Father of Hawks' Tatupu dies at 54

Mosi Tatupu, one of the most popular players in New England Patriots history and the father of Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu, died Tuesday in Attleboro, Mass. He was 54.

Sturdy Memorial Hospital could not disclose a cause of death.

The Plainville Fire Department responded to Tatupu’s home on Tuesday and took him to the hospital, Lt. Richard Ball said.

Tatupu was chosen by the Patriots in the eighth round of the 1978 draft out of Southern California and played 13 of his 14 NFL seasons with the team, wrapping up his career with the Los Angeles Rams in 1991.

The bruising 227-pound fullback rushed for 2,415 yards and 18 touchdowns. While never a superstar, Tatupu was beloved by Patriots fans for his play on special teams and even had his own cheering section known as “Mosi’s Mooses.” He was selected to the 1986 Pro Bowl as a special teams player.

After his retirement as a player, Tatupu was the head coach at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, Mass., where he coached Lofa Tatupu.

Extra points

The NFL’s preseason schedule will begin Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio, when the Dallas Cowboys play the Cincinnati Bengals in the Hall of Fame exhibition game one day after Cowboys star Emmitt Smith, longtime Bengals coach Dick LeBeau and six other players are inducted. … The Green Bay Packers used their franchise tag on nose tackle Ryan Pickett, keeping the hefty center of their 3-4 defense. … South Florida prosecutors said they will not file rape charges against former Cowboys star Michael Irvin. A woman filed a lawsuit Feb. 4 seeking unspecified damages for a sexual assault that allegedly occurred July 4 or 5, 2007. … The Patriots re-signed wide receiver David Patten, who played for the team from 2001 to 2004. … Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable will not be punished by the NFL after an investigation into allegations of domestic violence against women and a fight with an assistant coach. Cable is a native of Snohomish.