Tag Archives: omaha nighthawks

Garcia, Jeff

poff00 jgarcia
Cards: Playoff Contenders 2000, TNT UFL 2011
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o The St. Louis Rams
Sent: 11/10/15   Received: 1/9/16   (60 days)
Failure: TTM 2012, C/o The Houston Texans. TTM 2014, C/o Home

What a long, windy road it has been for Jeff Garcia.  The righthanded quarterback played for San Jose State from 1991 to 1993.  In 30 career games for the Spartans, Jeff had 6545 yards on 887 attempts, and 48 TD throws. He joined the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL in 1994 backing up legendary Doug Flutie.  He’d get to show his stuff in 1995 after Doug got injured and performed admirably for the team. Jeff always demonstrated this uncanny ability to buy time with his feet. The Stampeders became so comfortable with Garcia at QB, they let Flutie leave and sign with the Argos. Jeff played for Calgary through the 1998 season winning the 86th Grey Cup and the MVP award. Afterwards Garcia decided to take another shot at the NFL- signing with the San Fransisco 49ers.

With the 49ers Jeff was in a similar situation backing up Hall of Famer Steve Young at quarterback. Again, just like in Calgary, Jeff was thrust into the lineup when Steve was injured in 1999. People sort of (and still do) muse about how badly CFL talent translates to the NFL, but Jeff was the exception. He’d go on to earn 3 Pro Bowl appearances in 5 seasons. After being released in 2004, Jeff began the journeyman phase of his career.  He then had stops in Cleveland (2004), Detroit (2005), and Philadelphia (2006) where he led them to a division title in relief of injured Donovan McNabb. In 2007 Garcia was signed by the Buccaneers earning his 4th career Pro Bowl appearance. While playing for the Bucs, he returned them to a level of respectability posting a 14-10 record for the team. He’d be cut by the Bucs and sign with the Raiders for 2009. Frustrated with his role in mentoring Jamarcus Russell, he asked for his release. Garcia was later signed as an insurance, back with the Eagles for roughly two weeks.

tntufl11 jgarciaUnable to find a team for 2010 but still wanting to play, Jeff took a shot with the United Football League. The league was banking on pulling in star power and an extended NFL lockout the following season to help boost their bottom line.  Jeff signed with the Omaha Nighthawks, leading the team to an exciting 27-26 opening day victory over the Hartford Colonials, and the following week a 20-17 win over the Sacramento Mountain Lions.  For his efforts Garcia earned UFL Player of the Week Honors for his comeback victories. The Nighthawks were a pleasant surprise for the league and sold out recently renovated Rentschler Stadium every week of the season.  He did not return to the UFL for 2011.

After an injury to starter Matt Schaub, and then later backup Matt Leinart, Jeff was signed by the Houston Texans along with Jake Delhomme to back up TJ Yates for the final 2 contests of the 2011 NFL season, but did not see any action. As late as 2013 Garcia claimed that he still has the heart and the desire to play.  I tried to get his autograph at that time through the Texans, but I was unable to land him. I then found another address for him in California, and shot out some customs, but again was unable to get his autograph there.

Jeff was signed to be on the advisory board of the ‘New USFL’ and has expressed an interest in working with quarterbacks refining their mechanics. Just like that Jeff was already back in the CFL as a QB coach for the Montreal Allouettes in 2014. In 2015 he joined the St. Louis Rams as an offensive assistant, where I finally got his autograph on these two cards. He is also a noted philanthropist of the sport as well. His brother Aaron is a noted quarterback and coach in Arena Football.

Jeff Garcia is one of these guys that I am really happy to get a response from. Sure a lot of it had to do with persistence, but he’s just so underrated. People just don’t get that there are some players out there that have the heart of a champion and live and love the sport. I think Jeff Garcia embodies it. Jeff will probably never get into the ‘Pro Football Hall of Fame’ which is an absolute crime, because cumulatively, if you add up his statistics from all the leagues he’s played in, Garcia is one of 10 players in football history with more  than 30 TDs in back to back seasons.  Garcia’s accomplishment takes on all the more significance when you realize he did this on the 49ers. It wasn’t Joe Montana, Steve Young, or John Brodie. It was Jeff Garcia. He also has a 99 yard TD to his name (to Andre Davis), and greater than 43000 career passing yards.

