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OT: Terry Bradshaw


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I was watching the A Football Life episode on Bradshaw last night and didn't realize how bad the early part of his career was. His first 5 years were brutal for a #1 pick to the point where he was benched for Joe Gilliam in year 4 (or 5). Granted, you can debate how great Bradshaw really was as he was he was eventually surrounded by a bunch of HOFers, but being a top pick from a small school I saw some parallels to Wilson's career thus far. Bradshaw threw 73 picks in first 4 years back when the game was still a run first game and still went on to become a HOFer.

Just found it very interesting

 

Terry Bradshaw

Position: QB
Birthdate: September 2, 1948
College: Louisiana Tech
Draft: Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1st round (1st overall) of the 1970 NFL Draft
 
Home > Players > Terry Bradshaw
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989

 

Terry Bradshaw Stats

Passing Statistics

 
          Passing
Year Team Lg G GS Att Cmp Pct Yds YPA YPG TD TD% Int Int% Lg FD 20+ Sack Loss Rate
1970 Pittsburgh NFL 13 -- 218 83 38.1 1,410 6.5 108.5 6 2.8 24 11.0 87t -- -- 25 242 30.4
1971 Pittsburgh NFL 14 -- 373 203 54.4 2,259 6.1 161.4 13 3.5 22 5.9 49 -- -- 33 287 59.7
1972 Pittsburgh NFL 14 -- 308 147 47.7 1,887 6.1 134.8 12 3.9 12 3.9 78t -- -- 29 237 64.1
1973 Pittsburgh NFL 10 -- 180 89 49.4 1,183 6.6 118.3 10 5.6 15 8.3 67 -- -- 24 186 54.5
1974 Pittsburgh NFL 8 -- 148 67 45.3 785 5.3 98.1 7 4.7 8 5.4 56 -- -- 10 104 55.2
1975 Pittsburgh NFL 14 -- 286 165 57.7 2,055 7.2 146.8 18 6.3 9 3.1 59 -- -- 31 290 88.0
1976 Pittsburgh NFL 10 -- 192 92 47.9 1,177 6.1 117.7 10 5.2 9 4.7 50 -- -- 16 164 65.4
1977 Pittsburgh NFL 14 -- 314 162 51.6 2,523 8.0 180.2 17 5.4 19 6.1 65t -- -- 26 235 71.4
1978 Pittsburgh NFL 16 -- 368 207 56.2 2,915 7.9 182.2 28 7.6 20 5.4 70 -- -- 21 222 84.7
1979 Pittsburgh NFL 16 -- 472 259 54.9 3,724 7.9 232.8 26 5.5 25 5.3 65t -- -- 24 196 77.0
1980 Pittsburgh NFL 15 -- 424 218 51.4 3,339 7.9 222.6 24 5.7 22 5.2 68t -- -- 33 245 75.0
1981 Pittsburgh NFL 14 14 370 201 54.3 2,887 7.8 206.2 22 5.9 14 3.8 90t -- -- 17 155 83.9
1982 Pittsburgh NFL 9 9 240 127 52.9 1,768 7.4 196.4 17 7.1 11 4.6 74t -- -- 18 131 81.4
1983 Pittsburgh NFL 1 1 8 5 62.5 77 9.6 77.0 2 25.0 0 0.0 24 -- -- 0 0 133.9
  TOTALS NFL 168 24 3,901 2,025 51.9 27,989 7.2 166.6 212 5.4 210 5.4 90t -- -- 307 2,694 70.9

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Cyberjet said:

Bradshaw learned how to ‘see’ the game and played within himself giving what defenses gave him and getting the ball into the hands of difference makers. He learned how to be a good QB in that system. 

Agree. And it took him 5 years to learn that. He pretty much described himself as a "gunslinger" early on.

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1 minute ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Every year people go back further and further into history to find QBs to compare Zach Wilson too.

Whats next, analyzing year 2 in 1948, (when he threw 14 TDs and 18 INTs)?

Terry Bradshaw was playing a completely different game in his era.  You don’t get to mug receivers or touch QBs in todays game.  It’s not remotely comparable.

Stick with the Josh Allen takes if you want to give yourself hope.  It’s still not comparable, but at least you’d be comparing apples to oranges rather than apples to sand. 

I didn't go looking for someone to compare Wilson too. It happened to be there right in front of my face (on the show) and I saw the similarities in the starts of their careers. That's all.

Yes, Allen is a better modern comparison...but he doesn't have A Football Life episode on him yet lol.

