The Quarterback Abstract:

Ranking the Quarterbacks in Modern Day History

Online Supplement

This book contains entries on 367 men and attempts to answer three questions about each quarterback: Who was he? What was his playing style? How good was he?. The bulk of the group is made up of 338 quarterbacks who have started at least 10 games in the NFL since 1950. Beginning with 1950, two-platoon football was made permanent allowing the T-formation quarterback to focus solely on offense without also having to play defensive back anymore. The advent of the two-platoon game also made it easier to track starting quarterbacks. In the book, I also included 27 pre-1950 signal callers, some of whom played at least part of their career as single-wing tailbacks. These men either were likely to have started at least 10 games at quarterback or were passers of such significance that they could not be ignored.

I used a cutoff point of 10 NFL starts in order to keep the book to a manageable length, but there are at least another 240 quarterbacks who started a game in the league. This online supplement contains capsule entries on each of those field generals, divided into seven web pages.

Quarterbacks with 1-9 Starts

A-C | D-G | H-K | L-M | N-Q | R-S | T-Z

Quarterbacks H-K


Galen Hall

WSH 1962

NYJ 1963

After leading Penn State to victories in the Liberty and Gator Bowls, the 5’10” Hall went undrafted. He signed with Washington and spent one season as Norm Snead’s backup before joining the first Jets squad in 1963. With brittle Dick Wood hurt, Hall got to start the last two games of the season and lost both. Galen completed 42% of his passes with five touchdowns and 10 interceptions for his career and was followed on the Jets by former Nittany Lion Pete Liske, just as he had been at Penn State. Hall had a long coaching career in college at Oklahoma and Florida, and also coached in Europe and the XFL and as an NFL assistant. He returned to his alma mater in 2004 as offensive coordinator.
Shawn Halloran (replacement)
Cards 1987
Shawn Halloran was eight inches taller than his predecessor at Boston College, but never approached Doug Flutie’s level of success there. In fact, Halloran was benched in college and signed with the Cardinals for their replacement player games in 1987. He only completed 43% of his passes and lost his job to Sammy Garza. Halloran went into coaching and became the head coach at Franklin & Marshall.
Edd Hargett
NOS 1969-72 Oilers 1973
Edd Hargett was just 5’11”, but had a strong arm and was drafted by New Orleans in the 16th round out of Texas A&M. He backed up Billy Kilmer and then Archie Manning with the Saints for four years before moving on to the Oilers and finally to the World Football League. After backing up Norris Weese and Randy Johnson with Hawaii in 1974, Hargett threw for 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with Shreveport in 1975. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1984.
Leo Hart

ATL 1971

BUF 1972

When Al Woodall dropped out of Duke, Leo Hart became the Blue Devils’ starter and spent three years hooking up with star receiver Wes Chesson. Both players were drafted by the Falcons in 1971, but neither had much success in the NFL. Hart spent one season in Atlanta and one in Buffalo. Leo was a successful businessman and gave the eulogy for Bills’ receiver Bob Chandler who died of cancer in 1995.
Tim Hasselbeck

PHL 2002

WSH 2003

NYG 2005

Cards 2007

Has any quarterback ever lacked his own identity more? Son of tight end Don, brother of much better quarterback Matt whom he followed both at Boston College and in the NFL and husband to television celebrity Elizabeth of Survivor and The View, there’s not much room for Tim who was employed by seven teams in seven years in the league as a weak-armed backup. He is now trying to be heard as part of the stable of ESPN analysts.
Stan Heath
GBP 1949
Heath led the nation’s top passing team at Nevada-Reno in both 1947 and 1948. The Wisconsin-native was drafted as a future selection by the Packers in the 25th round in 1948 and then again as Green Bay’s number one pick in 1949. In one horrific NFL season, Stan completed 24.5% of his passes for one touchdown and 14 interceptions – a passer rating of 4.6. Heath fled to Canada and in three years in the CFL threw for 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
Randy Hedberg
TBB 1977
When Gary Huff and Mike Boryla both were lost to injuries, John McKay, coach of the winless Bucs, turned to Randy Hedberg to start the first four games of Tampa’s second season. Hedberg reacted the way an eighth round pick from Minot State would be expected to: he threw zero touchdown passes and 10 interceptions, completed 28% of his passes, averaged 2.7 yards per pass and led the team to six points of offense as the Bucs lost all four games. Randy has a lifetime passer rating of 0.0. He later coached his alma mater to a 45-23-2 record from 1982-89.
Drew Henson

