Tag Archives: tampa bay buccaneers

Babers, Rod (4)

Card: TNT UT Legends
Acquired: IP, 2014
See Also: Rod Babers

Over the years I’ve pretty much tapped out the complete card collection of Rod Babers. He’s a great local radio personality, and a really big fan and student of sports. It seems that whenever I run into him- we pick up where we left off, promise to hang out, and never get around to it. I mean maybe its the unsaid rule I follow that is basically even if a person is a D-list celebrity you should give them a lot of space. We tried to network for a Texans game in 2017, but that fell through. In the meantime he had a fallout with 1300 the Zone, but thankfully picked up right where he was at with ESPN doing what he does best.

I decided to pop in and say hi in 2018- A year after the last time I saw him at the Texans draft party when I had accurately predicted the Texans would trade up to take Deshawn Watson. We again picked up where we left off, and just started talking sport. His team thanked me for coming by and hanging out and we chatted for a bit. It was good times. We talked briefly about the AAF and the Texans but really weren’t able to get into details since he was pretty busy.

We catch up from time to time and he’s always very personable and friendly and loves to sign autographs.

Ferguson, Joe

Cards: Topps 1982, ProSet Legends 1991
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 2/2 Received: 2/9 (7 days)

Joe Ferguson was the QB for the Bills who owned nearly all the franchise record books before Jim Kelly shattered them over the next 10 years.

A Southwest Conference Alum with the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1970 to 1972, Joe competed 327 of 611 passes for 4431 yards to 24 TDs and 32 interceptions- shattering many of the passing records at the school, and earned the Liberty Bowl MVP award in 1971. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. The team pressed him into service immediately, where he posted 3 winning seasons in a row. Ferguson played ball during the dead ball era. Regardless he led the league in a variety of categories including TDs (25, 1975), attempts (1977, 457), yards (1977, 2803), and interceptions (1977, 24. 1982, 16). In 1976 he started 7 games and threw 9 touchdowns to just 1 interception for a 90 QB rating.

With the arrival of Jim Kelly in 1985, Joe began the journeyman phase of his career. He’d play 2 seasons for the Lions as a backup, starting 5 games and posting a 2-3 record. Afterwards he’d play 3 more non-descript seasons for the Bucs (1988-1989) and the Indianapolis Colts (1990).

Joe went into coaching after his playing career wrapped up and saw stints at Louisiana Tech and Arkansas.

Perhaps most intriguing was when he joined the CFL and was the QB coach for the San Antonio Goldminers in 1995. After an injury befell starting QB David Archer, head coach Kay Stephenson needed somebody who was familiar with his offensive system. Enter backup Joe Ferguson for one final season. An ironman of football, Joe started at one point 103 consecutive games, and played 16 seasons.

Joe has also been inducted into numerous Arkansas Sports Hall of Fames, All-Century Teams, and All-Decade Teams. He also has a spot in the Bills Ring of Honor.

I loved these Legends cards made by Pro Set in 1991. I had never gotten this one when I pulled packs as a kid so I was doubly surprised when I originally saw this Corning masterpiece. Joe is a great signer, so I had been kicking the can down the road the past few years before I decided to pull the trigger on this one, and he responded in no time flat.

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Bowles, Todd

Card: ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o The New York Jets
Sent: 10/1 Received: 12/31 (91 days)

Admittedly, it’s a bit grim when you get a player or coach’s autograph in the mail from them right after they get cut or fired. Case in point- Todd Bowles. He took over Gang Green after Rex Ryan was dismissed from the franchise in 2015. He posted a solid 10-6 record right out of the box that year, but the team did not make the playoffs. Over the next 3 seasons, the Jets failed to rally back into the AFC East race, finishing dead last each year with identical 5-11 records in 2016 and 2017, and a 4-12 mark in 2018.

The franchise hired a new GM and then couldn’t find a quarterback to hitch the team to until the 2018 season. In the meantime they constantly missed on draft choices or had a lack there of and in the 2018 season lost 6 games by less than a TD. Todd was released after the season, but not before he dropped this card in the mail – signing one of two for me. He was quickly snatched up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their open defensive coordinator position in 2019 reuniting him with Head Coach Bruce Arians.

Todd has a rich coaching history. Technically a disciple of the Al Groh coaching tree, Todd served at a variety of stops in college before hitting it big in the NFL with the Jets as a secondary coach in 2000. He served as a defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 1997 for Morehouse and in 1998 and 1999 in the same capacity for Grambing State. Bowles joined the Browns in 2001 and remained with the franchise through 2004, eventually becoming the franchise’s secondary coach. He then coached with the Cowboys under Bill Parcells from 2005-2007, again in the secondary, before working with the Dolphins in 2008, where he’d get a taste of head coaching in 2011 going 2-1 as the interim head coach. Todd spent a year with the Eagles, and then in 2013 was the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals, where he enjoyed the most success paired with head coach and offensive guru Bruce Arians. He earned AP Assistant Coach of the Year Honors before embarking on his whirlwind tour of New York.

Amazingly- Todd has a very long playing resume as well. Going undrafted out of Temple in 1986, he signed with the Redskins playing Free Safety with the franchise through 1990- earning one Super Bowl ring. Bowles hopped over the 49ers in 1991 spending one season with the team. He’d then return to the Redskins for two more seasons before heading into coaching.

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