Tag Archives: score 2009

Welker, Wes ‘The Natural’

Card: Score 2009
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent:  5/23    Received:   6/4     (12 days)

Wes Welker was a prolific slot man that played in the NFL from 2004-2015. Going undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2004, Welker had developed quite a reputation as a stellar return man and do-it-all offensive weapon for the Red Raiders, tying an NCAA record with 8 punt returns for touchdowns.

Welker signed with the San Diego Chargers, but was cut after the first game of the season to make room for another player. He’d catch on with the Dolphins who used him on kick and punt return duties. It’s there he’d burn the New England Patriots who took note of his unique skillset. As the anemic Dolphin offense continued to struggle, Welker went from being on the chopping block, to becoming the life blood of the offense. Opting not to resign Wes initially after the 2006 season, Welker became a restricted free agent.  That’s when the Patriots pounced.

Offering the required 2nd round tender, New England stripped their bitter rival of their best offensive weapon. Wes went on to become quarterback Tom Brady’s most reliable target. Over the next 6 seasons, Wes racked up 672 receptions for 7459 yards and 37 touchdowns- including a 99 yarder. In 5 of those seasons he had 110+ receptions, leading the league three times in 2007 (112), 2009 (123), and 2011 (122).  From 2008-2012 Welker earned ProBowl honors, with his 2009 and 2011 seasons earning him All Pro.

Facing a quandary after the 2013 season, the Patriots were unable to come to terms with Welker to keep him in New England. To top things off, he signed with the newly retooled Denver Broncos to be Peyton Manning‘s go to guy, but Wes got the concussion bug.

You see the NFL had decided to finally take a more aggressive stance on the issue, and Welker’s size and fearlessness in the slot lent him to take shots regularly to the head. He’d play the 2013 and 2014 seasons for the Broncos and a final swan song for the St. Louis Rams in 2015. Although he didn’t want to retire, most teams saw his injury proneness as a liability, so in a sense Wes was forced to retire.

In 2017, Welker returned to the NFL scene. He was quickly courted by the Houston Texans during the Senior Bowl in Mobile and named as an offensive assistant where he is reunited with his former coach Bill O’Brien and a host of other former Patriots. It is thought that at this time he will provide assistance coaching the Texans’ wide receiver corps and break down film.

When I saw that Wes Welker was signing via a few websites I follow that track autograph returns from players, I didn’t hesitate at quickly sending him out two of my favorite cards- Score 2009, and Donruss Rookies & Stars 2009 Gold. Now,  I did only get the Score 2009 back and Wes personalized it, but I always point out that personalization doesn’t bother me, and that I am happy getting one rather than none. Maybe he really liked that Donruss Rookies & Stars 2009 as much as I did!

G/GS 175/102    REC 903     YDS 9925    AVG 11.0    TD 50    LG 99T
KR  183     YDS 4138      AVG 22.6   TD 1   LG 95T
PR 264      YDS 2584      AVG 9.8       TD 0   LG 71

Slaton, Steve (2)

sage08__sslatonCard: Sage 2006, Score 2009 Inscriptions Gold
Acquired: 2016, EBay
See Also: Slaton, Steve

Among the pantheon of Houston Texans runningbacks, I liked Steve Slaton only second to Domanick Davis. The dimunitive Slaton much like Davis also met his end in Houston due in part to injury.  After having his neck fused and then a shoulder injury the following season, Slaton always seemed a bit more hesitant when hitting the hole. He was also limited to 3rd down back and kick return duties, sco09 sslatonafter the emergence of Arian Foster.  The Texans facing tough decisions, released the former RotY 3 games into the 2011 season. Slaton caught on immediately with the Miami Dolphins and finished the season with the team. Steve had tryouts with other teams, and eventually ended up heading North to the CFL in 2014.

Steve signed with the Toronto Argonauts and had a decent season for the Argos logging 94 carries for 510 yards and a TD. In addition Slaton had 46 receptions for 388 yards and 4 TDs. He’d retire after the season.

At last glance in 2016, Steve is training to be a culinary chef in Houston.

NFL   45/26    Rush 442         Yds  1896     Avg  4.3      Td  12       Lg   71t
Rec   100         Yds  8058      Avg  8.1        Td   5         Lg    46      |
Kr  42             Yds  852         Avg   20.3         Td  0       Lg  50

CFL    Rush 94     Yds  510      Avg  5.4      TD  1    |
Rec  46         Yds 388        Avg 8.4         TD 4

Willis, Patrick

Card: Score 2009
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Work
Sent: 7/11     Received: 7/30   (19 days)

Patrick Willis played collegiality for Mississippi from 2004 to 2006. Over his final two years at the school, he posted a whopping 265 tackles, 21 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, and 7 pass deflections.

Considered the complete package entering the 2007 NFL draft, he was drafted 11th overall by the San Fransisco 49ers.  During his career with the ‘9ers, Willis played a combination of middle linebacker and right linebacker through the majority of his starts.  A highly durable linebacker, Patrick earned All Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 5 of his first 7 seasons in the league.  It’s hard to agree on what season serves as Willis’ best year. During his rookie year he had a career high 135 tackles.  Later in 2009, Patrick had 3 interceptions for 33 yards and a TD, and then in 2010 he posted a career high 6 sacks.

After an injury shortened 2014, Patrick elected to retire from the sport after years of wear and tear on his feet.  He went into business where he joined a Silicon Valley startup. I wrote him in 2016 through his company, where he signed this card for me and included a nice metal business card.

G/GS  112/112       TAC  732        SAC  20.5           FUM  5
INT   8         YDS 131         AVG   16.3         TD  2         LG 86T