57 Steve Nelson LB
Height: 6’2 Weight: 230
Pro Bowl: 1981, 1985, 1986
Acquired: D-2b, 1974 (34th)
School: North Dakota State
Born: Apr 26, 1951 Farmington MN
- Played for the Patriots from 1974-87
- Nucleus of Patriots defense for 14 years
- Voted to three Pro Bowls (1981, 1985-86)
- 174 games played ranks sixth overall
- Recorded over 100 tackles nine times during his career and finished with 1,776 tackles, an average of 10.2 per game
- Led the team in tackles in eight of 14 seasons
- Recorded 207 tackles during his 1984 Pro Bowl season
- Was credited with a career-high 22 stops vs. NY Jets (9/19/82).
- Won annual Ed Block Award for courage in bouncing back from injury
- Also won 1776 QB Club’s Citizenship Award
- Picked to Pro Bowl 3 timse in his 12-year career
- He was named team MVP two different years
- Second team AP all-pro honors in 1978
- won Super Patriot Award in 1978
- 1977 was a banner year as he had 134 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks, while earning all-pro honors with the NY Post
- Unsung Hero Award with 1776 Fan Club
- Led team with 157 tackles while starting every game of ’75 and was named team’s defensive MVP
- The 34th player taken in the 1974 draft, starting 11 games as a rookie, he was named as the Patriots’ MVP and was the NEA Third Down Award recipient.
- Games Played/Started: Total: 163/160. Other Stats: Blocked PAT: 1984 -1. Forced Fumbles: 11
- Played his college ball at North Dakota State under then-head coach Ron Erhardt…played both OLB and DE…served as team captain in 1973 and was team MVP in both ’72 and’73.
- Steve’s career as a Patriot is legendary and earned him induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1993.
- He also had his No. 57 jersey retired, one of only seven Patriots to be given that honor.
- In addition, Steve was named to the 35th Anniversary team in 1994 and the Team of the Century in 2000.
- After his playing days, Steve went into business with teammate Bill Lenkaitis. The two started a restaurant called “Doc & Nellie’s” in Stoughton, Mass. Although the restaurant was a popular spot for sports fans in the area, “I learned I didn’t want to be in business,” says Steve of what he learned from running his own restaurant.
- His notoriety as a Patriot always kept Steve busy with opportunities, including coaching the Patriots linebackers in 1990. In 1997 a chance meeting with the President of Curry College turned into his former job as Head Football Coach and Athletic Director of the school.
- There he took charge of a football team that had, nicely put, less than a tradition of winning, and turned it into a perennial powerhouse. During one four-year span under Nelson’s instruction, the Curry Colonels lost only four games.
- Steve also stays active with the Patriots, regularly appearing on the Patriots All Access television show, WEEI radio and New England Cable News. He is currently working for Lighthouse Computer Services, and has five daughters.