DAL 2004

DET 2008

1-0-0 active
Henson followed Tom Brady as Michigan’s quarterback and then left to become a .111 hitting DH/3B for the New York Yankees. The Texans drafted him in the sixth round in 2003 and then gladly traded his rights to Dallas for a third round choice in 2004. The highly touted Henson has had no more success in pro football than he did in pro baseball, and most recently failed to catch on in his hometown of Detroit.
George Herring
DEN 1960-61
Drafted out of Southern Mississippi in the 16th round, Herring signed instead in Canada and threw eight touchdowns to 20 interceptions in two seasons in the CFL before signing on with the Broncos for the start of the AFL. In Denver, Herring backed up his roommate Frank Tripucka and threw five touchdowns to 23 interceptions while also serving as the team’s punter. Sadly, George had a problem with alcohol and was found homeless on the streets of Denver in 1983. After staying sober for several years, Herring had a relapse in 1994 and committed suicide within two days of his 25-year old son Lance also killing himself. In a bizarre side note, Lance’s stepfather had also committed suicide two months before.
Mike Hohensee (replacement)
CHI 1987
Undrafted out of Minnesota, Mike Hohensee spent two years in the USFL and one in Canada before getting the chance to lead the Spare Bears to two victories in the replacement player strike games in 1987. Hohensee moved on to Arena Football where he spent two years as a player and 15 as a Head Coach with a record of 118-94.
Don Hollas
CIN 1991-94 OAK 1998
A dink-pass quarterback out of Rice, Hollas was drafted in the fourth round and stuck with the Bengals as a third quarterback. After a detour to the Arena League, he got his shot in 1998 under Jon Gruden with the Raiders and managed to go 4-2 as a starter. In his final NFL starter, though, Donald threw six interceptions against Miami, and two were returned for Dolphin touchdowns.
Todd Hons (replacement)
DET 1987
Hons starred for Coach Darryl Rogers at Arizona State and spent two years trying to catch on in the CFL before Rogers brought Todd in to quarterback the Lions in the 1987 replacement player strike games. He later recalled that, “When they took us to the practice facility that first day, all the players were sitting in front of the Silverdome in their Mercedes with picket signs.” He spent 1988 with Detroit’s Arena League team.
Brock Huard

SEA 2000-01

IND 2003

Damon Huard’s laidback younger brother followed him to the University of Washington and to the NFL, but was unable to duplicate Damon’s modest success in the pros. When Jon Kitna was hurt in 2000, Brock got a chance to start four games for the Seahawks. Seattle lost all four, but on November 26th, Brock and Damon made history by becoming the first brothers to start at quarterback in the NFL on the same weekend. Damon helped the Dolphins beat the Colts, while Brock’s Seahawks lost to Denver.
John Huarte

NEP 1966-67 PHL 1968

KCC 1970-71 CHI 1972

Notre Dame’s Huarte edged out Jerry Rhome for the Heisman Trophy in 1964, while Joe Namath finished 11th in the voting. The Jets traded the rights to Rhome to Houston to draft Namath with their first pick and then nabbed Huarte in round two. Namath signed for $400,000 and the staid Huarte got $200,000, but never appeared in a game for New York. John was traded to the Patriots for Babe Parilli, but never got to start in Boston either. Ironically, it was Eagles’ Coach Joe Kuharich who had mangled Huarte’s sophomore and junior years at Notre Dame that finally gave Huarte his only NFL start on September 22, 1968. John played only the first half and completed just three of nine passes for 45 yards in a 34-25 loss to the Giants. After bouncing around the league for several more years, Huarte jumped to the World Football League in 1974 and threw 24 touchdowns to 16 interceptions for the 17-3 Memphis Southmen. The next year when Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick and Paul Warfield joined Memphis, Danny White beat him out as starter.
Doug Hudson (replacement)
KCC 1987
Doug Hudson’s illustrious career consists of part of the last replacement player strike game in 1987. The seventh round pick from Nichols State got to start against the Broncos, but did not last long. He threw one incomplete pass, was sacked for a ten-yard loss and fumbled a center snap in the end zone for a safety before being replaced by Matt Stevens in the 26-17 loss.
John Hufnagel
DEN 1974-75
Hufnagel was a rollout passer from Penn State who was drafted in the 14th round by Denver in 1973. After a short NFL career in which he threw one touchdown and nine interceptions and was sacked nearly 20% of the time, Hufnagel moved to Canada. John spent 12 years in the CFL and threw 127 touchdowns and 131 interceptions there. He has had a long career in coaching in the CFL, Arena League and the NFL. In 2006, he was fired as the offensive coordinator of the Giants after not striking much of a rapport with Eli Manning. Two years later, Hufnagel coached the Calgary Stampeders to a Grey Cup title.
David Humm

