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Jeff Hostetler under rated quarterback

Archer : 11/15/2013 1:10 pm
Jeff Hostetler
I was watching NFL Films, New York Giants road to the Super bowl for the 1990 season, and came away with a renewed appreciation for Jeff Hostetler.

Hostetler was a far more mobile and athletic quarterback then I recalled. He was also quite good at handling the ball and throwing on the move outside the pocket. He was more than just a caretaker managing the team. He made some big plays to maintain drives.

Hostetler doesn’t seem to get a lot of recognition as the 1990 team was thought to be Phil Simms team and OJ Anderson was the MVP of the Super bowl. Hostetler had a great Super bowl, completing 20 of 32 passes for 222 yards, with one touchdown,and no interceptions while managing a ball controlled offense.

Hostetler despite being a third round draft pick backed up Simms for 7 years before he got his chance in 1990.
It appears that the circumstances did not allow Hostetler to maximize his ability. In 1994 his tenth season Hostetler was selected to the Pro Bowl.

I think that in today’s NFL Hostetler would have flourished in the pistol style offense and he never would have sat on the bench for 7 years awaiting his turn.
Not durable enough  
Phil from WNY : 11/15/2013 1:25 pm : link
He was a good QB but he couldn't handle the pounding when he went to Oakland. It was too bad because he was a tough guy. I was always a huge fan of his.
Probably not the most durable,  
Curtis in VA : 11/15/2013 1:28 pm : link
but in his defense he did get smacked around a lot too.
he was a good backup  
Victor in CT : 11/15/2013 1:30 pm : link
but I never liked his whiny attitude. Always bitching. Left Penn State whining that Paterno was unfair because he couldn't beat out Blackledge. Popped champagne with his agent when Parcells resigned, as if that was why he couldn't displace Simms.
Curtis  
Phil from WNY : 11/15/2013 1:30 pm : link
It was his style of play. What made him good is what shortened his opportunity.
Hostetler  
Archer : 11/15/2013 1:38 pm : link
I think that when you are evaluating Hostetler, you have to consider that he 29 in 1990 and he was past his prime when he let the Giants.
"left" not "let"  
Archer : 11/15/2013 1:40 pm : link
When left the Giants.
Not underated...  
kinard : 11/15/2013 1:45 pm : link
... appropriately-rated. Good QB with alot of character and heart who made the most of his ability.

When given starting job over Simms by Handley, he didn't exactly make the most of it. He caught passes and played special teams too (even blocked a kick once).

Great back-up. Good starting QB. Forever part of Giants lore...
Hostetler was an excellant backup  
PatersonPlank : 11/15/2013 1:47 pm : link
and yes his strength was his running ability. The difference between him and someone like Steve Young at that time was the arm. When Hoss replaced Simms the Giants changed the offense to a ball control offense. Short passes and runs (both Hoss and RBs) meant to control the game and rely on the D. In the end this is how they beat the Bill, winning the TOP by 40 minutes to 20 minutes. In fact the Bills went ~18 minutes plus halftime without their offense coming on the field. It was amazing they could score 19 pts in 20 minutes against our D.
Kinnard  
Archer : 11/15/2013 1:56 pm : link
I agree with your assesment and we know what Hostetler became as a quarterback, but I wonder if his talent wasn't squandered.

His talents were never utilized properly as a pocket passer and his opportunity to start came after his skills started diminshining.

