Tag Archives: cleveland browns

Wright, Felix

Cards: ProSet 1989, ProSet 1990 LL, Upper Deck 1991
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o home  (7 days)
Sent: 10/15  Received: 10/22

My first memory of Felix Wright? -A dominant defensive back in Tecmo Bowl and compliment to fellow safety Frank Minnefield. Beyond that, it should be noted that Felix is a tireless and patient TTM signer who has a quick response rate. I had dug through the boxes and found the ProSet cards of him with that  gold league leader card I had always admired. ProSet was the dominant name back then in football cards, but they quickly wore out their welcome and were out of business by 1995. It’s a shame because their sets were always quite thorough and at least through 1991 designed nicely. Upper Deck on the other hand had been a force in the baseball arena for sometime and was a new player to the burgening market in 1991, but I don’t think they really understood that fans want action shots of football players, and instead UD took the ‘Topps’ route on occasion. Take for example this hideous card of Felix getting his hamstring stretched.

Felix Wright went undrafted coming out of Drake college in 1982. He’d try out for the Oilers, but not make the team, instead opting out and heading North to the CFL playing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, being named an All Star in 1984. Wright would then sign as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns- cementing his name as one of the team’s best free agent pickups. A solid DB with a great hands and good speed, Felix was one of the most feared players in the secondary during the late 1980s racking up over 100 interception yards in two straight seasons. His solid defensive play allowed him to lead the league in interceptions in 1990. In 1991, he’d sign Plan B with the Minnesota Vikings where Felix would play for two seasons, before retiring in 1993 with the Kansas City Chiefs.

G/Gs  121/84   Tac  N/a   Sac N/a    Fum 6      Int 29      Yds 492        Avg 16.9     Td 2     Lg 68

Shula, Don

Card: ProSet 1991
Acquired:  TTM 1992, C/o The Miami Dolphins

Don Shula was a member of the newly merged Cleveland Browns a season after they joined the NFL. Playing defensive back on that stacked team, he rarely if ever saw any playing time, but still managed to make 4 interceptions his rookie season. He’d be traded to the Baltimore Colts in one of the largest player trades of all time getting 4 seasons in with the team continuing his strong play making 14 interceptions. In 1957, Don played his final season with the Washington Redskins making 3 more interceptions.

G  73       Tac  N/a       Sac N/a      Fum   4
Int 21      Yds  267     Avg 12.7     Td 0    Lg 35

This would not end Don Shula’s football career as he would make the transition into coaching. After a small stint in college at the University of Virginia,  Don was back in the pro ranks as an assistant for the Detroit Lions from 1960-1962 (defensive coordinator). He was then rewarded with the head coaching job in Baltimore in 1963 at the age of 33, which was the youngest coach in the league at the time. Don would spend the next 7 seasons there winning 71 contests but losing two championships (1964, and SuperBowl III).

In 1970 the Miami Dolphins signed Don as their head coach and were charged with tampering forfeiting their first round choice that year. Because of the odd nature of the timing- negotiating before the AFL/NFL merger, but signing afterwards, Miami had to suffer the consequences because they were now merged leagues.  Shula would go on to become one of the ‘Big 3’ coaches (Landry, Shula and, Noll,) in the NFL’s modern era. Shula’s teams during the 70s had dominating defensive units and offensive lines supported by a ground game which allowed them to excel against their NFL counterparts. His team would reach the big game by 1971. Shula’s 1972 unit is the only team to finish undefeated in NFL history winning all its regular season games and post season contests (17-0) and in 1973 they’d return again winning this time against the Minnesota Vikings. This team was the last of Shula’s teams to win the SuperBowl but his teams would consistently remain in the playoffs. In 1983 however the team would make the transition to a passing franchise with the drafting of one player- Dan Marino. Marino guided the team to the Super Bowl in 1984 throwing a then NFL record 50 touchdown passes. Shula’s teams reached the playoffs 20 times in 33 attempts. He’d retire after the 1993 season, with a large legacy under his belt.  26 of 28 seasons of winning football in Miami, the coach with the most Super Bowl appearances (6), a 4 time coach of the year, one of two coaches in history to have over 300 wins, and the winningest coach in league history. I would get Don’s autograph through the mail courtesy of the Dolphins in 1992 right after Christmas.

Since retiring Shula has made time to occasionally attend his team’s 17-0 reunions, owns an extremely successful chain of steakhouses and has his name on a golf course and hotel in Florida. He also is involved in the Don Shula Foundation for breast cancer research. In 1997, Shula was a shoe-in for the NFL HoF.  He has also been involved in numerous presentation ceremonies over the last few years, had stadiums and highways named after him and has authored 3 books.

W 328   L 156   T 6   Pct .678

Banks, Robert

Card: Topps 1990
Acquired: Houston Oilers Training Camp 1991

Robert Banks from Notre Dame was a free agent pick up by the Oilers in 1989  during the waining end of the Jerry Glanville era. He’d stick there for one season before heading over to Cleveland for the next two seasons, notching four sacks. He’d make an appearance in Tecmo SuperBowl on the Nintendo in 1991. In 1991 he returned to the Oilers via Plan B, where I got his autograph during training camp that year, but he would see the Turk during the final cuts of that preseason. Robert was well conditioned and had a motor that never stopped- which he claimed he learned by reading Jack Tatum’s book “They Call Me Assassin”. Banks was ahead of his time, and was a tweener who could play both defensive end and linebacker. The problem was neither the Browns or Oilers could figure out how best to use his physical set as a situational pass rusher. As of 2004 Banks was functioning as a recruiter for ITT.

G N/44/24 Tac  N/a   Sac  4.0 Fum 2  Int 0  Yds 0  Avg -.-  Td 0