Tag Archives: San Diego Chargers

Gilbride, Kevin

Card: Topps XFL 2020
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home. Box Break 2020
Sent: 5/24 Received: 5/30 (6 days)

Kevin has been a career coach, since earning his Master’s in physical education from Idaho State. He joined the staff there at the school in 1974 and then embarked on a whirlwind of collegiate stops at Tufts (1976-77), and American International (1978-79). In 1980, Kevin returned to his Alma Mater Southern Connecticut State where he earned his first head coaching gig. There he posted a 35-14-2 record coaching the Owls through 1984. In 1985, Kevin joined the CFL Ottawa Rough Riders as an assistant coach.

Gilbride returned to the college ranks in 1987 as he continued to hone his skills as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He then joined the Houston Oilers in 1989 as the quarterbacks coach working with Warren Moon, as the Oilers converted over to Run ‘N Shoot full time. In 1990 he became the team’s offensive coordinator- a position he held through 1994.

It’d be in 1993, that Buddy Ryan joined the Oilers staff. A divisive defensive coordinator, Buddy and Kevin did not see eye to eye philosophically, and head coach Jack Pardee was laissez faire managing their relationship. Things came to a boil finally on a Sunday Night contest against the New York Jets during the season finale- and after the defense was forced to come back onto the field late in the first half, Buddy went up and slugged Kevin. A host of players had to separate the two to keep them from going at it on the sidelines.

Kevin Gilbride will be selling insurance in two years.

– Buddy Ryan

Still despite this Kevin has always been a magnanimous professional about the situation. It’s unfortunate that most fans remember Gilbride for this incident, instead of his prolific offenses and quarterback whispering.

After the collapse of the Oilers in 1994, Kevin was not retained. He joined the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars as their offensive coordinator the following year, and was with the team through the 96 season. After the Jaguars had a prolific season that year, Kevin was scooped up by the San Diego Chargers to be their head coach. He was with the team for less than 2 seasons, and after a poor showing to kick off 1998, he was let go. He finished 6-16 during his brief time as head coach. Kevin spent the next two years as the offensive coordinator of the Steelers, and then in 2001 as an analyst for ESPN. 2002 and 2003 saw him step into the OC chair for the Bills, before Kevin went on to coach for the New York Giants in 2004.

Reunited with Tom Coughlin from Jacksonville, Kevin worked with Eli Manning as the quarterbacks coach through 2005, before returning to the offensive coordinator mantle. During this period, the Giants won two Super Bowl titles under his guidance (- the same amount that Buddy Ryan won). In 2014 Kevin retired.

It’d be after a nearly 5 year hiatus, Kevin was hired by the XFL, that was rebooting for 2020. Kevin was named as head coach of the New York Guardians. He’d draft Matt McGloin to be his quarterback, and trade for Luis Perez. Despite suffering through a quarterback meltdown, and the team losing 2 straight contests, the Guardians rebounded to a 3-2 record. It was a shame that the league ended at the time it did as the franchise was on the upswing and was in a dead heat for first place.

Killer response from Kevin, who not only signed his card, but also graciously included a copy of a Run ‘N Shoot play from back in the days of the Houston Oilers! (I’ve asked coaches on occasion for a play, but have never gotten a response up until this point.) I just wish he had identified the play I was looking at. Later an offensive quality control specialist identified it as being called ‘Choice’- but whether or not Kevin calls it this or not is unknown.

When I was a kid, I remembered going to Oilers training camp while Kevin was there. He came over to sign autographs and he overheard me talking about Eric Metcalf and told me he’d be excited to have Eric play for him.

Kevin’s head coaching career has been brief, and by the time he was, the chief maker of coach cards- ProSet was out of business, so nobody up to this point, had ever made a card of him. I was very excited when I saw that he was in the XFL 2020 set, and decided it was a priority to try to get his autograph on this card.

Friesz, John ‘Deep Freeze’ (2)

Cards: Score 1990, ProSet 1991, Topps Stadium Club Members Choice 1992, GameDay 1992, SkyBox 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 10/10   Received: 10/29    (19 days)
See Also: John Friesz 

I had gotten John way, way back through the Chargers back in 1992, and always had hoped to come back around and get these remaining cards signed by him. He had some really nice and unique images and canvases to work with over the years, and he had a bunch of them. 

His GameDay card was something I didn’t even know that really existed. I bought a box of the set in 2017, and was really charmed by this card. It was really what set me into action to go ahead and seek him out for a second pass at some autographs. It’s a pretty well framed shot, despite the slight blur on his left hand.

For some reason, his Score 1990 rookie was somewhat of a rare find initially. I think between myself and my friend Josh we opened 2 or 3 boxes and I just ran across one of these cards. So few players can get away with wearing yellow like this, but John looks pretty solid in that action shot, which represented his earliest rookie card. John’s Stadium Club and Pro Set cards make me feel like I should understand why he won the starting QB job over Billy Joe Tolliver in SD. They both seem to convey this sense of leadership that he has on his almost strained face.

I wasn’t too big a fan of Topps Stadium Club. Their 1991 set had a soft entry into the market, but they really played it up for 1992, and while I sparingly get them autographed, I really liked this card- even the hokey ‘Members Choice’ banner. It’s a really clear, high resolution image, and even John barking out an audible at the line of scrimmage looks impressive.

His Pro Set 1991 card was a part of the update set that was done later, and back then I was just too nervous to risk sending out his ProSet rookie card- little less from the 1991 update set. It’s a great picture, even if Friesz’s throwing motion looks a bit awkward in this image.

As a set I really liked Skybox 1992. It was a well designed and exciting foray into an already burgeoning football card market. (Skybox was able to weather the market longer, and was later purchased by Marvel if I’m correct, and then eventually dissolved when the market completely came apart.) This was one of the few Skybox cards however that didn’t really excite me. The framing of John just seems too perfect while the image itself at just the right distance. Note that neither of his hands or feet are visible, making this shot somewhat unappealing.

John turned around my greedy request in less than 30 days. A friend to the TTM community, John is a solid responder through the mail from Idaho, and graciously signed these 5 cards for me.

Hannemann, Micah

Card: Topps AAF 2019
Acquired: In Person 2019, Houston Roughnecks/ Tampa Bay Vipers Scrimmage

MIcah Hannemann was a 3 year starter at Safety for BYU between 2015 and 2017. He posted 123 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, 14 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, and 4 interceptions for 75 yards and a TD.

After being on the off-season rosters of both the Browns and Chargers, Micah signed with the Salt Lake City Stallions of the Alliance of American Football. He played in 7 games, starting 4, recording 22 total tackles, for the Stallions stout defense.

With the demise of the AAF, Hannemann was selected by the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL 2020 in the 6th round of phase 4. Over 5 games Micah posted 28 total tackles, before the XFL was cancelled due to COVID.

One of the first players I caught coming off the field on the Vipers’ side of the field was Micah. He was kind enough to sign my card and thanked me for being a fan of the AAF. We talked for a minute about the league and the Stallions before we went our separate ways.