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Great QBs not in the HOF and shouldn't be in the HOF for various reasons (1 Viewer)

JohnnyU

Footballguy
I'll start with Bert Jones.  Injuries shortened his career but he had a hell of a ride when he was healthy.  Jones doesn't deserve to be in the HOF because of a lack of longevity, but oh boy, what could have been !!

It was early in 1983 when then-Baltimore general manager Ernie Accorsi flew west to work out the best player in the draft, Stanford quarterback John Elway. When he returned, I asked him what he thought … and what he thought was that Elway was so accomplished, so charismatic, so multi-talented that he reminded him of another NFL quarterback.

Bert Jones.

Anyone who was from Baltimore or who watched Jones play could appreciate the comparison. Bert Jones wasn’t just a superior quarterback; he was a superior athlete – a guy who could run, who could make all the throws and who knew how to win. Moreover, he was someone who not only made others around him better, but could lift a franchise and carry it.

He did that in 1975, turning a 4-10 doormat and into a 10-4 division champion – the first of three successive AFC East titles. With Jones at quarterback, anything seemed possible. It didn’t matter who was in the lineup. As long as Bert Jones was standing, the Colts had a chance.

Nearly a decade later, the same was true of Elway. He wore the same number (7) as Jones and enjoyed similar success -- winning three of four division championships after becoming the unchallenged starter in 1984. But that’s where the comparisons end.

John Elway had a long and productive career, won Super Bowls and wound up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bert Jones had a short and productive career, did not win Super Bowls and wound up out of football after 10 pro seasons.

Like Denver’s Terrell Davis … like Cincinnati’s Greg Cook … like Seattle’s Ken Easley … Jones was a magnificent talent who deserved much more from a career cut short by injury. He should have gone to a Super Bowl. He should have been a Hall-of-Fame candidate. He should have been someone we cite as a measuring stick for quarterbacks, much as Accorsi did in 1983.

Only he didn’t … he wasn’t … and we don’t … and I get it.

Bert Jones wasn’t an all-decade choice. He not only didn’t go to a Super Bowl; he didn’t win a playoff game. And he had a short shelf life – three years to be exact – before a shoulder injury that caused him to miss most of the 1978 and 1979 seasons ended what could have been … what should have been … a marvelous and long career.

But look what happened while he played. He was 31-11 in 1975-77 for a franchise that was 11-31 the previous three seasons. He threw twice as many touchdown passes (59) as interceptions (28) in an era where that was uncommon. He never missed a start. He produced a 102.6 passer rating in 1976, one of only three quarterbacks that decade to surpass 100, and was that year’s NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year.

In short, Bert Jones was a load.

When New England coach Bill Belichick was asked prior to Super Bowl XLII which NFL quarterback was his favorite he started by talking about John Unitas … but then quickly moved on to Bert Jones. Belichick began his pro career in 1975 as a $25-per-week assistant with the Colts and saw the best of what Bert Jones had to offer. And what he saw made an indelible impression.

“As a pure passer,” he said, “I don’t think I’d put anybody ahead of Bert Jones. I know he had a short career and the shoulder injury, but when I was there and he was just starting his career, the success that he had and his ability throw the ball as a pure passer and as an athlete, it would be hard to put anybody ahead of Bert Jones at that point in time.”

Keep in mind that “at that point in time” Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach and Bob Griese were in the NFL. All are Hall of Famers. Bert Jones is not, and you have to wonder what might have been had his career not ended prematurely. So I asked someone who knows. I asked Accorsi, finding him 32 years after he first compared Elway to the best quarterback time has forgotten.

“I totally agree with Belichick,” he said. “He had it all. Athletic, accurate, had a rifle for an arm and not only could run but was fast and powerful. He was smart, too, and could see the field and find the right receiver. He excelled under pressure, was a great leader and could carry a team on his back. Teddy (then coach Ted Marchibroda) did a great job with him in ’75.

“He was similar to Elway and had every attribute Elway had to the same degree. One of the most talented quarterbacks I’ve seen.”

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
In the Top 10 QB thread, I mentioned that Bill Belichick has said Jones is the best QB he’s seen, and Bill has been coaching now for almost 45 years. That should tell people all they need to know about Jones. 

 

JohnnyU

Footballguy
In the Top 10 QB thread, I mentioned that Bill Belichick has said Jones is the best QB he’s seen, and Bill has been coaching now for almost 45 years. That should tell people all they need to know about Jones. 
Greg Cook would have to be listed in this thread.  OMG what a talent that injury took away from us.

 
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[scooter]

Footballguy
John Hadl. Played mostly in the AFL with the Chargers. Made 6 All-Star games, compiled a lot of yardage, had more TDs than any other QB in either league from 1964-73.....but also threw a lot of INTs and didn't have a very high completion percentage.

 

Leroy Hoard

Footballguy
Good examples so far. Also makes you wonder what would would happen if they were playing in an era more in line with their strengths.

