Pete Metzelaars made his mark at tiny Wabash, as a two sport star playing basketball and football. He was selected in the 3rd round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. After catching just 27 passes in 3 seasons for the Seahawks, Pete was traded to the Buffalo Bills in 1985.
He caught 49 passes for 485 yards and 3 TDs in 1986 starting his first 16 game slate. In 1988, Pete put up another 33 passes for 438 yards and a TD. After a few years being used primarily as a blocking tight end Pete saw an uptick in 1992, and then caught a career high 68 passes for 609 yards and 4 TDs in ’93 starting all 16 games for the first time since 1989. Metzelaars played one more season for the Bills in 1994, adding another 49 catches for 428 yards and 5 TDs.
In 1995, Pete was allowed to walk via free agency. He joined the expansion Carolina Panthers for a season catching 20 passes and recording 3 TDs. He then played 2 more additional seasons for the Detroit Lions in 1996 and 1997 catching 17 passes in both years. Metzelaars retired after the ’97 season, and decided to go into coaching.
Pete spent 5 years honing his craft at the high school level as an offensive coordinator. He then coached in Europe with the Barcelona Dragons in 2003, and Wingate College as well. In 2004, Pete joined the Indianapolis Colts where he saw the most success, coaching the offensive line from 2004-2011. He then saw a one year stint as tight ends coach of the Bills in 2012, and then the Chargers in 2014 and 2015. After spending another two years back at the high school level, Metzelaars coached offensive line for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football in 2019.
Card: ProSet 1989 Acquired: IP 2020, Houston Roughnecks/ Tampa Bay Vipers Joint Practice
After graduating from Drake University, Dennis McKnight signed with the Cleveland Browns in 1981, but didn’t make the squad. The following year, he signed with the Chargers. A gem in the rough, McKnight possessed versatility that allowed him to see action at every position on the offensive line (except at left tackle) over his time in San Diego. A gym rat, Dennis also was the team’s long snapper, and was a Pro Bowl alternate in 1988. He joined the Lions and played for them in 1990 and 1992, with a short stint in Philadephia in between during ’91. Over his football career he played in 141 contests, starting 100.
Dennis enjoys the sport so much that he went into coaching in 1999. As a positional coach he’s seen stops in college at Hawaii, Grossmont CC, San Diego State, SMU, and Lamar University. McKnight has also coached in the CFL for the Esks, and Ti-Cats. In 2020 he joined June Jones’ coaching staff for the Houston Roughnecks as Offensive Assistant/ Special Teams coach.
I completely missed Dennis on my inventory of Roughnecks players and coaches. Thankfully Lance was going with me to the joint practice, and brought an extra card for me. Dennis still posesses a strong and powerful build. When he speaks, its excited and loud, like a professional wrestler.
We watched him work with the kids after practice. I was very impressed by how he was handling them, and at one point exclaimed, “The whole point of this is to have fun!” As he was exiting, we stopped him and asked him for his autograph, where we talked about the current state of things. He thanked us for coming and how much it meant to the players. We also talked briefly about how the NFL is out of touch with fans and that they are missing out on the game of football.
Fredd Young is a member of the New Mexico State Hall of Fame. A fast and hard hitting linebacker with huge hands, Fredd had over 400 tackles in his college career at NM State, and recorded 12 sacks as a Senior. He’d be selected in the 3rd round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
Fredd contributed immediately to the Seahawks defense, and very quickly established himself as a starter during his rookie year. He’d be named to the Pro Bowl after his rookie year, and the next following 3 years. His first two Pro Bowl nominations came on special teams, and his next two came at strongside inside linebacker. In his final year with the Seattle (1987), Brian Bosworth joined him at linebacker commanding an unheard of 10 year $11 million dollar contract. Unable to secure such a lucrative contract from the team for his proven talent, Fredd held out through the first game of the 1988 season.
The Seahawks didn’t take kindly to this, but found a suitor waiting in the wings as the Colts traded two first round picks in order to get Young to help fortify their defense. He’d sign a 5 year, $4.5 million dollar contract with Indianapolis. Fredd played the next 3 years with the team. His high water mark came in 1989 when he posted 122 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. After a solid ’89, Fredd was again on pace for another quality followup year in 1990, but got injured during the 11th game of the season against Buffalo. It turned out to be career ending, as it was the same hip-flexor injury that Bo Jackson famously had his career ended by.
My first recollection of Fredd is from the game Tecmo Bowl back in 1988. Being that there wasn’t a Houston franchise, I started playing Seattle on a whim. With the player licenses (but not the team rights) the ‘Seattle Knights’ as the logo led me to believe, were a blast to play. Fredd Young was a speedy missile inside, and I crushed opposing ball carries with him rushing upfield.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.