Well, this is certainly a difficult challenge!
Try naming just five of YOUR favorite men to suit up in lightning bolts! Can you do it?!
Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes one say “Yeah, I like him!” Does it matter if it is an “old school” guy where they played more smashmouth football? Or one from the “new” era where it seems like statistics seem to be the norm?
Either way, we all have our favorites for whatever reason. Maybe it’s how they seemingly just fly down the field as if on wings. Perhaps it’s how that one guy is just ALWAYS busting through the offensive line. Could it be the brashness or confidence that reaches us? You all know what you appreciate about the players you can’t wait to see take the field.
Here’s my list of my top five “old school” Chargers, though there were many choices!
Punter for the Chargers from 1994 to 2003, Bennett was formerly an Australian Rules football player. One always knew two things about him: he had the BIGGEST kicking leg and he did not shy away from hitting an opponent if need be. You just knew that Bennett was going to give his team the best field position possible! It was something to see when that ball left his foot and caught air!
Lionel “Little Train” James:
Gosh, this guy was special! He was only in the league for five short years, but he left his mark! Small in stature at 5’6″ and 171 pounds, James was THE smallest running back when he came into the NFL in 1984. His best season was in 1985 when he established three records for a running back.
James led the AFC with 86 receptions and set the bar at 2,583 all-purpose yards including 1,027 receiving yards. I remember watching him squirt through holes and run along the sideline. He had so much power in those legs and he was quick; defenders had difficulty stopping him. Sadly, his stellar career ended due to a degenerative hip injury.
Ha, gotcha on this one! Who could forget the Tongan TE who literally was responsible for scoring the go-ahead touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers to get the Bolts into the 1994 playoffs?! Yes, I know that Dennis Gibson broke up a Neil O’Donnell pass with mere seconds on the clock.
Pupunu had two stints in San Diego (1992-97, 1999). One of the other reasons I and other fans liked him was because of his touchdown celebration: he would pretend that he was opening a coconut and then hoisted it skyward as if drinking from it. I’d venture to say that some folks might have thought he was opening and drinking a beer!
Undoubtedly, the BEST nose tackle to ever suit up for the Blue and Gold. “Ja-mal” was a big, hulking man at 6’3′ and 348 pounds. He was a tackling machine and one of my favorite guys to watch on defense not named Junior Seau. Eleven seasons in San Diego saw the huge but quick man wreak havoc against opposing offenses by collecting 240 tackles, defend 18 passes, force three fumbles plus a lone touchdown and interception apiece.
He was not only an outstanding defensive lineman for the Chargers, he was also considered one of the most elite nose tackles in the NFL in his day. I would always get a kick out of watching that huge body shove it’s way into the middle. Jamal meant business!
As a defensive end, O’Neal was another adept tackler for the Bolts. Voted Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1986 he racked up 12.5 sacks prior to losing almost two years due to a knee injury. It was week seven of the ’88 season before he took the field again. His stats weren’t great that year (four sacks/28 tackles) but he was on his way. His performance that season made it possible for him to make his first Pro Bowl appearance.
By the time his career in San Diego was completed, per Pro Football Reference his numbers were: six Pro Bowl selections, 572 tackles, 105.5 sacks which made him the team leader in that category; forced 18 fumbles while recovering nine, two interceptions and a touchdown. O’ Neal is currently tied with Lawrence Taylor at 13th all-time as they both have 132.5 sacks in their careers. Yet another great defenseman for the Chargers.
Gill Byrd – Safety 1983-1992; played every position in the secondary (LCB/SS/FS/RCB), 42 INTs (4x in Top 10)
Stan Humphries – Quarterback 1992-1997; only QB to lead team to Super Bowl (’94), he also guided them to 10 fourth quarter comebacks to go with 12 game-winning drives. He retired as a result of sustaining four concussions in 22 months.
Charlie Joiner – Wide Receiver 1976-1986; aged 39 when he hung up his cleats, Joiner was one of Fouts’ favorite targets to the tune of 586 receptions, 9,203 yards and 47 TDs.
