Tag Archives: philadelphia eagles

Patterson, Melvin

Cards: Ultimate WLAF 1992, Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent:  5/11           Received:  5/22   (11 days)

Melvin Patterson was quite the find. Since his time in the WLAF he’s tread a very unique life.  After a lot of cross referencing his football card to a variety of other sources I found an old post on the web imploring users of the designer drug Kratom to contact Patterson at the DEA. After a few months of soul searching, I decided to reach out to Melvin. It had taken me sometime because I was intimidated to be calling the D-E-A. Furthermore, what would his reaction be? Finally, for me it breaks a long standing rule and tradition of TTM requests to never contact the player directly. Mail is direct enough, but by phone- that is a higher level of communication and it could be construed as something alarming. Nonetheless, I went ahead nervously and gave it a shot.

Initially it was a rough call. I could read easily that Patterson’s tone was skeptical, but after stumbling through formalities and explaining the purpose of my call, my link to him through the WLAF, and how it had positively impacted my life, he opened up to me and we had a long and interesting conversation about the league. It was really enlightening for me, as most of my discussions with former players usually is through snail mail, and I could get knee jerk, honest answers immediately about Melvin’s time playing for the league from him. I also was able to reassure him of my purpose by being able to discuss these things at length with him, especially the infamous ‘Hail Storm Game’ that occurred between Ohio and San Antonio.  He shared with me that the game held significant importance for him as both his mother (who frowned upon him playing football because she was afraid he’d get hurt) and his future wife were in attendance at the game.

Melvin also shared with me the background behind his 99 yard TD grab against the Knights- the longest in league history.  Apparently they had tried the same play on the previous down, and it hadn’t worked. While in the huddle, Melvin was chirping in QB Pat O’Hara‘s ear about how open he had been for most of the game.  They decided to attempt the same play again, but flip it. O’Hara went back to pass and Melvin found the seam between the corner and the safety and before he knew it, the ball was in his hands. He split the defensive backs and stepped on the gas to take the ball to pay dirt.  Patterson also reminded me of the SFA connection and that many players including Patrick Action Jackson and Todd Hammel had made their ways through the WLAF. He was very curious in how his teammates and college players had been doing.  Melvin said he’d even put in a good word for me if I could track down Todd.   Like many players, he agreed that the NFL gave up on the WLAF (and its other incarnations) too soon, as we rattled off the lineage of players that went on to greater glory or have become coaches in their own right, thanks in part to time honing their skills in the league. In addition he told me he had been assigned to the Austin field office for a few years during his tenure at the DEA, and this was quite a charge to me, just reinforcing what a small world it is.

In 1987, Melvin led SFA with 31 receptions for 472 yards and 2 TDs. Melvin signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a Free Agent in 1988 and the Atlanta Falcons in 1989.

He joined the WLAF in 1991 as a 5th round pick of the Birmingham Fire.  Based on archival information, it appears that Melvin was a member of the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks at the end of 1991, finishing with 4 catches for 126 yards and a 72 yard long.  Patterson was signed by the Eagles and allocated back to the WLAF for 1992. He was selected by the Ohio Glory in the supplemental player draft.

To say that the Glory suffered an identity crisis on offense is an understatement. Not only was there problems at quarterback, the coaches argued over the philosophical offensive strength of the team. Still, Melvin managed to haul in 21 receptions for 395 yards and 2 TDs as a long bomb threat.  I’m sure that his mom shuddered every time the defense forced a punt,  as Melvin was the team’s primary returner with 25 returns for 173 yards.

These are some great cards of Melvin.  The photography for the Ultimate set was uneven, but with this action shot of Melvin was pretty solid. Even though he doesn’t have the ball, the photo is at the right distance and the framing is just right to make this shot stand out from the ordinary. The second image from the Wild Card set is a nice one. You can feel the ball hitting Patterson in the bread basket. I wasn’t the biggest fan of their design however.  I thought the stamp logo and the bright numbers down the side really took away from the main composition of the card.

Melvin has pretty much been a career man in DEA since football and is nearing retirement.  He wrote me a really nice note with the autographs he sent back to me and said that he gets requests every once in a while from fans for autographs.  Of note, Melvin’s gaudy receiving average of 20.8 ranks 4th in league history.

