Tag Archives: USFL all time team

Fuller, William (2)

CARDS: Pacific 1991, ProSet 1990
ACQUIRED: Autographs Inked Private Group, 2021
FAILURE: 2020, C/o Home
SEE ALSO: William Fuller

I’ve always wanted to get William Fuller on a few cards, since I sorta didn’t like the others I had gotten him on way back during Oilers training camp. You fail 100% of the shots you don’t take, so I figured I might as well give him another shot during the pandemic.

Waiting over a year and getting no response, I thought I might as well cash in a few chips. Since I missed out on them I went ahead and invested in these two cards that I had wanted to get signed sometime ago. (This represents one of the few times I’ve actually purchased autographs through my private Facebook group.) I remember carrying that Pacific 91 in camp and squiggling blue Sharpie on the back of it by accident. Still I’m left with 2-3 more cards I’d love to add to the collection. He does a fairly affordable private signing once or twice a year. I might look into that in the future.

Millard, Keith

sco89 millardCards: ProSet 1990, ProSet 1990 Defensive Player of the Year, Score 1989.
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Sent: 7/7   Received: 7/18   (11 days)
Failure: TTM 2011, C/o The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Considered one of the top defensive talents from the Pac-10 when he arrived on the pro scene in 1984 from Washington State, Keith Millard was drafted by the Vikings in the first round, but opted to sign with the USFL Jacksonville Bulls instead for the 1985 season. There in his only season he recorded 12 sacks to lead the team and its improved defense.  Later that year, Keith joined the Vikings.

pset90 millard dpotyHe was listed as a nose tackle, but kicked out to defensive tackle frequently, starting 5 games, and nabbing 11 sacks alongside equally formidable defensive end Chris Doleman. In 1986, he recorded his first interception, and again hit double digits with 10.5 sacks. After the strike shortened 1987 season, Keith returned to form for Minnesota with his first All-Pro season in 1988. 1989 was a year for the ages, as he recorded a record 18 sacks from the defensive tackle position. In addition, he had a 48 yard interception, and a fumble recovery that he rumbled, bumbled, and stumbled 31 yards with for a TD. The gargantuan year netted him NFL Defensive Player of the Year Honors for 1989. During the 4th game of the year in 1990, Keith jumped over a cut block, but tore his ACL- ending his season. The injury wore on Millard. He would not return to the field until 1992 for the Packers and Seahawks. After a brief rennaissance in 1993, playing for the Eagles, Keith decided to hang up his cleats for good.

Keith is quite the accomplished veteran positional coach.  He got his start with the Los Angeles Dragons of the shortlived SFL, then joined the San Fransisco Demons of the XFL in 2001. This was followed by  three year stints on the Denver Broncos (2001-2004) and  Oakland Raiders (2005-2008).  After a brief return to the college level, Millard coached with Tampa Bay in 2011 and Tennessee in 2012.

pset90 millardWell decorated, Millard is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame,  the NFL All-1980s team, a member of the All-Time USFL Second Team, and in 2010 was named one of the Top 50 Minnesota Vikings of all time.

I had been after Keith Millard for quite sometime, and it finally paid off. Millard is a solid signer actually. I just didn’t have the right luck with him. I though that I had already failed with him on two previous occasions but the records only showed one. He was kind enough to write me back on Titans stationery, thanking me for the letter, apologizing for the previous trip-ups, and enclosing an additional card. I really appreciate players who take TTM very seriously, and those who take it seriously enough that they need to ensure that their reputation remains solid with their fans. Class act!

USFL   Tac N/a   Sac 12.0   Fum N/a
Int N/a   Yds N/a    Avg   N/a    Td N/a   Lg -.-

NFL  93/69    Tac  N/a     Sac 58       Fum  10
Int 2     Yds 65     Avg 32.5      Td  0      Lg 48

Kelly, Jim (QB)

sky92 kelly

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1992, Skybox 1992
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Hunter’s Hope Foundation*
Sent: 3/18    Received: 5/13    (56 days)
* $50 donation requested

Great cards and great find! Okay, I really think that $50.00 is way too much to pay for a player’s autograph, but for two, and the fact that it goes to charity, makes it sting a lot less. (I normally draw a hard line at $10 per card.) That was the strategy I took for the former AP quarterback, and after a long wait, it paid off. I really liked both of these releases, especially his SkyBox 1992 card, which is a sports photo masterpiece. His Action Packed is really more of a grab for a set that I like, but still it is of Jim doing something else other than cocking it back and making a throw. Over the years I’ve realized I like the offensive player photography where they are more or less alone in the frame. On defense, it’s typically the moment of impact, a big play, or looking intimidating that does it for me.

