Tag Archives: cleveland browns

McNair, Todd

Card: Score 1990
Acquired: Houston Oilers Training Camp 1994

During the advent of the 3rd down back, Todd McNair was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs out of Temple in the 8th round of the bell-weather 1989 draft. A solid, yet unnoticed presence in the backfield during the early nineties of the venerable ground game of the Kansas City Chiefs that included such names as Christian Okoye and Barry Word, McNair not only was a solid blocker, but also a smart receiver out of the backfield – devastating on both draws and delays.  He’d score a critical touchdown in the playoffs against Houston in 1993, and in 1994 would be signed away from Kansas City by the Oilers. Unfortunately, McNair and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride had a fallout, and Todd was relegated to the scout team. The Oilers collapsed and Bud Adams cleared house, appointing Jeff Fisher as head coach. McNair saw his playing time increased exponentially in 1995, averaging over 7 yards a carry and catching 60 passes.  During training camp in 1994 I’d get his autograph as he walked to the locker rooms. After his two season stint with Houston, Todd returned to Kansas City in 1996 and retired.

He’d immediately jump into coaching and by 2001 was back in the NFL coaching the Cleveland Browns running backs. In 2004 he was recruited by USC, where he coached running backs and special teams. He’d also develop quite a knack for recruiting high school athletes. Unfortunately NCAA investigations in 2010 found USC guilty of improprieties in regards to Reggie Bush and his contact with agents. McNair was not retained when USC put a new coaching staff in place as the NCAA levied charges against him. At this time McNair is appealing the charges against him.

G/Gs 107/10    Att 147       Yds  803    Avg   5.5   Lg   47     Td  3   |
Rec  254     Yds  2435   Avg  9.6   lg 65   Td  7

Minter, Barry

Card: Classic 1993
Acquired: In Person 1993, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

Barry Minter is a great story about a ‘diamond in the rough’. Drafted out of Tulsa in the 6th round by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1993 draft, I think that most people didn’t hold out much luck for him making the stacked Dallas roster. When he was walking to the field one day I and asked him for his autograph he stopped and smiled widely as it was the first time he had seen the card. Barry was unsure how to sign it, since it was his college card so he told me that he’d put his Cowboys # on the back. A real cool cat, Josh and I wished him luck for the upcoming season. He got traded within 2 months as part of a player swap deal with the Chicago Bears.

The Cowboys got disgruntled linebacker John Roper, tight end Kelly Blackwell and Markus Paul. The Bears got Vinson Smith, Minter and some draft choices. Looking back at it, the Bears definitely got the better end of this deal. Minter performed respectably well for the Bears playing through 2000 for the team recording a career high 6 sacks in 1997 and 96 tackles in 1999. During the second game of the 2000 season, he’d be injured and replaced by Brian Urlacher. In 2001 Barry signed with Cleveland playing in one game and retiring after that. Barry’s strength was his ability to play virtually any position in the linebacking corps as he played both MLB and RLB frequently.

G/Gs  111/61    Tac 351     Sac 11.5    Fum 7
Int  5    Yds 90     Avg 18.0     Td 2   lg 34T

Testaverde, Vinny

Cards: Action Packed 1992, ProSet 1991 Heisman Hero
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vinny Testaverde was a Heisman Trophy winner while at the University of Miami in 1986 under head coach Jimmy Johnson. He’d declare as a Junior and enter into the 1987 NFL draft following the season. Testaverde would go #1 to the Buccaneers and would start 4 games during his rookie season. In 1988 he’d take over full time as the starter, to disasterous results, throwing for a modern day record of 35 interceptions and a 48.8 quarterback rating. (The 35 were the most since George Blanda from the AFL threw 42.) The good news was he was playing in Tampa- so nobody cared or had big expectations. Testaverde was also fortunate not to play in an age with an aggressive media, as quarterbacks are normally now given 3 seasons and are sent packing. Vinny would never, in 6 seasons with the Bucs, throw for more touchdowns than interceptions, nor win more than 6 games in a season. To say the least, nobody was really surprised when Vinny was allowed to leave Tampa. He’d sign with the Browns in 1993 and immediately turn his career around. His touchdown to interception ratio would flip, and he’d also post his first winning mark in 1994 with a 9-4 record, and transition with the Browns to Baltimore. Testaverde would also become better at making decisions, and despite Baltimore posting a 4-12 record in 1996, he’d throw for a career high 33 touchdowns and only 19 interceptions. After the 1997 season, he’d sign with the Jets and playing under Bill Parcells, would post a 12-1 record, and throw only 7 picks in 421 throws, making him a crowd favorite.  Injury would curtail his 1999 season, but he’d be back in 2000 leading the league in attempts with 590 throws, but also with 25 interceptions. After a pretty decent 2001 season in which he went 10-6, Testaverde would only start spottingly over the next 2 seasons, before he signed at the ripe age of 41 in 2004 with the Cowboys- and his old coach Bill Parcells. He’d lead the league in interceptions with 20, and then resign again with the Jets in 2005 where he hung on for the season playing in 6 games.  In 2006, he’d play a season for the Patriots, and then finally get his wings and retire in 2007 as a backup for the Carolina Panthers at 44 years old, the second oldest quarterback in league history to take a snap. On the last play of the season he ran in and kneeled he ball to end the game, ironically on the home field of the team he started with- Tampa Bay.

I got Vinny Testaverde’s autograph through the mail from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the last season he was with the team. I also had his Starting Lineup action figure as well in that awesome candy orange. Vinny Testaverde is also color blind. It’s interesting to see how Vinny’s career ended up progressing. The franchise quarterback, turns into a hired gunslinger, then becomes a fan favorite and then an aged journeyman. In the end, even though he didn’t do it all right, Testaverde did have a somewhat storied career. The furthest he’d ever advance was the championship game while setting the modern NFL record for most losses by an NFL quarterback at 123. He also holds the NFL record: for throwing touchdowns to 70 different players and in 21 straight seasons. While his legacy remains clouded and his career ended up better than advertised, Testaverde will always be remembered for his tenacity and willingness to play through adversity.

G/Gs 233/214      Att 6701    Comp 3787   Pct 56.5     Yds 46233      Td 275   Int 267   Rat 75.0