Kellen Winslow – Tight End 1979-1987; in addition to his memorable “Epic in Miami” performance, Winslow was a five-time Pro Bowler. He also placed in the Top 10 in these categories: receptions (4x), receiver (3x), and receiving TDs (4x). He had some gaudy numbers for a guy who only played in 109 games: 6,741 yards on 541 catches with 45 of those being TDs. After just eight years in the NFL, he, too, was forced to retire due to injury.
Keep an eye out for a list of my current players!
Thank you for reading!
When scanning the debates on Chargers related social media outlets, one topic that always brings heated discussion is: Who is the best Chargers quarterback (QB) of all time? As you can imagine, this argument goes back and forth and at times borders on the ridiculous! Let us take a look at this question and see if there is one definitive answer, or if it is truly open to interpretation.
First or all, in order to answer the question, one must understand the guidelines set forth by the question. We are deciding the best “Chargers” quarterback of all time. Not the best quarterback who ever played for the Chargers. If we were looking to find the best quarterback who ever played for the Chargers, the answer would arguably be Johnny Unitas. Unitas played one season with the Chargers before hanging up his high-top cleats. He only started four games and had a record of 1-3 with San Diego. But his lifetime record of 118-64-4 puts him far past his nearest competitor, not to mention his Super Bowl championship in 1970 against Dallas. Although Unitas was undeniably brilliant as a quarterback in the league, he did almost all of his damage for the Baltimore Colts, not the San Diego Chargers. Therefore, he is not a viable candidate for best Chargers QB in history.
In this reporter’s humble opinion, there are only four quarterbacks in Chargers history who would even garner a vote; Dan Fouts, Stan Humphries, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers. Honestly, I only put Brees on this list because he is still loved in San Diego and many have still not gotten over the Chargers letting him go. In fact, Brees would give Unitas a run for his money when it comes to the best QB to every don the lightning bolts. Let’s take a look at these four QBs and see who has the most legitimate argument for being named the best Chargers quarterback of all time.
Dan Fouts: Fouts played his entire career for the Chargers. He came up as a rookie in 1973 and retired as a soon to be Hall of Fame inductee in 1987. He started 171 games for the Bolts, with a career record of 86-84-1. His career record may surprise you. Most would not honor the work of a QB who barely had better than a .500 record. Well, the fact is that the defense in those days carries a lot of the blame for the Chargers losses. Fouts put the points up, but the defense gave them right back. Fouts also led the Chargers to the post-season on four occasions with a career post-season record of 3-4.
He had a three year span (1979-1981) where his offense, masterminded by legendary coach Don Coryell, was unstoppable. He amassed 13,599 yards in those three seasons with a record of 33-15. Yardage numbers like Fouts was running up were unheard of at that time. In his career, Fouts totaled 43,040 passing yards. Many would argue that Coryell and Fouts laid a blueprint for the future of the NFL and what offenses have become today. Although his touchdown to interception ratio is not that impressive (254:242), one could argue that the wide open style of offense that “Air Coryell” offered was so risky that interceptions were destined to happen and not that big of a deal. The payoff would simply have to come on the next drive.
Stan Humphries: Humphries played six of his eight NFL seasons with San Diego. He played his first two seasons with the Redskins and then was brought to the Chargers in 1992. Good things were starting to happen in San Diego with a stout defense and solid running game needing one key ingredient; a quality starting quarterback. Since Fouts stepped down, the Bolts went through nine quarterbacks in just four seasons, before finding Humphries. Despite the team’s recent struggles, Humphries came in and was effective right away. He led the Bolts to an 11-4 record in his first season at the helm of the offense. In fact, his record was over .500 for his first five seasons with the Chargers. His only blemish was a 3-5 record in his injury shortened and final season in 1997. Statistically, many may argue that Humphries does not belong on this list. He only threw for 16,085 yards with a touchdown to interception ratio of 85:73. But stats do not include everything when it comes to judging a leader. The fact that Stan Humphries is the only quarterback in Chargers history to go to a Super Bowl makes him number one in some fans eyes.
