Tag Archives: New York Jets

Parcells, Bill ‘Big Tuna’


pset90 SBXXV B
Cards: ProSet 1990 Super Bowl Card, Action Packed 1991 All Madden Team
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Sent: 11/12    Received: 12/3   (18 days)

Bill Parcells is one of the more memorable coaches in NFL history. Not only was he an excellent orchestrator of coaches and evaluator of talent, he was quite the personality during press conferences.

Bill Parcells was actually selected in the 7th Round of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, but he was cut before he played a single game, so he almost immediately hopped into coaching (at Hastings) after graduating from Wichita State. He coached linebackers at Hastings, Wichita State and then later at Army before being promoted to defensive coordinator at Army in 1968. In 1970 he returned to coaching linebackers with Florida State, and the later Vanderbilt and Texas Tech, before taking his first head coaching job with Air Force in 1978.

Parcells briefly took a job as the defensive coordinator for the Giants under Ray Perkins in ’79- but quit the job.  He returned to coaching the following year as linebacker coach for the Patriots in 1980. It wasn’t that long thereafter before he returned to the Giants as their defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 1981.  He converted the defensive alignment to a 3-4 and succeeded Ray Perkins as HC in 1983. After a bumpy start and being on the hot seat, Parcells righted the ship and led the Giants back to the playoffs. In 1986 the Giants won their first Superbowl (XXI), as New York posted their best franchise record (14-2) led by their stellar defense and Phil Simms. The NFC East at the time was the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, the Cardinals, and the Washington Redskins. While the Cowboys were in a steep decline and the Cardinals were rarely a threat, the Giants had a rough and tumble time with both the Redskins and Eagles. It took another 4 years, but in 1990 the Giants returned to the Super Bowl (XXV) in a game considered to be one of the most exciting in NFL history. The Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills 20-19 led by stellar defensive play and a plodding offense that soaked up the clock led by grizzled veteran RB Ottis Anderson. Parcells retired after the game, citing health reasons.

Briefly Bill did sportscasting with NBC from 1991-1992, but was chomping at the bit to return to the game. In this phase of his coaching career, Parcells became known as a rags to riches coach. He came in and immediately turned around the fortunes of the franchises he coached. It can be attributed to Parcells for fixing the Patriots, restoring the franchise to respectability, and beginning the dynasty that has lasted into today. He coached for the Patriots from 1993 to 1996, with the team appearing in Super Bowl XXI- a loss to the Green Bay Packers. The following season Bill joined the New York Jets thanks in part to disagreements with the Patriots owner Robert Kraft over front office decisions. The Jets had to pay the Patriots a king’s ransom in draft picks to get him in the end, but Bill proved to be worth the price, turning around the moribund Jets. (In 1998 the Jets finished with a 12-4 record but lost in the AFC Championship.) He retired again from coaching in 1999.

Jerry Jones was desperate to fix the Dallas Cowboys who were beginning to become the laughing stock of the NFC East. Three consecutive 5-11 seasons were enough for Jones to approach Parcells hat in hand to lure him out of retirement. Bill’s price for Jones was steep: Head coach and general manager and no interference from Jones. The year was 2003. As with his previous stops, Bill had the magic touch leading the Cowboys to the playoffs, but over the next few years, he just couldn’t get Dallas over the hump. Before the 2007 season, Bill retired for the 3rd time.

He briefly did studio analysis for ESPN, but was lured out of retirement for a 4th time by the Miami Dolphins into an executive role at the end of 2007. As in the past, Bill fixed the Dolphins, cutting fan favorites, signing stacks of cheap free agents, firing coaches, bringing back into the fold mercurial RB Ricky Williams, and Miami responded with an 11-5 record. He retired, presumably for a final time in 2010.

Bill has an extensive coaching tree, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.  He lives in Florida and does some volunteer consulting from time to time. Currently he is retired… or is he mulling another comeback?

W 183      L   138     T 1       PCT .570

Reed, Ed

Card: Topps 2014
Acquired: 2017, Future Considerations

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to know my buddy Lance, the Louisiana Connection, we’ve built a good rapport and I’ve been fortunate to call him my friend, we’ve exchanged autographs back and forth and attended events together. Our ‘future consideration’ exchanges are completely spontaneous and come with no strings attached.  He decided to take a shot on the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame dinner, and hit pay dirt with both Ed Reed and Eddie Kennison who were at the event.  They both signed a few cards for Lance, and he was kind enough to package them up and send them to me. I can not emphasize enough that one of the greatest unsaid rewards of this hobby is the friends and the connections you make with other likeminded and selfless collectors.

