Tag Archives: playoff contenders 2003

Hollings, Tony ‘Superman’

poff03-tohollingsCard: Playoff Contenders 2003
Acquired: 2016, EBay

Tony Hollings’ career has experienced some peaks and valleys.  He arrived at Georgia Tech as a defensive back in 2000.  Needing a runningback, the Yellowjackets converted Hollings over to the offense.  In only 4 games he displayed electrifying Heisman potential, running 92 times for 633 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’d suffer a season ending ACL injury against BYU. Hollings declared for the Supplemental NFL draft in 2003. The Texans fell in love with him and coughed up a 2004 2nd round pick.

The Texans were looking to improve their offensive skillset. With James Allen and Jonathan Wells in the backfield, the braintrust that was in Houston expected Hollings to be the home run hitter that they desperately needed.

This has been a hallmark of the franchise, and over time has cropped up time and time again. The Texans have always felt they have been a player away, and they reach for talent whether through the draft (Hollings) or through Free Agency (Ex. Ed Reed, Ahman Green, Eric Moulds, and Brock Osweiler).

What the Texans really didn’t see was that Tony had lost the burst to the ACL injury that just made him so electrifying. Snakebitten, Hollings also experienced knee and toe injuries that limited his production. The first game he played in was the first game I went to- the Texans home opener against the Chiefs. He finished
2003 with a woeful 102 yards on 38 carries. He’d follow that up with an equally disappointing 2004 with a stat line of 47 yards on 11 carries.  A change of management in 2005 signaled the end for Hollings. He’d dress for 2 games before being shelved indefinitely and never see the field again for the Texans.

After getting nibbles from both the Bears and Colts respectively, Tony reappeared on the football radar in 2007, running hard for the Hamburg Sea Devils of the NFLE.  There he experienced a renaissance of a sense, collecting 100 carries for 389 yards and 5 touchdowns.  After the NFLE was folded, Tony’s effort earned him some NFL time briefly on the roster of the New York Jets in 2008.  Tony closed out his career in the German Football League playing for the Berlin Adler in 2009.

A frequent tailgater at Georgia Tech events, at last glance Tony lives in Georgia and works for a distribution company.  I liked Hollings and hoped that his career might work out in some way. I might try to get him on a WLAF custom at a later date.

Playoff made some nice cards, and this 2003 entry was endemic of design during the time. Everything was really bold going into the 2000s. With that giant ROOKIE pasted 3 times in the background, it sure does grab my attention, but this to me is a card that sells itself well but does not finish. I really wish that they had used the rest of the right side of the card. It feels so blank out there, and the ticket just blends in black with the steel blue which doesn’t help. The artifact from the certification stamp makes the card look like it is damaged, but among the plethora of ugly cards that were still being pumped out at that particular time, there were much worse designed cards to choose from.

NFL   G/GS  23/1      RUSH 49    YDS 149    AVG 3.0    TD 0    LG 17     |
REC 7    YDS   71    AVG 10.1   TD 0    LG  27

NFLE     RUSH 100     YDS 389       AVG 3.9     TD   5        LG  40      |
REC  8        YDS    94    AVG   11.8     TD  0    LG   39

Joppru, Bennie

poff03-bejoppruCard: Playoff Contenders 2003
Acquired: 2016, EBay

Bennie Joppru comes from strong football bloodlines where his father and brothers all played football at the college and/or pro levels.  Bennie himself, played collegiality at Michigan, where over his four years playing for the Wolverines, contributed 85 receptions for 800 yards and 8 touchdowns.

The Houston Texans finished their inaugural season with a 4-12 record.  Eager to improve on the team’s record, Dom Capers jumped at the chance to coach in the Senior Bowl the following year.  Bennie made the longest play of the game- a 23 yard juggling catch from Kyle Boller.  Capers and Casserly must have liked what they saw out of Joppru, and with TE Billy Miller an RFA, the team could also have an insurance plan in case things didn’t work out.

Houston traded around with New England, before selecting Joppru in the second round of the 2003 draft- a full 20 picks before Dallas selected TE Jason Witten.  Bennie then destroyed his groin with a pelvic hernia during training camp. He’d be on IR the next two seasons.  In 2005, Joppru blew out his ACL during training camp and again was placed on season ending IR.  After the season, Capers was fired.

With new head coach Gary Kubiak in town, the team took another long look at Joppru. They liked what they saw and he got another shot, but the team was a much different beast now, especially at the tight end position led by rookie Owen Daniels, wily veteran Mark Bruener, and Jeb Putzier. The Texans attempted to convert Bennie to fullback, but cut him in October of 2006.

He’d be signed by the Chicago Bears practice squad, and then called up almost immediately to back up Jerramy Stevens and play special teams in Seattle. In 2007 he returned to the Seahawks, but thigh and hip injuries pretty much ended his season and career in the NFL.

Among the pantheon of picks made by the original regime in Houston- is Bennie’s considered a run of bad luck or a bust? Admittedly, I place him at the top of the list in a long line of bad reach busts by the Texans early in their checkered history.

G/GS  0/18         Rec 0        Yds 0       Avg -.-        Td 0        Lg -.-

White, Dewayne

poff04 DeWhite








Card: Playoff Contenders 2004
Acquired: Box Breaker 2013, Target Autograph Memorabilia Pack

white FRA very inspiring story of overcoming long odds and tragedy, Dewayne White  overcame the loss of both his parents, two fires that destroyed family homes, and a serious knee injury during his senior year of high school. He went to school collegiality at Louisville, where he established himself as one of the nation’s most formidable pass rushers at defensive end, with an NCAA leading 27 sacks from 2000-2001.

He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with their 2nd round pick in the 2003 draft but did not see significant playing time that year. In 2004, White began to come into his own with 6 sacks and 23 tackles. In both 2005 and 2006, he recovered 3 fumbles in each season with increased playing time. 2007 was a change of scene for Dewayne, as he headed up to Detroit. In both 07 and 08 he had 6.5 sacks, but an injury plagued 09 season, in which he didn’t even register a sack, combined with an upcoming million dollar bonus, prompted the Lions to cut White early in 2010.

Dewayne was made the overall #1 pick of the Omaha Nighthawks in the 2010 UFL Draft. He finished the season with 5 tackles, a sack, and 2 pass defensed that season. I did a custom card of him, but since the league folded I never got a chance to get it signed.