Tag Archives: pittsburgh steelers

Williams, Trey

Cards: Panini Contenders 2015, Crown Royale 2015, Panini Prestige 2015, Topps AAF 2019, Topps AAF 2019 NOW, Topps XFL 2020, Topps XFL 2020 Certified
Acquired: COMC, 2020. EBay, 2020. TTM C/o Home 2020
Sent: 11/12 Received: 11/21 (9 days)

Trey Williams hails from Texas A&M- a school full of rich history in producing runningbacks. While playing for the Aggies, he ran 204 time for 1343 yards and 18 TDs in 3 years (2012-2014). What was most impressive was his gaudy 6.6 yards per carry. He also caught 38 passes for 330 yards and a TD as well. Although he had a solid combine, Williams ultimately was not selected in the 2015 draft.

He’d sign with his hometown Houston Texans after the draft, then quickly join the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, the Patriots, the Dolphins, and finally the Colts- all before 2015 came to a close. After being cut by the Colts in mid-2016, Trey kept hustling. He signed with the Steelers early in 2017, then briefly joined the Argos in the CFL. In November of 2017, Williams signed with the Dallas Cowboys again where he’d be waived in final cuts during 2018.

I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to have highlight film that made preseason sportscenter.. such as scoring a TD on his first ever preseason carry from 20+ yards out, or returning a punt for a 64 yard TD with the Steelers- but somehow miss out on making the squad.

Trey opted to head to the new frontier of the Alliance of American Football in 2019. He’d be assigned to the San Antonio Commanders. After missing the first two weeks of the season for personal reasons, Trey played in the next 6 finishing with 40 carries for 205 yards and a TD. He’d also catch 9 passes for 71 yards and a TD as well.

An exciting sparkplug, Williams provided a change of pace to lead back Kenneth Farrow II in the Commanders backfield. An outside the tackles kind of guy, Williams is very good at dodging people in space. This makes him quite effective at screen passes and out in the flat. He quickly became my favorite player just behind Greg Ward Jr.

His finest moment in the AAF came in Week 7 against the formidable Salt Lake City Stallions. The Stallions had a very stubborn defense. After trading field position for most of the game and keeping it close, QB Marquise Williams dropped a screen pass out to Trey. He bobbed and weaved through the SLC defense 36 yards and then dove into the endzone for a TD. It was really incredible to watch!

After the AAF folded, Trey joined the XFL 2020, where he was the first player selected in the open portion of the draft by the Seattle Dragons. He’d be reunited with his coach from the Commanders, Mike Riley, and a bevvy of former teammates including Kenneth Farrow. He ran 34 times for 122 yards and a TD for the Dragons, and catch 8 passes for 44 yards and a TD- before the league folded after week 5.

I first missed out on an in person signing in Houston during 2019. I would’ve driven there just to get his autograph on a bunch of cards and meet him, but I had been to in person events frequently that year, and I did not wish to antagonize my wife. I also had the Topps AAF Now card I was worried about risking, so these just sat, and then I added a few more to the stack including the XFL card.

After a while I just decided to buy a few certified cards of Trey, thinking I’d call it a day, but a few months later my partner in crime, Mark, acted on an address I had long suspected of being Trey’s- and hit pay dirt. It took me a bit to get back to Trey. I miss the Commanders and the AAF a lot, but frankly, we all know it wouldn’t have made it probably through 2020 – because of the pandemic. (See the XFL 2020.) Still after being stuck in the mud the last few months on AAF/XFL send outs, I went back to it taking the risk that Trey would ink these cards. I would have preferred a different color than silver- but I can’t look this gift horse in the mouth.

Simien, Tracy

Card: ProSet World League 1991
Acquired: 2020, EBay
Failure: TTM 2010 and 2016, C/o Home

Tracy Simien played during the late Jurassic era of the SWC for the Texas Christian Horned Frogs from 1985-1988. During that period he switched positions 4 times, from center and guard as a freshman, and then as a nose tackle during his sophomore campaign, finally landing at defensive end during his junior season. Over his time at TCU, Tracy compiled 193 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 12 sacks. Reputed to bench at the time over 400 pounds, Tracy slipped through the cracks of the 1989 NFL Draft, but found a home on the developmental roster of the Steelers that season, seeing some action in the divisional playoff game against the Broncos. In 1990 he joined the Chiefs developmental squad- where he was then became one of the first ‘big name’ NFL Enhancement Players to sign with the World League for the 1991 season.

