Richardson, Cyril

Cards: Score 2014, Bowman 2014, Topps 2014 Mini
Acquired: IP 2019, SA Commanders Team Signing Dick’s Sporting Goods at The Rim

Big man Cyril Richardson played guard at Baylor from 2010 to 2013. He was considered one of the more physical players in the 2014 NFL Draft and was selected in the 5th round by the Buffalo Bills. ( – The Texans even in 2014 were desperate for offensive line talent and I had hoped the team would select Richardson to develop .) He played in 12 games as a rookie for the team and spent the following season in 2015 on their practice squad. Cyril was released in 2016 and then joined the Bears practice squad to finish out the year. He’d be released during final cuts in 2017.

Cyril was signed by the San Antonio Commanders of the Alliance of American Football in 2018 and started at guard for the team for the 2019 season.

After Mekale McKay and Derron Smith both competed for the best designed card, I told them I was saving the best for last and gave Cyril his mini card. Cyril grabbed it and flashed it proudly at the others as they all gave a hearty laugh.

He currently is a member of the Seattle Dragons of the XFL.

Johnson, Derrick ‘DJ’ (3)

Cards: Score 2013, Score 2010, Topps 2011, Score 2014, Panini UT 2015 (2), Upper Deck 2009
Acquired: 2019, IP Heisman House Tour
See Also: Derrick Johnson, DJ Johnson (2)

The past few years Nissan has done a promotion for the Heisman where they set up a tent and bring down a college legend to sign and take photos with fans. Calling it the ‘Heisman House’, previous years have netted me guys like Vince Young, Ricky Williams, and even LenDale White. It seemed like a shoe in that I’d be able to nail down 2nd half guest Derrick Johnson on a few more cards but as luck seemed to have it- the organizers changed the rules and almost incurred the wrath of fans waiting in line.

You see their Facebook posts indicated that players were signing for fans or taking selfies. For the vast majority of fans who were there, we just wanted the autograph. So after the DJ tried to tell us that we could only get a selfie, a group of us got frustrated and voiced our displeasure. It took a few minutes but the situation was resolved in time for us to get both Ricky and DJ’s autograph with no issue.

One of the highlights of the event is that you could ask Derrick any question you wanted, so naturally there was one thing on my mind.

I want to apologize to you on behalf of the entire Houston Texans organization for trading down and not selecting you during the draft.

DJ let our a hearty chuckle and then told me that nobody had apologized for that, and that while he did appreciate it, it was unnecessary. He then recounted how he was selected 15th in the 2005 draft and that the Texans passed him over and traded down- had the chance to select him, but instead took Travis Johnson. DJ’s memory was sharp. He then talked about the LB talent in the draft that went before him, and the rest of the players selected before him- but no he didn’t hold a grudge- <insert wide smile>. He did however enjoy himself to some degree every year when the Chiefs hammered the Texans.

DJ has signed previously for me, so I was beginning to run out of cards of his. I had been angling since 2015 to get these Panini UT cards signed. A bit over produced, but I do like them, and the ink looks good on these canvases. I just don’t really understand why they did 2 cards of every player and then variations on top of that. The set (other flaws notwithstanding) is confusing enough as it is.

I absolutely hate this Upper Deck card. Don’t like the design and I never have liked camp photos where players are not in pads. It was sort of the bottom of the barrel to me. I’ve earmarked it for my friend Mark to have.

I liked the Score 2010 set. I like the deconstructive elements of the set, but not so much the 2013 Score card. It’s a boring design and it almost requires the photo to be a portrait, so this landscape just seems a bit off. I thought the Topps card was alright. It was a soft evolution of the card design. The only problem I had with it is that it looked a bit too much like a grill or that it was lifted off of a Fox Sports presentation from that era.

In 2018 Derrick was inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Ring of Honor.

Leinart, Matt

Card: Donruss Rookies & Stars 2010, Score 2009
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 9/25 Received: 2/11 (139 days)

Matt Leinart attended USC and played QB for the Trojans, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2004 and multiple awards during his college career. After taking over for Carson Palmer in 2003, Leinart won Associated Press National Championships in 2003 and 2004, and would’ve capped off his Senior year with another victory- if not for that pesky Texas Longhorns squad in the Rose Bowl. He’d finish as the Trojans all-time leading cumulative passer in many categories including completion percentage (64.8%) and TDs (99).

He’d be selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 10th overall pick of the 2006 draft. Contentious negotiations caused a holdout, and as a result Kurt Warner stepped up as starter. Still Matt played well during his rookie season, setting a new benchmark for a rookie, in single-game passing yardage with 405 yards, against the Vikings. He’d start 11 games in the end, but sprain his shoulder to conclude his rookie year. The numbers weren’t bad for a rookie campaign, especially since it was the Cardinals. Matt had 2547 yards and 11 TDs to 12 interceptions. – This would actually represent a high mark statistically for his career.

Handed the starting QB job by new coach Ken Whisenhunt in 2007, Leinart broke his collarbone in early October- ending his season. He’d finish with 647 yards passing and 2 TDs in 5 starts. Warner took over as starter in 2008 as Matt rode the bench playing sporadically through 2009. He’d again regain the mantle as starter in 2010, but lose out in camp to Derek Anderson, and later be cut by the team.

The Houston Texans signed Matt as their backup to incumbent Matt Schaub, but he didn’t see any significant playing time. The Texans were having one of their finest seasons in 2011, but after Matt Schaub suffered a lins franc injury, Leinart stepped in as starter against the Jags. At first everybody waited with baited breath to see what Leinart would do, but he came out firing going 10 of 13 for 57 yards and a TD- before he broke his collarbone and yielding to the legend known as ‘TJ Yates’. Leinart again finished on IR for the season.

Cut by the Houston Texans in 2012, Matt played for the Raiders for one season- backing up former teammate Carson Palmer. He’d then be in camp briefly for the Bills in 2013, but after being cut, elected to retire.

I was not a great fan of Matt Leinart. After he played at USC, and then lost to the University of Texas in the Rose Bowl, he was I guess, caught off guard, and just said all the wrong things to the camera. It pretty much set up my dislike for him, as I felt he was trying to take something away from UT for beating the Trojans in the game.

It’s whatever. I think we’re the better football team. You know, they just made the plays in the end.

What I got out of it was, “The best team didn’t win today,” And unfortunately when you lose any game, you are not the best team on that given day- so I though the comment reeked of bad sportsmanship- especially when the best team is the one that always wins!

When he came to the Texans, I was initially not happy about the arrangement at all, but mellowed on him after listening to how he’d changed his life and abandoned his hard partying ways. He grew on me, and I was actually sad when the team cut him in 2012.

As of 2019, Matt does studio analysis for Fox Sports College Football. I had hoped to corral Matt at the Longhorns USC game in 2018, but he didn’t appear, so I went ahead and gave him a shot in the dark after getting some encouragement and tips from my friend Deadhorse. After 4 months or so I got quite a jolt out of getting both of these autographs back- that’s for sure!

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Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.