Category Archives: ufl

Holland, Johnny ‘Mr. Everywhere’

Cards: ProSet 1990, Topps 1990, Action Packed 1990, Topps Stadium Club 1992
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o The Cleveland Browns
Sent:  11/28/16   Received:  1/6/17     (39 days)

Johnny Holland was one of the galvanizing forces behind the ‘Wrecking Crew’ of the Texas A&M defense during the dying days of the Southwest Conference of the mid to late 80s.  At the time of his graduation from A&M he was the school’s all-time leading tackler and garnered Johnny the nickname ‘Mr. Everywhere’.

In 1987, the Green Bay Packers selected Johnny with their second round pick of the draft.  The ’87 draft has an impressive pedigree of linebacker talent that included: Cornelius Bennett, Shane Conlan, Brian Bosworth (SUP), Dave Wyman, Winston Moss, Michael Brooks, Scott Stephen, Byron Evans, Hardy Nickerson, Al Smith, Dennis Gibson, Greg Lloyd, and Jessie Tuggle (UDFA). Johnny fit right in, and the Packers were glad to have him, as he’d earn team rookie of the year honors from the franchise.  Johnny was a smart, instinctual, consistent, and reliable force for the Packers over the next 6 seasons- prized traits for linebackers. Although not flashy, Holland could be counted on by the Pack to post 100+ tackle seasons with regularity. During the 1992 season he herniated a disc in his neck. He rehabbed from the injury and returned to form in 1993 recording a career high 145 tackles, but learned that he had blown a disc in his back during the season. Johnny opted to retire.

He jumped almost right into coaching from there in 1995, first with the Packers until 1999. Holland served in a variety of capacities from Special Teams to Linebackers to quality control.  He then spent the next 3 seasons with the Seahawks as an assistant conditioning coach, special teams, and linebackers coach. From 2003 to 2005 Johnny was an assistant defensive coach and Linebackers coach with the Lions before his longest stint with the Houston Texans (2006-2010) as their linebackers coach.  He’d coach for the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL in 2011, and then after serving 1 season as the LB coach of the Oakland Raiders (2012), Johnny took a dip in the pool of the CFL with the British Columbia Lions LB corps (2014-2015).  He coached the ILB crew of the Browns for 2016, and as of 2017 is with the 49ers in a similar capacity.

Beloved by the Packers’ faithful, Johnny was inducted into the franchise’s Hall of Fame in 2001.  He also has been honored by both Texas A&M (1993) and the Cotton Bowl (2000) for his contributions to the sport.

Johnny is a very good signer through the mail. He signed these 4 cards for me via the Browns back in 2016. Johnny’s Proset 1990 card is a beast and his Stadium Club entry does not disappoint either.  The other two entries are kinda bad. Action Packed gives an entry of him from behind. That’s not what  you want to see, however I selected it because I got so many duplicates of this card when I used to get them at the 7-11 I might as well get it signed too. Topps 1990 suffered from a lot of bad things. Bad design and lazy photography riddled the set. Still it was a foundation of my set collecting of my childhood and sometimes the portrait photos of the players just stick with me, like this one of Johnny.

G/GS  103/100    TAC 777     SAC  3.5      FUM  15
INT  9     YDS  130      AVG  14.4      TD  0      LG  32

Demps, Quintin

Cards:  SP Authentics 2008 (351/1399), Playoff Contenders 2008, Bowman 2008, TNT UFL 2011
Acquired:  In Person 2016, Houston Texans Battle Red Stampede Tour

What a long, strange, windy road its been for Quintin Demps.  A ballhawk at safety, Demps punctuated his career with the rare accomplishment of two 100 yard interception returns for touchdowns. He also recorded a total of 17 career interceptions while playing at Texas-El Paso.  His combine numbers were encouraging enough, and again he proved that he had the wheels to be in the pros with a 4.39 40 combine showing.  Scouts scrutinized his tape and did not like his fundamentals. They thought he was a sloppy tackler, didn’t have the size (5’11”) to play safety, and despite his 40 showing, scouts were doubtful he could transition to cornerback because of a perceived lack of speed at the second level. Demps was selected in the 4th round of the 2008 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

He set out to prove scouts wrong, and as a kick returner Quintin had a solid debut with 52 returns for 1314 yards, a 25.3 yard average, and a TD on a 100 yard return.  He did not see any playing time as a starter, but recorded his first sack and forced fumble playing sparingly on defense during his rookie season.  Quintin didn’t see much time playing for the Eagles in 2009 either. He’d be released among the final cut downs in 2010.