You're right, the game was different then.

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23 minutes ago, CTJetsFan said:

I didn't go looking for someone to compare Wilson too. It happened to be there right in front of my face (on the show) and I saw the similarities in the starts of their careers. That's all.

Yes, Allen is a better modern comparison...but he doesn't have A Football Life episode on him yet lol.

You're right, the game was different then.

Bradshaw was drafted to a team that had a 14 and 53 record including 1 and 13 the season before he was drafted.  In his 3rd year they went to and won a playoff game with Bradshaw at QB.   In his 4th year they lost in the first round.  In his 5th year they won the SB.

In Zach Wilson's third year the Jets have traded picks and a boat load of money to replace him.  

 

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50 minutes ago, Cyberjet said:

Bradshaw learned how to ‘see’ the game and played within himself giving what defenses gave him and getting the ball into the hands of difference makers. He learned how to be a good QB in that system. 

Not true.  The Steelers ran a two back or one back O.  Bradshaw was a classic gunslinger who thew the ball down the field.  He was always near the top in Yards per Catch and Yards per attempt.   Swan and Stallworth were always both near the top in YC because Bradshaw had a big arm and chucked it down the field.   They were both drafted in 74.

 

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28 minutes ago, CTJetsFan said:

I didn't go looking for someone to compare Wilson too. It happened to be there right in front of my face (on the show) and I saw the similarities in the starts of their careers. That's all.

Yes, Allen is a better modern comparison...but he doesn't have A Football Life episode on him yet lol.

You're right, the game was different then.

The other thing that was different then was scouting and player analytics.   
But your point that some players take longer to adapt to the Pro game is not debatable.

You can look at other QBs like Geno Smith and Rich Gannon for confirmation.   The question is how long can we afford to wait in this era of inflated QB salaries?  The days of the understudy waiting 5 or more years for his chance are over.

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11 minutes ago, Biggs said:

Bradshaw was drafted to a team that had a 14 and 53 record including 1 and 13 the season before he was drafted.  In his 3rd year they went to and won a playoff game with Bradshaw at QB.   In his 4th year they lost in the first round.  In his 5th year they won the SB.

In Zach Wilson's third year the Jets have traded picks and a boat load of money to replace him.  

 

The game is much different now.   Players didnt move around or play as long as they do now.  They also didnt get paid like they do now.

You dont think that the Steelers would have traded their picks to the Jets for Namath in 1970?   It wasnt an option then to get a star QB and QBs werent as vital as there was more running than presently.

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17 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Every year people go back further and further into history to try to find QBs to compare Zach Wilson’s struggles to (and Sam Darnold before that).

Whats next, analyzing Y.A. Tittle’s year 2 in 1948, (when he threw 14 TDs and 18 INTs)?

Terry Bradshaw was playing a completely different game in his era.  You don’t get to mug receivers or touch QBs in todays game.  It’s not remotely comparable.

Stick with the Josh Allen takes if you want to give yourself hope.  It’s still not comparable, but at least you’d be comparing apples to oranges rather than apples to sand. 

Zach Wilson's biggest problem was that he was not seeing the open receiver.  He continued to throw to the wrong receiver.  He can fix his feet, his ability to throw the quick out, but can he fix his ability to see the field?  

The reason that Rodgers will be a big difference to this team, is that one of his great attributes is his ability to see the entire field.  I think that will translate into more wins!!

Zach was so bad in the crunch games last year, and he just looked inept.  I don't know if you can fix that.

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29 minutes ago, Biggs said:

Bradshaw was drafted to a team that had a 14 and 53 record including 1 and 13 the season before he was drafted.  In his 3rd year they went to and won a playoff game with Bradshaw at QB.   In his 4th year they lost in the first round.  In his 5th year they won the SB.

In Zach Wilson's third year the Jets have traded picks and a boat load of money to replace him.  

 

And the Jets record the years before Wilson was drafted was??????

Exactly......in his 3rd Year they went to the playoffs. and he was playing for a HOF coach. His first 2 years he threw 46 picks.

I'm sure Steelers fans felt the same way about Bradshaw then as Jets fans feel about Wilson. now.

Not defending Wilson. Just pointing out that one of the great HOF QBs of all time who was a top pick from a small school had a worse first 2 years of his career in about the same amount of games started.

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3 minutes ago, playtowinthegame said:

Steve Young sucked at Tampa Bay for his first two seasons in the league, then he got traded to San Fran and was able to sit and learn behind Hall of Fame quarterback, Joe Montana. 