 

JohnnyU

Footballguy
John Hadl. Played mostly in the AFL with the Chargers. Made 6 All-Star games, compiled a lot of yardage, had more TDs than any other QB in either league from 1964-73.....but also threw a lot of INTs and didn't have a very high completion percentage.
That's a good one and he probably doesn't deserve to be in the HOF.    What about Ken Anderson?  Is he one that truly doesn't deserve to be in the HOF, but was a great QB?  Boomer Esiason is another one.

 
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[scooter]

Footballguy
John Hadl. Played mostly in the AFL with the Chargers. Made 6 All-Star games, compiled a lot of yardage, had more TDs than any other QB in either league from 1964-73.....but also threw a lot of INTs and didn't have a very high completion percentage.
That's a good one and he probably doesn't deserve to be in the HOF.    What about Ken Anderson?  Is he one that truly doesn't deserve to be in the HOF, but was a great QB?
I think Anderson is a guy who should be in the HOF. From 1973-1982 he was #2 in passing yards (#1 is in the HOF), #4 in passing TDs (1-3 are in the HOF), #4 in completion % (1-3 are in the HOF), #2 in passer rating (#1 is in the HOF), #3 in adjusted yards/attempt (1-2 are in the HOF), #3 in wins (1-2 are in the HOF), had the lowest interception % of any qualified QB, and was also #2 in QB rushing yards.

His only fault is that he was "only" the 5th or 6th best QB at a time when the league was full of HOF QBs.

 

JohnnyU

Footballguy
I think Anderson is a guy who should be in the HOF. From 1973-1982 he was #2 in passing yards (#1 is in the HOF), #4 in passing TDs (1-3 are in the HOF), #4 in completion % (1-3 are in the HOF), #2 in passer rating (#1 is in the HOF), #3 in adjusted yards/attempt (1-2 are in the HOF), #3 in wins (1-2 are in the HOF), had the lowest interception % of any qualified QB, and was also #2 in QB rushing yards.

His only fault is that he was "only" the 5th or 6th best QB at a time when the league was full of HOF QBs.
I tend to agree with this.  Anderson probably isn't a good choice for this thread because in another era he would have been a HOFer.

 

Insein

Footballguy
I was trying to think of any modern QBe that fit this criteria. I can only think of Donovan McNabb. He had a very good career. Lots of playoff wins. Never could get that ring though. Stats don't match up to the all timers. Seems like he's just on the outside of the Hall.

 

ZenoRazon

Footballguy
Don Meredith?

Roman Gabriel?

Phil Simms?

Daryl Lamonica?

Jim Hart?

Vinny Testerverde?

Drew Bledsoe?

Boomer Esaison?

Joe Theisman?

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Before that injury, Culpepper was having an incredible career. His 16 game average through age 27 was 4000 yards, 28 TDS and 500/6 rushing. 

 

TakiToki

Footballguy
In today's game of getting the ball out quickly, accurately and spread around the field while still having the arm to keep defenses honest, Neil Lomax would be a stone cold killer.

 

travdogg

Footballguy
He didn't have a short career, a short prime maybe, but Rich Gannon comes to mind for me. He was born too early, and teams screwed around trying to get him to stop using his running ability, and teams thinking of drafting him wanted to move him to Safety.

Gannon comes around in say 2000, instead of 1987, and he gets in a west coast scheme earlier, which 50% of the league was running a variation of in 2000, and he's a discount Steve Young in my opinion. Even how it turned out, he had an MVP, and a Super Bowl appearance.

 
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Galileo

Footballguy
BERNIE!!!  

Endeared himself to Cleveland fans forever for being the guy who WANTED to play for Cleveland!  Stepped in as a rookie to fill the shoes of an injured Gary Danielson and lead the Browns to a playoff appearance.  Proceeded to lead them to 3 out of the next 4 Conference championship games, but unfortunately ran into the Denver buzzkill...The Drive, The Fumble...  One pro bowl selection.  Set a record for most consecutive playoff games with 3 TD passes (since broken).  Set record for most yards passing in playoff game with 489 yds (since broken).  Unfortunately his career was plagued with injuries and he never reached full potential before his body broke down.  Not HOF caliber, but respectable career.  Top 10 in completions 5x, Top 10 in completion % 5x, Top 10 in passer rating 5x

 

[scooter]

Footballguy
I was trying to think of any modern QBe that fit this criteria. I can only think of Donovan McNabb. He had a very good career. Lots of playoff wins. Never could get that ring though. Stats don't match up to the all timers. Seems like he's just on the outside of the Hall.
McNabb tends to get penalized for his rushing stats. He never had flashy passing numbers (except for the one year that TO was on the team), but if you combine his passing and rushing stats, he averaged 256 yards and 1.74 TDs per game from 2000-2009. The only players who had better numbers in either category were Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, and Daunte Culpepper.

If McNabb had a ring, he'd be a lock. But he doesn't, so he isn't.

 

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