Tag Archives: leaf draft 2015

Coates, Sammie

Cards: Topps Valor 2015, Sage 2015 Artistry, Sage 2015, Sage 2015 Next Level, Panini Prestige 2015, Panini Prestige Blue Chips 2015, Topps Air 2015, Panini Contenders 2016, Topps 2015, Leaf Draft 2015
Acquired: IP 2019, XFL Roughnecks Meet and Greet. Box Breaker 2020

Wow. What a haul. After seeing Sammie was drafted by the XFL Roughnecks I quickly pulled out as many cards of him as I could in anticipation of some sort of event or draft party and just bode my time. A few events passed by, and knowing I had a chit to burn to Houston for an event or two, I thought I’d wait it out and see. Lo and behold a triple billing of Head Coach June Jones, QB Connor Cook and Sammie popped up- so I made my move and went to the event.

I took a half day and drove down to North Houston. I’d never been to The Woodlands. It’s name is pretty apt as the bar they were at was in the middle of a shopping strip in a forest. I was one of the first people there, and immediately bumped heads with a fan who did not want to hang out with any other fans- little less one from Austin. He was quick to flip on me, constantly bagging on Austin, or saying, “There’s too many liberals in Austin,” – And not in a joking way. I tried to not let it spoil my enthusiasm for the team, but it was frustrating having that as my first experience. Part of the point of the league is no political drama, and here’s a guy making political theater out of it.

Anyway, Sammie, Connor, and June strolled in the door. I waited them out until after they’d eaten. Sammie was destroying some hot wings when I came up. He saw my cards and his eyes lit up, and after washing his hands and coming back signed every one of them. He liked the Sage 2015 cards so much, I gave him my extras I had for his PC. I asked him what position of WR that June Jones would have him at, but he said that it hadn’t been hammered out. We discussed his brief stay in Houston, where he called, Bill O’Brien, “Quite unique,” but notably had nothing bad to say about the ball coach. It was an easy pickup. Sammie signed 11 cards for me total- with an extra going to my friend Jeff, who was unable to go.

There is a thick stack of great cards that Sammie had for me to choose from. Thankfully he signed all of them. I really enjoyed the design on nearly all of them, with the Valor is the easy kill. The Sage Artistry was dreamy to me. I felt like there was a bit extra attention paid to creating this image, but the Panini Blue Chip was a well designed canvas, along with the Contenders which was a pleasant surprise.

Sammie Coates attended Auburn, where with his crisp routes, hands and speed, he burst onto the scene during his Sophomore year with 902 yards receiving on 42 receptions. He declared for the 2015 NFL Draft after finishing with 741 yards on 34 receptions to go along with 4 TDs in his Junior campaign, and was selected in the 3rd round of the draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Coates had a rough go of it and got buried on the depth chart. He played sparingly his rookie year. In 2016 Sammie caught 21 passes for 435 yards and 2 TDs, however injuries drug down a good portion of his efforts for the year and early into training camp for 2017. Traded to the Browns, Sammie was with the team through Spring of 2018, where he then joined the receiver needy Texans. Cut by the Texans, Sammie went through training camp with the Chiefs, but did not make the roster.

He’d be selected in the 3rd round of the XFL Draft by the Houston Roughnecks where he is expected to see serious playing time in the Run N Shoot offense under guru June Jones.

I ended up drafting Sammie for my fantasy team. He had some near misses on TD grabs during the XFL regular season. Over the course of 4 games he caught 6 passes for 61 yards. I tried to see if he’d sign his XFL card for me TTM, but I didn’t get a response.

