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Howard, Erik

22 Apr

s&s92 howard sco91 howard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cards: Stars & Stripes 1992, Score 1991
Acquired: 2012, Canton Acquisition

Erik Howard was an unheralded nose tackle for the Giants 3-4 defense that plugged up the middle rushing lanes. He demonstrated the versatility, speed, motor, and size to actually play all three down linemen positions. A second round pick of the Giants in 1986, Erik split time backing up Jim Burt, winning the Super Bowl after his rookie season. He started his first full season in 1989, recording 5.5 sacks, 1 FF, and a career high 69 tackles. Howard earned his only Pro Bowl nod for his 1990 efforts, with 3 sacks and 67 tackles. He’d win his second Super Bowl title following the season against the Buffalo Bills. Erik played with the Giants through the 1994 season, when he had a career high 6.5 sacks playing defensive tackle. He left via free agency in 1995 for the Jets and retired there following the 1996 season.

G/Gs 139/95   Tac 377    Sac 33     Fum 2     Int 0    Yds 0    Avg -.-  Td 0    Lg -.-

 

 
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Posted in NFL

 

Fears, Willie

19 Apr

jo93 fearsCards: Wild Card WLAF 1992, Jogo 1995
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 1/7       Received: 1/16    (9 days)

Willie Fears took a strange,winding, inspiring route, to his dreams of being a professional football player and coach. Undrafted out of Northwestern Louisiana St in 1985, Willie played 5 games for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the CFL.  Invited to the Miami Dolphins minicamp, he showed up admittedly out of shape and had to put his career on hold.  He became a corrections officer at the Arkansas State Maximum Security Prison, but along came the NFL Players Strike in 1987. At 6’4″, 280, Fears had the frame to still play, and probably had the greatest vacation time ever from work, spending 3 weeks as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Afterwards he went back to the CFL, playing for both Ottawa and Toronto in 1988 and 1989, before returning again to the NFL in 1990 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

Willie was then drafted by the WLAF San Antonio Riders in 1992. Willie’s technical precision, skillset, and size, allowed the team to shift him into any of the 3 places on the line, which was invaluable to the Riders 3-4 alignment. An experienced force on the line, he proved difficult for offensive linemen to handle, and helped the Riders be one of the staunchest defenses in the league.  After the league went on hiatus, Willie begun a career playing in the Arena Football League. He’d sign with the Cleveland Thunderbolts and played for them through the 1993 season, before hopping back into the CFL with the Sacramento Gold Miners. In 1994 the Gold Miners moved to San Antonio and became the Texans. He’d join them there back in his old stomping grounds. Afterwards, Fears joined the AFL again, playing in 1996 for the Tampa Bay Storm, and then in 1997 for the Nashville Katz.

wcwlaf92 fearsHe then continued his dream by becoming a football coach.  In the ArenaFootball2 league, he’d coach with the Arkansas Twisters for 3 seasons, before joining Jay Gruden on the Predators to coach the linemen. Ironically, later Pat O’Hara, joined the staff replacing Gruden as head coach. Pat was a member of the Ohio Glory and probably felt Willie breathing down his neck more than once during the Riders 17-0 stomping of the Glory back in 1992. Fears remained with the Predators through 2011. Currently he lives in Arkansas. My first success from the Meiselman 2014 list, I had been looking for Willie for quite sometime, and had been unable to locate him since his stint ended with the Predators. He was kind enough to not only sign the Wild Card WLAF 1992 card I enclosed, but like Billy Hess also enclosed one of his own from the Jogo 1995 set. Unfortunately both of the autographs were smudged as he signed with an overhead Vis-A-Vis instead of a Sharpie. The Riders card was smudged beyond recognition, so I resent it back out with a team photo of him and the other linemen for Willie to keep. He sent it back in about 2 weeks signed with the marker I gave him.

AFL    Tac  46     Sac 9    FF 2    Int  0   Yds   0   Avg  -.-   Td 0   Lg -.-
WLAF  Tac   N/a    Sac   2   FF  0    Int 0   Yds 0   Avg -.-   Td 0  Lg -.-
NFL  2     Tac  N/a    Sac 0   FF 0   Int  0  Yds 0   Avg -.-   Td 0  Lg -.-
CFL  N/a

 

 
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Posted in Arena, CFL, NFL, WLAF

 

Oliver, Louis

16 Apr

sco93 oliversco91 CC Oliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cards: Score 1992 Crunch Crew, Score 90+ Club 1993
Acquired: Canton Acquisition, 2012

Louis Oliver was a hard hitting safety out of Florida. With their secondary aging rapidly and their defense becoming a liability, the Miami Dolphins drafted Oliver in the first round of the deep 1989 draft. After taking Sammie Smith at pick #9, the ‘Fins watched Steve Atwater and Donnell Woolford come off the board before grabbing Oliver with the 25th pick. Oliver was an imposing specimen at safety, weighing in at roughly 225 and had the height (6’2″) to cover receivers as well. Louis was very fortunate. Not only was he playing in his home state, but he was also paired up with his former team mate at Jarvis Williams who moved over to SS, while Louis fit right in at FS. The two made an imposing tandem and helped give some stability to the secondary.
Oliver in the meantime was becoming well known as a ball hawking defender for the Dolphins. Starting 13 games his rookie season, he notched 4 picks, 1 forced fumble, and 62 tackles. In 1990 Oliver made his first career sack against the Indianapolis Colts.  He recorded 5 interceptions that season, and repeated that in 1991 and 1992. 1992 was perhaps his finest season, with a career high 90 tackles and 5 interceptions, one of which he returned 103 yards against the Buffalo Bills. After an injury shortened 1993, in which he played in 11 games, Louis signed and played with the Bengals for one season at SS in 1994. He returned to the Dolphins in 1995 playing in 5 contests at FS that season. He completed his final season in Miami at SS  in 1996 where he recovered a career high 5 fumbles that year. Louis remains firmly entrenched in Florida and has made many business and sports inroads since retirement. At last glance he is working in the real estate market.

G/Gs 117/101    Tac  502    Sac   2.0     Fum  8      Int   27     Yds   605    Avg  22.4      Td  2    Lg  103t

 
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Posted in NFL