Tag Archives: ttm football autographs

Gray, Jerry “Jed”

utud11 grayCards: Upper Deck 2011, Upper Deck 2011 NCAA, Pro Set 1989, Pro Set 1990 Pro Bowl, Pro Set 1992.
Acquired: 2015, Box Break. TTM 2015, C/o The Minnesota Vikings
Sent: 1/9/15    Received: 4/17/15  (98 days)
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Home

Another elusive Ram is off my list, as I was finally able to secure UT great Jerry Gray.  With a slew of really good cards and moments in Jerry’s career I wished to immortalize with an autograph,  I settled on four of them, but Jerry kindly added an extra. Despite my earlier failure, Gray remains a fairly dependable signer in the TTM circuit.

utud11 gray AAJerry Gray is considered one of the greatest defensive backs in the history of the University of Texas playing there from 1982 to 1984. His 16 career interceptions is ranked third on the all-time list, while his 7 interceptions in a season during 1984 is good for second all-time at the institution.  Gray was also a devastating hitter and sure handed tackler, recording 297 career tackles while playing at safety.  A rare physical specimen, Jerry was 6’1″, 185, and ran the 40 in  4.4 flat. Even more impressive was his track numbers that emphasized his long distance speed.

pset89 grayThe Los Angeles Rams selected Gray in the first round of the 1985 draft at slot number 21.  Although the San Antonio Gunslingers held Gray’s territorial rights in the USFL, they did not make a pitch to him.  Head Coach John Robinson moved Gray to left cornerback, and Jerry played on special teams as well- something that he readily accepted and enjoyed.

It wouldn’t be until his second season in the league that Jerry became regarded as a dangerous ballhawk. He’d start all 16 games and record a career high 8 interceptions for 101 yards.  As Gray began to let his presence be known as a force to be reckoned with in the NFC West, teams began avoiding him with regularity, but that would not stop him from being selected to 4 straight Pro Bowl appearances.

pset90 gray PBIt’d be in the 1990 Pro Bowl that I perhaps most fondly remember Jerry. After a fine 1989 campaign, when he recorded 6 interceptions for 48 yards and a TD, Jerry earned his final Pro Bowl nod. Pro Bowls over the last 20 years have become an increasingly boring affair, however this one in particular was keyed by defense and an exciting last minute rally by the AFC.  Gray keyed the NFC defensive effort with 6 tackles, and an interception that he returned for a Pro Bowl record 54 yards and a TD. Jerry earned the 1990 Pro Bowl MVP award for his efforts in a 27-21 win.

Before Jerry could continue his meteoric rise, Gray blew out his left knee and had to get arthroscopic surgery during the 1990 preseason. He’d start in 12 games that season, but not make an interception. Sensing a need for new blood at the position and having previous ornery salary negotiations with Gray, the Rams picked Todd Lyght in the first round of the 1991 draft. The writing was on the wall, and after a particularly bad game against the Falcons that season, Gray was replaced in the lineup.  Still Jerry managed to start 9 games, intercepting 3 passes for 83 yards and a TD.

pset92 grayJerry headlined the Free Agent lineup that hit the market in 1992. The Houston Oilers and Gray quickly came to terms. Jerry was excited to play for the Oilers as he had wanted to do so for a long time because of his ties to Texas and the chance to play for a perennial playoff contender. Jerry had a solid season for the Oilers at right corner with 6 interceptions for 24 yards and 2 forced fumbles. Following the Oilers loss in the playoffs versus the Buffalo Bills, owner Bud Adams elected to clean out the defensive staff. In came Buddy Ryan, who overnight quietly cut longtime defensive lineman Doug Smith and Jerry Gray.  Jerry signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, quietly retiring after the 1993 season.

Jerry has been an exceptional coach at the pro and college level. He has been linked as a finalist to many head coaching jobs including ones in Tampa Bay and Washington. At one point Jerry was destined to return to the Longhorns as their defensive coordinator, but left the college at the altar for the Seattle Seahawks. As of 2015, Jerry is the defensive backs coach of the Minnesota Vikings. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

Jerry Rice once said that Jerry Gray was the defensive back that gave him the most trouble over the years, and Gray is also well represented in Tecmo Super Bowl where his merchant speed makes interceptions come easy. Gray’s nickname ‘Jed’ is a reference to the Beverly Hillbillies TV show, that he was a big fan of.

