Tag Archives: skybox colors 1993-1994

Talley, Darryl ‘Spider-Man’

Cards: Action Packed 1991, SkyBox Colors 1993/94, ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 12/6/16 Received: 7/30/18    (599 days)

A second round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 1983, Darryl Talley never missed a game in 12 seasons for the Bills. The unusually injury immune linebacker was also a model of consistent play over his long career- that spanned in the end, 14 seasons and 4 Super Bowl appearances. Talley is the Bills’ all-time leading tackler with 1,137 takedowns, to go along with  38.5 sacks, 14 fumble recoveries, 12 interceptions and 2 touchdowns.  After the 1994 season, Talley hit the open market and signed with the Falcons, playing 1995 with them and 1996 with the Vikings before retiring.  He was inducted into the Bills Wall of Fame in 2003, and named to the Bills 50th Anniversary team in 2009.

Darryl has battled severe depression and financial hardship since his retirement, however he’s worked hard to conquer his demons, partially in part due to his wife and children. As of 2018 he acts as a football ambassador for the NFL Legends community of players. The goal is to reach out and help as many former players and let them know of the different programs that are available to them from the league. Here’s hoping things continue on the up and up for Spider-Man.

Darryl Talley had some fantastic cards over his years in the league. I was pleased to add these 3 interesting designs and/or dynamic photos to the Encyclopedia. His Action Packed 1991 card embodies everything I want to see in an exciting solo shot of a linebacker, with Talley in full pursuit about to pop a ball carrier. The card itself on the front is minimally designed, and this appeals to me, and Darryl inked this card in the right spot to accent it perfectly. – High marks indeed. Skybox had a smart debut with their base set in 1992. Their subsequent releases, not-so-much. It didn’t help that they along with their counterparts flooded the market with so much content it was impossible to stay loyal to any card company and follow a release schedule. Mind you this was the high days of adventure before the internet!

The ‘Colors’ 1993-1994 Skybox set was a really slick look but by the time this set came out, I had already had my bank account plundered regularly by the discovery of girls. Both this card and the ProSet 1991 showcase Darryl’s nice arm sleeves, that intentionally were in a webbed pattern to harken to his nickname- Spider-Man.

ProSet set the standard from 89 to 92 really. (Nobody talks about ProSet 93.) That was also their problem. I felt the cards were the minimum I’d expect from a company to show me, even though what ProSet showcased with the minimal design was really outstanding for its era before Photoshop. Great photo of Darryl. It is too bad that ProSet ate itself out of the market. I wonder what their brand would look like today if it still existed.  Overall though Darryl signed 3 of 4 cards, and has a great signature. I think I sent him a donation but honestly it was so long ago I can not recall.

G/GSTACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDLG
216/187119038.5141218915.7261T

Williams, John L.

sky93-94 jl williamsCards: 1993-1994 Skybox Colors, Skybox 1992, ProSet 1989, Fleer 1990
Acquired: 2014 TTM, C/o Home
Sent:  3/9     Received: 4/11    (31 days)
Failure: 2013, C/o Home

Recruited by future NFL head coach Mike Shannahan to play tailback at Florida in 1981- Shanahan was enamored with John L. Williams talent remarking at one point, “He can do it all.” The Gators were stacked at runningback though, with future NFLers Lorenzo Hampton and Neal Anderson already seeing touches in the backfield, so Williams, who wanted to start in some capacity, demonstrated soft hands and solid blocking and moved to fullback. After splitting time with future NFLer James Jones, Williams became the fulltime starter at fullback in his Sophomore year. Over his career at Florida, John L. piled up over 2,400 yards rushing and at the time a school record 92 receptions out of the backfield.

Because of the lack of respect given to the fullback position and not sky92 jl williamspiling up eye-popping numbers for the Gators, Williams was not considered first round talent. John L. though wowed scouts as a combine wonder and shot up draft boards as a highly sought after once in a lifetime fullback, beating out names in individual drills such as Bo Jackson and finishing second to only Neal Anderson in the 40 yard dash. With teams aggressively positioning to grab Williams, the Seahawks approached the podium and took John L. with the 15th pick of the first round in the 1985 draft.

Stepping into the Seahawks backfield, Williams helped alleviate the pressure off of tailback Curt Warner and provided a nice safety valve for quarterback Dave Kreig in the ‘Ground Chuck’ offense. Seattle was finally able to turn the corner and make the playoffs.  Williams rushed for a career high 877 yards and 4 TDs in 1988 as part of the Seahawks’ diversified rushing attack. An intergral part of the Seahawks offense, John L. led the NFL in receptions from the backfield with 76 in 1989, and his 58 catches in 1988 were the first time anybody ever led the team in receptions other than Steve Largent since the franchise had been founded.

With Warner departing to the LA Rams in 1990, and both Krieg andflr90 jl williams future HoF receiver Largent both in the twilight of their Seattle careers, Williams was leaned on heavily by the team. He’d finish with a career high 699 yards receiving in 1990, and back to back 700+ yards rushing season in 1990 and 1991. The Seahawks went through a coaching change in 1992 bringing in Head Coach Tom Flores and Offensive Coordinator Larry Kennan. Out was the ‘Ground Chuck’ style offense, and in was a more West Coast oriented approach. While Williams saw less time rushing the ball, he still was an important part of the passing game, especially as the team was crumbling offensively due to lack of star power beyond Williams and Brian Blades. At quarterback the team struggled mightily with Dan McGwire, Rick Mirer, and Stan Gelbaugh all taking snaps.

John L. was mercifully allowed to depart via free agency in 1994 to the Pittsbugh Steelers and replaced the venerable Meril Hoge at fullback.  There he enjoyed his final two seasons playing for the black and gold, culminating in his first and only SuperBowl appearance (SuperBowl XXX) at the conclusion of the 1995 season. pset89 jl williamsHe’d retire after the season citing the wear and tear on his body. His 546 receptions, was the second highest total recorded at the time, by a runnningback/ fullback, behind only Roger Craig.  Over his career he earned two Pro Bowl nods for the 1990 and 1991 seasons.

Afterwards John L. returned back to his homestate of Florida. He owned a nightclub for a while then dabbled in coaching briefly with former teammate Kerwin Bell at the High School level. He’s also been named one of the Gator Greats and inducted into his Alma Mater’s HoF.  He’s remembered well by the Seahawk faithful, and Williams in turn returned in 2008 to raise the 12th Man Flag in Seattle.  Like many great players before him, I can only envision John L. in his Seahawk threads, and typically eschew his final days in Pittsburgh. Williams is featured in all 3 Tecmo Bowl games, oddly appearing as a tight end in the original release. In the future installments, he’s a popcorn back along the lines of Leroy Hoard.

 

G/Gs  149/133   Rush 1245   Yds 5006   Avg 4.0   Td 18   Lg 48   |
Rec 546   Yds 4656   Avg 8.5   Td 19  Lg 75t