Tag Archives: pittsburgh steelers

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

Taylor, Lionel

Card: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 6/4/14  Received: 8/13/16  (801 days)

Lionel Taylor had an amazing career that began in 1959 playing for the Chicago Bears.  He didn’t record a reception for the team during his rookie year and opted to join the upstart American Football League during its inaugural season in 1960 for the Denver Broncos. Taylor went on to endear himself as one of the most dominant receivers in the history of the league, leading the AFL in receptions 5 of the next 6 years.  In 1961 he set a modern era record with 100 receptions (which was broken in 1964 by Charlie Hennigan at 101). He played for the Broncos through 1966- joining the Oilers for the 1967 and 1968 seasons.  Lionel retired from the gridiron in 1969.

Taylor established himself quickly as an up and coming assistant coach with the Steelers as a receivers coach in 1970.  He’d remain there through 1976, cultivating a reputation as a Super Bowl winning positional coach.  He joined the Rams from 1977-1979, where he was offensive coordinator in 1980 and 1981.  Lionel then applied his trade at the college level for Oregon State, and then as head coach at Texas Southern through 1988.  Returning to the NFL in 1989, Taylor worked with the Cleveland Browns tight ends and as a pass coordinator.

Taylor joined the World League of American Football in 1995 as offensive coordinator to the London Monarchs. As the league rebranded to the NFLE, he’d take over as head coach of the franchise in 1996 and shepherd the franchise through to become the England Monarchs. It was a tough run for Taylor as head coach at the end, as his team was a vagabond franchise playing all over England looking for a new home. Since there was no established fan base, this gave the Monarchs no home field advantage.  The Monarchs finished with a 3-7 record during their swan song season.

Taylor has fully retired from the sport and lives in New Mexico.  At a clip over 800 days, I had fully given up on getting a response from Lionel, so this one came as quite a surprise to get back. It’s a shame, as with many American Football League players, Lionel has gotten little to no traction in Hall of Fame circles, despite his impressive numbers.

AFL
G/GS 121/NA      REC 567     YDS  7195    AVG 12.7   TD 45    LG  80T

NFLE
W  11     L 17       PCT .393