Drew Brees: Brees is the lightning rod in this debate. Some would argue that it was preposterous that Brees was let go after receiving a career threatening shoulder injury on the last game of his expiring contract in 2005. Others would argue it was too big of a risk to keep a QB with an injured shoulder when you had Philip Rivers under contract and ready to start. Still others would argue that the injury had nothing to do with the dismissal of Brees. In fact, it was simply a power-play by then General Manager A.J. Smith to get Rivers on the field after he paid him $40 million to hold a clipboard for two seasons. Honestly, in regards to this question, why Brees left in irrelevant. The fact is that his numbers as a Charger were rather pedestrian compared to some others. Not to say that he would not have led the Bolts to glory as he did the Saints! We will never know what would have transpired if he had stayed. All we know for sure is that he didn’t stay and when considering whether he was the best Chargers quarterback in history, none of his Saints stats should be considered.
Taking a look at Brees’ stats with the Chargers you see that he had a record of 30-28 along with a touchdown to interception ratio of 80:53. Brees also accumulated 12,348 passing yards in his time with San Diego. Respectable numbers, but still not stellar. Brees did lead the Chargers to the post-season one time when he and the Chargers were upset by the underdog Jets. By most, Brees was given a pass on that loss due to a missed field goal by rookie kicker, Nate Kaeding.
Philip Rivers: Rivers, like Fouts is another lifetime Charger. He joined the team in 2004 and is still leading the offense today. In fact, he has not missed a start since he took over the reins from Brees in 2006. His numbers are undeniable. In his tenure with the Bolts, Rivers has amassed 36,655 yards passing with a 252:152 touchdown to interception ratio. His won/loss record with the Charges is a respectable 88-56. He has led the Chargers into the post-season on five different occasions with a record of 4-5.
In his younger days, Rivers was believed to be the chosen one who would finally lead the Bolts to the Promised Land. So far, that has not been the case and Chargers fans are growing impatient. Adding heat to the fire is the recent talk that Rivers will let his contract run out after the 2015 season and test free agency. Some call it leverage, other a smoke screen, still others say it is his way of saying, ‘If the Chargers are going to Los Angeles, I’m not going with them.’ Time will tell on that issue, but the fact is that current controversy aside, his numbers speak for themselves.
Well there you have it! Now who do you think the best Chargers QB in history is? Make your voice heard by answering the poll below.
Thanks for reading and participating! Go Chargers!
Twenty years have gone by since our beloved Chargers played in their one and only Super Bowl. Let that sink in….20 years. Where were you on January 29th, 1995? Were you born yet? Were you entering middle school? Or were you old enough to be overcome with awesome disbelief as you watched your Cinderella Chargers defeat Miami and Pittsburgh in order to play in their first ever Super Bowl?
Many of you that are old enough to remember know exactly where you were and who you were with when you sat down to watch Super Bowl XXIX. San Diego was not expected to enter the playoffs let alone play in the NFL title game during the 1994 season; a solid 9-7 was what most “experts” expected out of America’s finest city.
Now that I have you going back in time, do you wonder what those players from the ‘94 season are up to? Let’s take a look at a few players on this special team that defied all odds.
Head Coach – Bobby Ross came to San Diego in 1992 after taking the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to an 11-0-1 record and winning the ACC Championship. Coach Ross would lead the Bolts to three playoffs, two division titles and one illustrious Super Bowl during his 5 years. After his departure, Ross went on to coach the Detroit Lions for 4 year before retiring. After four years of retirement, with the encouragement of his wife, he came back from retirement to coach Army’s football team. Three years later he retired again and has not coached since 2006. He currently resides where he was born 78 years ago – in Richmond, VA. He is active in his community and speaks often at schools and banquets.