Could Hostetler have been a Colin Kaepernick type quaterback in a pistol offense?
Giants, Never, Never...  
mvftw : 11/15/2013 2:03 pm : link
would have the SB if not for him. Simms was better, but Simms would NOT have beat the 49ers that year. He would not have got pass their pass rush...Hoss' legs won that game...
Not by me  
Go Terps : 11/15/2013 2:13 pm : link
Hostetler could QB my team any day. His performance in the NFCC is among the best, toughest performances I've ever seen from a QB...let alone a Giant QB.
believe it or not  
Matt in SGS : 11/15/2013 2:18 pm : link
I was thinking about this the other day about Hoss and concussions. If you recall, in Super Bowl XXV, Hostetler got drilled by Leon "Dr. Sack" Seals in the 2nd quarter and if you read between the lines of the report, Hostetler had a concussion

Quote:
After Seals leveled Hostetler, the Giants warmed up reserve quarterback Matt Cavanaugh and gave Hostetler an ammonia cap to sniff. He later admitted that much of the first half was "kind of a blur." Hostetler's older (by six years) brother, Ron, a former Penn State linebacker, said in the postgame locker room, "If the three-knockdown rule had been in effect, they would have stopped the fight. He still isn't sure where he is."

An ugly purple welt ran almost the entire length of Jeff Hostetler's left side, and his right temple bore bruise marks from the Seals hit. Now Hostetler was moving in slow motion as he tried to put on his shoes.

"How do you feel?" Ron asked him.

"Still a little woozy," said Jeff. "Pretty bad headache right now."

"I knew that if he hangs in there, we're O.K.," said Ron. "It's like we were home again, back in the yard when we were kids. He'd get knocked down, get up, go into the house crying and then come back out, ready to go again."


Knowing what we know about concussion protocol today, odds are that doctors would not have given him clearance to return to the field. Back in 1990, you got the old smelling salts and get back out there. With Hostetler out of the game, and Matt Cavanaugh in, it would be easy to say that the Giants lose that game and Super Bowl XXV is thought of much the same was as Super Bowl XXXV...ie ignored. And Scott Norwood might never have missed that field goal...which meant that we might never had the whole Ray Finkle storyline from Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. Is your mind blown yet?
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/features/superbowl/archives/25/ - ( New Window )
mftw  
Archer : 11/15/2013 2:24 pm : link
When watching the road to the Super bowl, Hostetler's game against the 49er's really stood out.
He was battered and kept making plays. The hitting on both sides was intense and without Hostetler's great game the Giants do not win.
Seals really smacked Hostetler and  
Jimmy Googs : 11/15/2013 2:27 pm : link
fell on top of him basically causing a deep imprint of Jeff in the turf.

Tough SOB coming back from that one.

We are all happy he did though.
I actually think...  
BillKo : 11/15/2013 2:28 pm : link
as an overall QB, Hoss got better when he went to Oakland.

Don't get me wrong, he played brilliantly in 1990 and I agree we don't beat SF or Buff if Simms is QB'ing. Hoss just made plays that Simms wouldn't have, particularly versus San Fran.

However, I don't think he was ever realy ever ready to play full time with the Giants until he finally got his shot in 91/92. And even then, I think his best play was with the Raiders.

I think he was the classic pocket passer who could make plays with his legs when needed. So, I don't think he was misused in anyway.
Go Terps....  
JohnB : 11/15/2013 2:41 pm : link
His performance in the NFCC is among the best, toughest performances I've ever seen from a QB...let alone a Giant QB.

I would suggest Eli's OT win at San Fran in the NFCC game was better and tougher. Eli got the $hit kicked out of him and came back time after time.
didn't he get sacked for a safety in the SB, but held on to the ball  
Dave : 11/15/2013 2:47 pm : link
and many have argued that another QB might have fumbled there which would have resulted in 7pts v 2pts...
I don't think we would have won the SB  
Grey Pilgrim : 11/15/2013 2:48 pm : link
without Hostetler. Simms would have been a sitting duck for the Bills pass rush.

Hoss doesn't get the credit he deserves.

The only player who didn't participate in the 1986 reunion  
Bluenatic : 11/15/2013 2:58 pm : link
.
Eli was physically tougher  
NINEster : 11/15/2013 3:05 pm : link
But more frustrating was hoss extending about every play to a 3rd down conversion.

