Tag Archives: kansas city chiefs

Tolliver, Billy Joe

Cards: ProSet 1989,Action Packed Rookies 1990,Action Packed 1991,Upper Deck 1991,Topps 1990,GameDay 1992,Score 1990
Acquired: In Person 1993, CGA Youth Golf Tournament

A real tender moment in my autograph collecting- Billy Joe Tolliver, Browning Nagle and Steve Bartkowski were palling around really early in the morning, -I’d guess around 7:45AM and I was basically the only fan on the course. They actually saw me and started talking to me. Maybe it was because I just walked up onto the green and didn’t know my golf etiquette, but they absolutely loved the drawings I did of each one of them. Billy Joe and I started talking and he offered let me ride along with them to the next hole. How could I say no (especially comparing this in retrospect to my experiences with John Elway)? Tolliver the previous season had a hail mary pass against the 49ers, and we discussed how exciting and amazing the play was. Billy Joe just told me he tried to put it up to his favorite game maker (Michael Haynes) and he just got lucky. He also shared that it was his favorite moment (up to that point of his young career).

In the waning days of the Southwestern Conference, Texas Tech started really establishing itself with a dominating offense. Billy Joe Tolliver was the renaissance man that would be the genesis in the long line of record setting quarterbacks at Lubbock. Gifted with a cannon for an arm Tolliver would be drafted in the 3rd round of the 1989 draft by the San Diego Chargers, who traded a lion’s share to the Giants to get him. Expected to be the quarterback of the team’s future, he was thrust right into a quarterback competition between David Archer and Mark Malone. In the end the team traded the Bears for Jim McMahon and he and Tolliver would battle the rest of the season for the starting gig. San Diego was a tough place to play after the departure of Dan Fouts, with an eternal revolving door at quarterback (13 starting quarterbacks from 1987-1991).  By 1990 Tolliver was firmly entrenched as the number one quarterback in San Diego- but was inexplicably benched in favor of Mark Vlasic. He’d quickly be renamed starter but was benched again at the end of the season for another ‘quarterback of the future’ –John Friesz. Friesz would be named the starter for the 1991 season and Tolliver would find himself traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a 5th round pick. Overall the Tolliver legacy in San Diego would surely be considered a ‘wash’.

It was an interesting situation in Atlanta to say the least for Tolliver playing under the Red Gun offense with injury prone starter Chris Miller and 3rd stringer distraction Brett Favre behind him. It was during the 1991 season Billy Joe would get some playing time in and make the Hail Mary pass against the 49ers and have a respectable finish to the season. In 1992, Farve would be sent packing to Green Bay for as coach Jerry Glanville stated, “To save him (Farve) from himself.” Tolliver would be in the starting role in 1992 after Chris Miller was injured and out for the season but would finish with literally average results (5Tds, 5ints, 55% completions and a 70.5 qb rating). The next season, he’d once again be backup to Chris Miller and Bobby Herbert. With Miller injured again, Tolliver would be the main backup again and would see some playing time in 7 games. After the 1993 season he would not be resigned.  Playing in Atlanta was met with mixed results. Extreme highs (the Hail Mary) punctuated by big lows (arguments on the sidelines with Jerry Glanville and blowout losses).

When the 1994 season began, Tolliver was still looking for a job but was signed to be a 3rd string quarterback on the struggling Houston Oilers. By mid-season Billy would be the starter and would finish with another 7 starts under his belt splitting time with Bucky Richardson. He would be a free agent again and this time pursue a job in the fledgling CFL USA signed by the Shreveport Pirates for their final season in 1995. Returning again to the NFL Tolliver would go back to the Falcons, this time backing up Herbert and Browning Nagle at quarterback. He’d play sparingly through 1996 and be released mid-season in 1997, but would then be signed by the Kansas City Chiefs who needed an injury replacement. Tolliver would be cut in mid 1998. Billy Joe would return to the NFC South, going to the New Orleans Saints under Mike Ditka in 1999. He’d remain on and off the team roster through 2000. In 2001 Tolliver would be signed by Green Bay- remarkably with former friend and quarterback Brett Favre, where Billy Joe would retire shortly after losing the backup quarterback job to Doug Pederson.

