Category Archives: NFL

Francis, James

Gameday 1992, #21

CARDS: Action Packed Rookies 1990, Action Packed 1991, Action Packed 1992, Gameday 1992, Score Supplemental 1990, Pro Set 1990
ACQUIRED: Paid Signing, 2023

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • James played LB at Baylor (1986-’89) where over his career he posted 434 total career tackles.
  • In 1989, he set an NCAA single-season record with eight blocked kicks.
  • Earned SWC Player of the Year honors in 1989, when he totaled 129 total tackles, 4 interceptions for 99 yards, 8 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries.
  • He also moonlighted on the Baylor basketball team as well in the off season.
  • A first round pick of the Cincinnatti Bengals in 1990, he had 78 combined tackles, 8 sacks, and an interception that he returned 17 yards for a TD at ROLB.
  • He’d convert to LOLB in 1992, and add 6 more sacks to his resume and another 3 picks for 108 yards including a 66 yard TD.
  • In 1994, Francis had a career high 101 total tackles when he moved to LLB.
  • Added another 3 pick season in 1996, returning another one 42 yards for a TD.
  • Joined the Redskins in 1999, playing there for one season.
  • Retired before he turned 32, citing that it wasn’t fun anymore and that losing just drags on you after a while.
  • Lives in Central Texas, and has kicked the tires on going into coaching.
Action Packed 1992, #33

ACCOLADES:

  • All Rookie Team 1990
  • Baylor Hall of Fame 2001

NOTES:

James doesn’t sign TTM so I had to get as many of his cards signed as I could through a very affordable paid signing.

It’s said that Jimmy Johnson of the Cowboys during the 1990 draft really wanted to draft James Francis in the first round to man his defense over eventual Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith. He didn’t get the chance to debate it as Francis went off the board at #12 overall and Smith went off at #17. One has to wonder how the trajectory of the Cowboys might have been altered if Francis was still sitting on the board at #17.

Francis makes an appearance in Tecmo Superbowl where he’s a pretty solid option to play at LB.

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Rucker, Reggie

Upper Deck Legendary Signatures 2006, #43

CARD: Upper Deck Legendary Signatures 2006
ACQUIRED: 2018, Future Considerations

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Reggie Rucker played college ball at Boston University as a WR and PR.
  • Undrafted in 1969, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys.
  • He’d be buried on the depth chart, spending time on and off the taxi squad while recovering from injury.
  • Cut in 1971, he spent about a month on the Giants.
  • Broke into the starting lineup with the Patriots in 1972, after signing with the team in late ’71.
  • Rucker became an impact player for Cleveland after being traded to the Browns in 1975.
  • Led the league among wide receivers that year with a career high 60 catches.
  • Had best season in ’78 with 43 receptions for 893 yards and 8 TDs.
  • Retired in 1982 due to lingering knee injuries.

ACCOLADES:

  • Boston University HOF 1978

NOTES:

An argument could be made that Reggie Rucker could’ve been the proto Bo Jackson of the 70s. A letterman in FOUR sports, Reggie didn’t just letter- he was damn good at both football and baseball. He had that X-factor that allowed him to make big plays on the big stage when the team needed it most. His stats are also heavily impacted by the ‘dead ball era’ of football during the ’70s.

Rucker has had a controversial career since retirement. He went into broadcasting and was considered an up and coming personality in the ranks, but his image was tarnished after he was caught fabricating a story. Eventually his role was diminished so much that eventually he left the profession all together.

(Now, it seems like a big deal maybe, but keep in mind, in this day and age, there are plenty of color commentators who have been busted fabricating talking to the coach during halftime that have just shrugged it off and continue on.)

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Stecker, Aaron

Playoff Contenders European Ticket 2000, #176

CARDS: Playoff Contenders European Ticket 2000, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2001, Bowman 2000, Topps Chrome 2000
ACQUIRED: TTM 2022, C/o Home
SENT: 7/23 RECEIVED: 8/5 (13 days)

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • RB Aaron Stecker started his college career at Wisconsin in ’95.
  • After Ron Dayne sucked all the wind out of the RB room- Stecker transferred to Western Illinois in ’97.
  • Stecker ran wild at Western Illinois Stecker finishing as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,799 yards (since surpassed).
  • Going undrafted in ’99 he’d be cut in camp with the Bears.
  • Stecker was signed in 2000 by the Bucs and allocated to NFLE.
  • He’d go on to have over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 11 TDs playing for the Scottish Claymores.
  • The Bucs liked what they saw so much, Stecker made the team’s roster and contributed on special teams and as a 3rd down back.
  • In 2004, Stecker signed with New Orleans’ crowded backfield, playing 3 seasons and starting 7 contests.
  • After his stint concluded with the Saints, Aaron played for the Falcons in 2009.
  • Tried out for the Packers in 2010 but was not signed.

ACCOLADES:

  • NFLE Offensive MVP 2000
  • Western Illinois HOF 2010
  • Scottish Claymores Hall of Fame 2003

NOTES:

A home run NFLE success story, Aaron parlayed his time playing for the Claymores one season- into 10 seasons in the NFL.

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