And he was doing it with the likes of mark Ingram and Stephen baker the touchdown maker, not Cruz/nicks/Manningham. I still contend the giants don't win it all without all of those three playing.

Eli was gifted an INT drop in that game which would have been big, and Hostetler had a TD dropped.

There's no mistaking who the better QB is, but that JH performance ranks up there with Favre and Aikman for NFC playoff frustration at candlestick park.
MFTW  
jc in c-ville : 11/15/2013 3:07 pm : link
Says who?

If Simms were the starting QB, the majority of plays designed to help JH would have been altered.

Are you folks ignorant enough to think that there was one O game plan and it just so happened that JH fit the bill better?
Wasn't Hostetler a Rhodes candidate?  
Phil from WNY : 11/15/2013 3:08 pm : link
I recall something about him and the Rhodes Scholarship. Anyone else remember something about it?
NINster  
Matt in SGS : 11/15/2013 3:13 pm : link
the drop in the championship game by Carthon was actually a halfback option by Meggett. He lost it in the sun.
JC-IN C...  
mvftw : 11/15/2013 3:25 pm : link
First of all read the comments above...I'm NOT the only one to agree with me...and just look at the game they played during the season....Simnms had only 3 points...that's why...
mvftw  
Grey Pilgrim : 11/15/2013 3:42 pm : link
Agree completely. I sort of see it as divine providence that Phil got hurt and Hostletler took over. Don't get me wrong, I love Phil, but he just wasn't the right qb for the matchups we had in the championship game and the SB.

It's really not fair...  
rsjem1979 : 11/15/2013 3:43 pm : link
...to say Simms wouldn't have gotten the Giants past either the 49ers or the Bills.

The regular season losses were by 4 points each. The one in SF came down to a 4th down for the Giants inside the 49ers 10. The one against Buffalo was nip-and-tuck all day and both Simms and Hostetler moved the ball well.

The playoff/Super Bowl wins were a credit to Parcells, Belichick, Ron Erhardt and an absurdly good defense. As a coaching staff, they coaxed everything out of that team from top to bottom knowing that they had very little margin for error.
I don't know for sure that Hoss gave the Giants  
Matt in SGS : 11/15/2013 3:56 pm : link
a better chance of beating SF or Buffalo, however, his style of play against the Bears was for sure different than what Simms would have done. Hoss scrambled around several times and had a few scrambles on 4th down in which he ran for a first down. Simms would not have done that.

And it's easy to go back and say it was 31-3, but the reality is, the Giants didn't match up well with the Ditka Bears over the years, even towards the end of their run in 1990. Belichick switched to a 4-3 just for that game, playing Mike Fox at DT along with Howard, and playing Marshall and Dorsey at DEs. At the time, they actually credited the late Dave Duerson, the former Bear, for pointers on how to attack the weaknesses on offense and defense.

Would the Giants have won the game with Simms? Probably, but they wouldn't have won it the way that they actually did with Hoss.
MV  
jc in c-ville : 11/15/2013 4:00 pm : link
Your argument is just plain fucking stupid.

As much as i like JH, he didn't lead any TD drives in the NFL Ch.

What PS did in wk 12 as opposed to the JH in the NFL CH are mutually exclusive.

Simply, we don't know what would have happened. Perhaps the Giants would have won 30-14, or gotten shut out.
I never bought the argument that the Giants  
Matt M. : 11/15/2013 4:02 pm : link
would not have won against either the 49ers or Bills with Simms. He already went toe to toe with the 49ers. Even though they lost, it was a close game. Those two teams were very evenly matched and probably would split 10 games played.

Against the Bills, he would have run a similar ball control offense and would have a great chance of finding a way to win.

That is not to diminish what Hoss did. He had a very good run. But, it is unfair to diminish what Simms could have done especially considering how well the team was playing with him a the helm before getting hurt.
RE: I don't know for sure that Hoss gave the Giants  
rsjem1979 : 11/15/2013 4:06 pm : link
In comment 11339681 Matt in SGS said:
Quote:

Would the Giants have won the game with Simms? Probably, but they wouldn't have won it the way that they actually did with Hoss.