CFL     ATT 2024     COMP  1249    YDS  16442    PCT 61.7
TD 111    INT 52       RAT  94.9
RUSH  384   YDS 2358    AVG 6.1    TD 24    LG  46
NFL 131     ATT 3676   COMP 2264    YDS  25537   PCT 61.6
TD 161     INT 83    RAT  87.5
RUSH 468     YDS   2140   AVG  TD 26   LG  33
UFL 8/8     ATT 255     COMP 132      YDS  1321     PCT  51.8
TD 9    INT  11     RAT  88.3
RUSH  24   YDS  68    AVG 2.8   TD 0   LG  14

 

Purify, Maurice

tntafl11 purifyCard: TNT AFL 2011 Promo
Acquired: IP 6/15/2014, San Antonio Talons vs. The Arizona Rattlers

Maurice earned Second Team All-Big 12 Hounrs as a senior after catching 57 passes for 814 yards and 9 touchdowns with the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2007.  Going undrafted, Purify signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 where he’d see time on special teams, recording 5 tackles in 2009.  He joined the Georgia Force in 2010 and was named Rookie of the Year and Breakout Player of the Year. Maurice also earned Second-Team All-Arena honors after leading the Georgia Force with 130 receptions and 46 TDs, while finishing second on the team with 1,653 yards receiving.  In 2011, Maurice decided to play for the UFL, but an injury landed him on injured reserve for the majority of the league season, so Maurice returned to the Arena leagues, this time signing with the powerful Arizona Rattlers. He’d go on to catch 126 balls for 1,932 yards and 46 touchdowns that season and earn First-Team All-Arena Honors. He’d be a key component in the Rattlers ArenaBowl XXV victory, as he’d be named Offensive Player of the Game for his seven touchdown performance. Maurice resigned with Arizona for the 2013 season, but was injured for much of the year. Still he’d post up  51 receptions for 740 yards and nine touchdowns in nine games, and two touchdowns in the team’s return to ArenaBowl XXVI.  Maurice was the last of the ‘big 3’ that I was after from the Rattlers that evening. He went over to sign autographs before the game, so I had to dart across the stands with pen in hand to get him. Still I ended up with his autograph on this sweet looking card of him from his days with the Force.

 

Putzier, Jeb

ud06 putziertntufl11 putzier
Card: TNT UFL 2011, Upper Deck 2006
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 2/10    Received: 6/23   (133 days)

Jeb got his start in 1999 with the Boise State Broncos. He got out onto the field as a Freshman and logged 10 receptions for 120 yards and 2 TDs from the tight end position. Considering the offensive wizardry that was employed at Boise St., Putzier was redeployed as a wide receiver from his Sophomore season on out. He topped his numbers fairly evenly each season, culminating in a Senior year with 44 receptions for 824 yards and 12 touchdowns when he was an All WAC selection. He finished his career on the blue tundra with 128 receptions for 2,050 yards, 16.0 YPR, and 19 touchdowns.

The NFL reclassified Putzier back as a tight end, going into the 2002 draft. He did not receive a combine invite, but his fairly productive career at Boise St., coupled by his size (6’4″, 251) and well received team day (4.6 40), turned some heads of the scouts enough to get some attention. He was also valued for his special teams play as a long snapper. Jeb was tabbed in the 6th round, by the Denver Broncos as a ‘value pick’. He’d start off slowly and not even see the field consistently until 2004. He’d provide some nice mismatches, making 36 receptions for 572 yards and 2 TDs in 2004. (The 15.9 YPR was the highest number by a Bronco TE in over 25 years.) Putzier then followed it up in 2005 with a modest 37 receptions for 481 yards. With the Houston Texans making Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak their head coach, Putzier signed with the team to replace Billy Miller at the position in 2006. The Texans however found Owen Daniels in the draft. While the position was retooled now with Daniels getting the majority of the snaps, Putzier ended up sharing time with Mark Bruener as well. He’d log 126 yards on 13 receptions. In 2007, he made 6 receptions for 39 yards, and 1 TD- a 7 yarder in a 38-36 loss to Tennesseee. After the season Putzier was allowed to sign with the Seattle Seahawks for 2008. There, he lasted about 6 games before resigning with the Denver Broncos, where he was cut in 2009.  Jeb signed with the UFL Hartford Colonials, but was waved in June of 2010. The Omaha Nighthawks picked him up, and he immediately fit right into the offense guided by Jeff Garcia. Putzier had 14 receptions for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns- which tied for the team lead. Of the 3 touchdowns, 2 were game winners against the Moutain Lions and the Hartford Colonials. Due to financial instability in the league, (namely players not being paid,) Putzier decided to retire after the season. Currently he lives in the Denver area where he has served as a guest on some of the local sports radio stations.

A few things were going in Jeb’s favor for me sending a request out to him: 1) He’s a former Houston Texan, and 2) I did a UFL custom entry of him a few years ago for the Omaha Nighthawks. I really had high hopes things would take off, and as some fans had egged me on to do more cards I expanded off the base set and pushed the original UFL offering out to a bit over 100 cards. It became a labor of love when I lost out on a job in the industry I wanted, and I realized the league wasn’t going to make it. A lot of it to me is about preservation, and recovering that which is already forgotten to some. It’s just an added bonus when the player wants one of these cards to remember it by too, since a lot of them didn’t get squat from the league in the end. I didn’t honestly expect this one back, but lo and behold after a little wait, Jeb signed the TNT card, plus added one of his own, and asked me for a copy of my custom! With the recent flood of requests, I really have my work cut out for me!

NFL   69/17     Rec  96        Yds  251             Avg   13.0           Td  3              Lg 39
UFL      Rec 14       Yds 144      Avg 10.3       Td 3      Lg 33