Steve Young at Tampa Bay 1985-1986
G 19
GS 19
Cmp 267
Att 501
Cmp% 53.3
Yds 3,217
Y/A 6.4
Y/G 169.3
TD 11
TD% 2.2
Int 21
Int% 4.2
QB Rating 63.1

Zach Wilson first two seasons in the league with Jets 2021-2022
G 22
GS 22
Cmp 345
Att 625
Cmp% 55.2
Yds 4,022
Y/A 6.4
Y/G 182.8
TD 15
TD% 2.4
Int 18
Int% 2.9
QB Rating 70.9

Indeed, but you do have to acknowledge that many, many more guys become journeyman backup QBs (or worse) than become HOFers. 

Also, notice that the guys who eventually do make it big after struggling in their first few years tend to do so on another team. 

Zach Wilson becoming a good NFL QB isn't impossible, but how likely is it to actually happen, let alone with the Jets? 

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6 minutes ago, Alka said:

Zach Wilson's biggest problem was that he was not seeing the open receiver.  He continued to throw to the wrong receiver.  He can fix his feet, his ability to throw the quick out, but can he fix his ability to see the field?  

The reason that Rodgers will be a big difference to this team, is that one of his great attributes is his ability to see the entire field.  I think that will translate into more wins!!

Zach was so bad in the crunch games last year, and he just looked inept.  I don't know if you can fix that.

they did fix it by getting rid of milfy.

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1 hour ago, Biggs said:

Not true.  The Steelers ran a two back or one back O.  Bradshaw was a classic gunslinger who thew the ball down the field.  He was always near the top in Yards per Catch and Yards per attempt.   Swan and Stallworth were always both near the top in YC because Bradshaw had a big arm and chucked it down the field.   They were both drafted in 74.

 

I don’t understand how this disputes my point. If you were assuming that getting the ball into the hands of the difference makers means dumping it off to backs etc that was not my point. He was a different and better QB later because he figured out the system and improved decision making back in his day just as Wilson has to do it now. 
 

 

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3 hours ago, playtowinthegame said:

Steve Young sucked at Tampa Bay for his first two seasons in the league, then he got traded to San Fran and was able to sit and learn behind Hall of Fame quarterback, Joe Montana. 

Steve Young at Tampa Bay 1985-1986
G 19
GS 19
Cmp 267
Att 501
Cmp% 53.3
Yds 3,217
Y/A 6.4
Y/G 169.3
TD 11
TD% 2.2
Int 21
Int% 4.2
QB Rating 63.1

Zach Wilson first two seasons in the league with Jets 2021-2022
G 22
GS 22
Cmp 345
Att 625
Cmp% 55.2
Yds 4,022
Y/A 6.4
Y/G 182.8
TD 15
TD% 2.4
Int 18
Int% 2.9
QB Rating 70.9

 

Cool.  Now do these highly drafted QBs who also got to sit behind HOF/borderline HOF QBs:

  • Marc Wilson (pick 1.15/1980/OAK) - Jim Plunkett
  • Mark Malone (1.28/1980/PIT) - Terry Bradshaw 
  • Oliver Luck (2.44/1982/HOU) - Warren Moon
  • Kelly Stouffer (1.6/1987/STL) - Dave Krieg
  • Dan McGwire (1.16/1991/SEA) - Dave Krieg
  • Tommy Maddox  (1.25/1992/DEN) - John Elway
  • Matt Blundin (2.40/1992/KC) - Joe Montana
  • Todd Collins (2.45/1995/BUF) - Jim Kelly/Warren Moon/Rich Gannon
  • Jim Druckenmiller (1.26/1997/SF) - Steve Young
  • Marques Tuiasosopo (2.59/2001/OAK) - Rich Gannon
  • Patrick Ramsey (1.32/2002/WSH) - Mark Brunell  @Warfish
  • Byron Leftwich (1.7/2003/JAX) - Mark Brunell
  • Kyle Boller (1.19/2003/BAL) - Steve McNair
  • Jason Campbell (1.25/2005/WSH) - Mark Brunell
  • Matt Leinart (1.10/2006/AZ) - Kurt Warner  @T0mShane
  • Brian Brohm (2.56/2008/GB) - Aaron Rodgers
  • Jimmy Clausen (2.48/2010/CAR) - Cam Newton
  • Christian Ponder (1.12/2011/MIN) - Donovan McNabb
  • Brandon Weeden (1.22/2012/CLE) - Tony Romo
  • Brock Osweiler (2.57/2012/DEN) - Peyton Manning
  • DeShone Kizer (2.52/2017/CLE) - Aaron Rodgers
  • Josh Rosen (1.10/2018/AZ) - Tom Brady/Matt Ryan

 

CC:  @jgb

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6 minutes ago, JetPotato said:

Little known fact about Mohammed Ali is that he once slept with a friend of his mom's. And Abraham Lincoln was reportedly a decent dancer for a white guy. So, if you think about it, Zach Wilson is just like those guys, which is interesting. 