WLAF    REC  25    YDS  521    AVG  20.8     TD  2      LG 99T
PR  25      YDS 173     AVG  6.9       TD 0

Demps, Quintin

Cards:  SP Authentics 2008 (351/1399), Playoff Contenders 2008, Bowman 2008, TNT UFL 2011
Acquired:  In Person 2016, Houston Texans Battle Red Stampede Tour

What a long, strange, windy road its been for Quintin Demps.  A ballhawk at safety, Demps punctuated his career with the rare accomplishment of two 100 yard interception returns for touchdowns. He also recorded a total of 17 career interceptions while playing at Texas-El Paso.  His combine numbers were encouraging enough, and again he proved that he had the wheels to be in the pros with a 4.39 40 combine showing.  Scouts scrutinized his tape and did not like his fundamentals. They thought he was a sloppy tackler, didn’t have the size (5’11”) to play safety, and despite his 40 showing, scouts were doubtful he could transition to cornerback because of a perceived lack of speed at the second level. Demps was selected in the 4th round of the 2008 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

He set out to prove scouts wrong, and as a kick returner Quintin had a solid debut with 52 returns for 1314 yards, a 25.3 yard average, and a TD on a 100 yard return.  He did not see any playing time as a starter, but recorded his first sack and forced fumble playing sparingly on defense during his rookie season.  Quintin didn’t see much time playing for the Eagles in 2009 either. He’d be released among the final cut downs in 2010.

Unable to find a team, Quintin signed with the Hartford Colonials of the fledgling United Football League mid-season and made an immediate impact. He recorded 8 tackles, and a spectacular interception against the Las Vegas Locos, returning it 73 yards to paydirt.  The Texans liked what they saw and took a flyer on the young defensive back, stashing him behind  Bernard Pollard, Eugene Wilson, and Troy Nolan as a special teamer.

In the off-season the Texans fired defensive coordinator Frank Bush. In came Wade Phillips to retool everything. After releasing Pollard and Wilson, Houston made many free agent moves, including bringing in Danieal Manning. They also drafted Brandon Harris and Shiloh Keo.  By the end of camp Demps was the odd man out, but soon thereafter was resigned by the Texans as Manning suffered a fibula injury.  He’d see more action on defense than ever before, recording 2 interceptions for 47 yards and 20 tackles in 2011. Although he missed some time in 2012 with a broken forearm, he still contributed another 21 tackles.

Left unprotected, Quintin signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. In 6 starts, he put up 4 interceptions for 61 yards and 25 tackles.  He also had his most extensive playtime since his rookie year returning kicks with 33 returns for 992 yards and a 95 yard TD. Demps then played in 2014 for the New York Giants. Demps started 9 games for the Giants, and recorded 4 interceptions for 19 yards and 41 tackles.

Demps returned ‘home’ to the Texans in 2015 and is seen in the show Hard Knocks on HBO talking to general manager Rick Smith. He was brought in to compete with veterans Stevie Brown and Rahim Moore in the safety rotation, but in the end became the starter at strong safety over Eddie Pleasant.  Demps started 13 games for the Texans hauling in an interception, 1 FF, 35 tackles, and .5 sacks. Happy with how Demps had matured like a fine wine over time, the Texans signed him again for the 2016 season.  Quintin responded with his best season as a pro, starting 13 games and pacing the team by intercepting 6 passes for 54 yards and 38 tackles. The Texans finished first in total defense for the first time after the 2016 season, largely due to the coheasive secondary play, led by Jackson, Bouye, Joseph, Hal, and Demps. Quintin gets no respect. Even though he was first at his position in interceptions on the #1 defense in the league, he didn’t earn a Pro Bowl berth. After the season, the Texans once again allowed Demps to leave for greener pastures. In March of 2017, he signed a multiyear contract with the Chicago Bears.

With one of my friends visiting from out of town, she got to see how geeky I could get about these sorts of things.  Quintin was a really cool guy at the Academy Battle Red Stampede Tour with fellow player Jonathan Grimes. Demps really liked the custom I did of him from back in the UFL days. He was amazed that I had gotten a photograph of him after he returned that interception for a TD against the Locos.  I was very proud of that find as I actually got a high resolution screen shot from the video feed of the game.  He kindly signed 4 cards for me during the event.

Maehl, Jeff

sage11-jmaehlCard: Sage Hit 2011 (203/250)
Acquired: 2016, EBay

Jeff Maehl was a standout receiver in Chip Kelly’s explosive offense while at Oregon. The former Duck scored 23 TDs on 178 receptions over his college career, averaging roughly 13 yards a catch. While Jeff was a standout at the combine on cone and shuffle drills, he clocked a pedestrian 4.62 40. Jeff went undrafted in the NFL, but was offered a contract with the UFL Virginia Destroyers. He opted to wait until the 2011 strike was over, and found a home with the Houston Texans as a member of the team’s practice squad where he’d remain on and off for the next season.

In 2013, Jeff was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, reuniting him with former college head coach Chip Kelly.  He saw limited time on the field recording 9 catches for 67 yards and a TD, as a pet project of the coaching staff who liked him over Riley Cooper.  Maehl also saw time on special teams. Late in the season, Jeff sustained a concussion, which delayed his return to the field.  He’d have another 5 catches in 2014,  while he bode his time in the Eagles receiving corps. Oddly, in 2015 Jeff was cut with an undisclosed injury settlement.

G/GS   27/0        REC  9        YDS  113       AVG 12.6     TD  1        LG   37