OAK 1975-79, 1983-84

BUF 1980

Colts 1981-82

Left-handed David Humm lasted ten years in the NFL, but only got to start one game for Baltimore when Bert Jones was hurt in 1981 and lost to Dallas 37-13. The Nebraska alum spent most of his career with the Raiders and still works as part of Oakland’s broadcasting crew despite suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.
Buddy Humphrey

Rams 1959-60 DAL 1961

Cards 1963-65 Oilers 1966

Humphrey teamed with receiver Del Shofner at Baylor and both were drafted by the Rams: Shofner number one in 1958 and Humphrey in round two a year later. Bouncing from team to team in the pros, Buddy was always a backup. He lost all five of his starts and threw four touchdowns to 12 interceptions in his career.
George Izo

Cards 1960

WSH 1961-64 DET 1965

PIT 1966

Izo was the second overall pick of the 1960 draft out of Notre Dame but saw so little action as a rookie that he once scribbled a letter to his mother while sitting on the bench during a game. A year later, the Cardinals traded him to Washington for another Fighting Irish first round quarterback bust, Ralph Guglielmi. Knee injuries and a ratio of touchdown passes to interceptions of 12 to 32 ended his career. The highlight of his time in the NFL was hitting Bobby Mitchell with a 99-yard touchdown pass on September 15, 1963 in a 37-14 loss to Cleveland.
Jarious Jackson
DEN 2000-03
An option quarterback at Notre Dame, Jackson was a seventh round pick of the Broncos who tried to develop him into an NFL quarterback. Jackson spent 2001 in Europe and threw 13 touchdowns to six interceptions, but got just one start in Denver. In the 2003 season finale, Jarious started against Green Bay and lasted one half, completing four of nine passes for 41 yards in a 31-3 loss. Jackson has had moderate success in the CFL in the years since.
Dick Jamieson
NYJ 1960-61
The Eagles drafted Jamieson out of Bradley in the 25th round in 1959, but Dick did not stick. With the birth of the AFL, the New York Titans traded linebacker Jim Baldwin to the Dallas Texans for Jamieson in 1960, and Dick started the first ever game for the Jets franchise. Jamieson dislocated his shoulder in his rookie year and hurt his back in 1961 and retired. A former minor league catcher, Jamieson coached in the NFL for many years with the Cardinals, Oilers and Eagles.
J.J. Jones
NYJ 1975
Jones was a running quarterback out of historically black Fisk University who signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent. When Joe Namath was benched for a curfew violation by interim Head Coach Ken Shipp, Jones got to start on Monday Night Football against the Chargers on December 15, 1975. J.J. only played the first quarter and completed one of five passes for 13 yards and an interception before being relieved by Namath.
June Jones
ATL 1977-81
Jones learned the Run-and-Shoot offense playing under Coach Mouse Davis at Portland State and has been a proponent of it ever since. Jones completed just 45% of his passes as a backup in Atlanta, but has been a longtime coach, again starting under Davis in the USFL. Jones’ time as an NFL head coach in Atlanta is mostly remembered for his sideline confrontation with malcontent Jeff George that resulted in George being thrown off the team, and he had a losing record with both the Falcons and Chargers. In college, Jones had great success with his pass-happy offense at Hawaii and is now trying to revive SMU.
Ken Karcher (replacement)
DEN 1987-88
Karcher backed up Steve Beuerlein at Notre Dame before transferring to Tulane, but still went undrafted by the NFL. Ken signed on with Denver for the replacement player strike games in 1987 and played well enough in leading the Broncos to a 2-1 record that he was retained by the team after the strike. Karcher even went to the Super Bowl as Denver’s third quarterback that year. He has spent the last 15 years coaching in college and the European league.
Tom Keane

