Tag Archives: pittsburgh steelers

Lipps, Louis

Cards: ProSet 1989, ProSet 1990, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 7/8    Received: 7/18   (10 days)*
* Fee enclosed

Louis Lipps is a highly reliable TTM respondent, provided you insert his very nominal fee. He’s got a great signature with two very nice loops in it, which accentuates these cards very nicely. Once ProSet and Score came out, a bevy of really nice action shots popped up of him. Among my favorites are these Proset entries and the Gameday card I got autographed. I always hesitated getting Lipps- much like many members of the Steelers, because of the rivalry that they shared during the late eighties and early nineties with the rise of the Oilers.  He always seemed to bring his best games against the shoddy secondary of the Oilers there for a while, until Cris Dishman and Darryll Lewis stepped up.

Louis Lipps slipped onto the NFL radar and into the first round of the 1984 draft. Selected by the Steelers out of powerhouse Southern Mississippi, Louis had a stellar rookie season, under the tutelage of grizzled veteran John Stallworth. Louis went on to become NFL rookie of the year, with 656 yards in punt return yardage, to go along with 856 yards on 45 passes and 9 TDs. He also earned a Pro Bowl berth and AP honors. His best season as a receiver came the following year, when he posted 59 catches for 1,134 yards and 12 TDs. A solid barn-burning option, Louis had 4 seasons over his career where he averaged 18.9 or more yards a click. While he’d never crack the 1,000 yard plateau over the rest of his career, Louis twice peaked at over 900 yards with 973 in 1988, and 944 in 1989- a year in which he was named team MVP.  He finished his career taking a flyer with the Saints for 2 games in 1992, in an otherwise unremarkable season.

 Thanks in part to playing during the highly forgettable era of the mid to late 80s (for Steeler fans), and a swath of unheralded quarterbacks, Lipps largely is ignored for his contributions and numbers in the Steelers stat books. He also was surrounded by talent from other eras such Lynn Swann, the aforementioned John Stallworth, and then in the current era by guys like Antonio Brown. Louis currently lives in the Pittsburgh area.

G/GS 110/98     REC 359     YDS   6019    AVG   16.8     TD 39    LG  89T
PR  112     YDS  1234     AVG  11.0     TD  3     LG   76T

Graham, Ray

Card: Panini Contenders 2013
Acquired: 2017, EBay

Ray Graham played football at Pitt from 2009 to 2012. He put together increasing numbers in each year, culminating in his Senior year when he ran 222 times for 1042 yards and 11 TDs.  Over 4 years he had 595 carries for 3271 yards and 32 TDs. Ray also displayed a really nice touch out of the backfield, catching 98 passes, including 36 in his Senior year.  Considered more of a slasher at the pro level, scouts tore apart his game and did not feel that Ray had the size to play at the pro level. He went unselected in the 2013 NFL Draft but signed a free agent contract with the Houston Texans.

The Texans were looking for runningback help. As nagging injuries were catching up with Arian Foster and Ben Tate, the Texans were looking for new blood to help out in the backfield.  They signed a trio of free agents- all promising backs: Ray, Cierre Wood, and Dennis Johnson. Ray had a decent preseason scoring a really nice TD against the Vikings, and as a natural zone runner, I really liked his style, but unfortunately in a game of numbers, he’d be cut- as the team opted to keep Wood.  Graham was picked up by the Steelers and added to their practice squad.

As things would have it, Arian Foster went down due to injury. Wood blew his chance with the team violating an ‘unspecified team rule’ and was released. Graham found himself back on the squad and rushed 4 times for 8 yards. He’d also make one catch for 12 yards.

Ray had enough talent to probably take his game to another team in 2014 after he was cut, but currently is considered a free agent or retired from the sport.

Malleck, Ryan

Card: Panini Contenders 2016
Acquired: 2016, Box Breaker

Ryan Malleck played for Virginia Tech from 2012-2015. He saw action in 33 games, recording 62 receptions for 658 yards and 4 touchdowns. Scouts felt he had the size to work the field as a tight end at the pro level but felt his blocking needed some polish. He went unselected in the 2016 NFL Draft. Since that time Malleck has stayed busy, logging time on the Giants, Steelers, Ravens, and later in 2017- the Houston Texans. He made his first professional catch while with Houston for 3 yards. Ryan resigned with the Steelers in 2018, but was waived and placed on IR for the 2018 season after an undisclosed injury.