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Jones, June

Card: Topps 1978
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o SMU
Sent:  1/13  Recieved: 2/1  (26 days)

A member of the Mouse Davis coaching tree, June Jones is considered a quarterback guru and offensive innovator and his teams typically employ a spread offense or Run ‘N Shoot variant. After playing in 3 different offensive systems and 3 different colleges, June would be drafted by the Atlanta Falcons out of Portland State where he played from 1977 to 1981. He’d then briefly play in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts. Jones quickly moved into coaching, working under Jack Pardee and Mouse Davis as the wide receivers coach for the USFL Houston Gamblers, and then into the CFL coaching with the Ottawa Rough Riders. In 1987, June was hired by Jerry Glanville to coach Warren Moon as the quarterbacks coach in Houston and then with Detroit under offensive coordinator Mouse Davis. After this stint he would follow Glanville to Atlanta where he’d install the Run ‘N Shoot offense. Later he’d replace Glanville as head coach of the Falcons. June guided the team to the playoffs before a meltdown with quarterback Jeff  George that was infamously caught on tape. The rift caused both of them to get released. Jones then worked for Kevin Gilbride briefly on the Chargers staff, before returing to the college ranks as head coach for the University of Hawaii. He turned a winless team around to a 9-4 bowl bound team in what is considered to be the fastest turn around in NCAA football history. By 2006 he was the winningest coach in Hawaii history and finished his career there in 2007 at 76-41. In 2008 Jones decided to leave Hawaii to coach perennial doormat SMU turning that franchise around in two seasons and leading them to their first bowl game in many years. Posted below are his college coaching statistics.

Wins 85   Losses 57  Ties 0

Camarillo, Rich

Card: ProSet 1990 LL
Acquired: In Person, Houston Oilers Training Camp 1994

Rich Camarillo is a great example of the lack of respect for the special teams, notably punters and kickers. One of the most decorated punters of my golden age of football, Rich’s history started like any other typical special teamer- as a free agent. Camarillo was originally picked up by the New England Patriots in 1981 where he’d play for the next seven seasons and in Super Bowl XX. In Super Bowl XX he’d set then Super Bowl records for net yardage and longest punt, but the Patriots would be clobbered by the Chicago Bears 46-10.  In 1988, Rich played one anonymous season for the Rams and then hopped over to the Cardinal organization for the next 5 seasons, where he’d really make his mark.

With free agency in full swing, in 1994 Camarillo would join the Oilers (replacing Greg Montgomery,)  playing for them through 1995, and then one final season for the Oakland Raiders in 1997. Over Rich’s career he’d be named to the Probowl 5 times in 1983, 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1993. In 1992, he’d gain All Pro honors and lead the NFL in 1989 in punting with a 43.4 yard average. Camarillo over his 16 year career would played more than 200 games, and garnered over 40,000 punting yards.  His 39.6 net yard average in a season still stands as record and his 44.5 yards per punt remains the highest playoff average in history.

Although Camarillo had a fine career, there’s probably little chance that he gets into the Hall of Fame, with Ray Guy (who is considered to be an exemplary example of amazing punters) not enshrined after almost 30 years. Rich for his part has remained busy since retirement coaching in the Little League World Series recently embracing his life as a full-time father, golfer, and NFL Alumni. Camarillo is also a member of the NFL All 90s team, the New England Patriots 50th Anniversary team, and still holds many of the team’s records as well.

Games 205   Punts  1027     Yds  43895    Avg 42.7      Lg  76   Blk 6

Hopkins, Brad

Card: Classic 1993
Acquired: In Person, Houston Oilers training camp 1993

A nice little piece of trivia about the Herschel Walker trade was that it was so far reaching and the picks were traded around from team to team that Brad Hopkins who’s career lasted until 2006 was considered a by product of it. The Oilers offensive line was beginning to show signs of age, and with Dean Steinkuhler‘s retirement at RT in 1991, the team had a dire need to shore up the offensive line. Brad Hopkins was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the first round of the 1993 draft. The choice was panned because of its relative lack of glamour and because Brad was the 3rd offensive tackle taken in the top 15. Hopkins went on to start 11 games that season and gain all rookie honors in 1993- the final year of Houston’s dominance in the AFC Central and the beginning of the fall of the Oiler franchise. After an all too familiar collapse in the playoffs against the Chiefs in the post-season, owner Bud Adams began to disassemble the Oilers by trading Warren Moon to Minnesota.  The team would slide to an embarrassing 2-14 record in 1994. Hopkins witnessed the fall of the franchise even further as Adams was rebuffed by the city of Houston for a new stadium called the ‘Bud Dome’.  He then quickly announced plans to move the team to the city of Nashville. In the midst of all this Hopkins started all 16 games for the first time in 1995.  He continued this streak through 1998 while the team moved from the cavernous Astrodome to Memphis, Tennessee, and the Oilers drafted both Steve McNair and Eddie George. In 1999 he’d start all 16 games again, while the Oilers completed their move to Nashville and the team changed its name to Tennessee Titans. The team went to the Superbowl that season, in the battle of traitorous owners as Tennessee lost to St. Louis. Hopkins went to the ProBowl in 2000, and also be named All Pro, blocking up front for George.

He retired in 2006 as the ‘final’ Houston Oiler still on the team roster (as McNair signed with the Baltimore Ravens). Hopkins was once memorably quoted when a correlative statistic came out that showed that NFL players were more prone to domestic violence than other sports as saying, “I’m not going to go home and trap block my wife.”

I got Brad’s autograph in 1993 while he was still a rookie at Houston Oilers training camp. Looking back I probably would have treasured his autograph more knowing he’d be the last HOUSTON Oiler.