G/Gs  134/103    Tac  N/a    Sac N/a     Fum  9
Int  28      Yds  374      Avg  13.4    TD  3    Lg 59t



Williams, Calvin

scosup90 cwilliamsud92 cwilliams

Cards:  Score Supplemental 1990, Upper Deck 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, 2015-  C/o Home, C/o Purdue
Sent:  11/8/11  Received: 3/19/15    (1227 days)
Sent: 3/16/15   Received: 3/26/15    (10 days)

The Eagles passing attack during the late 80s was crippled by the declining durability of wide receiver Mike Quick, and the departure of Cris Carter, so they moved to address it. To do so, Philadelphia aggressively went after receivers during the 1990 draft. In addition to selecting Mike Bellamy in round two, and Fred Barnett in round three, the Eagles swooped back in round five and picked Calvin Williams. Williams had one of the better combines that year, and fought had to win a spot in training camp. He performed so well, that he took over Carter’s former starting spot, and set an Eagles rookie record with 9 receiving touchdowns.  His 37 receptions for 602 yards contributed to him earning All-Rookie Honors at the end of the season. A solid redzone threat throughout much of the early part of his career, Calvin again led the Eagles in TDs in both 1992 (7 TDs) and 1993 (10 TDs- a career high).  In 1995, he had a career high 63 receptions and later joined the Baltimore Ravens during the 1996 season.

I spoke to Calvin back in 2011 via SotL (School of the Legends). Back then, SotL billed itself as an online community for fans to talk to, and get advice from NFL players. I had begun to build a reputation on the site as a knowledgeable fan, and began to send out TTM to some of those players. Over those months I had a few conversations with Calvin and decided to shoot a few cards out.

Shortly after declaring a new long wait response, Calvin Williams blows that one out of the water by nearly 3 years. Williams has built an interesting reputation within the TTM community. Not only is Calvin a sporadic signer, he signs only one card, keeps the rest, and frequently switches out the card he sends back with other people who have previously sent requests.  The Score Supplemental was the only card that I sent out back in 2011 that made it back. I was happy with that. In the meantime before that one came back I had sent out a second attempt, but he switched out the Action Packed Rookies 1990 and the GameDay 1992 cards with this – Upper Deck 1992 card. Oh well, still a success in my book.

Calvin was among the leading plaintiffs who sued the NFL and helmet makers for concussion and head related injuries in 2011.  He’s been involved in physical education for quite a few years, and is currently on the Purdue Boilermakers staff.

G/Gs 100/85     Rec 308     Yds 3925    Avg 12.7     Td 35    Lg 80t


Brooks, Bill (2)

pset89 bbrookssco89 bbrookssky92 bbrookssco90 bbrooks

Cards: Score 1990, Score 1989, ProSet 1989, SkyBox 1992
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent:  3/11    Received: 3/22  (11 days)
See also: Bill Brooks

Some really nice cards of Bill Brooks here I just had to get signed. His ProSet 1989/ Score 1989, (virtually the same photo) are seminal classics.  A true testament to the addage that commitment and dedication will pay off, Brooks did not make waves when he arrived at Boston College, but as time wore on he became an impressive future NFL prospect. He finished his collegiate career as the Golden Eagles all time leading receiver with 228 receptions, for 3,579 yards and 32 touchdowns.  Dependable and always giving 100% each game, Brooks has gone on to become undeniably is one of the most popular players in Indianapolis Colts history, with a career on par with fellow 1986 draftee Ernest Givins.  Although his career has taken him to both AFC East rival Buffalo and then later to Washington where he finished his career, Brooks always remained close and kept his home in Indianapolis.

Bill Brooks name is often forgotten outside of Inianapolis. With greats such as Raymond Berry coming before him, and Marvin Harrison, and Reggie Wayne afterwards, -it’s easy to see why the understated Brooks, who played during some of the most arduous years in team history is often forgotten.