Tag Archives: pittsburgh steelers

Porter, Joey

Cards: Upper Deck 2009, Score 2009
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o The Pittsburgh Steelers
Sent: 8/22    Received: 9/12   (21 days)

Joey Porter pound for pound was one of the most dominant linebackers of the 2000s.  Taken in the 3rd round of the 1999 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Joey was still pretty raw to the linebacker position, something he had switched to from H-Back during his college days at Colorado State.

He’d bide his time on special teams generally over the course of his rookie year. Still he’d record his first professional touchdown on a forced fumble from Neil O’Donnell.  In 2000, he’d start his first full 16 game slate for the Steelers at right outside linebacker, recording 10.5 sacks, and another fumble that he’d return for a TD- that time as he victimized Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. He’d also notch his first career safety.  In 2002, Joey earned his only All Pro nomination, with a career high 60 tackles, and 4 interceptions for 153 yards, to go along with 9 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.  Porter also went to Hawaii after the season and also in 2004 and 2005 while with the Steelers.

Joey took his show to Miami in 2007 where he was unleashed upon the AFC East. Adding teeth to the Dolphin defense, Joey played all over the field at linebacker, outside linebacker, and at defensive end. In 2008 he’d make one more Pro Bowl, as he had a career high 17.5 sacks.  After the 2009 season, Joey signed with the Arizona Cardinals. He’d play for them through the 2011 season, and then retire after signing a one day contract with the Steelers in 2012.

Joey entered the coaching ranks, first as a defensive assistant at Colorado State in 2013. Afterwards he joined the Steelers in the same capacity, honing his knowledge under then defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau in 2014.  He’d be promoted to linebackers coach in 2015, a capacity in which Joey’s served through 2017.

Among his honors, Joey was named to the NFL 2000’s All Decade team and the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team. In 2016 he also was nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame but did not make the final cut. He kindly signed these two cards for me through the Steelers in under 30 days.

G/GS 188/171   TAC 498   SAC 98.0   FUM 25
INT 12   YDS 233    AVG 19.4     TD 1    LG 84

Smith-Schuster, John ‘JuJu’

Card: Sage 2017 (#95/250)
Acquired: 2017, Box Breaker

JuJu Smith-Schuster had a very successful career playing wide receiver for USC.  At 6’1″, 220, he possesses all the tools needed to take it to the pros. Over the last two years he caught at least 10 TDs while averaging 14.5 yards per reception.  He finished his career at USC catching 213 passes for 3092 yards and 25 TDs.  Scouts dinged Smith-Schuster for his lack of separation and top speed, but with top end physicality, strong hands, and an uncanny knack to win contested catches, JuJu has drawn comparisons to Anquan Boldin.
Smith-Schuster was overcome with happiness when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the second round of the 2017 draft.

Dawson, Len

Card: ProSet 1990 Super Bowl MVP
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Work
Sent: 12/15   Received: 12/31   (16 days)
Failure: 2013, C/o Work

Len Dawson saw a storied NFL career that stretched from the late 50s to the mid 70s.  After putting together a strong career at Perdue, Dawson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with their #1 pick in 1957.  Unable to dislodge Bobby Layne from the starter position, Dawson was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1960 where he also faced an uphill battle for the starting position under center. He’d join the rival American Football League in 1962, where he’d become the unquestioned starter of the Dallas Texans.  Power plugged into the Texans offense,  Dawson immediately turned the franchise into contenders going toe to toe with the Houston Oilers and winning the AFL Championship. Soon thereafter the Texans moved to Kansas City and Len went on to record numerous accolades including league single-game and season records including career touchdowns with 182 for the American Football League.

The AFL had never earned the respect of the NFL brass. They felt that the AFL played an inferior kind of ball- even though Joe Namath led the Jets to victory the previous year in Super Bowl III. While the Chiefs appeared to be snake bitten all season long- with injuries to Len or just plain bad luck, they made the playoffs after not even winning their division. The Chiefs then dethroned the Jets on their home field in the first round, and then beat the Raiders on the road in Oakland – after not even beating them during the regular season. The hard fought victory, didn’t bring the Chiefs any respect. In fact, most media and sports writers had predicted that the Minnesota Vikings were going to roll Kansas City in Super Bowl IV.

Instead, KC which had become used to the underdog role, relished in victory, smothering the Vikings 23-7.  Dawson paced the Chiefs throwing for 142 yards and a TD on 12 of 17 passing, earning himself MVP honors- all while under duress of a gambling probe that was proven unfounded.  Dawson avenged himself for his previous loss to the NFL, when the Chiefs lost to the Packers in Super Bowl I.
Len played an additional 5 more seasons retiring after the 1975 season- after 19 seasons.

Len is incredibly popular in Kansas City Chiefs’ lore. He had his number retired and was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame. Dawson has done color commentary and insider reporting in the NFL for many years. In 1987 Len was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As of 2017, Len is a sports anchor for a Kansas City NBC affiliate.

G/GS 211/159    ATT 3741    COMP  2136   YDS 28711    PCT    57.1
TD 239    INT 183     RAT  82.6
RUSH 294    YDS1293     AVG 4.4    TD 9      LG 43