Tag Archives: Carolina Panthers

Newton, Nate “The Kitchen”

Cards: Action Packed 1992, GameDay 1992, Fleer 1990
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1990, 1992, 1997

Nate Newton. In the age of gigantic offensive linemen, Nate Newton certainly set the tempo. It seemed like every training camp that you’d hear about Nate showing up 15-30 pounds overweight- and the media would eagerly report it. A man whose personality was almost as big as his girth, you could count on Newton to have a great media soundbyte or something to say back to fans as he signed cards. His nickname “The Kitchen” was also a humorous poke at his weight and the fact that he was as big as a kitchen.

Originally from Florida A&M, Newton would sign in 1984 with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL. After not being drafted in the USFL dispersal draft in 1985, Nate would be signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys where after a few years became a refined and imposing tackle protecting Troy Aikman and clearing holes for Emmitt Smith. Playing  for the Cowboys Newton would go to the ProBowl 6 times, was named AP twice, and won 3 SuperBowl rings during his career through 1998. He’d finish out his tenure in the NFL playing one final season in 1999 for the Carolina Panthers.

Since retirement, “The Kitchen” has experienced a rocky road. After spending some time in prison for having 175 pounds of marijuana in his car, Newton has played it on straight and narrow. He isn’t apologetic for what he did, but he has claimed to have reformed going as far as becoming a regular church man. He has also spent some time working as an offensive coordinator for a football clinic near Dallas. Newton’s weight earlier this year dangerously spiraled out of control and was over 400 pounds, but he has since lost over 175 pounds.

Newton’s cards are interesting. At the first training camp in 1990, Newton signed the front of the card. After that, he made a habit of signing the back. Whether this was some unconscious acknowledgement of his weight or a way of scratching it out remains to be seen but because of his behavior and despite his stellar football career, Newton will probably never see the NFL Hall of Fame.

Stark, Rohn

Card: Action Packed 1991
Acquired: TTM 1992, Colts Blitz

An All-American decathalete and punter at Florida State, Rohn Stark was the most decorated punter to play college football since Ray Guy. (He was also a killer punter during the 80s and 90s with the Colts. He not only played for the Indianapolis Colts but also the Baltimore Colts- before they got in the Mayflower trucks and headed East.) Stark would also be a part of probably the best kicker and punter combination in Tecmo Bowl being paired with Dean Biasucci, and ironically year over year they’d be the most consistent part of the Colts through their combined tenure up to the end of 1994.
Originally drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 2nd round of the 1982 draft, Rohn would really come into his own by 1983 where he’d be named 2nd team AP with a gaudy 45.3 average and lead the league with over 4100 yards. His 1984 would be equally impressive as Stark would lead the league with 98 punts that season. 85 and 86 would be ProBowl caliber seasons, leading the league in average yards per punt with a 45.9 and a 45.2 yard average respectively. While the rest of his career would not see him reach such levels- Rohn would never average below 40 yards per punt during 13 seasons but would return to the ProBowl again in 1990 and 1992. With free agency and the salary cap making players and positions more expendable, Stark would leave via free agency in 1995, playing one season in Pittsburgh where he made his lone SuperBowl appearance. In 1996 he’d put his skills to work for the Carolina Panthers, and in 1997 finish out his career with the Seattle Seahawks. Rohn also held on extra points and field goal attempts and was notably left footed- meaning the ball was spinning the opposite direction than punt returners would expect after he would punt it. Stark holds another odd accomplishment as the only Baltimore Colt to play against the Baltimore Ravens. At the time of his retirement in 1997, Stark was top 5 in career punts and yardage. Stark like many other punters, will probably never get his due as the NFL HoF shows little respect for the position.

G/Gs 233/233    P 1141      Yds 49471    Avg 43.4    Lg 72   Blk  7

Pederson, Doug

Card: WildCard WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o The Philadelphia Eagles
Sent:  3/12        Received:  3/22   (10 days)

The Offensive Quality Control Coach as of 2010 for the Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson has experienced a long and winding ride. Originally a free agent signee with the Miami Dolphins in 1991,  Pederson would end up being drafted by the New York/New Jersey Knights of the WLAF in 1992. Getting valuable experience playing in the Run ‘n Shoot behind Reggie Slack, Pederson would have a great season playing for the Knights throwing for 8 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. He’d return to the Dolphins where he’d bounce on and off the roster through 1995. In 1995 when the WLAF reformed as the NFLE, Pederson would be drafted by the Rhein Fire where he’d play behind Andy Kelly and Gino Toretta.

Later that year, the Carolina Panthers would select Doug during the team’s expansion draft with the 44th pick, but he’d not make the roster. After sitting out a year Pederson would return to play for the Packers, where he’s most fondly remembered as Brett Favre‘s backup.  When he finally got under center in 1998, Doug threw for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns in mop up duty. It was enough to impress coach Andy Reid (a former member of the Green Bay staff) who had just been hired as head coach by the Philadelphia Eagles. Pederson would tutor young Donovan McNabb that season and perform that duty so well, the Cleveland Browns in 2000 brought him in to do the same for young Tim Couch. Doug would finally return to the Packers to close out his career to serve as backup to Brett Favre through the 2004 season.  During the 2004 season Doug would be placed on IR from a broken traverse, a torn back muscle, and a broken rib.  While open-minded about the possibility of a return, Pederson would later retire due to his injuries.

He’d immediately begin coaching high school football in 2004 and in 2009 was hired by Andy Reid and the Eagles to serve as an Offensive Quality Control Coach. It’s sort of a head scratcher as to what tree to really include Pederson under- however he is considered a player of Mike Holmgren and a coach under the Andy Reid tree. Interesting to note, Doug has played or coached for 3 different teams twice: Miami, Green Bay and Philadelphia. I’d send out for his autograph along with former Sacramento Surge defensive back Louis Riddick and receive Doug’s autograph back in 10 days.  Below are Pederson’s combined WLAF and NFLE statistics.

G/Gs   N/a         Att 154         Comp 81         Yds  1263       Pct  52.6      Td 9      Int 5       Rat  86.0