Tag Archives: tampa bay buccaneers

Garrett, Jason

Cards: Pro Set 1991, Pro Set WLAF 1991
Acquired: In Person 1993, 1994, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
Failure:  TTM 2010, C/o Dallas Cowboys
See Also: Jason Garrett (2)

A free agent signee of the New Orleans Saints back in 1989, Jason Garrett would hang on with the team through the 1990 season.

The WLAF San Antonio Riders would draft Garrett to be their starting quarterback but he’d separate his shoulder in the season opener against the Orlando Thunder and within a few weeks Mike Johnson would be firmly entrenched as the starter. (While Garrett would return to start games 7 and 8, Johnson would end the season as the San Antonio Riders encumbent, winning all their games as a starter going 4-2 for the team.)  Jason would not return to the WLAF after the season, and finish his career there with a 71 quarterback rating.

After a brief stint in the CFL for the Ottawa Roughriders, Garrett would be signed by the Dallas Cowboys where he would back up Troy Aikman. Initially a 3rd stringer, I was not high on the move by the team, however he performed well for the Cowboys over the next 8 seasons. During his time on the Cowboys, I’d get his autograph on these two ProSet WLAF cards. He’d be a premium backup policy through the rest of his career, seeing stints with the Giants (2000-03), Buccaneers and Dolphins (2004) before retiring.

Garrett is a student of the game and was immediately in demand as a quarterbacks coach. He quickly transitioned into the role for the Dolphins and served there for two seasons through 2006. Jason would return to Dallas (where clan Garrett is based now), and became offensive coordinator scaling the ranks of the organization. He was named interim head coach in 2010 after Wade Phillips was dismissed midway through the season, and at the conclusion of the season had the tag removed to become Dallas’ 8th head coach.

I sent off for all of clan Garrett (Jason, Judd, and John) last season, but did not hear back from them. As Jason only has 1 card (Ultimate WLAF 1992) that I do not have an his autograph on, I may try this again at a later date. Listed below are his WLAF statistics:

G/Gp  5/3    Att  113      Comp  66         Yds  609             Pct 58.9         Td  3      Int 3          Rat  71.0

Willis, Ken

Card: Score 1990 Supplemental
Acquired: In Person 1991, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

The Dallas Cowboys considered kicker to be a budget position at the eve of free agency, and after the reign of Roger Ruzek was officially over went through a string of kickers including controversial Luis Zendejas who had a bounty placed on his head by the Eagles. The team would have an open tryout in 1990 and bring in free agent Ken Willis from Kentucky in training camp. About nobody gave him a chance to win the starting job but by the end of camp he’d have the job cemented over. Willis was a likable guy for the Cowboys, and his two seasons for the team were serviceable.
While not connecting on a field goal of over 50 yards his rookie season in 1990, 1991 on the other hand  would result in Willis making a career high 39 attempts which would be a team record. He would also connect on 4 of 7 from greater than 50 yards. He’d also be the second leading scoring kicker in the league behind Chip Lohmiller. These would all be career highs for the young former Kentucky Wildcat, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a ludicrous 1 million dollars in 1993. (The Buccaneers were desperate for the best available talent after losing kicker Steve Christie to Buffalo and reached out to Willis.) The Cowboys left Willis exposed on free agency and Jerry Jones was irritated because he had a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Willis and punter Mike Saxon among others not to sign with other teams. (Jones offer was a measly $175,000. Willis would have been an idiot not to have taken the Bucs deal.) The Cowboys moved on however, and so did Willis. Unfortunately Ken’s tenure in Tampa was incredibly short being 1 of 4 from 30-39 yards and missing 3 critical kicks against the Vikings sealed his fate. Willis would shuffle on up to play for the New York Giants but would suffer a career ending stress fracture of one of his legs. Willis would retire at the age of 26.  Unfortunately due to his painful injury Willis wears shin splints to this day and lives in relative anonymity teaching high school Algebra in his home state.

G 47       XPA   90   XPM 90        FGA 80    FGM  55        PCT  68.8%

Bell, Kerwin

Cards: ProSet 1991, ProSet WLAF 1991, Ultimate 1992 Promo
Acquired: In Person 1992, San Antonio Riders v Orlando Thunder
Failure: C/o Jacksonville State, April 2010
See also: Kerwin Bell (2)

Kerwin Bell started the first game I watched in WLAF history- a shoot out on NFL network between the San Antonio Riders and the Orlando Thunder. Kerwin Bell would lead the Thunder to victory in that game wearing the helmet camera 35-34 over the Riders that day in 1991.

After an acclaimed career playing for the University of Florida, Bell would be drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 7th round of the 1988 draft, but he’d end up on Atlanta where he’d finish the season behind incumbent quarterback Chris Miller. In 1989 Bell would travel back to Florida where he’d play for the Buccaneers and would be out of football in 1990.

The Orlando Thunder would come calling in 1991 for the WLAF and he’d respond with a solid season throwing for 2214 yards and 17 touchdowns under coach Don Matthews. Wearing the helmet camera on opening night of 1991, he’d lead the Orlando Thunder to an exciting 35-34 victory over the San Antonio Riders, throwing 3 touchdowns to Byron Williams. With 1992 however the NFL allocated players to the WLAF from their player pool of ‘future stars’. With new head coach Galen Hall taking over for Matthews, the team snatched up Dan Marino‘s heir, Scott Mitchell, and Kerwin spent the season strangely on the bench. The team would win World Bowl II, and Bell would see only cleanup time throwing a touchdown in relief. The WLAF would disband after the season and Kerwin would join CFLUSA playing for the Sacramento Gold Miners in 1993 and 1994. He’d hop over to Edmonton in 1995 for a year before being signed by the Indianapolis Colts in 1996. Bell would stay there through the 1997 season where he’d post a perfect quarterback rating completing all 5 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. In 1998 he’d return to the CFL to play for the Argos where with a vengeance he’d throw for almost 5000 yards and almost 70% of his passes and be a CFL East All Star. He’d hop over to Winnipeg in 1999 for a season and a half before returning to Toronto to close out his playing career after 2001.

He’d jump into coaching being offensive coordinator for the Argos for a season and then into the high school ranks for a bit. After a successful stint at that level he’d be hired by Jacksonville University where he’s been since 2007. When I had gone onto the field to get Scott’s autograph, I was able to do virtually the same with Kerwin. I felt that Bell was the face of the WLAF and was annoyed when he was relegated to the bench in 1992. He graciously signed all 3 cards for me, including this Ultimate WLAF card which was a promo only handed out at games. I sent him two cards in April of 2010, (Kerwin’s Wild Card 1992 and his regular Ultimate 1992 card,) but did not heard back from him. After seeing a few successes in 2012, I took another shot at him and had a success in February of 2012. Below are his WLAF statistics and a few videos.

G/Gs 11/10       Att 331      Comp 185        Yds  2276        Pct  55.9%         Td  17        Int  14         Rat  77.8

Kerwin at Florida v Auburn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvE5ob0VQ-o
Comical moment involving Kerwin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPYvI4xOOxQ&feature=related
Kerwin discusses wide receivers at Jacksonville University http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTMpaA0i7YI&feature=related