Offensive Coordinator – Ralph Friedgen was 47 when he was the OC for San Diego. Prior to the NFL, he was the OC for Georgia Tech under Bobby Ross and both left the college game in 1992. In 1996 Coach Friedgen was released and went back to Georgia Tech where he was the OC for four years. He then moved on to be the Head Coach for the Maryland Terps for 10 years. Last season, Ralph moved on to Rutgers University where he is currently the OC.
Defensive Coordinator – Bill Arnsparger, 88 years of age, coached for many years in the NFL. After leaving the Dolphins in 1983, he became the Head Coach at LSU until he left in 1986 to become the AD at the University of Florida. Bill walked into major issues in Florida where both the football and basketball programs were put on probation. He was able to come out of that mess by hiring Steve Spurrier to coach the Gator football program. Coach Arnsparger became the DC for San Diego the same year as Ross and Friedgen, 1992. Shortly after the Super Bowl loss, Coach Arnsparger retired for good, stating it had to do with the prostate cancer surgery he had the previous year. In 1998 his book “Coaching Defensive Football” was published where it received good reviews from readers.
Quarterback – Stan Humphries Is known for leading our Bolts to the first ever Super Bowl in franchise history. In 1992 he is lead the Chargers to their first playoff appearance in over a decade, while starting 0-4 to begin the season – currently the only NFL team to ever start 0-4 and make the playoffs. Stan was inducted to the San Diego Chargers Hall Of Fame in 2002. Currently Stan, at the age of 49, is the assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at his alma mater University of Louisiana of Monroe. He has been coaching women’s basketball going on 12 years and was brought to ULM last season.
Running back – Natrone Means had his best year in the NFL with San Diego in 1994. He ran for 1,350 yards with 12 touchdowns and at the time, became the youngest NFL running back to score a TD in a Super Bowl. Means was released before the 1996 season where he then landed in Jacksonville for two seasons. As an unrestricted free agent, Natrone was back in America’s finest city where he played for two more seasons. In 2000 he did sign with Carolina, however he did not have one rush attempt and retired after the season. He coached at Livingston College, first as a Running Backs Coach and then as the Offensive Coordinator. Natrone, 42, currently is the Running Backs coach for Winston-Salem State University and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Wide Receiver – Mark Seay’s story is one of tragedy, inspiration and fortitude. Before playing college football in 1988, he attended his sister’s Halloween party where gun shots were fired outside the home. When he heard the gunfire, he quickly used his body to shield his 2 yr old niece; subsequently a bullet hit him through the pelvis, hip and lung and blowing out one of his kidneys. The bullet was on its way to his heart but it stopped prior, and remains in his body to this day. After filing a lawsuit when Cal State Long Beach refused to bring him on the team, CSLB coach George Allen was able to bring him on board while appeasing everyone with Mark wearing extra protection and taking a urine test after each game. Mark came to San Diego from San Francisco in 1993. His most memorable play was the game winning catch against Miami in the 1994 AFC Divisional playoff game. Mark only played 3 more years in the NFL after the Super Bowl run, one with the Chargers and two with the Eagles, ending his NFL career after the 1997 season. In 2003, Mark’s older brother was shot in San Bernardino, later passing away after being in an 11-month coma. In 2006 his younger brother was shot to death in the family’s backyard by two assailants – this happened while Mark was in the middle of a 48 week police academy course. He currently tours the country as a motivational speaker. Here is a video:
Wide Receiver – Tony Martin played four seasons in Miami before making the cross-country trip to San Diego in 1994. Tony was the main target of Stan Humphries and even recorded a 99 yard touchdown reception. Martin caught 9 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns in the ‘94 playoff games. Tony played 3 more seasons with the Chargers as the #1 WR until he left for Atlanta in 1998. Tony was charged with money laundering after his Falcons lost in the Super Bowl. He was later acquitted while under contract with the team that drafted him, the Miami Dolphins, where he played two more seasons before heading back to Atlanta for his final NFL season in 2001. There is not much information on Tony and his life after football.
