Irvin, Leroy

Cards: Pacific 1991, ProSet 1989
Acquired: In Person 2011, Christian Okoye Foundation Camp

I had 3-4 of Leroy’s cards sitting in my box to send out, so when I went to the Foundation Camp hosted by Christian Okoye  and Leroy showed up, I recognized him immediately from the cards I had of him. Hedging my bets, I just packed all the boxes of cards the night before I left to go to the camp, so I was able to easily track down Leroy’s cards in the box I had.  I watched him conduct defensive back drills with the kids, while he slightly embarrassed his son who was there in attendance also as a participant. The other players also heckled him, because apparently he’s quite the ladies man.

After practice was over the players signed autographs for the kids. Leroy was kind enough to ink these two cards for me. He was impressed that I had a card with him in his Detroit Lions uniform, as he played there for one season in 1990 at the end of his career. When asked by another fan which team was better, Leroy quickly responded that he played for the Los Angeles Rams for 8 seasons, so he was sure that  the Rams were the better franchise, than playing for the Lions for that single season.

A speedster out of Kansas, Leroy Irvin was drafted  in the the 3rd round of the 1980 draft by the Los Angeles Rams. The team would stick him at cornerback and also at punt returner. In 1981, he set the NFL record for most punt return yards in a single game with 204 yards against the Atlanta Falcons. Leroy would lead the league with 615 in punt return yards, a 13.4 yard average, and 3 punt returns for touchdowns- earning All Pro honors. He’d follow it up again with AP honors in 1982.

Irvin would be incorporated more in the secondary in 1983 and he’d start over 10 games for the first time in his career at cornerback. In 1985 and 1986 Irvin would be named to the Pro Bowl, and also earn AP honors for the latter.  With the addition of Jerry Gray in 1985, Irvin and Gray would form one of the best cornerback duos in the league. Irvin would play with the Rams through the 1989 season, signing Plan B with the Lions in 1990, where he’d finish his career and retire.  Unfortunately for the makers of the game, they were not aware of Irvin’s tremendous speed or previous seasons, hence the gods of Tecmo Bowl, looked poorly upon Irvin and made him one of the worst starting defensive backs in the game.

Besides playing football and coaching Leroy has been working in the mortgage industry and also started his own line of NFL merchandise.

G/Gs  159/123      Tac   N/a       Sac 1.5    Fum 18    Int  35   Yds 676    Avg 19.3     Td 5    lg 81t   |

Pr 147           Yds 1457        Avg  9.9      Td 4    lg  84t