Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Late Great COMC Purchase - Front Heavy Chiefs Quad

I'm trying to post these Heads Up cards in order from least awesome to most awesome, but it's tough because the cards definitely get awesome in a hurry.  Case in point is this card, with the best guy to ever play his position and a very underrated 90's QB plus a beautiful patch on it.  Yet I consider three of the quad jersey cards I got to be better than this one.  Go figure!
Trent Green is the guy with the awesome patch here, and wow is it a doozy.  Real nice number patch from the home whites.  Green had quite the journeyman career, which started when he was drafted in the 8th round out of my alma mater (Indiana University) by the San Diego Chargers in 1993.   Green was the last QB drafted that year, and he ended up seeing no time for San Diego before moving to NFL Europe and being cut by the B.C. Lions.  Washington took a flier on Green, and he hung around as a backup and on practice squads, finally seeing some game time in 1997 (his 5th year after being drafted) with one passing attempt.  The next year Gus Frerotte started the first two games, but then Green took over and finished the season quite nicely with a 23:11 TD:INT ratio.  He used that season as a springboard to a starting job in St. Louis, but he was hurt before the season started which led to Kurt Warner's miraculous story and Green falling into a backup job in 2000.  He did start five games when Warner was hurt, but otherwise Green was at a crossroads and looking for another opportunity after he had finally gotten one.

Green got that opportunity when St. Louis traded him to the Chiefs, who had just lost starting QB Elvis Grbac to the Ravens.  Green went on to 88 straight games over 6 seasons for Kansas City, including 118 touchdowns versus 85 interceptions and a lovely 61.9 completion percentage.  Kansas City was the place to be for Green (he also starred in two Pro Bowls), and he reigned there until a pretty severe concussion in the 2006 season.  The injury plus lack of playoff success led Kansas City to trade Green to the Dolphins in the offseason for a conditional 5th round pick.  Green had little success in Miami (0-5 record in 5 starts) and another severe concussion led to Cleo Lemon becoming starter and Green released in the offseason.  Green made one more go of it as a backup QB with the Rams in 2008,  but he never saw playing time again in the NFL.  And thus ended a 16 year career that most people probably never realize was that long.  Green outperformed every QB drafted ahead of him except for Drew Bledsoe (the #1 pick) and Mark Brunell, which is especially nice since Elvis Grbac was one of the guys picked ahead of Green.

Tony Gonzalez is just...the absolute best.  There isn't a lot I could say about him that you don't already know.  He was the first TE drafted in 1997.  He just retired.  In between he put together the finest career you'll ever see from a tight end over his time with the Chiefs and Falcons.  So...there's that.

When you Google Sylvester Morris, one of the first sites to pop up is about all time Chiefs' draft busts, so you can tell he didn't have the longest career in KC.  Morris was a first round pick of the Chiefs in 2000 (the 4th WR drafted), and man did he look INCREDIBLE during the first half of his rookie season.  In his first 7 games he had 26 catches for 395 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He then missed a week due to some injuries, and though he had 6 catches for 102 yards in his first game back, he finishes his final seven games with 16 catches for 191 yards.  And that was it for stats in his career, as nagging knee injuries (and other injuries) kept him from getting back on the field.  Kansas City kept him around from 2001-2003 despite no playing time, and even Tampa Bay gave him an offseason chance in 2004, but unfortunately Morris could never get back to the success he had in those first seven games.  That said, I also found this neat piece while searching for information about Morris online, which is an interview done with Morris a few years ago that happily points out how he's doing in his post playing career life.

If Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez weren't on this card, Tony Richardson would probably be the man of this card.  He played 16 years with the Chiefs, Vikings, and Jets which included three Pro Bowl nods, 24 lifetime touchdowns, and a reputation as one of the best blocking backs in NFL history.  He once paved the way for 9 consecutive seasons of NFL runners, and some of the RBs he led to Pro Bowl success include Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Thomas Jones, Chester Taylor, and LaDainian Tomlinson.  Not bad for a guy who went undrafted in 1994 and whose original team (the Dallas Cowboys) cut him before the regular season.  Richardson's career long outlasted the only drafted fullback of 1995 (Raymont Harris, a 4th round pick), but even then Harris wasn't much of a Fullback.  He actually saw 35 starts over his first four years in the league (all with the Bears) and had 2,245 yards and 15 touchdowns on 592 carries.  So he was more of a hybrid running back/fullback, especially since he had a 1,000 yard season in Chicago before injuries sapped his effectiveness.

Who wins the card? This is a pretty easy card to rank, with Tony Gonzalez winning, then Trent Green, Tony Richardson, and Sylvester Morris.  That said, two things.  One, this might be the most talented team card we've seen so far (aside from maybe the Vikings quad).  Two, I wonder where Sylvester Morris might have placed if not for those injuries.  The kid could certainly ball - maybe he'd still be catching passes alongside Dwayne Bowe if injuries hadn't robbed him of that chance.  You never know...

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