Tight End – Alfred Pupunu played with the Chargers from ‘92-97 before he went to Kansas City, NY Giants, back with San Diego and finishing his career with Detroit in 2000. Although he didn’t score many touchdown in his career, albeit he scored against Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game, his famous dance after those scores was a famous one. After a brief time being a volunteer assistant with the University of Utah from 2005-2007, he then became the RB/TE coach for Southern Utah University. Since 2010, he has been on the coaching staff for the University of Idaho.
Kicker – John Carney played in the NFL for 23 years on teams of Tampa Bay, LA Rams, San Diego, New Orleans, Kansas City, NY Giants and ending his career back in New Orleans. Currently he still owns the Chargers record for all time leading scorer. John currently runs a pre-season kicking training camp called “The Launching Pad.”
Inside linebacker – Dennis Gibson played 7 seasons with Detroit before coming to San Diego for 2 season before retiring. Of course Charger historians will know his name for the 4th down pass deflection in the AFC Championship game against Pittsburgh that sent San Diego to it’s first Super Bowl. Currently, Dennis owns and operates Encore Pizza Company out of Johnston, Iowa; a suburb of De Moines.
Defensive End – Leslie O’Neil played a long career in the NFL from 1986-1999. Leslie was the first Charger to ever be bestowed with the Defensive Rookie Player of the Year in 1986. His career accolades include 6 Pro Bowls, leading the Chargers in sacks from 1990-1995 and is currently tied for 11th in career sacks with 132.5. He was inducted into the San Diego Chargers HOF in 2014, but has not yet been voted into Canton
There have been 8 players from this 1994 squad whom have passed away tragically and far too young, in this writer’s opinion.
David Griggs – Linebacker
David played 6 seasons, five with Miami and one with San Diego. Five months after playing in the Super Bowl as a Charger, he died in a fatal car accident when his car slid off the ramp on the Florida Turnpike near Fort Lauderdale – he was 28 years of age.
Rodney Culver – Running back
Rodney didn’t carry the ball much during the Super Bowl run but made an appearance with the holdout and injury to Natrone Means in 1995. After that season, in May of 1996, he and his wife boarded ValueJet Flight 592 which crashed into the Florida Everglades killing every passenger – he was 26 years of age.
Doug Miller – Linebacker
Doug was a member of the Charger for two seasons; recording no stats. He was struck by lightning twice during a camping trip in Colorado in July of 1998 – he was 29 years old.
Curtis Whitley – Center
Curtis played in 30 games from 1992-1994 with San Diego. After which he played in 42 games for the Panthers from 1995-1997. A day after his birthday in May of 2008, local Sheriff deputies located Whitley dead from a drug overdose in his trailer home in Fort Stockton, TX. – he was 39 years of age.
Chris Mims – Defensive End
Chris was drafted in the first round by the Chargers in 1992 where he played until 1996. After a short stint with Washington, he returned to San Diego for two more seasons. His best season was in 1994 where he recorded 11 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 35 tackles. In October of 2008, Los Angeles Police officers were doing a welfare check on Chris when they found him dead. The cause of death was cardiac arrest as his heart was enlarged. At the time of death, Chris weighed 456 pounds – he was 38 years young
Shawn Lee – Left Defensive Tackle
Shawn played his first four years in the NFL with Tampa Bay and Miami. He came to San Diego in 1992 and played through the 1997 season. During the SB run, he recorded 6.5 sacks with 30 tackles and one forced fumble. The last few years of his life, Shawn was struggling with diabetes. In February of 2011, after suffering through double pneumonia, he died from a cardiac arrest – he was 44 years old.
Lewis Bush – LInebacker
Lewis was drafted by San Diego in the fourth round of the 1993 draft. He played for the Chargers from ‘93-99 and then ended his career with three season in Kansas City. Lewis recorded 3 tackles during the SB run. As he began to start in more games beginning in 1995, he showed a big improvement. In December of 2011, less than a week after his birthday, he was found dead of heart attack – he was 42 years old.
