Card: Action Packed 1991
Acquired: TTM 1992, Colts Blitz
An All-American decathalete and punter at Florida State, Rohn Stark was the most decorated punter to play college football since Ray Guy. (He was also a killer punter during the 80s and 90s with the Colts. He not only played for the Indianapolis Colts but also the Baltimore Colts- before they got in the Mayflower trucks and headed East.) Stark would also be a part of probably the best kicker and punter combination in Tecmo Bowl being paired with Dean Biasucci, and ironically year over year they’d be the most consistent part of the Colts through their combined tenure up to the end of 1994.
Originally drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 2nd round of the 1982 draft, Rohn would really come into his own by 1983 where he’d be named 2nd team AP with a gaudy 45.3 average and lead the league with over 4100 yards. His 1984 would be equally impressive as Stark would lead the league with 98 punts that season. 85 and 86 would be ProBowl caliber seasons, leading the league in average yards per punt with a 45.9 and a 45.2 yard average respectively. While the rest of his career would not see him reach such levels- Rohn would never average below 40 yards per punt during 13 seasons but would return to the ProBowl again in 1990 and 1992. With free agency and the salary cap making players and positions more expendable, Stark would leave via free agency in 1995, playing one season in Pittsburgh where he made his lone SuperBowl appearance. In 1996 he’d put his skills to work for the Carolina Panthers, and in 1997 finish out his career with the Seattle Seahawks. Rohn also held on extra points and field goal attempts and was notably left footed- meaning the ball was spinning the opposite direction than punt returners would expect after he would punt it. Stark holds another odd accomplishment as the only Baltimore Colt to play against the Baltimore Ravens. At the time of his retirement in 1997, Stark was top 5 in career punts and yardage. Stark like many other punters, will probably never get his due as the NFL HoF shows little respect for the position.
G/Gs 233/233 P 1141 Yds 49471 Avg 43.4 Lg 72 Blk 7
Card: ProSet 1990
Acquired: In Person 1992, Philadelphia Eagles Traning Camp
The Co-Captain of Penn State’s 1982 championship run, Ron Heller was an offensive tackle at drafted in the bottom of the 4th round of the NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 1984 was a good draft and Heller was a fine specimen at 6’6″, 290. A highly intelligent lineman with a good motor, Heller was both a competent pass and run blocker. Starting immediately out of the gate, Ron would be named to numerous All-Rookie teams at the end of 1984. Playing in obscurity for 4 seasons for the Bucs, Heller would be traded (in 1988) to the Seahawks who in turn traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles, where he’d block for Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham. Ron would become the first Eagles offensive lineman named offensive MVP of the team in 1989. I’d get his autograph at training camp in 1992, before he signed with the Dolphins to block for Dan Marino in 1993. He never missed a beat, starting immediately, and fit right in with the team for 3 seasons. A brutal knee injury would end his career after the 1995 season, but Ron would move on to coaching. He’d finish his playing career playing in 172 games, starting 166 of them.
In 2004, Heller served as an assistant in NFLE on the Amsterdam Admirals. He’d expand on these jobs as an offensive line coach in 2006 and 2007 would allow him to be an offensive coordinator, before the league’s untimely folding. Ron then joined the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL in 2009 for one season, and then returned to the NFL as an offensive staff assistant for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2010.
Cards: SkyBox 1992, Action Packed Rookies 1991
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Seattle Seahawks
See Also: Dan McGwire (2)
Dan McGwire. Now that is a blast from the past. A giant, towering specimen of a quarterback at 6 feet 7 inches with good bloodlines (Mark McGwire’s brother)- Dan, played collegiately at Iowa and then transferred to San Diego State for his final two seasons. It was at San Diego State McGwire would pile up the yards and really earn his stripes in the WAC with a 146.8 quarterback rating his senior season. The Seahawks would go so far as to make him their #1 pick in the 1991 draft and the franchise’s first quarterback ever drafted in the first round as the team’s quarterback of the future to replace the never aging Dave Krieg- (AKA the Steve DeBerg of Seattle). McGwire would only start one game in limited playing time in 1991 and 1992 making little or no impact. The Seahawks would alarmingly respond by drafting their second quarterback ever drafted in the first round- Rick Mirer in 1993. In limited playing time Dan would throw for his first career touchdown that year backing him up. Things began to look up for the former first rounder when in 1994 McGwire saw the most playing time of his career playing in 7 games and starting 3 finishing with a 60.3 qb rating. In 1995 Dan would head over to Miami playing in one game and would retire after the season.
Without really thinking about it- McGwire does go down as an NFL draft bust, in a draft that overall had great collegiate statistical and credential talent on paper and hideous results in the pros. There is only one quarterback that rose from the ashes of the whole draft- and that would be All World Brett Favre. Otherwise nearly every quarterback from the 1991 draft was out of the NFL by 1995.
In the end, McGwire would finish with two touchdowns and six interceptions, and only 13 games under his belt. Since football Dan has become president for a vitamin enhanced H2o drink company and lives in Reno, NV.
G/Gs 13/5 Att 148 Comp 74 Yds 148 Pct 50% Td 2 Int 6 Rat 52.3