Rams 1948-51 TEX 1952

Colts 1953-54 Cards 1955

0-1-0 emergency
Keane played in the NFL for eight years as a defensive back and intercepted 40 passes. In 1952, he was pressed into service as the starting quarterback due to injuries on the hapless Dallas Texans. Keane threw no passes and was later replaced by sore-armed quarterback Bob Celeri in a 48-21 loss to San Francisco. Keane later was an assistant coach in Miami for 20 years.
Gary Keithley
Cards 1973
Out of Texas-El Paso, Keithley was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round in 1973, ahead of Dan Fouts and Joe Ferguson. Gary lasted just one season in the NFL and started in his last two league appearances. In both those starts, Keithley recorded a passer rating of 0.0. Amazingly, the Cardinals won the first game over the Falcons on six Jim Bakken field goals. In Gary’s final game, though, the Cowboys pounded the Cards 30-3. For his two starts, Keithley completed eight of 30 passes for 39 yards and three interceptions.
Mike Kelley (replacement)
SDC 1987
Atlanta took Mike Kelley as a sixth round pick out of Georgia Tech where his tight end was Ken Whisenhunt. Kelley did not make the Falcons, but did play with the Memphis Showboats and the Tampa Bay Bandits in the USFL. For the Chargers, he alternated with Rick Neuheisel at quarterback in the 1987 replacement player strike games.
Tom Kennedy
NYG 1966
Tom Kennedy was a star minor league quarterback whom the Giants obtained for $20,000 from Andy Robustelli's Brooklyn team in the Continental Football League. Out of Los Angeles State, Tom had played in the CFL in 1962 and later tried out for both the Steelers and the Rams, but never stuck. As a 27-year old rookie in 1966, Kennedy played passably well but lost his only start -- the infamous 72-41 thrashing by the Redskins that served as Sam Huff's revenge on Allie Sherman for trading him two years before.
Blair Kiel

TBB 1984

IND 1986-87 GBP 1988-91

Kiel was a four-year starter at Notre Dame and his 37 starts for the Fighting Irish are topped only by Brady Quinn. An 11th round pick, Kiel was an unimpressive dink passer who also punted on occasion. He later played in the Arena League.
Mike Kirkland
Colts 1978
A fifth round pick out of Arkansas where he teamed with Scott Bull at quarterback, Kirkland started on opening day as a rookie because Bert Jones was recovering from a shoulder injury and suffered through a 38-0 loss to Dallas. The next week, the Colts gave Bill Troup his first ever start and lost to Miami 42-0. In October, Kirkland got his second and last NFL start, leading the Colts to a 26-8 loss to the Dolphins. For his one-year career, Mike threw one touchdown and eight interceptions.
Kurt Kittner
ATL 2003
When Michael Vick got hurt in 2003, Coach Dan Reeves turned to backup Doug Johnson who flopped miserably. Next up was Kittner, a fifth round pick out of Illinois, and Kurt lost three of four starts to bring back Johnson. The Falcons did manage to beat the Giants despite getting just 65 yards passing from Kittner, but Kurt completed just 38% of his passes for two touchdowns and six interceptions as a Falcon.
Matt Kofler
BUF 1982-84 IND 1985
San Diego State’s Kofler was a second round pick of the Bills, but turned out to be a 45% passer in the pros. In his only NFL start for the Colts in 1985, Matt completed two of 12 passes for 12 yards. At one point he was one of 11 for 11 yards with an 11-yard loss on a sack. Kofler was lifted for Mike Pagel in the second half, and Indianapolis lost to the Chiefs 20-7. Kofler went into college coaching and died last year at the age of 49.
Craig Krenzel
CHI 2004
3-2-0 active
One of a long line of failed Big Ten Bear quarterbacks, Krenzel led Ohio State to a national championship. A brainy Molecular Genetics major, Craig had good size, but was inaccurate and inconsistent. The fifth round pick, completed just 46% of his passes but won three of five starts for defensive-minded Chicago. He was still trying to catch on with the Bengals in 2008.
Mike Kruczek

PIT 1976-79

WSH 1980

Kruczek has the most wins of any NFL quarterback who started fewer than 10 games and they all came in his rookie year when he stepped in for an injured Terry Bradshaw and led the Steelers to six straight wins. Of course, Mike was aided by a defense that gave up 25 points and pitched three shutouts in that span and a running game that averaged 209 yards per game, while Kruczek was throwing for a paltry 126 yards a game. He was big and strong, but overly mechanical as a passer. Mike later coached Daunte Culpepper at Central Florida and served as Dennis Green’s offensive coordinator in Arizona for four years.
Gary Kubiak
DEN 1983-91
The Broncos drafted Kubiak in the eighth round out of Texas A&M the same year they traded for the draft rights to John Elway. Kubiak and Elway became roommates, and Gary was John’s backup for nine years before retiring to go into coaching. Kubiak served as Mike Shanahan’s offensive coordinator in Denver for 11 years before taking over as the Texans head coach in 2006. His offensive coordinator in Houston is Kyle Shanahan, Mike’s son.




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Updated 10/15/09