AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Former National Football League offensive lineman Sam Adams, a stalwart of the New England Patriots teams of the 1970s, died in Texas over the weekend, the team and a funeral home director said on Wednesday.
The native of the east Texas city of Jasper will be buried in his hometown, said Rodney Coleman of Coleman's Mortuary.
"For the majority of his Patriots career, he played right guard, opposite John Hannah at left guard. The two helped form the most formidable offensive line in franchise history and, quite possibly, one of the best in league history," said Patriots Chairman Robert Kraft.
"This is really sad news for Patriots fans who enjoyed watching Sam Adams play and the many Patriots teammates who played with him throughout the 1970s," Kraft said in a statement.
He was a rock on the offensive line that powered the Patriots to 3,165 rushing yards in 1978, a record that still stands, the team said.
Adams played 10 seasons in the NFL, all but one of them with the Patriots. He finished his career with the New Orleans Saints in 1981.
His son, also named Sam Adams, followed in his father's footsteps and played in the NFL.
No cause of death has been given for Adams, who died at his Houston home.
Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney