- Written by Ed Staton
- Published: 29 Mar 2023
Alabama quarterbacks have made a tremendous impact on the NFL through the history of the league. Storied names such as Starr, Namath and Stabler have won NFL championships, Super Bowls and have had their busts placed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In this article, we will further explore the incredible pro football legacy generated by Crimson Tide quarterbacks.
More recently, Jalen Hurts has emerged with success after leading the Philadelphia Eagles to an NFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance following the 2022 season. And Hurts teammate, Tua Tagovailoa has been a strong force after being drafted by the Miami Dolphins. 2021 Heisman Winner Bryce Young enters the league for the 2023 season as he begins his quest for becoming one of the Best Alabama Quarterbacks to make his mark on pro football.
The list of excellence includes additional names that have impacted the league, earning Alabama a high standing in Quarterback U. conversations.
Remembering Bart Starr, the MVP of Super Bowl I and II
If you’re an Alabama fan or a Green Bay Packers fan, then you know who Bart Starr was. The Montgomery, Alabama native was drafted in the 17th round of the NFL's 1956 draft by the Green Bay Packers and what followed were two decades of success both on and off the field. From his time as one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history to his tenure as head coach and general manager of the Packers, Starr's legacy as one of the best Alabama Quarterbacks in NFL history will live on forever. Let’s take a look back at his incredible career.
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As a quarterback, Starr was one of the greatest to ever play in the National Football League. He led the Packers to five NFL titles including victories in Super Bowl I and II, earning him Super Bowl MVP honors in both games as well as being named NFL MVP in 1966. He was also named to the NFL's 1960s All-Decade Team and led the league’s passer rating five times during his 15-year career (1956-1971). In recognition of his contributions to pro football and team spirit, Starr’s No. 15 jersey was retired by the Packers and he is a member of both their Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Packers Couldn't Pass on Coach Starr
Starr wasn't done after retiring from playing football; he went on to become head coach and general manager for nine years (1975–1983). While he never achieved much success during this portion of his career—he had winning seasons only twice—he still left a mark with his leadership style that reverberated throughout Green Bay for years after he stepped down from coaching duties.
Though it has been more than 30 years since he last donned an official Packers uniform, fans continue to remember him fondly for all that he accomplished on—and off—the field. With five titles to his name, two Super Bowl MVP awards under his belt, a place among one of football's all-time greats in Canton, Ohio and an undeniable spirit for leading others that transcends sport itself; Bart Starr is an icon whose legacy will live forever within both NFL history books and hearts across America alike.
On May 26th 2019, we said goodbye to one of football's greatest legends when Bart Starr passed away at age 85 due to complications from a stroke suffered earlier this year. Although we may never see another like him again, his impact lives on through those who were lucky enough to watch him play or learn from him as head coach/general manager.
Joe Namath: From Bama to Broadway Joe
Joe Namath is an icon of American football and a source of pride for Alabama Fans. After playing at the University of Alabama from 1961-1964, Namath was drafted in the first round of the 1965 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 12th overall pick. The New York Jets then picked Namath with the 1st pick of the AFL's 1965 draft, and with that, Broadway Joe was born and his legacy began.
The Controversy Before Super Bowl III
One of the most memorable moments in all of sports history is when Joe Namath stirred up controversy before Super Bowl III by guaranteeing victory over the Baltimore Colts. Not only did he deliver on his promise, but he also earned MVP honors in leading his team to one of the biggest upsets in sports history. This moment solidified his status as an NFL legend, not only for Jets fans but for fans around the world who were amazed at what he had accomplished against seemingly insurmountable odds.
The Legacy Beyond Super Bowl III
Namath would continue to have a successful career beyond that fateful day in 1969. He won the AFL MVP Award following both 1968 and 1969 seasons, earning him a spot on both the AFL All-Time Team and Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 1985). His No. 12 jersey is also retired by the Jets organization as a tribute to his incredible accomplishments during his time in New York (1965-1976), after which he finished out his career with Los Angeles Rams in 1977.
A Look Back at the Legendary Football Career of Ken "Snake" Stabler
Ken Stabler, the legendary NFL quarterback, was a Foley, Alabama native who left a lasting legacy on the game of football. After playing for the University of Alabama from 1964 to 1967, Stabler was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 1968 NFL Draft. He was also drafted by multiple Major League Baseball teams during this time, making him one of only 20 athletes ever to be drafted by both professional football and baseball teams. Let’s dive into Stabler’s career and look at his accomplishments.
Stabler's Career With The Raiders
As the Raiders quarterback from 1970-1979, Stabler led this franchise to a Super Bowl XI championship following the 1976 season. Known as Snake, he became an integral part of the team's success during that decade with his passing prowess and leadership abilities on and off the field. He was named as NFL MVP in 1974 and is also a member of its 1970s All-Decade Team.
Other Stints in The NFL
Stabler played for three other teams before retiring in 1984 after stints with the Houston Oilers (1980-1981) and New Orleans Saints (1982-1984). During this time he earned two more Pro Bowl selections (1973 & 1979). His career spanned 16 years in total; he passed away at age 69 on July 8th 2015.
Additional Crimson Tide Quarterbacks Impacting the NFL
When Mac Jones burst onto the scene as the quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide, he looked like the real deal. His accuracy and efficiency were unparalleled, setting NCAA season records for passer rating and completion percentage as a junior. So it was no surprise when the New England Patriots selected him in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jones seemed to be up to the challenge, leading the team to a playoff berth during his rookie season and earning Pro Bowl honors. However, the second season proved to be a bit rockier for the young quarterback. Battling injuries and struggling with a subpar touchdown to interception ratio, Jones had his share of ups and downs. But there's no denying his potential, and fans are eagerly watching to see what the future holds for this promising young athlete.
Although he didn't finish his collegiate career in Tuscaloosa, many Tide fans still consider him a beloved member of the Bama nation. Hurts was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Hurts quickly emerged as one of the league's top signal callers and led the Eagles to the 2022 NFC Championship before falling to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
After accomplishing national championship success with the Crimson Tide, Tagovailoa entered the 2020 NFL Draft and was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 5th overall pick. The former Tide star was the NFL passer rating leader in 2022.
Following his career in Tuscaloosa, the Birmingham native was drafted with the 6th overall pick of the 1976 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Todd replaced Joe Namath as the Jets starter. Todd threw for 20,610 yards in his pro career that also included two years with the New Orleans Saints.