All posts by Lee Bolton

Henry, Chris

Card: Press Pass Legends 2007
Acquired: Texans Blitz 2009

After not seeing much playing time in college at Arizona, and rushing for a minuscule amount of yards, Chris Henry declared as a junior- angering his coach who felt he could have benefited from another year before turning pro. Invited to the draft combine Henry would perform on the big stage and turned in scintillating numbers- some being better than fellow runningback Adrian Peterson, ranking in the top 5 in nearly every testable category.

Henry shot up draft boards, and eventually was taken by the Tennessee Titans in the second round of the 2007 draft. He quickly garnered the ire of the league, and was suspended 4 games by the league for violating the NFL’s drug policy on prescription drugs. He’d finish the season with 119 yards and 2 touchdowns. In 2008, the Titans drafted Chris Johnson, and he would become the team’s marquee back. Henry would be be relegated to the bench, playing in only one game.

He’d be released in September of 2009, but in October would be quickly signed by the Houston Texans, and assigned to their practice squad. By now Henry was considered a workout warrior, and a player who’s main knock was that his coaches could not teach him how to hit the correct holes or pick up blocks properly. Further it was charged that he did not study or apply himself properly, rather relying solely on his physical talent alone. He’d spend the season there, and in the next season found himself in the midst of a massive runningback competition between himself, Arian Foster, Ryan Moats, Jerimiah Johnson and Ben Tate. Tate early on was injured, and Moats was released, leaving a 3 way horse race. Foster by week 3 of the preseason nailed down the starting job, leaving Johnson and Chris to fight it out. Things were looking up for Chris and media reported that he was having a great camp. It got even more optimistic when Johnson who (was leading in the runningback competiton for the back up,) was injured.  The next day- Henry was inexplicably released. The Texans reached out onto the waiver wire and signed veteran Giants/ Bucs runningback Derrick Ward. Chris Henry signed with the Seahawks, but was cut and resigned by the team shortly thereafter and as of this post is on their practice roster.

Holmes, Clayton

Card: Topps Stadium Club 1992
Acquired: In Person 1993, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

Clayton Holmes’ story is a tragic and cautious tale. A 3rd round pick out of tiny Carson-Newman in 1992, Holmes went from rags to riches in the matter of days. (An amazing athlete, it was reputed that Holmes ran a 4.29 in the 40.) After an acceptable rookie season, where he was second on the team in special teams tackles and forced a fumble in the SuperBowl, it appeared that things were on the up and up for the young defensive back. Unfortunately, during the 1993 preseason, Clayton sustained a season ending injury and began to spend money and abuse drugs and alcohol at an unusual rate which led to him being suspended multiple times for weed. Holmes picked up some spot kick and punt return duty in his final two seasons with the Cowboys before his release in 1995. It is said that his multiple run ins with the league over his off the field problems coupled by his injuries led to Clayton’s release. He was contacted by his former coach Jimmy Johnson (who was now coaching in Miami)  and asked Holmes if he was clean. Holmes, insisted he was and was signed by the Dolphins, but subsequently was suspended for a year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The Dolphins waived Clayton- without him ever playing a down for the team. Johnson stated openly that he worried about Clayton and his future. Holmes played some minor league indoor football for the Topeka Knights, and the Kansas Koyotes before finally retiring from football and dropping off the face of the Earth.

In 1998 Clayton tragically tried to commit suicide, but in the end returned to his hometown of Florence, SC where he lived in a trailer with no running water or electricity behind his parents house. He has persevered since hitting rock bottom and has found peace.  A deeply spiritual man, Clayton is currently an activist for Cannabis reform.

I got Clayton’s autograph in 1993, with the Cowboys at St. Edwards. He had a beaming smile and you could tell he was so happy to be there. Clayton was so full of life, and he couldn’t turn down an autograph request, signing as many as he could. He was a kid, and I felt in that brief moment we were much alike. It’s sad how far Holmes had fallen. I can not pass judgement so harshly on such a man and hope only for the best for Clayton Holmes.

G/Gs 39/7        Tac 35         Sac 0       Fum 2
Int 1       Yds 3       Avg 3.0       Td 0     Lg 3

Feggins, Howard

Card: Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o South Carolina State University
Sent: 9/21     Received:  10/2   (11 days)

An equally adept cornerback and safety in college at UNC, Howard Feggins would be signed by the woeful New England Patriots in 1988, where he played in 11 games, making an interception in 1989. After a preseason with the Giants in 1990, and his mind already on coaching,  Howard wasted no time joining the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship in the summer of 1991, with the New York Giants.

The WLAF came calling and the London Monarchs had other plans for Howard in the team’s already dominating secondary. He’d earn a World Bowl ring playing for the team in 1991 and in 1992 would see his playing time increased, pulling down 2 interceptions for the Monarchs. After the reorganization of the WLAF, Feggins play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL, but would continue coaching and return to the pros by 1999 as an assistant coach for the New England Patriots. In 2004, he’d take over at Northwestern, coaching wide receivers through 2006 at the university. Currently Howard is an assistant coach at South Carolina State. Under his tutelage at every stop since returning to the college ranks, Feggins’ teams have seen exponential growth at the receiver position.

I have turned to other methods to locate players from the WLAF recently, and was able to find Howard through a social networking site and ask for his autograph. He quickly responded in 11 days, signing this card I had of him from the Wild Card corporation. He wrote me a nice note, which always makes me feel good about my enthusiast hobby.  Below are Howard’s statistics from the WLAF.

G/Gs  N/a     Tac   N/a      Sac  N/a   Fum   N/a   Int  2      Yds  48    Avg 24.0   Td 0   Lg 46