Strong Arm Tactics:

A History and Statistical Analysis of the Professional Quarterback

 

The United States Football League

In 1983, the USFL began as a spring league to challenge the NFL and did fairly well until they tried to shift to a fall schedule after three years. They eventually went belly up, won their antitrust court case against the NFL but were awarded just one dollar in damages and vanished. While Doug Williams, Greg Landry, Vince Evans and Chuck Fusina jumped from the NFL to the USFL and would later return to the established league, four future NFL star quarterbacks got their starts in the USFL: Doug Flutie Bobby Hebert, and Hall of Famers Steve Young and Jim Kelly. Among black quarterbacks, Doug Williams, Joe Gilliam, Vince Evans, Johnny Walton and Karl Douglas all started in the NFL, Reggie Collier would move on to the NFL, Walter Lewis would moved on to the CFL and Nate Koonce would just move on. The passing leaders from this three-year failed league are listed in the following table.

USFL Quarterbacks, by Rating

Quarterback Years Attempts Comp. % Yards Y/Att TD Int Rating
Ben Bennett 1984 13 7 53.8% 113 8.7 1 0 108.8
Jim Kelly 1984-85 1154 730 63.3% 9842 8.5 83 45 98.1
Cliff Stoudt 1984-85 810 478 59.0% 6479 8.0 60 26 95.9
Tim Riordan 1984-85 47 27 57.4% 363 7.7 1 0 89.2
Chuck Fusina 1983-85 1382 843 61.0% 10051 7.3 66 33 89.2
Walter Lewis 1984-85 460 258 56.1% 3455 7.5 31 15 89.0
Greg Landry 1983-84 783 471 60.2% 5917 7.6 42 24 88.8
Mike Loyd 1984 23 11 47.8% 274 11.9 1 1 88.0
Brian Sipe 1984-85 413 247 59.8% 3225 7.8 21 17 84.3
Jim Krohn 1983 36 19 52.8% 249 6.9 1 0 84.1
Kevin Starkey 1985 33 16 48.5% 287 8.7 3 2 83.8
Bobby Hebert 1983-85 1407 773 54.9% 11137 7.9 81 58 82.9
Fred Besana 1983-85 1054 636 60.3% 7266 6.9 41 32 81.4
Whit Taylor 1983-85 114 54 47.4% 843 7.4 5 2 79.7
Mike Kelley 1983-85 546 328 60.1% 4203 7.7 21 25 78.0
Tim Koegel 1983 89 42 47.2% 557 6.3 5 2 76.8
John Reaves 1983-85 1364 766 56.2% 10011 7.3 62 61 76.0
Robbie Mahfouz 1984-85 347 204 58.8% 2379 6.9 13 14 75.3
Bob Gagliano 1984-85 389 225 57.8% 2931 7.5 15 18 75.3
Johnnie Walton 1983 589 330 56.0% 3772 6.4 20 18 74.0
Craig Penrose 1983-84 346 206 59.5% 2605 7.5 17 22 73.0
Steve Young 1984-85 560 316 56.4% 4102 7.3 16 22 72.8
Alan Risher 1983-84 527 299 56.7% 3394 6.4 23 23 72.6
Mike Hohensee 1983-84 591 323 54.7% 4063 6.9 26 27 71.9
Mike Rae 1983 319 175 54.9% 1964 6.2 11 10 71.9
Ed Luther 1985 400 240 60.0% 2792 7.0 15 21 71.8
Rick Neuheisel 1984-85 804 450 56.0% 5610 7.0 32 40 70.3
Jimmy Jordan 1983-84 261 157 60.2% 1988 7.6 8 15 70.2
Todd Dillon 1984-85 305 160 52.5% 2069 6.8 10 11 70.0
Bobby Scott 1983 374 210 56.1% 2813 7.5 11 19 68.9
Doug Williams 1984-85 1037 532 51.3% 6757 6.5 36 38 68.3
Doug Flutie 1985 281 134 47.7% 2109 7.5 13 14 67.8
Bob Lane 1983-85 124 61 49.2% 894 7.2 4 5 67.1
Fred Mortensen 1983-85 240 124 51.7% 1645 6.9 7 10 66.1
Glenn Carano 1984 354 190 53.7% 2368 6.7 13 19 64.6
Matt Robinson 1984-85 545 281 51.6% 3869 7.1 22 32 63.6
Tom Ramsey 1983-84 398 214 53.8% 2487 6.2 15 21 63.5
Kim McQuilken 1983 334 188 56.3% 1912 5.7 7 14 62.4
Buck Belue 1985 68 37 54.4% 294 4.3 3 3 61.8
Tom Rozantz 1984 130 63 48.5% 878 6.8 4 6 61.6
Vince Evans 1984-85 736 357 48.5% 4883 6.6 26 38 60.4
Reggie Collier 1983-85 695 358 51.5% 4151 6.0 20 32 60.3
Jerry Golsteyn 1985 135 65 48.1% 647 4.8 4 4 59.7
Ron Reeves 1984-85 211 108 51.2% 1304 6.2 4 9 59.0
Steve Pisarkiewicz 1983 15 6 40.0% 69 4.6 0 0 54.6
Doug Woodward 1983-85 240 107 44.6% 1319 5.5 7 10 54.5
Ken Johnson 1983 248 121 48.8% 1115 4.5 6 12 49.4
Gene Bradley 1983-84 78 33 42.3% 356 4.6 2 3 48.9
Bruce Threadgill 1985 6 3 50.0% 63 10.5 0 2 47.9
Frank Seurer 1984-85 374 184 49.2% 2137 5.7 10 26 46.8
Todd Kruger 1983 35 16 45.7% 161 4.6 1 2 45.1
Dave Boisture 1983 35 16 45.7% 160 4.6 1 2 44.9
Joe Gilliam 1983 102 40 39.2% 673 6.6 5 12 39.0
Ken Hobart 1984 111 45 40.5% 576 5.2 1 6 38.0
Rick Johnson 1984-85 153 76 49.7% 920 6.0 4 15 37.7
Dan Manucci 1983 119 52 43.7% 577 4.8 2 8 36.3
Jeff Knapple 1983 213 105 49.3% 1191 5.6 3 19 34.0
Mike Ford 1984 51 20 39.2% 222 4.4 0 3 28.4
Wayne Peace 1984 43 18 41.9% 215 5.0 1 4 26.8
Jay Torchio 1984 18 6 33.3% 74 4.1 0 1 23.8
Mike Livingston 1983 23 8 34.8% 127 5.5 0 4 14.5
Nate Koonce 1983 10 2 20.0% 20 2.0 0 1 0.0

 

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Updated 6/26/07