Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Last Great COMC Purchase - Seattle Seahawks Quad Edition

The great thing about the next five posts is that they'll all be Heads Up Quad cards and they all have at least one 2 color (or more) patch.  That's one of the great things about COMC, where you get to see nice scans of each side of the card to check for cool patches.  On Ebay you'll sometimes get both sides, but often sellers scan only one side, or even post neither side.  When it's all about the patches, it's good to see what you're getting!

This one is card #35, which is the second Seahawks quad card in the set.  The first had some awesome players on it like Shaun Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck.  This one is a little more unheralded, featuring a TE, backup QB, FB, and WR.
Mili was a 6th round pick of the Seahawks in 1997, the 12th TE selected with the first being Tony Gonzalez.  Mili came out of BYU, and that's interesting because fellow BYU TE Chad Lewis went undrafted to the Eagles in 1997 but had a better career than Mili, with three straight Pro Bowl nods between 2000 and 2002.  Lewis was actually that starter at BYU while Mili was more of an h-back type, so this makes sense, but it seems like Seattle thought they could do some crazy stuff with Mili in the fold.

Mili did spend his entire 9 year career in Seattle, but with season highs of 12 starts (twice), 46 catches, 508 yards, and 4 touchdowns, he was never much more than a blocking TE who occasionally contributed a little more.  What's interesting, however, is that Milli was, statistically, the 4th best TE of the 1997 draft.  Only Gonzalez, Lewis, and Freddie Jones (a second round pick) outdid Mili in number of catches, with Mili besting higher picks guys like David LaFleur (1st round, Cowboys), John Allred (2nd round, Bears), and O.J. Santiago (3rd round, Falcons).

Brock Huard was a 3rd round pick by the Seahawks in 1999.  He stayed in Seattle until 2001, spent 2002-03 with the Colts, and then spent a year on the IR in 2004 with the Seahawks before he retired and moved on to work with ESPN.  He saw playing time in 2001 and 2003 (combined 11 for 20 for 149 yards and 1 touchdown) but his true moment in the sun occurred in 2000 when he started four games for the Seahawks.  He lost all 4 but played decently, with a 3:2 TD:INT ratio (though his 56.3 completion percentage was less awesome).  What was cool was that Damon Huard, Brock's brother, started a game the same weekend as Brock in that 2000 year.  That made them the first set of brothers to start games on the same weekend, a record that obviously has since been met by the Manning brothers many times.
Mack Strong has one of the all time best football names (how strong is he?  MACK STRONG!).  He also has the longest career on this card, as he spent 15 seasons in the league after going undrafted to the Seahawks in 1993.  He spent every one of his seasons in Seattle, sort of making him a Superhero version of Itula Mili.  And like Mili, he was known for his blocking - he actually made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2006 due to his blocking abilities, and he made Pro Bowlers out of multiple runners including Shaun Alexander, Ricky Watters, and Chris Warren.

That being said, Strong could actually carry the rock considerably well himself.  He carried 27 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie year, which is quite nice, but then went quiet with just 53 carries for 150 yards from 1995 to 2001.  But then 2002 hit, and from then on he averaged over 100 yards and 4.0 yards per carry per year, which is pretty good for a "blocking fullback."  He even held the Seahawks playoff record for longest rush for a few seasons before Marshawn Lynch's crazy playoff run on the Saints in 2011.  So all things told, Strong had quite a few skills that he displayed during his time in Seattle.

James Williams doesn't have a Wikipedia page, which would, sadly, make him at best the 5th most popular James Williams in NFL history.  The most popular is probably former lineman James "Big Cat" Williams but there was also James "Froggy" Williams, who is in the College Football Hall of Fame, James Williams the Tight End, and James Williams the Cornerback who also played for the Seahawks (which means James Williams isn't even the most popular Seahawk James Williams).  Poor James Williams.

Anyways, he does have a Football Reference page, which indicates he played in 29 games (with 4 starts) with the Seahawks from 2000 to 2002, as well as one game with the Lions in 2003.  In the 2000 draft, he was the 28th of 37 WR drafted, but he finished 19th of 37 in lifetime yards, which is pretty remarkable.  I guess that'll happen when though when 9 of those 37 drafted WR never even made an NFL catch.  Williams was mostly a kick returner in Seattle, though not a great one, with an 18.3 yards per return average on 33 returns.  He wasn't much better as a receiver, but his one TD in 2001 put the Seahawks in perfect positioning to win the game with a last second field goal from Rian Lindell.  It's all about making those moments count.

Who wins the card?  It's gotta be Mack Strong, hands down.  The name, the Pro Bowl nods, the temporary holding off records, the long career, I'd say this is his card easily.  Though I'd give Mili some respect as well for his long tenure with Seattle too.


  1. Totally agree. Strong is the only guy on this card to make the Seahawks' 35th Anniversary team.