Tag Archives: Houston Texans

Welker, Wes ‘The Natural’

Card: Score 2009
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent:  5/23    Received:   6/4     (12 days)

Wes Welker was a prolific slot man that played in the NFL from 2004-2015. Going undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2004, Welker had developed quite a reputation as a stellar return man and do-it-all offensive weapon for the Red Raiders, tying an NCAA record with 8 punt returns for touchdowns.

Welker signed with the San Diego Chargers, but was cut after the first game of the season to make room for another player. He’d catch on with the Dolphins who used him on kick and punt return duties. It’s there he’d burn the New England Patriots who took note of his unique skillset. As the anemic Dolphin offense continued to struggle, Welker went from being on the chopping block, to becoming the life blood of the offense. Opting not to resign Wes initially after the 2006 season, Welker became a restricted free agent.  That’s when the Patriots pounced.

Offering the required 2nd round tender, New England stripped their bitter rival of their best offensive weapon. Wes went on to become quarterback Tom Brady’s most reliable target. Over the next 6 seasons, Wes racked up 672 receptions for 7459 yards and 37 touchdowns- including a 99 yarder. In 5 of those seasons he had 110+ receptions, leading the league three times in 2007 (112), 2009 (123), and 2011 (122).  From 2008-2012 Welker earned ProBowl honors, with his 2009 and 2011 seasons earning him All Pro.

Facing a quandary after the 2013 season, the Patriots were unable to come to terms with Welker to keep him in New England. To top things off, he signed with the newly retooled Denver Broncos to be Peyton Manning‘s go to guy, but Wes got the concussion bug.

You see the NFL had decided to finally take a more aggressive stance on the issue, and Welker’s size and fearlessness in the slot lent him to take shots regularly to the head. He’d play the 2013 and 2014 seasons for the Broncos and a final swan song for the St. Louis Rams in 2015. Although he didn’t want to retire, most teams saw his injury proneness as a liability, so in a sense Wes was forced to retire.

In 2017, Welker returned to the NFL scene. He was quickly courted by the Houston Texans during the Senior Bowl in Mobile and named as an offensive assistant where he is reunited with his former coach Bill O’Brien and a host of other former Patriots. It is thought that at this time he will provide assistance coaching the Texans’ wide receiver corps and break down film.

When I saw that Wes Welker was signing via a few websites I follow that track autograph returns from players, I didn’t hesitate at quickly sending him out two of my favorite cards- Score 2009, and Donruss Rookies & Stars 2009 Gold. Now,  I did only get the Score 2009 back and Wes personalized it, but I always point out that personalization doesn’t bother me, and that I am happy getting one rather than none. Maybe he really liked that Donruss Rookies & Stars 2009 as much as I did!

G/GS 175/102    REC 903     YDS 9925    AVG 11.0    TD 50    LG 99T
KR  183     YDS 4138      AVG 22.6   TD 1   LG 95T
PR 264      YDS 2584      AVG 9.8       TD 0   LG 71

Crick, Jared

pa12-jcrickCard: Playoff Contenders 2012
Acquired: 2016, EBay

Jared Crick was the other big playmaker on Nebraska’s line along side Ndamukong Suh.  He came on his Sophomore season, with 70 tackles, 12.5 TFL, and 9.5 sacks in 2009. In 2010, Crick matched his previous efforts with 9.5 sacks, 14.5 TFL, and 70 tackles. A torn pectoral muscle in 2011 maligned his campaign, and dropped his draft stock. The Houston Texans wanted to groom some talent behind Antonio Smith and JJ Watt. They felt they got good value selecting Jared in the 5th round of the 2012 draft.

In the Texans 3-4 defense Crick saw only spot duty his first two years. It wasn’t until 2014 that he really saw extensive action as a starter. Still as a 3-4 defensive end, he was able to contribute 29 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 6 pass defensed.  His 2015 campaign netted him another 2 sacks, 28 tackles, and a forced fumble.  After the season, Jared was allowed to bolt for greener pastures, signing with the Denver Broncos, reuniting him with former head coach Gary Kubiak and defensive mastermind, Wade Philips. Jared has slowly blossomed in Denver becoming a consistent force on the line for the Broncos, posting 48 tackles and 2 sacks in 2015, and 53 tackles and 3 sacks in 2016.

 

Jackson, Kareem ‘K-Jax’

dor&s10 kjacksonCard: Donruss Rookies & Stars 2010
Acquired: In Person 12/15/2015, Whataburger Community Player of the Year

I have been looking to get Kareem Jackson for a very long time, but I knew he wasn’t a good through the mail signer. It didn’t really seem that he signed very often at that until this year, so I was very excited to see K-Jax at this gem of an event with 3 other players.

Of all the Texans I have been hard on over the years, Kareem has probably shouldered most of the hostility. A first round choice by the Houston Texans in 2010, he was immediately tabbed into the starting lineup and became a frequent victim of Peyton Manning and other quarterbacks around the league- replacing much maligned Duanta Robinson.  It took Wade Phillips entering as defensive coordinator in 2011 to jump start a change in Jackson’s play style. One of the things that Phillips wanted to change was Kareem’s backpedal style and fundamentals. This really helped out Jackson immensely.  The Texans also gave him support in the names of Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning and put an emphasis on putting pressure on the quarterback.  Jackson started at least 13 games in each season since being drafted until injury sidelined him extensively in 2015. Still he returned by the season finale against the Jags, a defensive masterpiece, in which K-Jax intercepted Blake Bortles for a 27 yard TD. He started 12 games in 2016, contributing 1 interception- another critical pick of Blake Bortles that he returned 42 yard for his second career TD.

At the conclusion of the 2016 season, Kareem had 13 career interceptions, 2 TDs and 60 pass break ups. With the Texans doing a little tinkering in the secondary for 2017, rumor is that Jackson may see more time at safety this year.