Bobby Layne really struck it big in his 3rd season back in 1950.

So we should probably hand Zach the 5th year option and a lengthy extension.  Just in case.

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58 minutes ago, CTJetsFan said:

Exactly......in his 3rd Year they went to the playoffs. and he was playing for a HOF coach. His first 2 years he threw 46 picks.

Mark Sanchez played for a playoff team his first TWO seasons in the pros.  Didn't help him not suck.

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2 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Every year people go back further and further into history to try to find QBs to compare Zach Wilson’s struggles to (and Sam Darnold before that).

Whats next, analyzing Y.A. Tittle’s year 2 in 1948, (when he threw 14 TDs and 18 INTs)?

Terry Bradshaw was playing a completely different game in his era.  You don’t get to mug receivers or touch QBs in todays game.  It’s not remotely comparable.

Stick with the Josh Allen takes if you want to give yourself hope.  It’s still not comparable, but at least you’d be comparing apples to oranges rather than apples to sand. 

Eat something please 

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11 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Soooooo......why post the thread then?

Lol. I said it in an earlier post. Watching the Bradshaw episode. Didn't know he was that bad early on. Found the parallels interesting (high draft pick, smaller school). Also interesting how & why a future HOFer struggled so badly early in his career (gunslinger mentality, raw) yet was able to finally figure it out and have a lot of success.

My thought when watching it was Jets fans would have ran him out of down after those first 2 years and called for Knoll's firing lol

Not saying Wilson will have the same career

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Easy to forget just how much those first two Steeler SB champs were built around defense and running game.  1974, the first SB year, they only had 1 WR with more than 20 receptions on the season.  Frank Lewis, if anyone remembers that name.  Lynn Swann was a rookie with 11 catches.  Jack Lambert, Joe Greene and Franco Harris had a lot more to do with that team's success than Bradshaw or Gilliam.

Different game back then.

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2 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Every year people go back further and further into history to try to find QBs to compare Zach Wilson’s struggles to (and Sam Darnold before that).

Whats next, analyzing Y.A. Tittle’s year 2 in 1948, (when he threw 14 TDs and 18 INTs)?

Terry Bradshaw was playing a completely different game in his era.  You don’t get to mug receivers or touch QBs in todays game.  It’s not remotely comparable.

Stick with the Josh Allen takes if you want to give yourself hope.  It’s still not comparable, but at least you’d be comparing apples to oranges rather than apples to sand. 

I always thought Eli Manning was a better example of a very slow to develop 1st round QB who went on to be good.

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26 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

 

Cool.  Now do these highly drafted QBs who also got to sit behind HOF/borderline HOF QBs:

  • Marc Wilson - Jim Plunkett
  • Mark Malone - Terry Bradshaw 
  • Oliver Luck - Warren Moon
  • Kelly Stouffer - Dave Krieg
  • Dan McGwire - Dave Krieg
  • Tommy Maddox - John Elway
  • Matt Blundin - Joe Montana
  • Todd Collins - Jim Kelly/Warren Moon/Rich Gannon
  • Jim Druckenmiller - Steve Young
  • Marques Tuiasosopo - Rich Gannon
  • Patrick Ramsey - Mark Brunell  @Warfish
  • Byron Leftwich - Mark Brunell
  • Kyle Boller - Steve McNair
  • Jason Campbell - Mark Brunell
  • Matt Leinart - Kurt Warner  @T0mShane
  • Brian Brohm - Aaron Rodgers
  • Jimmy Clausen - Cam Newton
  • Christian Ponder - Donovan McNabb
  • Brandon Weeden - Tony Romo
  • Brock Osweiler - Peyton Manning
  • DeShone Kizer - Aaron Rodgers
  • Josh Rosen - Tom Brady/Matt Ryan

 

CC:  @jgb

 

You're my favorite poster.

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