Tag Archives: Houston Oilers

Gilbride, Kevin

Card: Topps XFL 2020
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home. Box Break 2020
Sent: 5/24 Received: 5/30 (6 days)

Kevin has been a career coach, since earning his Master’s in physical education from Idaho State. He joined the staff there at the school in 1974 and then embarked on a whirlwind of collegiate stops at Tufts (1976-77), and American International (1978-79). In 1980, Kevin returned to his Alma Mater Southern Connecticut State where he earned his first head coaching gig. There he posted a 35-14-2 record coaching the Owls through 1984. In 1985, Kevin joined the CFL Ottawa Rough Riders as an assistant coach.

Gilbride returned to the college ranks in 1987 as he continued to hone his skills as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He then joined the Houston Oilers in 1989 as the quarterbacks coach working with Warren Moon, as the Oilers converted over to Run ‘N Shoot full time. In 1990 he became the team’s offensive coordinator- a position he held through 1994.

It’d be in 1993, that Buddy Ryan joined the Oilers staff. A divisive defensive coordinator, Buddy and Kevin did not see eye to eye philosophically, and head coach Jack Pardee was laissez faire managing their relationship. Things came to a boil finally on a Sunday Night contest against the New York Jets during the season finale- and after the defense was forced to come back onto the field late in the first half, Buddy went up and slugged Kevin. A host of players had to separate the two to keep them from going at it on the sidelines.

Kevin Gilbride will be selling insurance in two years.

– Buddy Ryan

Still despite this Kevin has always been a magnanimous professional about the situation. It’s unfortunate that most fans remember Gilbride for this incident, instead of his prolific offenses and quarterback whispering.

After the collapse of the Oilers in 1994, Kevin was not retained. He joined the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars as their offensive coordinator the following year, and was with the team through the 96 season. After the Jaguars had a prolific season that year, Kevin was scooped up by the San Diego Chargers to be their head coach. He was with the team for less than 2 seasons, and after a poor showing to kick off 1998, he was let go. He finished 6-16 during his brief time as head coach. Kevin spent the next two years as the offensive coordinator of the Steelers, and then in 2001 as an analyst for ESPN. 2002 and 2003 saw him step into the OC chair for the Bills, before Kevin went on to coach for the New York Giants in 2004.

Reunited with Tom Coughlin from Jacksonville, Kevin worked with Eli Manning as the quarterbacks coach through 2005, before returning to the offensive coordinator mantle. During this period, the Giants won two Super Bowl titles under his guidance (- the same amount that Buddy Ryan won). In 2014 Kevin retired.

It’d be after a nearly 5 year hiatus, Kevin was hired by the XFL, that was rebooting for 2020. Kevin was named as head coach of the New York Guardians. He’d draft Matt McGloin to be his quarterback, and trade for Luis Perez. Despite suffering through a quarterback meltdown, and the team losing 2 straight contests, the Guardians rebounded to a 3-2 record. It was a shame that the league ended at the time it did as the franchise was on the upswing and was in a dead heat for first place.

Killer response from Kevin, who not only signed his card, but also graciously included a copy of a Run ‘N Shoot play from back in the days of the Houston Oilers! (I’ve asked coaches on occasion for a play, but have never gotten a response up until this point.) I just wish he had identified the play I was looking at. Later an offensive quality control specialist identified it as being called ‘Choice’- but whether or not Kevin calls it this or not is unknown.

When I was a kid, I remembered going to Oilers training camp while Kevin was there. He came over to sign autographs and he overheard me talking about Eric Metcalf and told me he’d be excited to have Eric play for him.

Kevin’s head coaching career has been brief, and by the time he was, the chief maker of coach cards- ProSet was out of business, so nobody up to this point, had ever made a card of him. I was very excited when I saw that he was in the XFL 2020 set, and decided it was a priority to try to get his autograph on this card.

Houston, Ken

Cards: Action Packed 1991 Whizzer White Award, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 12//19 Received: 1/3/20 (days)

Ken Houston was one of the greatest NFL defensive backs to play the game. Playing at safety for the Houston Oilers in 1967, Kenny was a blessed athlete and track man with an incredible nose for the ball. He picked off 4 passes his rookie season and scored 2 TDs. (He scored a 3rd TD via blocked field goal that season as well.)

Then from 1968 through 1979, Ken was named to the Pro Bowl, while also garnishing 2 time AP Honors (10 time 2nd team AP Honors). He scored 2 more TDs on interceptions in 1968, then tied the NFL record with 4 (with a 5th via fumble recovery) on 9 interceptions in 1971.

Kenny was traded to the Washington Redskins in 1973. for at the time a blockbuster deal. The Redskins handed over 5 players to land Houston. Ken paid off as over the next 8 seasons recorded 24 more interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries.

Over Kenny’s storried career he scored a TD 4 different ways: Interception, Fumble, Punt, and Blocked Kick. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the 1986 class. He’s also been showered with honors and accolades.

As of 2020, Ken lives in the Houston area and is a member of neither the Redskins or Titans Ambassadors group, but rather the Houston Texans, and makes appearances for the team. He does quite a lot of work for charities, including Houston area hospitals.

I had hoped to get Ken on an Oilers card, but frankly I hated them all, so I went with these Redskins cards. Ah well, these two were by far my favorite, even though they were both post playing career finds. His Action Packed Whizzer White is an exceptional specimen, while is Legends shows him laying the wood out.

I had gotten these cards some time ago and sat on them. I hoped that I’d corner him at a Texans team function but no dice. I actually met his son at a pregame event back in 2015 when the Texans played the Chiefs and he was very nice. It only took me another 4 years or so to finally go ahead and send these out to him with a small signing fee. He turned these around in no time flat, and that in turn triggered a tsunami on different TTM sites for requests from him.

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196/169N/aN/a21
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Pinkett, Allen (2)

Cards: Action Packed 1990, Topps 1990, ProSet 1991, Pacific 1992
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 11/18 Received: 12/2 (14 days)
Failure: TTM 2017, C/o Home
See Also: Allen Pinkett

Allen had some incredible cards over the year and as an Oilers fan I had wanted to get back around to getting these cards signed. I tried back in 2017- but for some reason I did not receive anything back from the usually reliable Pinkett. Luckily I had duplicates for many of the cards that I wanted autographed and just reloaded and waited.

I was also inspired by recently watching his titanic efforts over again in the historic 1988 Houston Oilers v Cleveland Browns playoff showdown. The game- between coaches Jerry Glanville and Marty Schottenheimer, while highly contested, with the Oilers eventually advancing, sealed Schottenheimer’s fate in being unceremoniously fired by the Browns.

The game turned out to be one of Pinkett’s finest moments, as he ground up 82 yards on 14 carries and a TD, as well as 2 catches for 24 yards and a TD. – Come to think of it, his 1992 Pacific entry could be from that game. Anyway it’s worth it if you can still find the game online somewhere to look at as you will also see NBC in all its broadcasting greatness with Don Criqui and Bob Trumpy behind the mic.

After sending out to Pinkett that first time TTM back in 2010, I gave myself a hearty headslap that I left out his ProSet 1991 entry. It’s a dynamic and beautiful card of Allen, where his expression can clearly be read along with his running style.

While I really liked the shot of Allen off to the races in his Pacific entry, his Action Packed card was a classy shot. In one of those rare Topps entries, Allen can been seen catching a pass in a near profile view, however I suspect this was probably during warm ups like many of Topps cards during that period.