Covington, Christian

Cards: Leaf 2015, TNT Texans, Upper Deck 2015, Upper Deck Star Rookies 2015, Memorabilia
Acquired: 2017, EBay, 2017 Texans Stampede Tour

Christian Covington comes from strong bloodlines, as his father was a HoF member of the Canadian Football League. Christian went collegiately to Rice, a school known more for its academics than football prestige. Christian made an immediate impact at defensive tackle for the Owls in 2012, closing out his Freshman year with 43 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and a forced fumble.  Getting onto the radar of coaches and the media in 2013, Christian posted 4 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 59 tackles. He’d be a first team all Conference USA selection as he rotated in also at NT and DE. A big fan of former Rice Owl and Texan ND Kalu, Covington switched his jersey number from 56 to 1 before the 2014 season. Landing on the watch list of many publications and honors before the year began, Covington suffered through an injury marred campaign. He’d declare for the NFL draft and be selected by the Houston Texans during the compensatory selection phase of the 6th round of the 2015 NFL draft. The selection probably broke the hearts of many CFL fans who hoped that the Vancouver, Canada native would not be drafted and slip into the CFL Draft.

Used sparingly over his rookie season, Covington spelled Big Vince at NT. He’d suit up for 15 games and make 8 total tackles and 2 sacks. His first career sack couldn’t come at a better time. With the Texans coming off a bye at 3-5, they’d face an undefeated Bengals team in Cincinnati. With all of the pundits backing the Bengals, the Texans played their most lights out defensive effort of the year. While the offense sputtered to 10 points, the defense held the high flying Bengals to just 2 field goals. During that game Christian notched his first sack of his career- a ferocious takedown of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. After the game nearly all the ESPN commentators, ate a fair amount of crow. The game served notice as the Texans went 6-3 down the stretch to take the division crown and secure a playoff berth.

In 2016, the Texans lost All-Star defender JJ Watt for the majority of the season so Houston had to reshuffle the deck on their defensive line. Covington kicked out to defensive end replacing departed Jared Crick, and finished with 26 tackles and a sack in 5 starts. The Texans defense was brutal. I actually found myself excited when they’d take the field- perhaps maybe because the offense was so anemic. Houston finished with the overall #1 defense for the first time in franchise history.

I met Christian and Andre Hal at the Texans 2017 Stampede Tour at 3rd Base in South Austin. The players were extremely cordial, and they both really liked their cards a lot. When I told Christian I’d forgive him for the card in his Rice uniform- he stopped me and asked me where I went to school. When I told him I grew up here in Austin so I naturally bled burnt orange- he rolled his eyes and told me that his mom really wanted him to go to UT.  Andre continued to heckle him. Taking one last look at his Upper Deck card, Christian lamented about how much he missed that face mask. He thanked me for the cards, and I thanked him for that first sack he made in that Bengals game.

During the 2017 season, the Texans went backwards. A combination of injury and a new defensive coordinator, possibly doomed the defense and the team out the door.  Covington too was bit by the injury bug and played in only 7 games. He finished the 2017 campaign with 16 tackles (6 assists) and a sack.

The Texans have been quite kind to the Rice Owls. In addition to Covington,  ND Kalu played for the Texans during his career, and the Texans also selected TE James Casey back in 2009.

I think after this year I’ll retire this particular design of TNT cards. Design tires with age, even if we yearn for a certain look year over year. Still it is a nice photo of Christian I was able to secure for the card.  I absolutely love the Leaf certified card. The autograph is framed very nicely on the canvas and shows up very well. On that note I must mention how I detest exclusive autograph only cards in sets as I much prefer to hunt for autographs, than just buy them. Still this one came at a very cheap price along with the Upper Deck Star Rookies card that I wanted to have him autograph. The Star Rookies card was a bit ugly. I mean it’s original looking in its execution, but I can’t stand it when designers place type along a half circle and the stretched stars on either side made me feel like I was looking at a retired state flag.  I appreciate the hand out that the team gave to fans. It’s a clean canvas with plenty of white space for the image to breathe on, however I think it maybe a bit too much. While the autograph activates the canvas, some other element could’ve been used to help frame it better and hold the eye inside the page.

Peat, Andrus

leaf15 peatCard: Leaf Draft 2015
Acquired: 2015, Box Breaker

At 6’7″, 313, Andrus Peat certainly has the frame to play in the trenches at the next level. A well decorated lineman, both nationally and at Stanford Andrus is considered an above average pass blocker and a fine drive blocker for the run game.  Scouts also praised his understanding of the pro game and felt that he was one of the most NFL ready offensive linemen to start game 1 of 2015.  He was selected with the 13th pick of the 2015 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints.