morris was selected by a 10-person senior committee which includes longtime Patriots beat writers and staff. The committee was approved by Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft to ensure that early-era players receive consideration for Patriots Hall of Fame induction.
In his Patriots career, Morris earned seven consecutive All-Star appearances with six AFL-All Star games (1964-69) and was an AFC Pro Bowl center in 1970. His seven league All-Star selections rank second in Patriots history behind Pro Football Hall of Famer John Hannah (9).