Junior Seau – Linebacker
Junior is probably one of the best players to ever put on a San Diego Charger uniform. There is much I can say about this remarkable man and football player. His intensity, leadership and drive to make everyone around him better on and off the field, just tips the iceberg on this Hall of Fame player. In May of 2012, his girlfriend found him in his home with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest – he was 43 years old.
Well I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane with me. During this writing, I was overcome with excitement and then overshadowed with sad emotions. What a team……what a ride.
Thanks for reading.
Twenty years ago, Junior Seau, Stan Humphries and Bobby Ross led the Chargers to their first and only Super bowl in 1994. It is now 2014 and the similarities of that squad can be found with this year’s team.
That season began in Denver. I recall lightning in the background of Mile High stadium on a stormy night in Colorado. How symbolic of how the season would go for the Chargers. This year San Diego opened up in Glendale against the Cardinals. It would figure that Arizona would be experiencing the worst flooding the area had ever experienced.
Bobby Ross was in year 3 at the helm of the team in ’94 and the Chargers were coming off of an 8-8 season. General manager Bobby Beathard was also in his third year in the front office with the team. Current head coach Mike McCoy and general manager Tom Telesco and both in their second years with San Diego.
The Chargers began the 1994 campaign with a 7-2 record steamrolling through the first 9 games. As we’ve written here on BoltBlitz.com, the 2014 Chargers have a great opportunity to that very same thing as the schedule sets up favorably for them.
Speaking of the schedule, the next opponents are the Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, Dolphins, Raiders again and the Rams. The Seau-led Chargers faced all of those teams as well during 1994. Additionally, both the ’14 team and the ’94 team faced, or will face, the Seahawks, Jets, Patriots and 49ers.
It is pretty interesting when you look at the like-opponents.
Let’s talk about the Miami game. The Chargers haven’t won in Miami during the regular season since 1981. Booga was probably still crapping in his diapers. Many of us are speculating on how special this Philip Rivers’ team can be. A win in Miami this year and they will have done something they haven’t done in 33 years. Imagine the plane ride home. Hank Bauer, the Chargers play-by-play co-host would be speaking to the team about what they had just done. He knows what an incredible feat it would be seeing as he played in the 1981 victory over the Dolphins. Do you realize the bonding that would take place? All thoughts would then turn to the magical 1994 club and how this year’s Super Chargers can replicate that very same success.
When looking at the ’94 roster, what gets me is that team wasn’t overly talented. They were well coached and a few players had career years. Natrone Means was one of those players that would have a career year. That was the only year that he would surpass 1,000 yards rushing. Ryan Mathews has already had two seasons with 1,000 yards or more rushing. The next comparison goes to the signal callers. Philip Rivers or Stan Humphries? Both are very tough, gritty quarterbacks. But if you compare the numbers – although it’s a different league nowadays – it isn’t even close.
If you compare the rosters from top to bottom, it would seem that this year’s Bolts are more talented. Do some of the homework. The wide receiving corps and tight ends are better in 2014. There is no Seau on this year’s team, but overall the linebacking group is better. There certainly was no Eric Weddle back then. Rodney Harrison was a rookie and didn’t see a ton of playing time. The addition of Brandon Flowers and the selection of Jason Verrett in the draft would possibly turn the scales toward the secondary this year trumping that of a defensive back unit that was led by guys like Stanley Richard, Darrien Gordon and Darren Carrington. But an argument could be made for either side.
I actually remember the ’94 season very well. The Chargers came out of nowhere. There was no NFL Network. ESPN was basically a one-hour broadcast regarding the NFL. San Diego was ignored until their play demanded the country’s attention. Sound familiar?
People talk about the “curse” of the 1994 Chargers. Eight players have passed from that team. The Bolts have not been back to the Super bowl in 20 years, but they may have a little divine intervention in the form of 8 Charger angels looking down on them.
How exciting would it be two decades after watching Junior Seau run out of the tunnel of Joe Robbie stadium during Super bowl 29 to see Philip Rivers do the very same thing this year at University of Phoenix stadium?
