Tag Archives: Seattle Seahawks

White, LenDale ‘Smash’

Card: SPX2 2006 (265/350)
Acquired: 2016, EBay

LenDale White was part of a devastating backfield trifecta for the Tennessee Titans that included both Chris Johnson and Vince Young.  While Johnson’s skill set was of the fleet footed, and Young was always a threat to take off backyard football style after not finding a receiver, White was a pure downhill power runner.  He recorded his first 100 yard performance in 2007 against who else -but the Houston Texans. White and Johnson became known briefly as ‘Smash and Dash’.

The NFL can be a cruel place. LenDale was much maligned by the media and scouts after he declared from USC. While the weigh in and subsequent body inspections have been likened to a meat market, White did not look at his best and was essentially body shamed for it.  He had a putrid rookie season after being selected in the second round of the 2006 draft by the Titans, but turned it around with a solid 2007 campaign rushing for over 1,100 yards on 303 carries, bringing back fond memories of Eddie George with his downhill running style helping Tennessee reach the playoffs.  It’d be in 2008 that White was joined by Chris Johnson, and while White’s numbers were down, his change of pace and style allowed the Titans to frustrate opposing offenses all year long.  Briefly, the Titans success, coupled with Vince Young, eclipsed the Texans broadcasts shown locally in the Austin area, much to my chagrin. It was a dark time in Texans history.

In 2009 White got into serious shape, which may have led to his downfall. LenDale’s play style was much more akin to being a powerback. He’d just bowl over defenders to counter for his lack of elite speed. Without that, he was lost in the shuffle behind Johnson by the end of the season.  After resigning with the team in 2010, he was traded to the Seahawks, reuniting him with his college head coach Pete Carroll.  He’d be released shortly thereafter for violating a drug test, and then sign with the Denver Broncos. During a preseason game, LenDale blew out an Achillies and never recovered. He’d be released in 2011.

White is perhaps best known as being a member of USC’s back to back national championships in 2004 and 2005 alongside Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. The team failed to score the trifecta when they were defeated in the 2006 Rose Bowl by the Texas Longhorns. LenDale can be seen in the ESPN 30 for 30 presentation Trojan War where he is interviewed about his impressions of the 2006 Rose Bowl and the USC Trojans teams of lore.  He also is an active USC Alum and can be frequently seen on the sideline during games.

LenDale is another player that you have to wonder about. He failed the NFL Combine drug test in 2006, and then again in 2010- which he was suspended for, apparently all over marijuana.

G/Gs 58/18      R 628      YDS 2349      AVG 3.7      TD 24      LG 80T
REC  42      YDS 204      AVG 4.9       TD 0      LG 15

Darboh, Amara

Card: Sage 2017 Peak Performance
Acquired: 2017, Box Breaker

Amara Darboh was selected in the 3rd round of the 2017 draft by the Seattle Seahawks.  He really didn’t catch the eye of scouts until his final year at Michigan even though he was putting up reputable numbers by his Sophomore campaign.  Darboh caught 58 passes for 727 yards and 5 TDs in 2015- his Junior year.  In 2016, Amara had 57 receptions for 862 yards and 7 TDs.  His NFL Draft profile compared him to Mohamed Sanu. Darboh’s got a good NFL build and the speed, but needs to work on separating himself from receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Amara life is a unique story.  His family fled war torn Sierra Leone and came to the states when he was just a kid. In 2015, he was made an American citizen.

You can clearly see that Sage is upping their game here with this nice glossy shot and action shot of Amara Darboh, and it’s a welcome change to the market. My only complaint is that the silver and black tend to disappear on the background a bit which contributes to a bit of eyestrain. For the longest time I looked at Darboh’s card and thought it said ‘Darbon’.

Joppru, Bennie

poff03-bejoppruCard: Playoff Contenders 2003
Acquired: 2016, EBay

Bennie Joppru comes from strong football bloodlines where his father and brothers all played football at the college and/or pro levels.  Bennie himself, played collegiality at Michigan, where over his four years playing for the Wolverines, contributed 85 receptions for 800 yards and 8 touchdowns.

The Houston Texans finished their inaugural season with a 4-12 record.  Eager to improve on the team’s record, Dom Capers jumped at the chance to coach in the Senior Bowl the following year.  Bennie made the longest play of the game- a 23 yard juggling catch from Kyle Boller.  Capers and Casserly must have liked what they saw out of Joppru, and with TE Billy Miller an RFA, the team could also have an insurance plan in case things didn’t work out.

Houston traded around with New England, before selecting Joppru in the second round of the 2003 draft- a full 20 picks before Dallas selected TE Jason Witten.  Bennie then destroyed his groin with a pelvic hernia during training camp. He’d be on IR the next two seasons.  In 2005, Joppru blew out his ACL during training camp and again was placed on season ending IR.  After the season, Capers was fired.

With new head coach Gary Kubiak in town, the team took another long look at Joppru. They liked what they saw and he got another shot, but the team was a much different beast now, especially at the tight end position led by rookie Owen Daniels, wily veteran Mark Bruener, and Jeb Putzier. The Texans attempted to convert Bennie to fullback, but cut him in October of 2006.

He’d be signed by the Chicago Bears practice squad, and then called up almost immediately to back up Jerramy Stevens and play special teams in Seattle. In 2007 he returned to the Seahawks, but thigh and hip injuries pretty much ended his season and career in the NFL.

Among the pantheon of picks made by the original regime in Houston- is Bennie’s considered a run of bad luck or a bust? Admittedly, I place him at the top of the list in a long line of bad reach busts by the Texans early in their checkered history.

G/GS  0/18         Rec 0        Yds 0       Avg -.-        Td 0        Lg -.-