Tag Archives: St. Louis Rams

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

Faulk, Marshall


Card: SP Game Used Authentics 2002
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home*
Sent:  1/5/2016     Received: 6/11/2016     (158 days)

Nobody told Marshall Faulk about running too much in college. The 2nd pick of the 1994 draft, averaged over 1500 yards each year he was at San Diego State from 1991 to 1993.  He also demonstrated a nice penchant for catching the ball out of the backfield, with 82 receptions. At runningback, the Colts had a platoon of Roosevelt Potts, Anthony Johnson, and Rodney Culver that just wasn’t working in Ted Marchibroda’s offense in 1993.  Faulk gave the Colts the needed flexibility at the time to do a lot of things with their offense, and he responded by being named offensive rookie of the year in 1994.  His rookie totals included 1282 yards on 314 carries, 11 of which went to paydirt. He also chipped in 52 receptions out of the backfield for 522 yards. Faulk would continue to be the bell cow runningback for the Colts through the 1998 season- fellow teammate Peyton Manning‘s rookie season.

At a bypass in 1999 and wanting a new contract the Colts were unwilling to pay, the St. Louis Rams under Dick Vermeil traded for Faulk the evening before the draft.  Faulk became the catalyst of the Rams Greatest Show on Turf offense. As the Rams felt around in the dark until they found Kurt Warner shortly afterwards, Faulk rushed for 1381 yards and 7 TDs to go along with 103 receptions for 1048 yards and 5 TDs- an NFL RB single season record. The Rams were able to capitalize off of their offensive bonanza and win the next two Superbowls. The wear and tear of the football rigors were catching up with Faulk. In 2004, he’d share the backfield with Steven Jackson, and 2005 was completely injury riddled.  Marshall spent the entire 2006 season on the shelf, and retired in the Spring of 2007.

Marshall left an indelible legacy on the league. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility (2011). A member of the 10,000 yard club, at the time of his retirement Marshall led all runningbacks in career receptions yards and was second in career receptions.  He also is the only runningback to have over 70 TDs rushing and over 30 TDs receiving.

So I remember when the Colts drafted Faulk. I was like, “Oh no,” because I knew he was going to run all over the Oilers in the first game of that season.  And true to form his rookie year, he dominated the Oilers in a lopsided upset, running 23 times for 143 yards and 3 TDs in his rookie debut.

Faulk is a respected commentator on NFL Network. He also has a charitable foundation. I follow him on Twitter where one day he frustratingly Tweeted that all the autographs that people receive from him through his foundation are signed by him personally. He takes a plastic bin with him everywhere and tries to do his best to respond in a timely manner. With this information I scoured the internet and learned of the Marshall Faulk Foundation.  So the trick is, Marshall will sign whatever item you have provided you send a check/money order to the foundation for the total amount of the jersey pictured on the photo or card of him. So the above autograph for example, cost me $28.00.  He does not sign without a donation.

G/GS 176/156    RUSH 2836   YDS 12,280   AVG  4.3  TD 100   LG 71t  REC  767        YDS 6875       AVG 9.0       TD 36       LG 85T

White, Markee “Kee”

tntufl11 mwhiteCard: TNT UFL 2011
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent:  9/7/11  Received: 7/1/16  (1759 days)

Jy Bond deserves an assist for this one. The original plan was for me to attend the Colonials game against the Mountain Lions in early October, but with the NFL Lockout ending, the league scuttling the operations in Hartford, and rearranging their schedule, this was obviously out of the question. Among one of the cards I was most proud of was this high resolution shot* of Markee White making an understated tall grab. I knew this one would be awesome to get an autograph on.

After hooking Jy up with his player card design, I moved forward with sending him a set of physical trading cards based off of the design early in August. During the exchange he also offered to hook me up with other members of the squad he knew.

I immediately asked for Markee and he hooked me up with him via Facebook. I was surprised to realize that Kee played at Texas State- roughly 35 miles to the South of Austin, where I was from. Bobcat stadium also was the home of the San Antonio Riders during the early ’90s.  We exchanged pleasantries and worked out virtually the same deal I had with Jy and went from there.

It took him a while to respond, as he was hustling for a job, but in the end this one turned into a white elephant. Eventually irony interceded, and I happened to be at an Arena Football game in 2014 between the San Antonio Talons and Los Angeles Kiss, and it just so happened that he was on the Kiss. I attempted to flag him down after the game after I had made my way to the front of the visiting endzone, but he had already made his way through the crowd to the exit.  He responded to my email on facebook, and again promised to mail me one out. I waited another year and a half and asked him again. Kee struck me as being a man of his word. That’s why it always bothered me I had never gotten a response from but, but lo after some  1700+  days, -the longest I’ve ever waited for an autograph, I got this sweet custom card signed.

Markee finally got a gig after the UFL fiasco of 2010. A member of the disbanded Hartford Colonials, – the UFL left him out to dry following the season. Kee rounded the wagons and headed to the CFL for a season, playing for the Calgary Stampeders in 2012.  He returned to the AFL again in 2012 playing for the Arizona Rattlers, and then was traded in the offseason to the Jacksonville Sharks in 2013. Markee was again traded in 2014 to the Kiss, where he made a fearsome combo with Donovan Morgan at receiver. He was again traded, this time to the Philadelphia Soul, where he made an immediate impact catching an electrifying one handed grab against the Predators, in a must win game on ESPN.  Markee finished the game with 5 catches for 64 yards and 3 TDs.  Between the two teams White finished the 2014 season with 85 receptions for 855 yards and 13 TDs.  He returned to the Rattlers in 2015 and was having a career year with 16 TDs on just 57 receptions, but broke his back against the Spokane Shock.  A metal rod had to be inserted, and although the doctors have said Kee can return to football after rehab, it is unclear as to when or if he will return.

Disclaimer: The photos and logos remain the properties of their respective parties. The designs, bios, and presentations, I do claim ownership over. I am not affiliated with the United Football League or any of its member teams and these are classified as ‘mock up’ demonstration cards. Not for resale.
*CREDIT: photo taken by Mike D’Avino from Sportspagemagazine.com.