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Pats Pulpit’s Independence Day special: The All-Founding Fathers team

They helped create a nation, but will they also help create a winning team?

Declaration of Independence - Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images

Happy July 4th, everybody! Happy birthday, America! In honor of today’s holiday and because Pats Pulpit always has its finger on the pulse of the time — there is a reason we celebrate the annual tradition better known as the ‘Buttfumble’ once a year — we thought we’d revisit a project from almost three years ago. Back then, we introduced the All-Presidents Team, a collection of the presidents best suited to line up for a scrimmage on the White House lawn.

In honor of Independence Day, it’s now time to take a look at another group of people and its potential football skills. So without further ado, here’s the All-Founding Fathers team:


QB George Washington: The veteran quarterback knows how to lead an attack, rally the troops around him and outmaneuver the opposing defense. At 6-foot-2, he also has the ideal height to play the quarterback position and scan the field for potential weaknesses. A sure-fire Hall of Famer.

RB James Madison: A smaller back at 5-foot-4, Madison has shown that he can be a productive and versatile player, having worked as President, Secretary of State and Representative. He knows how to work a game plan and display chemistry with teammates.

FB Thomas Lynch Jr: He began his career as a backup but left his mark immediately when called upon. And yet, his short career was like that of many fullbacks: rather obscure.

WR Roger Sherman: Sherman has a diverse route tree and strong feet as well as a tremendous connection with his teammates — just what you need from a top pass catcher.

WR Thomas Jefferson: The 6-foot-2 Jefferson has the size of a deep threat and has made use of it over his career: he has gained more yardage than any other Founding Father and has established himself as a true possession receiver. Also has the smarts to draft an excellent game plan if need be.

TE William Whipple: Whipple is experienced when it comes to holding his own in the trenches and also capable of maneuvering his way through rough defensive waters — a skillset perfect for a tight end. He also is an exemplary team player.

OT John Dickinson: A lineman capable of playing multiple roles, Dickinson is trying to win more through his intellect than his brute strength. His Blocks from a Tackle in Pennsylvania are legendary.

OG Thomas McKean: McKean knows how to play both on the left and the right side of the line, and how to pull across the formation. A proponent of the ‘every lineman should block one defender regardless of size’-principles.

OC Alexander Hamilton: Known to be a great communicator, Hamilton is seemingly tailor-made to line up in the middle. A scrappy blocker who knows how to get results and work with the quarterback, he does have some weaknesses when forced to go one-on-one.

OG Robert Morris: Built like a freight train, Morris has some decent chemistry with Hamilton that is needed to succeed on the interior. He does have a tendency to land in the coaches’ dog house, however.

OT Button Gwinnett: Playing a prominent role early in his career, Gwinnett has some issues when in a one-on-one duel with his opponent. Not the best team player, but a solid frame at around 6-foot-0.


DE Benjamin Rush: A technician who understands the mental part of the game as well as anybody, Rush brings not just knowledge to the table but also the right name to go after the opposing quarterback.

NT Benjamin Franklin: At 5-foot-9, 220 pounds, the experienced Franklin knows how to leave his print on a team. One of the most versatile players of all time, who has a feel for attacking his opponents with intelligence and ingenuity, he also is one of the team’s leaders.

DE James McHenry: Taking a surgical approach to the game, McHenry knows how to work in the trenches and support his teammates. The former Secretary of War also has outstanding chemistry with his mentor, Benjamin Rush.

LB Francis Lightfoot Lee: Linebackers need nimble feet in today’s game, and you probably don’t earn the name ‘Lightfood’ unless you possess them. A vocal player who shows up time and again when needed.

LB John Hancock: Nobody leaves his mark quite like Hancock, who has shown tremendous leadership skills an ability to lead his teammates. Calling the shots in the huddle, the Harvard product has had some injury issues over the course of his career but time and again proved himself a valuable defender.

LB Samuel Chase: Knowing how to get dirty is the hallmark of every good linebacker, and Chase certainly does. He also knows how to get back on his feet again and move through blockers in front of him in near-unstoppable fashion.

LB Patrick Henry: While Henry is a noted freelancer — “Give me liberty, or give me death!” — he also has tremendous experience as a defender and an impressive body of work to show for. An emotional leader.

CB John Jay: Jay knows how to treat other teams’ players, but he surely also is experienced in fighting those that oppose him. Known for his decision making, he revolutionized his position.

FS John Adams: Over the course of his career, the 5’7 defender has shown that he knows how to act when asked to be the last line of defense. A smart and experienced player, Adams is a leader on and off the field.

SS Robert Treat Paine: As a strong safety, you better know how to bring ye olde paine. And when it’s literally in your name, you’re probably suited well to play the position. A durable player.

CB Samuel Adams: As the McCourty brothers showed last year, having relatives in the secondary works well. Adams is an experienced option to have in the defensive backfield, and a playmaker despite not being as famous as his cousin.

Special teams

P/K Gouverneur Morris: Known for his versatility — he represented both New York and Pennsylvania over the course of his career — and for being a team player, the outspoken Morris and his wooden leg take on both kicking roles on the All-Founding Fathers team.

LS Silas Deane: While the journeyman experienced some ups and downs over the course of his career, Deane showed an ability to hold his ground when pressured head-on.