Tag Archives: philadelphia eagles

Allen, Eric

Card: Action Packed 1990
Acquired: In Person 2019, San Antonio Commanders v San Diego Fleet

Eric played for Arizona State from 1984 to 1987, posting 16 career interceptions and 2 TDs. He had a dominant Senior year in ’87, putting up 8 interceptions for 185 yards and 2 TDs. Selected by Buddy Ryan’s Eagles in the 2nd round of the 1988 Draft, Eric was immediately slotted in at right cornerback, where he payed dividends with 65 tackles and 5 interceptions his rookie year. He’d earn his only First Team AP nomination in 1989 when he recorded 8 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and 48 tackles. Arguably Allen had his best year in 1993, when he had 6 interceptions for 201 yards and count em, 4 TDs- including a 94 yard long. He also had 3 forced fumbles 2 sacks and 64 tackles.

Eric joined the New Orleans Saints in 1995. He played there for three seasons starting 48 games, and recording 160 tackles, and 5 interceptions. In 1998, Allen signed with the Oakland Raiders, where he experienced a renaissance of sorts, first with an injury shortened 10 game campaign, but not before he added 5 more interceptions to his resume. In 2000, Eric had another fine season for the books, with 6 picks for 145 yards and 3 TDs, a sack, 14 pass deflections, and 68 tackles. He’d retire after the 2001 season and go into the broadcast booth at ESPN as an analyst, and then later for college football Pac 12 games.

Despite the NFL making adjustments to defensive passing rules over the years, Eric Allen continued to shadow his opponent’s #1 receiver. He is the only player in the history of the league to return 3 or more interceptions for a TD in a season- twice, and the 6 time Pro Bowler was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame, and named to the Eagles 75th Anniversary squad.

I had found out that Eric was wanting to cut his teeth coaching in the AAF and he hooked up to work with Mike Martz’s San Diego Fleet as a defensive backs coach. Before the second half of the game began, he tried sneaking by me in the end zone, so I called him out. In my trademark style I said to Eric, “Hey Eric, just because you shaved your mustache doesn’t mean you can go incognito.” He smiled wryly and did a slight detour and came back to me. We talked briefly about the Fogbowl, and reminisced about those crazy times. For a DB of Eric’s HoF quality, I was surprised that more people didn’t take part or ask for his autograph, but still I was happy to add him on this card.

Great autograph on a good looking card. It’s too bad that the artifact noise of the photo transferred to the card during production.

G/GsTACSACFUM
217/2147893.06
INTYDSAVGTDLG
5482615.3894T

Bowles, Todd

Card: ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o The New York Jets
Sent: 10/1 Received: 12/31 (91 days)

Admittedly, it’s a bit grim when you get a player or coach’s autograph in the mail from them right after they get cut or fired. Case in point- Todd Bowles. He took over Gang Green after Rex Ryan was dismissed from the franchise in 2015. He posted a solid 10-6 record right out of the box that year, but the team did not make the playoffs. Over the next 3 seasons, the Jets failed to rally back into the AFC East race, finishing dead last each year with identical 5-11 records in 2016 and 2017, and a 4-12 mark in 2018.

The franchise hired a new GM and then couldn’t find a quarterback to hitch the team to until the 2018 season. In the meantime they constantly missed on draft choices or had a lack there of and in the 2018 season lost 6 games by less than a TD. Todd was released after the season, but not before he dropped this card in the mail – signing one of two for me. He was quickly snatched up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their open defensive coordinator position in 2019 reuniting him with Head Coach Bruce Arians.

Todd has a rich coaching history. Technically a disciple of the Al Groh coaching tree, Todd served at a variety of stops in college before hitting it big in the NFL with the Jets as a secondary coach in 2000. He served as a defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 1997 for Morehouse and in 1998 and 1999 in the same capacity for Grambing State. Bowles joined the Browns in 2001 and remained with the franchise through 2004, eventually becoming the franchise’s secondary coach. He then coached with the Cowboys under Bill Parcells from 2005-2007, again in the secondary, before working with the Dolphins in 2008, where he’d get a taste of head coaching in 2011 going 2-1 as the interim head coach. Todd spent a year with the Eagles, and then in 2013 was the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals, where he enjoyed the most success paired with head coach and offensive guru Bruce Arians. He earned AP Assistant Coach of the Year Honors before embarking on his whirlwind tour of New York.

Amazingly- Todd has a very long playing resume as well. Going undrafted out of Temple in 1986, he signed with the Redskins playing Free Safety with the franchise through 1990- earning one Super Bowl ring. Bowles hopped over the 49ers in 1991 spending one season with the team. He’d then return to the Redskins for two more seasons before heading into coaching.

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117/82N/A2.071520813.8065
WLTPCT
26410.388

Sterling, Rob

Card: ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 12/7 Received: 12/21 (14 days)

A 5th round pick of the Orlando Thunder during the WLAFs inaugural positional draft in 1991, Rob Sterling played college ball at Maine. After graduating in 1988, he’d be selected by the Eagles, but spent the entire year on IR. Acquired via plan B by the Jets the following season, he didn’t make the squad, but returned to the Eagles where he saw time on the team’s developmental squad.

Still hungry to play football, Rob signed up with the fledgling Arena Football League, and played for both the Albany Firebirds and the Washington Commandos in 1990. In limited action, Rob had 5 receptions for 50 yards and a TD, and 8 total tackles- playing both ways.

A rangy playmaker with good speed, Rob finished 3rd on the Thunder in Tackles with 43 stops and 9 pass deflections- after sitting out the final game with a knee injury. Rob’s biggest highlight came when he took a lateraled interception 33 yards for a TD against the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks. He did not return to the league for the 1992 season.

I collaborate with fellow collector Mark (of Marks Signing Bonus) on a semi-regular basis through Sportscollectors.com. He and I send WLAF addresses back and forth of players we have gotten lucky on and while he claims that I am regularly on point, he comes up with some killer finds- including Rob Sterling. Rob originally hails from Jamaica, has got a pretty common name, and went to Maine (of all places), so I pretty much gave up on this one some time ago after doing a ton of research. Thankfully Mark passed this one along to me and Rob autographed this one in roughly 2 weeks.

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9/10430.0103333.0133T
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80.0000-.-0-.-