Brown, Chris

chris brown

Card: Press Pass Old School 2003
Acquired: Texans Blitz 2009

Chris Brown has been a highly touted runningback at every level he’s played. In college for Colorado he broke many of the school’s rushing records and had a shot at the Heisman that year, but injury derailed his attempts and he decided to declare for the NFL draft as a Junior in 2003.

Brown surprisingly lasted till the third round that year, where the Tennessee Titans looking for help at that position drafted him. Brown’s running style has always been a source of controversy and concern, as he has a ‘straight up’ slasher running style (like that of Eric Dickerson).  Scouts felt that he would be prone to fumbling and also injury- and for the most part, they were right as Brown never played a whole 16 game slate over his career, sitting out all of 2008.

Brown was cut by the Titans in 2008 and signed with the Texans that year,  who were looking to add depth to their running backs and needing a ‘big back’ to compliment young scatback Steve Slaton. After fumbling the ball away in a 2009 game, he got what I call ‘Sammie Smith-itis’ and seemed to lose confidence holding onto the football. At 6-3, 219 he never really got comfortable in the role as a goal line short yardage back for the team, and the Texans decided to go in another direction in 2010, electing not to resign him.

I have always been a fan of Chris- and felt that he had gotten a bad rap at his stops in Tennessee and Houston as a fumbler. (14 fumbles over his career.) He has had his shares of extreme ups and downs, and during the 2004 season he single-handedly crushed the Green Bay Packers in primetime, helping me win in fantasy football, (as I got lucky starting  him that week,) rushing for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns. He wasn’t a bad receiver out of the backfield either grabbing 90 catches over 6 seasons and  Brown had 1900 rushing yards over 26 a game period.  I got Chris’ autograph as part of the ‘Texans Blitz’ through my friend’s brother who plays for the team.

games 68    Att  722        yds 3024      avg 4.2           td 19         lg 52
rec  90     yds 741     avg 8.2         td  2            lg  57

Flutie, Doug

Cards: All World CFL 1991, Score 1989
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o CFL


Doug Flutie is a player who has seemed to have an amazing amount of luck and heart follow him to every stop along the way in football. A heartwarming story, Flutie was considered well undersized to be a quarterback in the NFL after a storied career at Boston College where he threw a hail mary against the University of Miami in 1984 and won the Heisman Trophy that year.

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round of the NFL draft, Flutie opted to sign on with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals. In 1986 he signed with the Chicago Bears and then was on board with the Patriots, where got the starting duty in 1988. Unable to keep the starting job he was cut in 1990 where he signed with the British Columbia Lions of the CFL in 1990. The wide open fields of the CFL allowed Flutie to flourish and polish his game. Doug was a quarterback who kept teams honest with his feet and was an avid scrambler. Flutie became the ‘Michael Jordan’ of the CFL, setting the record for yards in a season with 6619 yards, touchdowns with 48, and was named the most outstanding player of the CFL a record 6 times.  Doug won the Grey Cup MVP with the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts (twice and back to back). Returning with a vengeance to the NFL in 1998 to the Buffalo Bills, he was named comeback player of the year and took the team to the playoffs and named to the Pro Bowl, but Doug didn’t ever win the respect of management, as he was replaced by de facto starter Rob Johnson, who had returned from a season long injury. The quarterback controversy continued well into 1999, where Doug went 4-1 and Johnson went 4-7. In 2000, Doug was unceremoniously cut by the Bills and signed with the Chargers in 2001, who were reeling from the Ryan Leaf days. He would stay on board to tutor a young Drew Brees when he was drafted in 2002 and played sparingly for the team through 2005. With gas still in the tank, Flutie signed with the New England Patriots in 2005 to back up Tom Brady and retired at the beginning of the 2006 preseason.

Flutie has a variety of age related records to his accomplishment, and was the first player to drop kick an extra point since 1941. Although Doug did not find lasting success in the NFL, he has been enshrined into the CFL HoF, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame. He stays active playing basketball, and sponsors his own brand of breakfast cereal “Flutie Flakes” with the proceeds going to charities dealing in autism. Doug also plays drums for his family’s band, the “Flutie Brothers Band”.  Doug is an excellent commentator and also handled  color commentary for the United Football League games.

Games 136    Att 4854       Comp 2975        Pct 61.3         Yds 41355              Td  270         Int 155    Lg 106t

Russell, Leonard

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1991, Topps Stadium Club 1992.
Acquired: TTM, c/o New England Patriots, 1992, 1993.

The 6’2″, 235 lb bowling ball from Arizona St. was selected in the first round of the 1991 draft by the New England Patriots as they were attempting to rebuild after a dismal 1-15 season.  Russell would reward the team with workman-like efficiency rushing for 935 yards and 4 touchdowns, grabbing offensive rookie of the year honors and helping the team win 6 games that year.  Unfortunately, the Sophomore slump hit Russell in ’92 and he only ran for 390 yards that year, but he recovered nicely in 1993, rushing for a career high 1088 yards. After his rookie contract had expired the Patriots made Leonard an offer but he got into a disagreement with Parcells and the staff about the contract, so the Patriots decided to go in a different direction.

Russell would become a journeyman playing for the Rams, Broncos and Chargers before retiring after the 1996 season. One of Leonard’s goals was to make the playoffs, but ironically every team he played for made the playoffs after he retired.  Russell at the time of this post is the Director of Business Development for Adrenaline Athletic Training Solutions in Riverside, CA.

Games 85      Att 1164    Yds 3973   Avg 3.4  Td 29  Lg 24
Rec 122   Yds 846   Avg  6.9  Td 0  Lg 69

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