Tag Archives: Washington Redskins

Harrison, Nolan

Card: GameDay 1992
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1993

Indiana University is not really known as a hotbed of football talent- but the Raiders took a chance on Nolan Harrison in the 6th round of the 1991 draft as a possible replacement for star defensive end Howie Long or Greg Townsend. In the meantime the Raiders would utilize him also at defensive tackle, until 1994 when he’d get a career high 5 sacks at left defensive end. Nolan would sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1997, and play there through 1999 making 7.5 sacks and then close out his career with the Washington Redskins in 2000. As a player, Nolan’s strength would be his high motor and flexibility along the defensive line providing invaluable depth for 10 seasons.

Since retiring Harrison has remained extremely active in NFLPA activities, serving on a variety of boards, financial management, and being a motivational speaker. In 2010, Nolan was named Senior Director of Former Player Affairs and he and former Raider Dave Pear have also squared off on disability and retirement benefits over the last few months.

On top of the possible 2011 NFL strike, there’s actually another party involved in the labor dispute that must not be ignored- those retired players that paved the way for the rest of the league’s success. Many former players who did not live on the ballooned million dollar contracts and on a pittance of severance sacrificed their bodies for our entertainment and now their pain and problems are largely ignored by the league. While Nolan has made some contact with Dave Pear- it remains to be seen whether or not our former greats are treated with the respect they deserve.  You can follow Nolan on twitter at: http://twitter.com/NolanHarrison74.

G/Gs  128/83      Tac 199      Sac 22.0     Fum 5      Int 0     Yds 0     Avg  -.-      Td 0      Lg 0

Shula, Don

Card: ProSet 1991
Acquired:  TTM 1992, C/o The Miami Dolphins

Don Shula was a member of the newly merged Cleveland Browns a season after they joined the NFL. Playing defensive back on that stacked team, he rarely if ever saw any playing time, but still managed to make 4 interceptions his rookie season. He’d be traded to the Baltimore Colts in one of the largest player trades of all time getting 4 seasons in with the team continuing his strong play making 14 interceptions. In 1957, Don played his final season with the Washington Redskins making 3 more interceptions.

G  73       Tac  N/a       Sac N/a      Fum   4
Int 21      Yds  267     Avg 12.7     Td 0    Lg 35

This would not end Don Shula’s football career as he would make the transition into coaching. After a small stint in college at the University of Virginia,  Don was back in the pro ranks as an assistant for the Detroit Lions from 1960-1962 (defensive coordinator). He was then rewarded with the head coaching job in Baltimore in 1963 at the age of 33, which was the youngest coach in the league at the time. Don would spend the next 7 seasons there winning 71 contests but losing two championships (1964, and SuperBowl III).

In 1970 the Miami Dolphins signed Don as their head coach and were charged with tampering forfeiting their first round choice that year. Because of the odd nature of the timing- negotiating before the AFL/NFL merger, but signing afterwards, Miami had to suffer the consequences because they were now merged leagues.  Shula would go on to become one of the ‘Big 3’ coaches (Landry, Shula and, Noll,) in the NFL’s modern era. Shula’s teams during the 70s had dominating defensive units and offensive lines supported by a ground game which allowed them to excel against their NFL counterparts. His team would reach the big game by 1971. Shula’s 1972 unit is the only team to finish undefeated in NFL history winning all its regular season games and post season contests (17-0) and in 1973 they’d return again winning this time against the Minnesota Vikings. This team was the last of Shula’s teams to win the SuperBowl but his teams would consistently remain in the playoffs. In 1983 however the team would make the transition to a passing franchise with the drafting of one player- Dan Marino. Marino guided the team to the Super Bowl in 1984 throwing a then NFL record 50 touchdown passes. Shula’s teams reached the playoffs 20 times in 33 attempts. He’d retire after the 1993 season, with a large legacy under his belt.  26 of 28 seasons of winning football in Miami, the coach with the most Super Bowl appearances (6), a 4 time coach of the year, one of two coaches in history to have over 300 wins, and the winningest coach in league history. I would get Don’s autograph through the mail courtesy of the Dolphins in 1992 right after Christmas.

Since retiring Shula has made time to occasionally attend his team’s 17-0 reunions, owns an extremely successful chain of steakhouses and has his name on a golf course and hotel in Florida. He also is involved in the Don Shula Foundation for breast cancer research. In 1997, Shula was a shoe-in for the NFL HoF.  He has also been involved in numerous presentation ceremonies over the last few years, had stadiums and highways named after him and has authored 3 books.

W 328   L 156   T 6   Pct .678

Horton, Ray

Cards: Fleer 1990, Score 1990
Acquired: In Person 1990, 1993, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp.

So it all technically began with Ray Horton on that Fleer 1990 card. He was the first autograph I got in Dallas Cowboys training camp way back in 1990.  It was happy times back then, and I grabbed every card and my black sharpie before I headed out the door that morning with Josh. We’d ride the bus back and forth from North Austin or have our mothers drop us off for what turned into an all day affair. We quickly established where the best place was to get autographs- (the second fence line as the street narrowed to get onto the field) and would camp the spot to grab signatures. I think on the first day I got 7 autographs on cards and I had a hard time sleeping because I was so excited to go back the next to see who I could get. I never thought that almost 20 years later I’d pick up the hobby again and enjoy it just as much.

Ray Horton was drafted out of Washington, where he played alongside Cowboy Vince Albritton. Horton would be taken in the second round by the Cincinatti Bengals, where he’d play in SuperBowl XXIII for the Bengals, before leaving the team in Plan B for the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. Ray’s rookie season was solid in 1983, with 5 interceptions, 121 yards and a touchdown -which would be his career high. He’d record 13 interceptions with the Bengals and in 1989 would sign with Jimmy Johnson‘s woeful Cowboy team, providing solid depth and a bright spot in the secondary pulling down 6 more interceptions and then retiring after the 1992 season and ten seasons winning SuperBowl XXVII.  A nose for the endzone, Horton would have four touchdowns via interceptions and one from a fumble.

Since retiring Horton has moved right into coaching picking up almost right where he left off. He’s made stops with the Lions, Redskins, Bengals, and Steelers where he added two more rings in SuperBowl XL and XLIII. In 2011, he was named the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals.

G/Gs 147/ 99      Tac N/a      Sac 3      Fum  5     Int  19     Yds 269     Avg 14.16     Td 4      Lg  65T