Can you feel the goosebumps?
All of us celebrating at the Tilted Kilt in Mission Valley or on Twitter and Facebook. The tears of joy would be flowing and Bolt family members would have something incredible to be proud. No one would ever be able to take that away from us. Ever!
Sure, it’s a one game at a time approach, but every Super bowl Cinderella team has a special story. The Patriots winning the big game after September 11th. The Saints bringing home the Lombardi trophy after Hurricane Katrina. The Chargers going to the Super bowl 20 years after their first appearance? Talk about special.
Maybe, just maybe, we’ll all be watching the clock tick to 0:00 and watching the confetti fall on this year’s San Diego Chargers. I look forward to being with as many of you as possible as we raise a toast to our team and the 8 men watching from the heavens.
This does seem to be a special season. It is early, but I have a very strong feeling we’ll be talking about this article in February.
I am proud to have been hired by Booga this past spring to join BoltBlitz.com. As the old cliche goes: “If you do what you are passionate about you’ll never work a day in your life.” When it comes to passions, football is definitely on top of the list. I apologize in advance for taking so long to write my first article for BoltBlitz. I have spent the past year studying at UCLA for my degree in Public Relations. Now that stage of my life is behind me, I am ready to go all-in with my contributions to BoltBlitz.com.
So, allow me to introduce myself with some tidbits about the Chargers and myself:
- I’ve been a fan since 1978. While growing up in Riverside, California, San Diego Chargers games were always televised because Los Angeles Rams games were always blacked out (they played in the Coliseum). The infamous “Holy Roller” game against Oakland hooked me. I dare you to go on YouTube, watch the play, and tell me the Chargers didn’t get screwed.
- I’ll always believe the greatest moment in Chargers history was when Stan Humphries threw that bomb to Tony Martin in the 1994 AFC Championship Game. It gave the Chargers a lead over Pittsburgh they never gave back and it punched the ticket to Super Bowl XXIX.
- As an aspiring publicist, I don’t have favorites. Well, I should say I don’t pick favorites. Who’s not to love on the team?
- I’m sure I won’t have too many arguments that drafting Ryan Leaf in 1998 was the lowest point in Charger history.
- I despise making predictions but I’m happy to report that I think the Chargers have as good of a chance at winning the Super Bowl as everyone else in the league.
- As a current Inland Empire resident, I’m happy to say there are a lot of Chargers fans here.
- On a draft related note: don’t you still despise the Manning family for not allowing Eli to play here? I mean, he did win two Lombardi Trophies after all? At any rate, that’s my two cents. I’ve been proven wrong before.
I’m on all social media platforms feel free to send a request on Facebook. I’m on Twitter @davidmparada. Let’s connect and see you at the Q this upcoming fall.
When questioning a group of Charger fans regarding who their favorite San Diego quarterback of all-time is you receive varied responses. Depending on which era you began watching the Bolts play, there are about 5 or 6 names that continually seem to pop up and dominate the conversation.
Below is a chart from footballdb.com.
|Billy Joe Tolliver||1989-1990||2||595||305||51.3||3,671||6.17||21||24||49||65.5|
Needless to say that the last four names are not going to be a part of the poll. I am going to throw in Jack Kemp for some of our more “seasoned” Charger fans. Despite not totaling 6,000 yards passing, Kemp did finish with a 22-6 record. Doug Flutie was one of my favorite quarterbacks but he didn’t really spend enough time as a starter to be in the running. John Friesz, Jim Harbaugh and Billy Joe Tolliver, well, they are just here to complete the list of the top-ten statistical signal callers.
Although Drew Brees has gone on to win a Super bowl, and have a fantastic career, with the New Orleans Saints, his time with the Chargers is a bit overrated. Some like to talk about the decision to move on from Brees to Philip Rivers was a huge mistake. Those that believed that only did so in hindsight. San Diego, Miami and New Orleans were the only teams interested in signing Brees. The shoulder injury he suffered in the last week of the regular season in a meaningless game made the decision a bit easier for the Bolts. Having Rivers waiting in the wings contributed to the ease of that decision as well.
