Cards: ProSet 1989, Score 1989, Score 1991 MVP
Acquired: 2016, Future Considerations
See Also: Kevin Mack
Deadhorse comes through again for me. My Cleveland connection who gets a rare bone thrown to him from time to time set me up with a signing that included 3 great Browns backs: Earnest Byner, Mike Pruitt, and Kevin Mack.
Kevin has a lot of great nicknames because of his indelible last name. My friends and I used to call him ‘Mack Attack’ in Tecmo Bowl (circa 1987/8), but I’ve heard ‘Mack Truck’ and a few others because well, not only did he hit like a truck in Tecmo, he attacked the line in real life.
Former revered head coach Marty Schottenheimer has been quoted as saying about Mack:
“K Mack was a between the tackles runner who had power as well as good speed. He had that tremendous step of acceleration you have to have when he saw that little spot he had to run to or through.”
As of 2016, Kevin is the head of Cleveland Browns Alumni relations. He kicked the can for many years on returning to the sport in a coaching or front office capacity- inquiring with the Texans in 2000 about becoming a scout once the franchise took a foothold. Eventually he ended up returning to the Browns. Among the things that Mack laments is the glory days of the AFC South and the rivalries between the Steelers, Oilers, Browns, and Bengals. (I for one second that.)
Some really nice cards of Kevin here that I got signed the second time around. Each of them showcase Mack’s power and ability to lead with his massive shoulders. The ProSet 1989 is a marvelous action shot with just perfect framing, while his Score 91 is a solidly designed illustration. The Score 1989 is why Topps was caught so flat footed by both ProSet and Score’s entry into the card market. Not only did they use dynamic photography and action shots, the colors on the higher grade card just illuminated the canvas.
Card: Panini Contenders 2016
Acquired: 2016, Box Breaker
Carl Nassib has a nice frame clocking in at 6’7″, 277. A great story out of Penn State, Nassib was a walk on with a motor that never quit. In his final year at Penn State, Carl led the nation with 15.5 sacks (single season sack record) and 6 forced fumbles from defensive end. Going into the 2016 draft a lot of scouts liked what they saw, but felt that Carl was still pretty raw. The Cleveland Browns selected Carl near the top of round 3 and he played a fair amount during his rookie season despite suffering from a broken hand. The former Nittany Lion started 3 games and earned 15 tackles, 4 pass defensed, and 2.5 sacks.
Card: Sage 2014
Acquired: 2016, Box Breaker
Isaiah Crowell played one year at Georgia in 2011, racking up 850 yards on 185 carries and 5 TDs as a Freshman, but an off-season run in with the law caused him to be dismissed from the team. A month later he enrolled at Alabama St. and was the team’s leading rusher with 843 yards and 15 TDs. The following year he had career highs in virtually all categories with 170 carries for 1,121 yards and 15 TDs. Crowell graded well enough to merit as high as a 4th round pick in the 2014 draft, but perhaps due to his earlier run in with the law back in 2011, he was not selected. Instead he became a highly sought after free agent.
Eventually Isaiah signed with the Cleveland Browns. Clawing his way up the depth chart eventually supplanting Ben Tate and sharing duties with Terrance West, Crowell rushed for 607 yards and 8 TDs on 148 carries in his rookie debut. His 2015 saw small upticks across the board with 185 carries for 706 yards and 4 TDs to go along with 19 receptions. Isaiah started a full 16 game slate in 2016 and rushed for 952 yards on 198 carries, scoring 7 TDs including a league long 85 yard gallop. He also displayed a touch of the hands corralling 40 receptions for 319 yards.
As you look at Isaiah’s statistics, he continues to show pleasant upside in his young and promising career. Like a nice house in a bad neighborhood, Crowell could be a solid find (on a poor Cleveland offense) in any upcoming fantasy league going into 2017.