Cards: Upper Deck 1991 Team MVP, ProSet 1989, ProSet 1989 Traded, Skybox 1992, GameDay 1992
Acquired: 2012, Canton Acquisition. 2016, Future Considerations.
See Also: Earnest Byner
After his stint as a coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars runningback coach from 2010 to 2011 Earnest Byner was signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneer staff in 2012 serving under Greg Schiano. Unfortunately Shiano’s style didn’t mesh in the pros, and he was gone after two seasons. Byner was not retained as ownership decided to clean house after 2013.
Since that time Earnest has addressed ‘The Fumble’ in public, apologizing to fans for what happened, and giving a tear-jerking recollection of it during the 30 for 30 ESPN documentary “Believeland”. Time heals all wounds though and the vast majority of Browns fans really embrace Byner as one of their own without judgement. It goes without saying that it’s great that Byner has been able to move on from what happened- something that he said stuck with him and changed his playing style for the remainder of his career in the NFL.
Earnest has done a lot of motivational speaking too. He also has no problem engaging his fans in public and is very popular in Cleveland. My friend DeadHorse scored these Byner autographs for me along with Kevin Mack and Greg Pruitt at an Ohio based Cleveland Browns event they attended. DeadHorse was kind enough to accommodate me on the 3 cards which I felt were his best action shots of Byner (Skybox 1992, ProSet 1989 CLE, and GameDay 1992).
Card: TNT AFL 2014
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 2/22 Received: 4/19 (56 days)
Clinton played for the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2002, 2004, and 2005. He piled up 1864 yards on 118 receptions and 14 TDs over his 3 years there. His best season came as a Junior when he logged 58 receptions for 905 yards and 6 TDs- earning him 2nd Team All-Big Ten Honors.
Going undrafted, Solomon signed with the St Louis Rams in 2006. Afterwards he was on the rosters of the Titans and Bears in 2007. He signed with the Arena Chicago Rush in 2008, and finally found his home with the Wichita Wild of the IFL in 2009, where he was named 1st team All-IFL after posting 22 TDs and 1,008 yards receiving. He again earned All-IFL selections in 2010 and 2011. Clinton spent then next two seasons with the Sioux Falls Storm, and briefly played for the Kansas City Renegades.
In 2014 Clinton joined the Texas Revolution. Soon thereafter he’d be signed by the snake bitten San Antonio Riders of the AFL. After the season the Talons were contracted, but he was assigned to the Las Vegas Outlaws. After the Outlaws were also contracted, Solomon returned to the Texas Revolution in 2016 reuniting with former Talon Brett Reece. Clinton finished the season as the team leader with 63 receptions for 793 yards and 25 TDs.
A few years ago I had started tracking down members of the Talons who I had made cards of. I attempted to friend Clinton on Facebook, but he did not respond to me for over a year. I reached out to him when he did and he agreed to do a signing for me. Apparently he was more excited than I intially thought, because after he signed the card, he also inscribed the back of the envelope thanking me for the trading cards.
Cards: TNT Signature Select, Topps 1971
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o The Tennessee Titans
Sent: 1/19/17 Received: 1/27/17 (8 days)
To say that Dick LeBeau has a decorated football history would be an understatement. After playing both halfback and defensive back in college, LeBeau was moved to cornerback fulltime when he entered the NFL. Selected by the Cleveland Browns in 1959, LeBeau did not make the squad and was quickly snatched up by the Detroit Lions. The rest is history. The Lions already had an outstanding secondary. LeBeau was icing on the cake. He arguably became one of the best players in Detroit history (at least defensively) recording 62 interceptions for 762 yards and 3 TDs. He earned 3 ProBowl trips from 1964-1966 and AP in 1964, 1965, and 1970.
Retiring from play after the 72 season, LeBeau immediately jumped into coaching, working as a special teams coach for the Eagles from 1973-1975. From there he honed his skills as a positional coach with the defensive backs for the Packers (1976-1979) and Bengals (1980-1983). Dick was promoted to defensive coordinator for Cincinnati in 1984- a position he held until 1991. In 1992 he joined the Steelers as a defensive backs coach, and in 1995 was elevated to defensive coordinator. LeBeau returned to the Bengals in 1997 and was head coach for the franchise from 2000-2002. After a brief stay on the Bills in 2003 LeBeau returned to the Steelers as their defensive coordinator from 2004-2014, and then off to the Tennessee Titans as their coordinator where he coaches to this day (2017). LeBeau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Pride of the Lions in 2010.
Dick LeBeau is one of the most reliable high profile TTM signers in the hobby today. I think I had taken it for granted for a long time, but I finally decided to take a shot at him in 2017. Part of the reason for my delay was the lack of decent cards of him. Frankly most of the cards that were on the market were quite bad looking, or were just plain expensive. LeBeau’s turnaround was quite quick signing this old beat up Topps card and my custom in about a week flat.
G/GS N/a Tac N/a Sac N/a Fum N/a
Int 62 Yds 762 Avg 12.2 TD 3 Lg 70t