Tag Archives: pro set 1991

Sweeney, Kevin

mem sweeneyCard: ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 2/3     Received:  6/25   (142 days)
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Home

Kevin Sweeney played for the Fresno State Bulldogs from 1983-1986, where he became one of the first Fresno QBs to really land on the radar of NFL scouts and a Heisman Trophy Watch List.  In 1984, he threw for career highs in attempts (421), completions (221), yards (3,259), and touchdowns (20).  His 10,585 career passing yardage mark stood as a school record,  (until it was recently shattered by 2014 NFL draft pick Derek Carr), and as the NCAA mark, which has been beaten many times over in the modern spread era.

Kevin was taken in the 7th round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.  It was a dream come true for Kevin, who grew up as a fan of the team, attending training camps on a regular basis. Undersized at 6’0″, Cowboys’ director of Personell Gil Brandt loved his personality and tenacity. During his time at Fresno St, Sweeney got to prove his grit, durability (started 46 games), and experience starting in a pro style offense as well.  It was a difficult period for the team to say the least. As the luster was dulling on the stars that played in Dallas, there was a quarterback derby underway between Danny White and Steve Pelleur. He’d lose out though in training camp to 3rd stringer Paul McDonald. Then the NFL Strike happened and everything changed. With the ‘official players’ sidelined, Sweeney was the Cowboys ‘in-pocket quarterback’, – a guy they knew that if the strike was to happen, they were going to call him up, and make that investment pay off from the extra snaps and time Tom Landry and the organization invested into him- and did Sweeney ever. Many ‘scab’ teams were given silly strike nicknames. The Cowboys’ was particularly good. They were dubbed the Rhinestone Cowboys. Kevin came out in his first game as a starter and found Cornell Burbage streaking down the field. He’d hit him for the first touchdown during the NFL strike. The former Fresno St kid, parlayed it into a 2-0 record under center for the Boys. He’d throw for 291 yards and 4 touchdowns and a 111.8 quarterback rating.  While the strike ending sent many players packing, Kevin returned to the Cowboys for 1988. While he wasn’t as successful for the team the following year, his time was up when new owner Jerry Jones came into town and fired Tom Landry and his whole staff, replacing him with Jimmy Johnson. Kevin signed with the San Fransisco 49ers in 1989 but was cut during training camp that year. At that point he went into a period of semi-retirement.

pset91 sweeneyIn 1991 the WLAF was getting off the ground, and Sweeney was being eyed by the young league. He’d be the second quarterback taken off the board by the Montreal Machine, after Brent Pease (Bir).  He’d battle Mike Proctor for the starting job throughout the season. Benched and replaced, he’d reemerge during a contest against Sacramento with the team down 20-10. As he put 2 chipshots from Nittmo on the board, he’d rally the Machine for one final drive down the field trailing now 20-16 with a bit over 3 and a half minutes left. He’d put together a solid 93 yard drive in 8 plays, but suffer a fearsome hit from linebacker Pete Najarian – separating his shoulder. While the Machine won the game 26-23, Sweeney’s season and career was over. Kevin returned to Northern California and currently is a senior VP for Wells Fargo as of 2014. Well worth the wait and the failure I’d say, as not only did Kevin sign his Pro Set 1991 WLAF promo card, but he also included a signed photo of him with the Cowboys and Tom Landry in his own envelope.  Really nice pick up here.

 

NFL   6/4      Att 106     Comp  46        Yds  605         Pct 44.3        Td  7        Int 6           Rat  61.2
Rush 11        Yds 42         Avg  3.8       Td 0      Lg  10
WLAF     Att  69     Comp  24      Yds  219         Pct 34.8      Td 1        Int 3          Rat  31.0
Rush 19        Yds 84         Avg  4.4       Td 0      Lg  24

Gilbert, Greg

scan0001Card: Pro Set 1991
Acquired: TTM work 2013, C/o Central Florida University
Sent: 2/5     Received: 2/28     (25 days)

Greg Gilbert played for the Crimson Tide of Alabama from 1985-1988 posting 256 tackles. In his banner  Sophomore season he recorded 103 tackles, (5 TFL), recovered 2 fumbles, and intercepted a pass. While he posted 90 tackles in his Junior season (second on the team,) an injury riddled Senior season sent his draft stock plummeting. Gilbert was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 6th round of the 1989 NFL draft. He’d then spend the 1990 season on the roster of the Indianapolis Colts after some training camp action with the Raiders, a team that he returned to in 1991 after a training camp stop with the Eagles.