They may not have won 31-3, but that Bears team was EXTREMELY overrated. Everyone else in the NFC Central was 6-10, and they beat the Steve Walsh/John Fourcade Saints (who were 8-8) in the Wild Card game.

No way that Giants defense was going to let Mike Tomczak and that Bears offense score a TD that day.
I've said this a few times before....  
BillKo : 11/15/2013 4:07 pm : link
and Simms is my fav all time Giant.

The Giants had become VERY predicatble by the last quarter of the 1990 season. It was run/run/Simms in shotgun. And, Simms wasn't playing as well as he had in the begining. Not playing badly, but not nearly being as efficient.

When Hostetler took over, the staff knew they needed to tweek the offense more to his skill set.

I think that had a big part of us winning in the playoffs. The Giants had become, offensively, too predictable and easier to defend. Hoss became the wildcard, and to the staff's credit, they got everything out of him.

Could we have won with Simms...of course. But I don't think we would have............not those two games versus SF and Buff.

Additionally, Belichick and Parcels are given too much credit  
Matt M. : 11/15/2013 4:07 pm : link
for the D in that SB. The Bills were held to 19 points simply because the offense wouldn't let them get the ball. The 2 drives to close the first half and open the second half are what won the game. In 20 minutes on offense, the Bills scored 19 points. If the Giants had milked every second of the clock that they did, there is a good chance they lose because the bills would have scored more.

That said, I think the D should be given more credit for the stop on the final drive than Norwood should receive blame. Everyone watching knew Norwood, on grass, had a limited range. The Giants held the Bills to the very edge of that range. there was no realistic expectation that he would make that kick.
Yes, Hoss resembled Kaepernick.  
Big Blue Blogger : 11/15/2013 4:08 pm : link
Wiry build, great mobility, pretty good arm, questionable accuracy. Like Kaepernick, Hostetler inherited a strong, well-coached contending team, from a predecessor who had been physically battered during the franchise's lean years (Not equating Simms with Smith, obviously; just noting a similarity between their first five years in the NFL.) Like CK, Hoss played well in the postseason, and made a few great plays in the Super Bowl.

There are some big differences too. One is that Hoss took forever to learn his craft. Remember his horrific start in his fifth season that ended with a halftime benching?

As for the Simms vs. Hoss comparisons, the 1991 and 1992 seasons provided ample evidence that Hoss was nothing special. And thinking back to the early years of Phil's career, if Jeff Hostetler had played behind the 1979-1983 Giant lines, with little running game, I suspect his career would have been over before the Giants ever built a team around him. You know who else entered the NFL as a mobile QB? Phil Simms. By 1983, his 40 time could be measured on a sundial. Hostetler never had to deal with that kind of abuse until he got to Oakland.
I remember reading...  
BillKo : 11/15/2013 4:10 pm : link
in the 1990 media guide that Hoss had a "photographic" memory. Anyone else remember that?

I figured that to be the ultimate for a QB lol......

He was a Rhodes Scholar BTW.............
Giants D vs Buffalo in SB XXV  
rsjem1979 : 11/15/2013 4:18 pm : link
The Bills had the ball with a 10-3 lead and twice with a 12-3 lead and did not score on any of those three possessions - when any Buffalo score basically ends the game. The Giants defense kept them in the game in that 2nd quarter.

Buffalo got the ball after the Giants took the lead and punted again.

After the lead changed hands twice in the 4th, the Bills got the ball back and were again forced to punt, allowing the Giants to bleed another 3+ minutes off the clock.