Ed Reed is one of the greatest safeties of all time and there is definitely a first ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame jacket waiting for him.  The 24th overall selection of the 2002 draft, Ed played the majority of his career in Baltimore anchoring down the free safety position.  An instinctive and intelligent ballhawk, with all the intangibles and soft hands,  Ed was actually the second ranked safety off the board, (Roy Williams -DAL)  and Baltimore honestly wasn’t jumping up and down when he was selected, but the leader of the Miami Hurricane defense went out and proved them wrong. Over 11 seasons, Ed started 169 games and recorded a whopping stat line: 61 interceptions for 1541 yards and 7 TDs. Along the way he led the league in interceptions 3 times, yards twice, and had a 106 yard TD and a 107 yard TD. He earned All-Pro Honors 8 times, and Pro Bowl nominations in 9 seasons.  Like many greats, Ed Reed faced a conumdrum after the 2012 season. The Ravens hot off their latest Super Bowl appearance couldn’t pay Ed Reed to stay. He decided to test the free agent waters. Enter the Houston Texans.

The Texans had a habit of swinging for the fences on free agent pickups, typically dubbing them as ‘the final piece’ to a championship run by the front office brass- and then deeply overspending for them. With up and coming reasonably priced Glover Quin bolting in free agency for Detroit, the Texans brought up the Brinks truck to Ed Reed’s house and dumped the cash. Reed signed a 3 year contract in 2013, and then underwent arthroscopic surgery- surprising many in the Texans camp. Ed made a late debut in the Texans defense, but the team was already spiraling out of control.  While Ed was a vocal leader of the defense, and was to mentor young safety DJ Swearinger, he had zero impact on the defense. In  7 games he appeared in, Ed had 16 total tackles.  The Texans had enough of the Ed Reed show and cut him. He’d be picked up by the Jets and finish his season with the team. During his short stint in NY, Reed added another 3 interceptions to his resume, retiring after the conclusion of the 2013 season. While the ending of Ed’s career was not what anybody wanted, the volume of his production in Baltimore can not be overstated.

Beggars can not be choosers, and I value this gift that Lance gave me. Ed Reed in a Jets card looks odd though. I would’ve accepted a Texans card just the same, but Ed is iconic in his Baltimore regalia. Topps went through a slow evolution during this period, making minor tweaks to their design each year. It’s not a bad look, but it really feels like the front end of a car I’m looking at. The design is pretty embellished nicely, if not a bit too much.  It’s a decent but not really a memorable set, although in the future it maybe regarded as something typical of this era.

G/GP   174/169         TAC 643          SAC 6.0            FUM 13
INT 64          YDS 1590           AVG  24.8         TD  7          LG 107t

Ellard, Henry (2)

Cards: Fleer 1990, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Sent: 3/13   Received: 3/26  (13 days)
See Also: Henry Ellard

Henry Ellard gets no respect. At the time of retirement the highly decorated wide receiver was ranked 3rd all time in NFL history with 814 receptions and 13,777 yards. To boot he also had 65 receiving TDs, 15,718 total yards from scrimmage, and cracked the 1K barrier receiving 7 times. Still thanks to a logger jam at the position – even from Ram receivers from a different generation (Torry Holt, Issac Bruce), Ellard has not gotten the nod that he deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Henry enjoys coaching and has been doing it for sometime now at both the pro and at the high school level.

Great cards here of Henry.  I love the Fleer 1990 card of him leaning through the shot. Forget the fact that its obviously a warmup shot with his chinstrap undone. The yellow border helps frame the image well, and the ink of the autograph took to this card well. Ellard has a superb autograph with a unique ‘H’ and strong loops. It goes beyond saying that his signature also receives high marks for legibility and care.  The GameDay 1992 is a nice shot of Ellard going up for a grab. Graying out the background is a nice touch to get the subject to jump off the canvas. Now that takes all of 30 minutes and a mask to do in Photoshop, but back in the early 90s- it was still a creative feat.

After failing on Henry numerous times, I was able to track him down and knock him off on these two cards.  Other fans followed my initial request, with some abusing him for 8-10 autographs per request. As evidenced in the past, within a year he was returning mail and/or had moved on to a new location.