Overall looking at Billy Joe Tolliver’s career, one could almost state that he had some of the best agents or was one of the best third string quarterbacks to play the position. The definition of a journeyman, Tolliver would play for no more than 7 teams, starting at some point during his career for at least 6 of them over a 12 season career. Since football, Billy Joe has remained extremely active. He was inducted by the Red Raiders into their Hall of Honor in 2002. An athletic competitor at heart- Billy Joe Tolliver is considered a great golfer frequently winning sports amateur golf competitions on a regular basis and in 2010 he beat Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for the championship. Billy Joe was treated kindly by the Tecmo gods, who rewarded him with an amazing 81 in passing speed for his cannon of an arm.

G/Gs  74/42  Att  1707    Comp 891    Yds 10760     Pct 52.2%       Td 59   Int 64   Lg 82T  Rat 67.7

McNair, Todd

Card: Score 1990
Acquired: Houston Oilers Training Camp 1994

During the advent of the 3rd down back, Todd McNair was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs out of Temple in the 8th round of the bell-weather 1989 draft. A solid, yet unnoticed presence in the backfield during the early nineties of the venerable ground game of the Kansas City Chiefs that included such names as Christian Okoye and Barry Word, McNair not only was a solid blocker, but also a smart receiver out of the backfield – devastating on both draws and delays.  He’d score a critical touchdown in the playoffs against Houston in 1993, and in 1994 would be signed away from Kansas City by the Oilers. Unfortunately, McNair and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride had a fallout, and Todd was relegated to the scout team. The Oilers collapsed and Bud Adams cleared house, appointing Jeff Fisher as head coach. McNair saw his playing time increased exponentially in 1995, averaging over 7 yards a carry and catching 60 passes.  During training camp in 1994 I’d get his autograph as he walked to the locker rooms. After his two season stint with Houston, Todd returned to Kansas City in 1996 and retired.

He’d immediately jump into coaching and by 2001 was back in the NFL coaching the Cleveland Browns running backs. In 2004 he was recruited by USC, where he coached running backs and special teams. He’d also develop quite a knack for recruiting high school athletes. Unfortunately NCAA investigations in 2010 found USC guilty of improprieties in regards to Reggie Bush and his contact with agents. McNair was not retained when USC put a new coaching staff in place as the NCAA levied charges against him. At this time McNair is appealing the charges against him.

G/Gs 107/10    Att 147       Yds  803    Avg   5.5   Lg   47     Td  3   |
Rec  254     Yds  2435   Avg  9.6   lg 65   Td  7

Gailey, Chan

Cards: ProSet 1991, ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o The Buffalo Bills
Sent: 3/12    Received: 3/19  (7 days)

Georgia born Chan Gailey, has been coaching at the college or pro level now for roughly 35 years, working at a variety of levels before being hired to coach with the Denver Broncos in 1985 and is considered a member of the Dan Reeves coaching tree. He’d spend the next 6 seasons there culminating in the offensive coordinator job, before he became the head coach of the Birmingham Fire in 1991. Making his mark with the team in nearby Alabama, Gailey’s team would make the playoffs both years of the WLAF’s existence. The teams’ were surprisingly known not for their offense, but rather a staunch defense that kept the team in most games. After the 1992 season and the WLAF folded, Chan briefly returned to the NCAA football level, but in 1994 he’d be hired by the Steelers where he’d stay through 1997. He’d serve as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1998 and 1999, but could never shake the image as Jerry Jones’ puppet and that his teams were not tough enough. Even though his teams would make the playoffs both season and lose after the first round, (and Troy Aikman felt that Gailey was a prehistoric dinosaur) Chan would not be detained as the Cowboys head coach. He’d be hired almost immediately to be offensive coordinator of the Dolphins in 2000 staying there through 2001, before returning home to Georgia Tech in 2002. His name got consideration for the head coaching jobs in both Pittsburgh and Miami.  Gailey would coach Tech through 2007 and then be hired by the Chiefs in 2008 as offensive coordinator, but was demoted and not retained by the team. In a surprising move by the Buffalo Bills, in 2010 the team announced Chan Gailey as the team’s 15th head coach partially on a recommendation by former head coach Bill Cowher of the Steelers.

Gailey’s offensive philosophy is one that adapts itself to the players available on the team and along his stops, outside of his current one here in Buffalo, have been good at maximizing very average talent while more importantly hiding those players inefficiencies.  The charge against him in response to this is that his teams’ offenses have been charged with being too conservative.  I jump at the chance to get WLAF autographs and I got his autograph in a quick 7 days from the Bills office. I wish him all the luck but I honestly sent off so quickly for him because I haven’t given him much of a chance up there. The Bills have become a graveyard for good coaches. Below are his WLAF statistics.

W 12      L  7       T  1        Pct .600