|Source:Hogs Haven- Hall of Fame QB Sonny Jurgensen, against their heated rival the New York Giants, at Yankee Stadium.|
Source:The Daily Press
“Though he started his career with the Eagles, no player is more identified with the Redskins after six decades as a player and announcer than the ‘Old Redhead.’
Now in his sixth decade with the team as either a player or announcer, it seems strange to remember that Sonny Jurgensen, the quintessential Redskin, spent what by NFL standards would have been a fairly lengthy career in a different uniform.
To hear new Eagles Coach Joe Kuharich tell it in 1964, in fact, his quarterback was starting to decline at at 29. Thus Jurgensen was shipped to the Redskins in a deal for 24-year-old Norm Snead after seven turbulent years in Philadelphia.
Legend has it Philly bartenders donned black armbands the day Sonny was traded, but Eagle fans were far from crushed. Having watched the uber-intense Norm Van Brocklin lead the team to an NFL title in 1960, the transition to Jurgensen’s freewheeling style both on and off the field was difficult for many to stomach, even though he was setting team passing records that still stand.”
From Hogs Haven
“Decades before RGiii was even born, Sonny Jurgensen riddled enemy defenses for the Redskins with picture-perfect bullets. Host David Spada catches up with the Hall of Famer for a look back at his amazing career on Sports & Torts.”
Sonny Jurgensen isn’t one of the top 10-20 NFL quarterbacks because he’s one of the best winner ever. His career record doesn’t indicate that he’s one of the best winners ever. We’re not talking about Fran Tarkenton or Dan Marino, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubauch, Johnny Unitas, as far as the amount of games that he won. He also played for a lot of mediocre and bad teams where a good year for the Redskins in the 1960s was 6-8, 7-7, 8-6, so I’m not putting Sonny down.
I’m not making excuses for Sonny, because he did play a long time without leading a team to a championship. (Eighteen seasons from 1957-74) But for the most part, he played for a lot of mediocre teams. These are records that generally doesn’t get teams to the playoffs. So even as Sonny was playing for mediocre teams, he was a great QB on those teams, the best player on these teams. Doing every he can for teams that weren’t very good, had good players, great even, but not very good all around teams. Teams that struggled to win every week.
The way I describe Sonny Jurgensen, was a championship caliber QB who played on a lot of mediocre and even bad teams. I still believe that had Sonny played in Super Bowl 7 against the undefeated Miami Dolphins the Redskins would’ve given the Dolphins only loss that year. Because the Redskins did have a great team on both sides of the ball and I believe a better all around team than the Dolphins. That at least had more talent. But of course Sonny was hurt with a busted ankle, so that didn’t happen.
The reason why the Redskins didn’t championships in the 1960s and 70s wasn’t because of Sonny Jurgensen. They weren’t very good in the mid and late 1960s because of the players they had around Sonny. No running game, a weak offensive line and a defense that probably gave up more points than Sonny and those great receivers put up every week, to where they were one of the highest scoring teams in the NFL every year, despite not having much of a running game.
I believe Dan Marino is the best QB of all time as far as just throwing the football. And had he had the running game and defense that Joe Montana had in San Francisco with the 49ers, Marino leads the Dolphins to four Super Bowl championships or more in the 1980s and 90s. We’ll never know that of course, but that’s how great Dan The Man was. But no one handled the ball better than Sonny, as far as play action and knowing exactly when to throw the ball. And what to put on the ball, then Sonny.
I don’t believe a QB ever had better eye-hand coördination than Sonny. The ability to pick spots on the field as far when to throw the ball, how much to on the ball and where to throw the football. He was sort of like the Larry Bird of the NFL when it came to ball handling. And had great eye-hand coördination which is why he was such a great QB. Even though he never led a team to winning a championship.