In 1991, the San Antonio Riders, (coached by Alabama alum Mike Riley,)  selected Greg Gilbert with the second overall pick of the league’s initial positional draft (after Wayne Davis, Orlando). Starting for the Riders at linebacker in the team’s 3-4 alignment, Gilbert starred alongside linebackers Tim Walton and Mark Ledbetter.  He’d make a pick for 15 yards that year, but by the end of the season was on the roster of the Barcelona Dragons. Greg played in 1992 with the Dragons again before the league suspended operations until 1995.

Gilbert is a player that I had been trying to find for a long time. Occasionally I will do Google searches of players, and sometimes, I get a hit. I happened to get lucky and find Greg working for Central Florida University where in 2012 he was named Associate Director of Athletics Development. Since 1995 Greg has been an outstanding member of the business community, working in communications, marketing, and consulting roles.  I immediately put a letter in the mail to him, and he responded in a little under a month. He enclosed a nice note to me, thanking me for the nice letter and how much it means to be remembered, and how great the league was, as they were all just kids trying to play the game they loved. Really nicely put.

G/Gs  N/a    Tac  N/a   Sac  N/a   Fum N/a    Int 1   Yds 15    Avg 15.0   Td 0   lg N/a

Waddle, Tom

Cards: Pro Set Power 1992, Pro Set 1991
Acquired: Canton Acquisition 2012

Tom Waddle is a player of football lore,  who proves that if you have the tools and can stick with it, you can make it in the NFL. Waddle was an acclaimed receiver for the Golden Eagles of Boston College. With great hands and excellent ability to cut on the fly running routes, it was thought that with his stellar numbers, at BC (finishing 3rd All-Time receiving) he’d sneak into the 1989 draft. As we all know, the 1989 NFL draft was an incredible draft from top to bottom, and despite it still being a 12 round draft, Tom did not hear his name called. Undeterred, Waddle signed a free agent contract with Mike Ditka’s Chicago Bears.

The Bears were pretty set at receiver with Wendell Davis, Ron Morris, Dennis Gentry, and Dennis McKinnon all in front of Waddle. He got in some garbage time as a punt returner and receiver over the next two years, and managed to hang on until he really got his break in 1991.  By the 1991 season we were looking at a vastly different Bears team. The offense was going through major growing pangs converting to a more pass friendly environment with Jim Harbaugh at quarterback. Runningback Neal Anderson and a good portion of wide receiver corps were decimated by injuries, so Tom got his shot on a Monday night game- and didn’t look back….

He’d end up starting 13 games in 1991, and make 55 grabs for 599 yards and 3 touchdowns in 1991. Teams saw that he was fearless trying to make the catch, and made sure to put a licking on Waddle, but he always managed to get his smelling salts, and return right back into the game. Tom recorded career highs in receiving yards in 1992 (with 674 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns on 46 receptions),  and followed that up in 1993 with 44 receptions for  552 yards and a touchdown despite a changeover with Dave Wannastedt becoming head coach. In 1994, Tom was demoted to 3rd string and injuries (concussion, leg) began to take their toll on him. He finished the season starting only 1 contest, but came off the bench still to post 25 receptions for 244 yards and a touchdown. Waddle signed with the Bengals after the season but retired soon there after.

Always a Chicago fan favorite, even after retirement, Tom works radio in Chicago both for ESPN and Fox, and has also done some time as a color and in studio broadcaster for both college and professional football.

G/Gs 60/41   Rec 173    Yds 2109    Avg 12.2    Td 9    Lg  68