So Jim Kelly finished with (a very pedestrian looking by today’s standards) 376/676  for 5228 yards 33 touchdowns to 28 picks in 44 games for the Miami Hurricanes. Kelly led a revival of the U’s program, and coming off his 1981 season everybody expected bigger and brighter things, but instead he ended up having a disastrous shoulder injury 3 games into his senior season. Still he is remembered fondly by the school and was inducted into the Miami Hall of Fame in 1992. He is considered one of the famed ‘QB class of 1983 ‘ that consisted of: Dan Marino, Todd Blackledge, John Elway, Tony Eason, and even guys like Babe Laufenberg, and Gary Kubiak.

aprks92 kellyAt the draft, in 1983, the Bills made the choice on the signal caller, but he opted instead to sign with the rival USFL.  You see, Kelly’s rights were originally held by the Chicago Blitz, but they felt that Kelly should play where ever he wanted, so the USFL could build a stable of star quarterbacks. He went on a whirlwind tour of the league and eventually chose the climate controlled Astrodome in Houston, with head coach Jack Pardee and their groundbreaking offense.

Under Pardee, the team was noteworthy for bringing the Run N Shoot to Pro Football, and Pardee went out and hired Mouse Davis as offensive coordinator to make it happen. The offensive fireworks that the team brought were nothing short of spectacular. In his first full season under center for the Gamblers Kelly threw for 5219 yards on 370 completions to go along with 44 touchdowns, earning rookie and player of the year honors from the USFL. The next year, the Gamblers became the first pro football team to utilize the No Huddle Offense. He had some great receivers too, in the names of: Gerald McNeil, Clarence Verdin, Ricky Sanders, and Richard Johnson. In Jim Kelly’s hot hands, the Gamblers made the playoffs in both years. Unfortunately a shift to a fall schedule before the second season (to compete directly with the NFL) doomed the fledgling league. After the season, the Gamblers were merged with the New Jersey Generals. What would have been was an incredible offense of Jim Kelly and Herschel Walker– but it never came to pass as the league folded.

The NFL held a special supplemental draft, but as Jim’s rights were already held by the Buffalo Bills, he tried to engineer a trade. Eventually, Jim signed with Buffalo in 1986, pressed on by his father who wanted to live a dream of tailgating to his son’s games in Upper NY- a stone’s throw from where they lived. Although Jim lamented the outdoor cold weather of Buffalo, he proved himself wrong, by really turning the team around and becoming the centerpiece to the Bills attack. Kelly quickly became adept at the Bills No Huddle Offense, – nicknamed the ‘K-Gun’. Few teams’ defenses could keep up with the Bills no huddle attack, and by 1988 (with the final addition of Thurman Thomas,) the Buffalo Bills were the premiere team in the AFC. Jim had some awesome weapons in Andre Reed and later also, James Lofton, but among the ones that was overlooked the most was his center- Kent Hull who played with Jim (technically) since Kelly’s days with the Generals. With Jim at the helm the Bills won 4 AFC titles in a row from 1990- 1993, but never won a Super Bowl title. Still Kelly earned a heaping of accolades and All Pro awards until his retirement after the 1996 season. His number has also been retired by the Bills and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. He also dabbled in broadcasting briefly, handling WLAF color commentary for the USA Network back in 1991 and 1992. Combining Jim’s USFL #s with his NFL numbers gives him well over 45,000 career passing yards and 320 passing touchdowns. His number has also been retired by the Bills.

Jim has spent a great deal of his time giving back to the community, as his son tragically passed away from Krabbe Disease, in 2005. He also spends much time working football camps for children in Upper NY and is dedicated to keeping the Bills in Buffalo. You can write him courtesy of Hunter’s Hope Foundation with a donation for his autograph.

USFL    36/36   Att 1154   Comp 730  Yds 9842   Pct 63.3   Td 83   Int 45
NFL/GP  160/160   Att  4779    Comp  2874    Yds 35467    Pct 60.1     Td  237   Int 175   Rat 84.4   |  Rush 304   Yds 1049  Avg 3.5  Td 7   Lg 3.5