Tag Archives: draft bust

Emtman, Steve “The Machine”

Card: Star Pics 1992
Acquired: TTM 1993, Colts Blitz
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o The Spokane Shock

As I was pawing through the stack of autographs I got back in 1992/3, I was disappointed to see that I didn’t get one from Steve. When I flipped the card over later by accident, I noticed the autograph on the back scrawled in ball point pen. Despite this, I was still happy to add “The Machine” to my collection.

Steve Emtman was the #1 pick of the 1992 draft.  An impressive specimen who was the total package, he and overall #2 pick Quentin Coryatt were to be the cornerstone for the future Indianapolis Colts defense. Overall, despite holding the first 2 picks in the draft, this would be another painful round of picks for the Colts as Ashley Ambrose would be the most successful member of the Colts’ draft class. (Of defensive linemen only Joel Steed and Sean Gilbert would be the only ones to make the Pro Bowl from the entire 1992 draft.)

Steve Emtman is difficult to peg, but it’s hard for me to have labeled him a bust. He does qualify certainly as cursed though. I think most teams would have taken him if presented the opportunity. He played far and away at a level above most other college linemen at Washington and won numerous accolades to back it up. All signs pointed up for The Machine as the Colts named him their number one pick.  As the new season dawned Emtman flashed some potential right out of the gate, making his first sack against Cleveland in a 14-3 win. Perhaps in his finest highlight moment, he picked off a Dan Marino pass and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown in a 31-20 win and make another sack, but week 9, blew out his knee- ending his 1992 season on injured reserve. His 1993 would start out just as promising. After 5 games he had a sack and 22 tackles, but once again this time blew out his patellar tendon ending his 1993 season and perhaps his career. Determined to make a comeback Steve returned in 1994 almost a full year later, with his rehabilitation paying off. He played in 4 games, making a fumble recovery and 3 tackles, but unbeknown to most- Emtman had suffered a ruptured disc in his neck in his first game back heroically playing through the pain for the next 3 weeks. Steve finished his third season on the IR.

In 1995, Steve signed with the Miami Dolphins where he started one game, making a sack, a fumble recovery and 10 tackles. 1996 would see Steve start the most games since 1993. He’d see action starting 4 contests making 2 sacks, 2 FF, and 33 tackles.  The Redskins would sign him in 1997 where Steve would suit up for 3 games and make 4 tackles and retire after the season at the age of 27.

Steve after football was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He also spent some time coaching defensive line with the AFL’s Spokane Shock and is a successful real estate developer.  I sent off for Steve’s autograph courtesy of the Shock on his Action Packed Rookies card, but it appears that by the time my card had arrived, he was no longer coaching with the team. It has been well over a year now and thus logged as a failure.

G/Gs  50/19     Tac  121  Sac  8.0    Fum   3     Int   1         Yds   90      Avg  90.0      Td   1    Lg  90t

 

Klingler, David

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1992, Classic 1992, SkyBox 1992
Acquired: TTM 1993, C/o The Cincinnatti Bengals. In Person 1996, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp.

David Klingler was another in a line of Houston Cougar record-setting quarterbacks (Andre Ware) under the Run and Shoot offense. He’d set a then record with 11 touchdown passes and 716 yards in a game against Eastern Washington in 1990, winning the Sammy Baugh award after that season. David would also break Ware’s career passing records and set the NCAA record for touchdowns in a season (since broken) with 54. In 1992, Klingler would be the #1 pick of the floundering Cincinnati Bengals franchise with the 6th pick overall (right after Terrell Buckley).(Thinking in terms of quarterbacks that were from the 1992 draft, the only members of this draft to make the Pro Bowl ever in their careers were Brad Johnson and Jeff Blake.) The Bengals had a fresh new coach in Dave Shula, and he wanted a fresh, new face at quarterback along with him. This meant Klingler also had the very unenvious position of replacing extremely popular player Boomer Esiason at quarterback. Klingler in his rookie season would start 4 games under center for the Bengals posting 3 touchdowns to 2 picks, and throwing for an anemic 5.4 yards per throw. He’d also be sacked 18 times in 1992- a rate of a bit over 4 a game. In 1993, Klingler was dubbed starting quarterback, where I’d send off through the mail to get his autograph. In 13 games, the Bengals allowed Klingler to get sacked 40 times, but he’d try to make up for it with his rushing ‘prowess’, running for 282 yards and a 6.9 yard average. He would only throw for 6 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. David would almost duplicate those numbers in 1994, starting in only 7 games and being sacked 24 times. In 1995, he had a forgettable season with the Bengals and was released. Considered one of the many busts of the early nineties, Klingler never really stood a chance behind a patchwork line and in his first career game he was sacked 7 times by the Steelers. The Raiders would take a flyer on Klingler, where he played 2 more seasons and I got his autograph in 1996 at Dallas Cowboys training camp. After his 1996 season with the Raiders, he’d be signed by the Packers looking for competition behind Brett Favre, but he’d lose out in training camp and retire soon thereafter.

Klingler since leaving the NFL has graduated with a Doctorate in Old Testament Studies from the Dallas Theological Seminary. He remains an avid football fan and backer of the University of Houston.

G/Gs   33/20    Att 389    Comp 718     Yds 3994     Pct        Td 16     Int 22   Rat 65.1