Tag Archives: Houston Texans

Grimes, Jonathan

Card: TNT Texans Custom
Acquired: 2016, Houston Texans Academy Liberty White Stampede Tour

One of my old collecting friends from ‘back in the day’ of the Fanmail website was a broadcaster for the Old Dominion Monarchs team. Grimes was head and shoulders above the competition coming out of William & Mary and dominated the competition.  My friend told me that Jonathan Grimes was THE man, and was a solid free agent signee by the Texans.

Grimes made the roster in 2012, and toiled away on the team’s practice squad.  Other teams coveted him, and he did not stay on the PS for long with the Jets signing him and putting him to limited work as a 3rd down back. The Jets cut him in October of that season.

As the Texans descended into chaos, during Gary Kubiak‘s final season with injuries hitting the Texans’ RB corps of Arian Foster and Ben Tate, Grimes found himself back with the team and was elevated to play on special teams.  He’d eventually finish his whirlwind tour on the roster of the Jaguars by the end of the season.

Cut in August of 2013 by Jacksonville, Grimes returned to the Texans for the 3rd time after Ben Tate was placed on IR.  He scored his first professional TD against the Titans.  He’d finish the season with 73 yards on 23 carries and 6 receptions for 76 yards. Since that time, HC Bill O’Brien has found a way to keep Grimes on the roster.

In 2014, Jonathan ran for 153 yards on 39 carries as he began to settle in as a 3rd down/ change of pace runningback for the franchise.  As injuries finally caught up to Arian Foster in 2015, Grimes saw his workload increase. He put in a career high 282 yards on 56 carries, and 26 receptions for 173 yards, scoring a TD rushing and receiving in the same game.

Despite not playing as much in 2016 due to the signing of new bell cow back Lamar Miller, Grimes proved to be an invaluable change of pace back, pulling out some key first downs in some critical games. He rushed 23 times for 105 yards and caught 13 balls for 94 yards.

I created this card of Jonathan, knowing that he and DB Quentin Demps were going to be at a local Academy signing autographs. Jonathan really liked the card and was touched by my kind efforts. Afterwards I talked to one of the PR honchos for the Texans that also liked my work and gave me his business card, but I was really intimidated to contact him back- something that is still on my list.

Johnson, Dennis ‘DJ’ (RB)

sage12-dejohnsonCards: Sage 2013, Donruss Rated 2013
Acquired: 2016, EBay

Dennis Johnson was an undersized speedster out of Arkansas who was overshadowed much of his career by Knile Davis.  During his 5 years for the Razorbacks Johnson amassed a nice resume, rushing 345 times for 2036 yards and 13 TDs.  He also showed promise as a receiver coming out of the backfield contributing 63 receptions for 510 yards and 4 TDs, and contributed on special teams with 119 returns for 2784 yards and 3 TDs.   Many NFL teams pegged him as a 3rd down/ change of pace scat back.  Despite an impressive stat line, Johnson was not selected in 2013.  He’d sign as a free agent with the Houston Texans.

pa13-dejohnsonThe Texans were doing some reshuffling at runningback, and were looking for a change of pace back to compliment the running attack led by oft injured Arian Foster and Ben Tate. They signed Johnson, Cierre Wood, and Ray Graham. While Johnson did have a nice preseason, including some sizzling plays, he also put the rock on the ground a few times. He’d be on the outside looking in during final cuts, but be picked up by the Browns.

The Texans in the meantime went through a disaster at runningback, as the team’s Super Bowl aspirations faded quickly out of the gate. With Foster and Tate both nursing injuries and Wood cut due to the Texans’ zero tolerance policy, Johnson was resigned by the Texans off the Browns practice squad. He’d start one game and rush for 183 yards in 8 contests.

With a new regime in town, Johnson was cut in August of 2014. He played for the the Brooklyn Bolts of the FXFL later that year, but as of 2017, he remains an NFL free agent.

DJ had some pretty nice looking cards available to me to choose from. I really liked his Sage entry. It was pretty awesome of him to pose for the photo jumping up in the air. It adds an entirely new level to what could’ve been an otherwise boring shot. The jersey material printed on the card is reminiscent of something I’d do to a custom, and it is executed well. DJ’s autograph on the Sage canvas is unique and interesting to look at.

The idea of a jersey card is neat and all, especially when it is a jumbo swatch, but it becomes quite tricky to build a satisfying composition for the rest of the assets when it takes up so much space. Case in point this Donruss Rated rookie card. The patch takes up so much space we’re left with a discombobulated and disconnected DJ barely poking out from the right side of the card.  The autograph isn’t even completely framed up on the card, and either goes underneath the card material or is incomplete.

Drummond, Kurtis ‘The Matrix’


C
ard: Panini Contenders 2015
Acquired: 2016, Ebay

Kurtis Drummond played free safety for the Michigan State Spartans. He earned the Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year and was named as a 3rd team All-American in 2014 when he posted 72 tackles, 15 passes defended,  and 4 picks as a senior.  With NFL caliber speed and some tools to work with especially his vertical jump, Kurtis was truly an enigma to scouts who couldn’t come to a consensus Drummond’s shortcomings. A true student of the game at MSU, Drummond was nicknamed ‘The Matrix’ by Spartans’ DB coach Harlon Barnett, for Kurtis’ ability to quickly assimilate game film and apply it on the field.

Initially projected to go in round 4, Kurtis landed with the Houston Texans in free agency instead.  It was probably best for Kurtis as the Texans have a knack for patiently developing defensive backfield talent (AJ Bouye, Andre Hal).  Drummond did see some playing time on the field in 2015 on special teams recording 4 tackles and a forced fumble. He’d be shelved on IR for the entirety of the 2016 campaign.

Entering the 2017 season, Kurtis is ranked 3rd on the Texans depth chart for playing time behind Andre Hal and Corey Moore at free safety.