A transfer from Cerritos, Jim Zorn played at Cal Poly-Ponoma, where he set multiple passing records for the school from 1973 to 1974 as a dual threat quarterback. He was not selected in the 1975 NFL Amateur Draft, but he signed a free agent contract with the Cowboys. Jim did not make the squad, but made enough of an impression that he was brought in by the brand new Seattle Seahawks franchise the following year (1976) to compete in camp.
Jim ended up winning the starting quarterback job outright, and was named rookie of the year in 1976, leading the league with 439 attempts- and interceptions with 27, while rushing for 4 TDs. In 1977 he started 10 games, but posted a gaudy league leading 16.2 yards per completion on 104 passes. By 1978 it was obvious that Zorn to Largent was becoming a household name, as the franchise posted back to back 9-7 records under his leadership. Jim’s penchant for scrambling was in full effect, as he carried the ball 59 times for 290 yards and 6 TDs. He’d have all career single season passing highs in the latter year (1979) throwing for 3661 yards (285/505) and 20 TDs to 18 interceptions. It seemed that Jim’s best games where when he was on the run and improvising. As his rushing stats decreased over the following seasons, so did his passing stats, and win/ loss record. In 1983 he’d be benched in favor of Dave Krieg. At that time, Jim, had been the only quarterback pretty much in the history of the franchise, and owned virtually all the franchise passing records.
Jim signed with the Green Bay Packers in 1985. He posted a 3-2 record for the team, passing for 794 yards and 4 TDs. In 1986, Jim traveled to Winnipeg where he backed up John Hufnagel and Tom Clements, on the Blue Bombers. After his lone season in the CFL, Zorn returned to the NFL in 1987 where he played one final swan song for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, beating the Minnesota Vikings 20-10, before retiring.
Jim has an extensive coaching resume. He started shortly after retiring from football in college, taking stops in as an assistant coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach at Boise State (1988-1991), Utah State (1992-1994) and 1995-1996 at Minnesota. He quickly joined the NFL as an assistant with his former team- the Seahawks in 1997. Afterwards it was off to the Lions from 1998-2000, where he began to really develop a reputation as a great quarterback whisperer. He then returned to the Seahawks in 2001. He remained QB coach for the franchise until 2007, where he made the jump to head coach with the Washington Redskins.
Jim Zorn’s Washington Redskins tenure was shortlived. Embarrassing moments were not in short supply unfortunately. First the Redskins broke the hapless Lions 0-16 streak dating back through 2008. Then, during a game in 2009 against the Giants, Jim called a ‘swinging gate’ formation (which is reliant on the element of surprise to make mismatches)- so the Giants wisely called a timeout. The Redskins not only stuck to the play- it resulted in an interception, and caused the team to get booed off the field at half time. He lasted two seasons, as the Redskins failed to compete- posting a 12-20 record.
After coaching for the Redskins, Jim served one season as QB coach of the Ravens in 2010, and then as QB coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011 and 2012. He joined the XFL as head coach of the Seattle Dragons, and as his offensive coordinator Mike Riley took a leave of absence from the team, Jim had to take a more hands on approach. He was able to navigate the team through a quarterback controversy and a win before the league was terminated after the 5th game of the season, due to COVID.
I was surprised that Jim was not a part of the XFL 2020 set released by Topps. Nonetheless I wanted to get his autograph on this Upper Deck 1997 Legends card I had of his. I love this card. The detail is stunning, even down to the cheerleaders and band in the background.
He signed this card in 6 days flat and inscribed it with an interesting passage:
Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool.
Sean Price played college ball for South Florida. His best season came in his Senior year when he had 20 receptions for 306 yards and 5 scores, earning him a second-team all-conference selection. Over Sean’s time at the school he logged 76 receptions for 907 yards and 6 TDs, with the yardage and receptions being school records for the position. After the 2016 draft concluded he signed with the Baltimore Ravens but did not make the squad. He earned a workout in May of 2017 with the Packers but was not brought into camp.
This particular card is okay. Here it feels a bit rushed on the player photo. It seems like the eraser tool was used to dab at the edge to make it blend better or a blur was used to try to ease the transition. The result of the blending of the image into the grass makes it appears choppy and uneven.
I recognized Sean’s names from the list of Apollos when he signed with the AAF. I tucked his base card away in the hopes I’d be able to see him at training camp that year- but my father passed away before I could finalize plans. When Orlando came to town, they were the only team that I completely struck out on for autographs. The players were just too intimidating. Price finished the season with 3 catches for 62 yards and a 2 point conversion for the Apollos.
When the league folded I got a hot tip from Mark about Sean so I decided to send these cards out to him. I am happy to get his autograph on his card, however his autograph- which is in pen just disappears on the canvas. Oh well. Can’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
He ended up joining the Dallas Renegades of the XFL in 2020. He saw some playing time behind blossoming star Donald Parham at tight end. His best game came against the Wildcats when he caught 3 passes for 40 yards. Sean finished with 6 catches for 78 yards on the 5 game COVID shortened season.
Cards: Topps AAF 2019 Certified, Topps AAF 2019 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home Sent: 9/26 Received: 10/9 (11 days) Failure: 2019, C/o The Salt Lake City Stallions, C/o The Washington Redskins
Josh Woodrum was quarterback for the Liberty Flames from 2012-2015. He finished his college career going 833/1304 for 10,266 yards with 61 TDs to 30 interceptions. He was one of only two mid-major QBs to be invited to the NFL combine- with the other being Carson Wentz. Although Woodrum did turn some heads, he was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
He’d be a free agent signee of the New York Giants, and then see time on the rosters of the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. Obviously on the radar of a lot of teams but unable to latch onto a roster- Josh signed with the Salt Lake City Stallions of the AAF in 2018.
The AAF then decided that a few teams were stockpiling talent at QB- so in order to fairly distribute the talent they came up with the Protect or Pick QB Draft. The Stallions liked what they had, so they selected Josh with their first pick in the QB Draft (8th overall). Involved in a QB battle with BJ Daniels, Woodrum became the defacto starter after Daniels suffered a season ending injury during the preseason.
Josh started 7 games for the Stallions, and finished with 1,449 yards on 146/227 passing, 6 TDs to 8 interceptions. He finished second in the league, completing 64.3% of his passes, and overall as the 4th highest rated QB with a 76.4 QB Rating.
He joined the Redskins after the AAF folded but did not make the squad. Currently he is a free agent.
Well it took a while for me to find Josh, but after some persistence, I was able to track him down. I sent to him a mere days before the league folded, so I reloaded and tried him with the Redskins, where I failed again. Luckily Mark (Mark’s Signing Bonus) and I worked together to corner the AAF market and he had already gotten him at his home address- so technically the 3rd try was the charm here.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.