Stan “The Man” Humphries is the only quarterback on this list to lead San Diego to a Super bowl. Many fans claim him as their favorite signal caller. Humphries was ultra-tough and he kind of seemed like of the fans. He didn’t exactly look like a great athlete. His leadership and toughness make him a fan favorite.
Though John Hadl’s days were before my time, I have the utmost respect for what he did while slinging the ball in the powder blues. As you can see from the chart above, he put up some very impressive numbers. My issue with Hadl is that he finished his career with more interceptions than touchdowns.
That brings us to my favorite, Philip Rivers. His time as a Charger has made him one of my favorite players of all-time, not just a favorite quarterback. Rivers has at least 4 more years to build on his impressive stats. Everyone remembers him playing through a torn ACL during the playoffs. His passer rating is higher than that of Dan Fouts; who we’ll get to in a moment. Philip has over twice as many touchdowns as interceptions. Despite consecutive seasons of poor numbers in 2011 and 2012, he has been a steady force since taking over the starting job in America’s finest city. Rivers will be getting my vote without a doubt.
Last, but not least, is Dan Fouts. The bearded-Hall of Famer was a part of one of the most prolific offenses of all-time. And like Rivers, he was incredibly tough. The stats that Fouts has under his belt earned him the nod to Canton. I already mentioned that Rivers will get my vote, but it was a terribly hard decision. Fouts finished with 254 touchdown passes and the former Oregon Duck never played for another NFL franchise other than the Chargers. He was the real deal.
Now its your turn. Place your vote on the poll below and then justify your choice by leaving a comment as well.
Thanks a lot for reading and voting.
For all of you football fans/Charger fans (or part time Charger fans) that question our man under center, here’s some food for thought. Philip Rivers is the one of the most successful quarterbacks in Charger’s history. How does he compare to other Charger’s quarterbacks? I’m glad you asked.
John Hadl played for the Chargers for 10 seasons (1962-1972) and had 114 starts. Hadle threw for over 33,000 yards and ended his career with only a 67.4 QB rating but from 1966-1969 he threw for over 3000 yards and averaged 23 touchdowns per season. (14 game seasons back then).
Dan Fouts was the most illustrious and longest tenured quarterback in Charger’s history. He played for San Diego for 15 seasons (1973-1987) and had 171 starts. Fouts threw for over 43,000 yards and ended up with an 80.2 QB rating.
Stan Humphries played for the Chargers for 6 seasons and is the only quarterback to lead the Chargers to a Superbowl appearance. Humphries threw for over 17,000 and ended with a QB rating of 75.8.
Drew Brees only played four years for San Diego but being one of the best quarterbacks in the league, I couldn’t leave him off this list. During his four years in San Diego, Brees’ career was quite productive with the 2003 campaign being his worst. That year he lost the starting role to Doug Flutie. The 2005 season, Brees QB rating was a respectable 89.2 which was 10th best in the league.
At the end of the 2005 season, Brees tore his labrum, an injury most athletes rarely come back from if at all. By this time, Philip Rivers is on the roster getting paid big bucks. It was an easy decision for A.J. Smith. Schottenheimer wanted to keep him but Smith said no. Wonder what he would have done had Brees stayed healthy. We all know how his career turned out since then already having won a Superbowl and surpassing Dan Marino’s single season passing record for one of only two teams that was willing to take a chance on him.
Philip Rivers has been on the Charger’s roster now for going on 10 seasons. During the 7 years behind center, Rivers has started every single game. That’s 112 straight starts. Incredible. During those 7 years, Rivers has amassed 27,891 passing yards, a 63.6 completion percentage and a 94.5 QB rating, the best in Chargers history and # 6 on the NFL career all time passing list. In comparison, Joe Montana ended his career with a 92.3 QB rating and a 63.2 completion percentage.
How can anyone argue those numbers?
I’ll take Rivers as my QB any day.