Cullen played high school football in Texas, so he grew up wanting to play for the University of Texas.
Declining scholarships to other schools, he opted to walk on at UT in 1999.
Worked his way into the lineup as a longsnapper, while moonlighting at TE graduating in 2004.
Free agent signee of the Minnesota Vikings that year, and he quickly became the team’s starting longsnapper.
Cullen held the position down until 2010, when a back injury sidelined him.
Returned to the Vikings and played for the team through 2014.
He’d retire after being cut in 2015.
Longsnappers hold a certain ‘lunchpail’ lore to fans of football. The most unsung skilled player position in the NFL, if you don’t have someone who can 100% snap that ball from the line of scrimmage to a punter or holder’s hands, you’re taking a risk at it being blocked. As such, the position has become a sort of ironman position in the league. It’s not a glorified $20 million dollar a year job- as such, these guys once they get locked in, many of them play 10-15 seasons easy for the franchise, exclusively doing longsnapping.
My friend Mark has sort of cornered the market on Cullen. Apparently he has mutual acquaintances through him and was able to get this autograph on an off and on set need for me.
Played both Defensive end positions over 4 years with Raiders.
Had 228 total tackles, 37 TFL, 16.5 sacks, 6 fumble recoveries, and 1 pick.
Signed with Bears in 2015, playing the next 3 seasons and 5 games.
Started just 2 games in 2015 (16 played) but recorded a career high 8 sacks.
Split 2017 between the Bears and Texans, playing 5 games for each team.
Signed with the Texans to help ailing defensive front, posting a sack, 7 tackles, 3 tackles for loss.
Also recorded first TD, returning a fumble 34 yards in his final game with the team.
I mean the evening wasn’t a total disaster at the bowling event. I was very excited when the Texans signed Lamarr to bolster their defensive front after JJ Watt went down with an injury. I thought he delivered, and in his final contest I thought the light really went on, but the franchise saw otherwise and cut him.
When I got his autograph on these cards, I asked him what happened and he told me that, “They told me I was too old.”
Card: Press Pass Trophy Club 2007, Panini UT 2016 Acquired: In Person 2018, 31 Camp
I got Sam Huff and Aaron Ross confused often as both had very similar college trajectories playing for the Texas Longhorns and winning the Jim Thorpe Award in consecutive years so I never realized I didn’t have Aaron in my Longhorn collection.
Aaron Ross played for the Texas Longhorns from 2003- 2006, honing his game initially behind future NFL pro Nathan Vasher. He’d also see extensive time on special teams. He’d really come into his own by 2005, recording 46 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 3 interceptions for 40 yards as the Longhorns won the National Championship. Ross’ displayed immense vision and speed on put returns with 34 punt returns for 500 yards and 2 TDs. 2006 was a banner year for Ross, as he earned the Jim Thorpe Award, with 57 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, a sack, and 6 interceptions for 7 yards. On punt returns again, Aaron had 23 returns for 240 yards and a TD.
Aaron was selected by the New York Giants with the 20th overall pick of the 2007 NFL draft. He finished his rookie season with 42 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 3 interceptions for 51 yards, and a 43 yard TD against the New York Jets- culminating in a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots. He’d have another solid season in 2008 posting 52 tackles, 3 interceptions for 58 yards and a TD. A hamstring injury pretty much wiped out his 2009 season and when he returned in 2010, Aaron was relegated to the bench. He’d return to the stater role in 2010, earning 60 total tackles, 4 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries, punctuating the Giants Super Bowl win again over the Patriots.
He’d sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012 and start 9 contets for the team. Ross recorded 46 total tackles, and 3 pass deflections. He’d return to the Giants for 2013, and finish eventually his career with the Ravens in 2014.
I really liked the Panini UT set that came out but I was disappointed because they lumped all the sports in there and the breadth of players didn’t seem too deep. Still the design is pretty good, even if it bears the hallmark shadow posterization that many of the cards of this era have.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.