Unable to find a team, Quintin signed with the Hartford Colonials of the fledgling United Football League mid-season and made an immediate impact. He recorded 8 tackles, and a spectacular interception against the Las Vegas Locos, returning it 73 yards to paydirt.  The Texans liked what they saw and took a flyer on the young defensive back, stashing him behind  Bernard Pollard, Eugene Wilson, and Troy Nolan as a special teamer.

In the off-season the Texans fired defensive coordinator Frank Bush. In came Wade Phillips to retool everything. After releasing Pollard and Wilson, Houston made many free agent moves, including bringing in Danieal Manning. They also drafted Brandon Harris and Shiloh Keo.  By the end of camp Demps was the odd man out, but soon thereafter was resigned by the Texans as Manning suffered a fibula injury.  He’d see more action on defense than ever before, recording 2 interceptions for 47 yards and 20 tackles in 2011. Although he missed some time in 2012 with a broken forearm, he still contributed another 21 tackles.

Left unprotected, Quintin signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. In 6 starts, he put up 4 interceptions for 61 yards and 25 tackles.  He also had his most extensive playtime since his rookie year returning kicks with 33 returns for 992 yards and a 95 yard TD. Demps then played in 2014 for the New York Giants. Demps started 9 games for the Giants, and recorded 4 interceptions for 19 yards and 41 tackles.

Demps returned ‘home’ to the Texans in 2015 and is seen in the show Hard Knocks on HBO talking to general manager Rick Smith. He was brought in to compete with veterans Stevie Brown and Rahim Moore in the safety rotation, but in the end became the starter at strong safety over Eddie Pleasant.  Demps started 13 games for the Texans hauling in an interception, 1 FF, 35 tackles, and .5 sacks. Happy with how Demps had matured like a fine wine over time, the Texans signed him again for the 2016 season.  Quintin responded with his best season as a pro, starting 13 games and pacing the team by intercepting 6 passes for 54 yards and 38 tackles. The Texans finished first in total defense for the first time after the 2016 season, largely due to the coheasive secondary play, led by Jackson, Bouye, Joseph, Hal, and Demps. Quintin gets no respect. Even though he was first at his position in interceptions on the #1 defense in the league, he didn’t earn a Pro Bowl berth. After the season, the Texans once again allowed Demps to leave for greener pastures. In March of 2017, he signed a multiyear contract with the Chicago Bears.

With one of my friends visiting from out of town, she got to see how geeky I could get about these sorts of things.  Quintin was a really cool guy at the Academy Battle Red Stampede Tour with fellow player Jonathan Grimes. Demps really liked the custom I did of him from back in the UFL days. He was amazed that I had gotten a photograph of him after he returned that interception for a TD against the Locos.  I was very proud of that find as I actually got a high resolution screen shot from the video feed of the game.  He kindly signed 4 cards for me during the event.

Maehl, Jeff

sage11-jmaehlCard: Sage Hit 2011 (203/250)
Acquired: 2016, EBay

Jeff Maehl was a standout receiver in Chip Kelly’s explosive offense while at Oregon. The former Duck scored 23 TDs on 178 receptions over his college career, averaging roughly 13 yards a catch. While Jeff was a standout at the combine on cone and shuffle drills, he clocked a pedestrian 4.62 40. Jeff went undrafted in the NFL, but was offered a contract with the UFL Virginia Destroyers. He opted to wait until the 2011 strike was over, and found a home with the Houston Texans as a member of the team’s practice squad where he’d remain on and off for the next season.

In 2013, Jeff was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, reuniting him with former college head coach Chip Kelly.  He saw limited time on the field recording 9 catches for 67 yards and a TD, as a pet project of the coaching staff who liked him over Riley Cooper.  Maehl also saw time on special teams. Late in the season, Jeff sustained a concussion, which delayed his return to the field.  He’d have another 5 catches in 2014,  while he bode his time in the Eagles receiving corps. Oddly, in 2015 Jeff was cut with an undisclosed injury settlement.

G/GS   27/0        REC  9        YDS  113       AVG 12.6     TD  1        LG   37