Ex-Pats quarterback Babe Parilli dies at 87

babe-parilli.jpg
Parilli made his mark as a member of the Patriots in the '60s. Getty Images

The New England Patriots announced on Saturday that former Patriots quarterback Vito "Babe" Parilli died at the age of 87. 

Parilli played professionally for 15 years, seven of them (1961-67) with the then-Boston Patriots. He was originally drafted with the No. 4 overall selection in the 1952 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, with whom he spent four of the first five NFL seasons of his career. He played the 1954 and 1955 seasons in Canada, then moved to the Cleveland Browns in 1956 before returning to Green Bay a year later. He also played for the Oakland Raiders in 1960 and the New York Jets in 1968-69. 

During his time with the Patriots, Parilli led the league in completion percentage, passing yards, and passing touchdowns once each. His 31 passing touchdowns in 1964 stood as the Patriots record for 43 years until Tom Brady threw 50 touchdowns during the 2007 season. 

Parilli is currently ranked fourth in Patriots history in career passing yardage and fourth in touchdown passes as well. He was named to the team's Hall of Fame back in 1993. 

Parilli was selected for three Pro Bowls and named a first-team All-Pro once while with New England, and during his initial season in New York, he was Joe Namath's backup on the Super Bowl champion Jets. Due to his performance, he was selected for the 1960s All-Decade Team.

After his playing career ended, Parilli had an extended coaching career as well. He coached on and off from 1973 through 1997 in leagues such as the World Football League and the Arena Football League. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

Our Latest Stories