Tag Archives: kansas city chiefs

Johnson, Larry

Cards: Upper Deck 2009, Pacific 2009, Score 2009
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 11/12 Received: 12/3 (21 days)
Failure: TTM 2012 , C/o Home

Larry Johnson was a star runningback for the Penn State Nittany Lions in 2002. He was a virtuoso out of the backfield, both catching and running for the team and truly was a man among the boys. He’d carry the ball 271 times for 2087 yards and 20 TDs- for a hefty 7.7 yards per carry clip. He’d also catch 41 passes for 349 yards and 3 more scores. He’d finish 3rd in Heisman voting that year behind Iowa QB Brad Banks and USC QB Carson Palmer.

In what was considered to be a weak runningback crop, Larry was selected 27th overall during the 2002 NFL Draft, and was the second RB off the board- after Willis McGahee.

The Chiefs have been going through a renaissance of sorts at runningback over the last 20 years or so. It pretty much started when Priest Holmes jumped into the lead role in Kansas City in 2001. After 3-4 years of solid production with a few games here and there, it was time for Larry to go from being the most solid injury insurance handcuff, to the lead back in KC.

Larry began to assert himself as the lead back in 2005. He’d earn his first of 2 Pro Bowl berths, with 336 carries for 1750 yards, and 20 TDs. Johnson also had 33 receptions for 343 yards and a TD. In 2006, Larry actually topped those numbers, leading the NFL in touches (457) and carries (416- an NFL record), run for 1789 yards and 17 TDs while catching 41 passes for 410 yards and 2 TDs. While Larry did not see the same heavy workload the rest of his career, he’d rush for 559 yards in an injury plagued campaign in 2007, and 874 yards in 2008.

After an acrimonious 2009, Larry was cut midway through the season and finished the year on the roster of the Cincinnati Bengals with 581 yards on 178 carries. During the journeyman phase of his career, Larry spent time on the rosters of the Redskins (2010) and the Miami Dolphins (2011), before finally deciding to retire.

After Curt Warner’s run for glory in Seattle, Penn State had a really bad run of backs come out in the first round who just didn’t make the cut. DJ Dozier, Blair Thomas, Ki-Jana Carter, and Curtis Enis come straight to mind. It wasn’t until 2005, when LJ had his first impact season, that the ‘Penn St Curse’ of runningbacks to come out of college to the pros was lifted.

Johnson has had multiple brushes with the law, possibly due to CTE, as he fits all the hallmarks for the disease. Larry’s done some articles and been interviewed about it- and I feel absolutely terrible for him. I wrote him back in 2014, but did not get a response. This time around he signed these cards pretty promptly.

These are some great cards of Larry that I really liked. The Pacific, while very plain looking is classy and elegant. Upper Deck assumed stewardship of the brand in its final days and really sent them out on a nice, high note. The Upper Deck 2009 has clear and strong photography. The framing and color feels like it was inspired by the Upper Deck Legends 1997 set. – And of course, I can never get enough of the Score 2009 set. It just could’ve used a little sports photo blur on the background, as the expression of that guy with the Patriots sweater on is a bit distracting.

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Watkins, Sammy

Card: Panini Absolute Heroes 2016 (26/50)
Acquired: 2018, Panini Instant Rewards Program

I never thought I’d ever get Sammy Watkins due to the fact that he’s never signed really through the mail, and also because he’s never quite been the player I’ve been interested in. It’s not that I didn’t want his autograph. It’s just that it never occurred to me that I could get his autograph. 

This is the first card that I’ve gotten from the Instant Rewards Program that Panini is rolling out and I am quite pleased. I was opening up a blaster box of Panini Contenders 2018 and there was this card in there for 150 points to spend through this program. I went to the website. It was slow and a bit woeful to navigate, but I zeroed in on this gem of an autograph. Then I hem hawed between buying 3 50 point autographs or just getting one for 150. Obviously in the end I went for this one. (The design really sticks out on this card, and it is a limited print run- for what that is worth.) The advantages I’d say for the IRP is that you can actually choose from and see a pretty large sampling of cards and autographs (-and they are fair ones, not just ‘floating wood’). 

The disadvantages are if you are just set hunting for say.. Panini Contenders 2018 autographs, there was nothing to be found.  The delivery time said 6-8 weeks, so I hunkered down for a long wait, but lo and behold less than 2 weeks later the envelope arrived with this pretty little autograph inside. Still a 6-8 week reported turn around and having to pay for shipping is a bit terrible. Also the boxes don’t state on the outside ‘additional purchase maybe necessary’.

Beyond that as I have gotten more points over time I’ve noticed that the inventory rarely changes on the bottom end and old cards and autographs that would be worth even less in this current market are left at their still high price values.

Sammy Watkins played for Clemson University across from DeAndre Hopkins. A 3 year starter from 2011 to 2013, Sammy compiled 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 TDs. He also returned kicks as well with 60 career returns for 1376 yards and a TD. His best year came in 2013 when he caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 TDs- including a 96 yarder. He was considered the best receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft, and was selected 4th overall by the Buffalo Bills. 

Sammy had a pretty good rookie season. He’d turn some heads starting all 16 games catching 65 passes for 982 yards, 6 TDs and an 84 yard long.  The Bills themselves were going through a transition at QB with EJ Manuel. Still Sammy’s numbers were solid enough to set Bills rookie records for catches and yards. Watkins 2015 stood out as the best of his young career so far. He posted 60 catches for 1047 yards- a whopping 17.5 yards per catch, and 9 TDs in just 13 games.  2016 didn’t end well though as a broken foot limited him to just 8 starts and 430 yards on 28 receptions.

The Bills traded Sammy to the Rams in exchange for EJ Gaines and some draft picks changing hands. Expected to be Jared Goff‘s #1 target for 2017, Sammy finished the season with 39 receptions for 593 yards and 8 TDs in his lone year with LA. 

He joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018, and in 10 contests he caught 40 passes for 519 yards and 3 Tds.

Carson, Carlos ‘Speedy’

Cards: ProSet 1989, Score 1989
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 8/23     Received: 10/13   (51 days)

Another in a quiet, long line of receiving talent from Louisiana State University, Carlos Carson played for the Tigers from 1977-1979. He had an improbable 10 touchdown catches on 23 receptions in 1977, displaying fleet speed averaging 24 yards a catch. Selected in the 5th round of the 1980 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, Carlos had to initially cut his teeth at the pro level on special teams.

Carlos caught his first professional touchdown- a 53 yard barn burner on the opening weekend of 1981 in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. His production slowly ramped up over the years. In 1983 Carson earned his first Pro Bowl appearance when he had 80 receptions for 1351 yards and 7 TDs to lead the AFC. He had an equally impressive 1984 catching 57 passes for 1078 yards and 4 TDs. In 1987 Carlos logged 55 catches for 1044 yards and 7 TDs during a strike shortened season, earning his second and final Pro Bowl berth.

Carlos continued his career through 1989, splitting time with the Chiefs and Eagles in his final season. His 6360 receiving yards with the Chiefs over 10 seasons is no small matter, and his career 18.1 yards per catch is a franchise record. Carson played for a Chiefs franchise at the advent of the modern era passing game. Kansas City was caught flat footed, and frequently was undermanned at quarterback during his whole career.

KC doesn’t have a long line of wide receivers in their Ring of Honor, with just Chris Buford (1975) and Otis Taylor (1982) in it, so when Carlos was inducted in 2017- it was a great and long overdue honor. Carson is also a member of the Chiefs 40th Anniversary Team.
 

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