Tracy made quite a splash for the Montreal Machine at linebacker that year. During the league’s debut weekend, he’d wear USA Network’s Helmet Cam making quite a splash during the team’s win over the Birmingham Fire 20-5. His bone crushing hits and plays were amazing to watch, and he finished with 4 tackles and a sack in the exciting contest. After the dust settled from that year, Simien had 33 tackles, 5 sacks, and a fumble recovery- good for first team All-World Honors in 1991.

Simien became one of the league’s early poster children for success, as he parlayed his experience and seasoning into a starting role with the Chiefs in 1991 at LILB. In 1992 he’d lead KC in tackles with 97, and lead the linebacker corps with 3 interceptions at MLB. He’d follow up his solid ’92 campaign with a career high 105 tackles in 1993 back at LILB. Over the next following 3 seasons Tracy finished with over 70 tackles playing again back at MLB. After the 1998 season, he signed with the San Diego Chargers- retiring after the season.

I was frustrated with my lack of success with Tracy so when I saw this reasonably priced autograph on Ebay, that matched previous ones of his, I went ahead and pulled the trigger, confident I had acquired the real deal.

Tracy has dabbled in coaching, imparting his knowledge that he learned in the NFLE with the Cologne Centurions from 2005 and 2007, and the Houston Texans in 2006.

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Coates, Sammie

Cards: Topps Valor 2015, Sage 2015 Artistry, Sage 2015, Sage 2015 Next Level, Panini Prestige 2015, Panini Prestige Blue Chips 2015, Topps Air 2015, Panini Contenders 2016, Topps 2015, Leaf Draft 2015
Acquired: IP 2019, XFL Roughnecks Meet and Greet. Box Breaker 2020

Wow. What a haul. After seeing Sammie was drafted by the XFL Roughnecks I quickly pulled out as many cards of him as I could in anticipation of some sort of event or draft party and just bode my time. A few events passed by, and knowing I had a chit to burn to Houston for an event or two, I thought I’d wait it out and see. Lo and behold a triple billing of Head Coach June Jones, QB Connor Cook and Sammie popped up- so I made my move and went to the event.

I took a half day and drove down to North Houston. I’d never been to The Woodlands. It’s name is pretty apt as the bar they were at was in the middle of a shopping strip in a forest. I was one of the first people there, and immediately bumped heads with a fan who did not want to hang out with any other fans- little less one from Austin. He was quick to flip on me, constantly bagging on Austin, or saying, “There’s too many liberals in Austin,” – And not in a joking way. I tried to not let it spoil my enthusiasm for the team, but it was frustrating having that as my first experience. Part of the point of the league is no political drama, and here’s a guy making political theater out of it.

Anyway, Sammie, Connor, and June strolled in the door. I waited them out until after they’d eaten. Sammie was destroying some hot wings when I came up. He saw my cards and his eyes lit up, and after washing his hands and coming back signed every one of them. He liked the Sage 2015 cards so much, I gave him my extras I had for his PC. I asked him what position of WR that June Jones would have him at, but he said that it hadn’t been hammered out. We discussed his brief stay in Houston, where he called, Bill O’Brien, “Quite unique,” but notably had nothing bad to say about the ball coach. It was an easy pickup. Sammie signed 11 cards for me total- with an extra going to my friend Jeff, who was unable to go.

There is a thick stack of great cards that Sammie had for me to choose from. Thankfully he signed all of them. I really enjoyed the design on nearly all of them, with the Valor is the easy kill. The Sage Artistry was dreamy to me. I felt like there was a bit extra attention paid to creating this image, but the Panini Blue Chip was a well designed canvas, along with the Contenders which was a pleasant surprise.

Sammie Coates attended Auburn, where with his crisp routes, hands and speed, he burst onto the scene during his Sophomore year with 902 yards receiving on 42 receptions. He declared for the 2015 NFL Draft after finishing with 741 yards on 34 receptions to go along with 4 TDs in his Junior campaign, and was selected in the 3rd round of the draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Coates had a rough go of it and got buried on the depth chart. He played sparingly his rookie year. In 2016 Sammie caught 21 passes for 435 yards and 2 TDs, however injuries drug down a good portion of his efforts for the year and early into training camp for 2017. Traded to the Browns, Sammie was with the team through Spring of 2018, where he then joined the receiver needy Texans. Cut by the Texans, Sammie went through training camp with the Chiefs, but did not make the roster.

He’d be selected in the 3rd round of the XFL Draft by the Houston Roughnecks where he is expected to see serious playing time in the Run N Shoot offense under guru June Jones.

I ended up drafting Sammie for my fantasy team. He had some near misses on TD grabs during the XFL regular season. Over the course of 4 games he caught 6 passes for 61 yards. I tried to see if he’d sign his XFL card for me TTM, but I didn’t get a response.