Tag Archives: proset 1991

Lee, Carl

Cards: ProSet 1991 All NFC Team, ProSet 1989, Action Packed 1990
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 1/7/19 Received: 2/9/19 (31 days)

Carl Lee played defensive back for the Marshall Thundering Herd where he was primarily known as a speed merchant. He recorded 3 interceptions over his time at Marshall and was selected in the 7th round of the 1983 NFL Draft. It is notable as Carl was the 35th DB off the board, but would go on to have a stellar NFL career.

In 84 he’d notch a career high 100 tackles playing at free safety, before making the transition to corner where he’d play for the remainder of his career. Carl’s best season came in 1988 when he finished second in the league with 8 interceptions for 118 yards and a league leading 2 touchdowns. He’d earn his first of 3 consecutive Pro Bowl appearances for the Vikings top rated defense and play with the franchise through 1993. He’d play one final season in 1994 for the New Orleans Saints and retire.

Since that time, Carl has spent time coaching at the college level and was head coach for West Virginia State from 1996-2005. He was also inducted into the Thundering Herd Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995 for his contributions in both football and track.

Carl signed these 3 cards for me in roughly 30 days. A dependable signer, Carl has a very good autograph, that is encapsulated well on all 3 of these canvases. Pro Set for once fell on its face with their contribution. It’s a good action shot on their 1989 entry but it feels notably dated with the artifacts floating around on top of the photo shot. His 91 Pro Set All-NFC card illustration is top notch however and the black autograph over the white canvas is striking. I really liked this Action Packed 1990 card. The lighting is excellent on this photo and it has the right amount of pop.

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Burns, Jerry

Cards: ProSet 1989, ProSet 1990, ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 11/21 Received: 12/23 (32 days)

Jerry Burns played quarterback at Michigan from 1947-1950. He quietly ascended the college ranks, including a head coaching stop at Iowa. In 1967, Burns joined Vince Lombardi’s staff at Green Bay. He’d serve on Lombardi’s staff for the Packers Super Bowl I and II victories before Jerry was poached by division rival Minnesota, to serve as head coach Bud Grant’s offensive coordinator.

Jerry was forward thinking for the time. Arguably he can be considered one of the pioneers of what was later popularized as the West Coast Offense, as his team’s short to intermediate passing game, supported by runningbacks predated the Walsh era by a few years with Fran Tarkenton. Jerry served as offensive coordinator for 18 years- eventually succeeding Grant as head coach in 1986.

As head coach, Burns guided the Vikings to the playoffs from 1987 to 1989, losing to the Redskins in the 1987 NFL Championship Game, and then the 49ers in the divisional round in both 1988 and 1989. His teams were actually known more for stacked defensive talent than anything else, and he posted a 52-43 record over 6 seasons. Burns retired after the 1991 season, after posting an 8-8 record.

I love writing players who share with me history and information about their lives, and I had heard that Jerry loves getting fan mail, so I thought it was worth the shot. About a month later I received this very nice letter in the mail from his daughter, Kelly. Jerry is in his 90s now, and getting him to recall these memories makes him feel great. She kindly paraphrased and wrote down Jerry’s responses to my questions.

What was your favorite moment as a coach?

“He’s had so many wonderful moments but finally becoming the Vikings Head Coach!”

________________________________________________________________

Did you have a signature Bread and Butter play you liked to call?

Of course- being an offensive guy- the pass was his favorite- short pass and run!!

________________________________________________________________

Who was your favorite player to coach over the years?

Ricky Young and my Dad have always been close- and to this day!! They are super close!!

________________________________________________________________

What is your secret to longevity?

My beautiful wife who has always been my best friend and who has always cared for me- and my family.

Kelly and the Burns family humbled me by thanking me for my letter and letting me know that they very much enjoyed it.

Bowles, Todd

Card: ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o The New York Jets
Sent: 10/1 Received: 12/31 (91 days)

Admittedly, it’s a bit grim when you get a player or coach’s autograph in the mail from them right after they get cut or fired. Case in point- Todd Bowles. He took over Gang Green after Rex Ryan was dismissed from the franchise in 2015. He posted a solid 10-6 record right out of the box that year, but the team did not make the playoffs. Over the next 3 seasons, the Jets failed to rally back into the AFC East race, finishing dead last each year with identical 5-11 records in 2016 and 2017, and a 4-12 mark in 2018.

The franchise hired a new GM and then couldn’t find a quarterback to hitch the team to until the 2018 season. In the meantime they constantly missed on draft choices or had a lack there of and in the 2018 season lost 6 games by less than a TD. Todd was released after the season, but not before he dropped this card in the mail – signing one of two for me. He was quickly snatched up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their open defensive coordinator position in 2019 reuniting him with Head Coach Bruce Arians.

Todd has a rich coaching history. Technically a disciple of the Al Groh coaching tree, Todd served at a variety of stops in college before hitting it big in the NFL with the Jets as a secondary coach in 2000. He served as a defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 1997 for Morehouse and in 1998 and 1999 in the same capacity for Grambing State. Bowles joined the Browns in 2001 and remained with the franchise through 2004, eventually becoming the franchise’s secondary coach. He then coached with the Cowboys under Bill Parcells from 2005-2007, again in the secondary, before working with the Dolphins in 2008, where he’d get a taste of head coaching in 2011 going 2-1 as the interim head coach. Todd spent a year with the Eagles, and then in 2013 was the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals, where he enjoyed the most success paired with head coach and offensive guru Bruce Arians. He earned AP Assistant Coach of the Year Honors before embarking on his whirlwind tour of New York.

Amazingly- Todd has a very long playing resume as well. Going undrafted out of Temple in 1986, he signed with the Redskins playing Free Safety with the franchise through 1990- earning one Super Bowl ring. Bowles hopped over the 49ers in 1991 spending one season with the team. He’d then return to the Redskins for two more seasons before heading into coaching.

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