Mind of Sabol: Quarterbacks

Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Looking Back, Mind of Sabol, New York Giants, New York Jets, Nick Calabrese, Philadelphia Eagles, Sabol, San Francisco 49ers, Steve Sabol

By Nick Calabrese

Editor’s Note: The third post in our “Mind of Sabol” series discusses quarterbacks. Mr. Sabol documented the highs and lows of their careers. From the famous bad boy to the hard working, modest type; here are some of Mr. Sabol’s reflections on four more players. Tell us your own thoughts by leaving a comment below or tweeting @NFLFilms with #MindofSabol.


“It has been said that the true measure of a Quarterback is how many championships he produces for his team. If that be the guideline then Otto Graham is the best ever. Graham quarterbacked the Cleveland Browns offense for 10 years from 1946-55 and the Browns won divisional or league championships in every one of those years.” – Steve Sabol

Otto Graham

Otto Graham Card

“There are not many weaknesses in Bart Starr. He is as close to a fanatic as a coach can become and still function as a human being off the field. He seems to know which hands to hold, which arms to twist.” – Steve Sabol

Bart Starr

CLIPPING READS: “If one had to describe Starr’s Gestalt, the whole of his personality, the words that would come to mind are modesty, will, intelligence, pride, drive, determination and courtly politeness.”

“NOT A WIMP. His journey to Hall of Fame – quiet but driving ambition commanded him to be.” – Steve Sabol


“Perhaps more than any other player Joe Namath has defined both the heights & depths that can be achieved as pro quarterback. Arrogant rookie, Super Bowl Champion, Bad Boy, Celebrity, and most recently, Loser — Joe has done it all.” – Steve Sabol

Joe Namath

On Joe Namath:

“Expressive of his era personified youth

Pass vs. Chiefs in 1969, 50 yards on a line to Don Maynard

Cuffs on trousers

“I can hang out to 3 or 4 and still get my 7 and 8.”

DiMaggio, Mantle, Gifford less hip to their times aloof from crowd

Paul Hornung and Johnny Unitas rolled into one

Got back into pocket quickly

Throwing into swirling winds of Shea Stadium

After 1970 he was a ghost from waist down.”



“Came in as a champion, left as a champion.” – Steve Sabol

Y.A. Tittle

Y.A. Tittle


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