Mike Haynes is considered one of the greatest shutdown cornerbacks in NFL history, a fact made clear both by his induction in the Hall of Fame and his presence on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team. All this week Mike will be part of Talk of Fame Network’s “5 Games’’ podcast and he kicks his week off recalling one of the more remarkable games of his rookie season with the New England Patriots.
As the fifth player taken in the 1976 draft, must was expected of Haynes when he arrived in New England. He didn’t take long to pay off.
In a remarkable 38-24 win over the New York Jets that season, Haynes had three interceptions, two off the legendary Joe Namath and a third off young Richard Todd in a game in which the Patriots forced 10 turnovers and intercepted seven passes. Haynes’ former college teammate Prentice McCray returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns so who had the better day?
“I did,’’ Haynes joked. “I wish I’d returned two for touchdowns but I wasn’t surprised he did.’’
To intercept passes from Namath was especially thrilling for Haynes because not so many years earlier he was playing in the streets in Los Angeles not thinking about intercepting Namath but of being Namath.
“That was really huge,’’ Haynes said. “When I was a kid playing with my buddies in the street I’d wear my white Converse (sneakers) pretending to be Joe Namath. I was in awe of him.’’
To hear all of Mike’s recollections of that day and a remarkable rookie season in which he had eight interceptions and made the Pro Bowl for a young Patriot team go to VoKalNow.com or subscribe to our free podcast at iTunes. Just click the links below and you can hear Mike and all our past “5 Games” podcasts.