You don't hold the ball for 40 minutes without the defense playing a big part in it. Rick Tuten punted 6 times in that Super Bowl, after having 3 punts total in Buffalo's two playoff wins.
Alligator arms  
Jupiter : 11/15/2013 4:20 pm : link
The Giants won that Super Bowl because of the defense. Yes, the offense controlled the ball but the Bills had a lot of possessions. In the first half, the Giants DBs and LBs popped the Bills receivers every time they went for the ball. I don't think the Giants even cared if the Bills caught the ball or if they were called for pass interference. By the second half, no Bills receiver wanted to cross the the field between the hash marks.
too many variables  
M in CT : 11/15/2013 4:23 pm : link
to say that we don't win the Superbowl with Simms in 1990. we were a completely different offense with Simms on the field and it's no use speculating how he would have performed against this pass rush or that secondary. football is a game of millimeters, forget about inches. like jc in c ville said, he could have lead us to a blowout against BUF or caused us to be shut out 38-0 with 4 picks.

that said, JH's run through the playoffs and the Superbowl that year were legendary. i can't even fathom the amount of pressure on him during those weeks and months.

this team has 4 championships in my lifetime, but only 3 Superbowl QBs and he's one of 'em.
RE: I've said this a few times before....  
Jimmy Googs : 11/15/2013 4:28 pm : link
In comment 11339711 BillKo said:
Quote:
and Simms is my fav all time Giant.

The Giants had become VERY predicatble by the last quarter of the 1990 season. It was run/run/Simms in shotgun. And, Simms wasn't playing as well as he had in the begining. Not playing badly, but not nearly being as efficient.

When Hostetler took over, the staff knew they needed to tweek the offense more to his skill set.

I think that had a big part of us winning in the playoffs. The Giants had become, offensively, too predictable and easier to defend. Hoss became the wildcard, and to the staff's credit, they got everything out of him.

Could we have won with Simms...of course. But I don't think we would have............not those two games versus SF and Buff.


Totally agree BillKo. Well written.

That Buffalo team was so good at everything that season it was ridiculous - Offense/Def/ST. Their entire team was full of pro bowlers. Those insane, clock-eating drives were a thing of beauty to keep their offense off the field.
RE: Alligator arms  
rsjem1979 : 11/15/2013 4:29 pm : link
In comment 11339738 Jupiter said:
Quote:
The Giants won that Super Bowl because of the defense. Yes, the offense controlled the ball but the Bills had a lot of possessions. In the first half, the Giants DBs and LBs popped the Bills receivers every time they went for the ball. I don't think the Giants even cared if the Bills caught the ball or if they were called for pass interference. By the second half, no Bills receiver wanted to cross the the field between the hash marks.


Bingo. They beat the hell out of Andre Reed in that first half and he was invisible after the 1st quarter, James Lofton had one catch on deep pass that was tipped up in the air by Perry Williams. Buffalo's offense was reduced to Kelly dump-off passes to Thurman Thomas and Kenneth Davis, or Thomas runs out of the shotgun ... which was exactly what Belichick's scheme was designed to do.
I perferred him over Phil...ducking  
gtt350 : 11/15/2013 5:16 pm : link
.
Simms  
blue42 : 11/15/2013 6:11 pm : link
was 22-25 in his first Sb...why is it a given he wouldn't hsve beat the Bills? It's not like we scored 30 points.
All I know is QBs used to get hit  
seanr : 11/16/2013 7:41 am : link
Hard back then. Today's game is just different
Billco  
Jerry K : 11/16/2013 10:32 am : link
I remember reading that, too. I may even still have the guide.
Simms  
trueblueinpw : 11/16/2013 10:53 am : link
I don't remember all the stats but I do remember that Simms was unbeaten when he went down in week 10 of the 90 season. And its not all like he was Trent Dilfer "managing" the Ravens offense not to lose. Simms was a great quarterback and field general. Simms was definitely, without any question, a better quarterback than Hoss. Don't believe me? Ask Bill Parcells or Belichick. Any given Sunday and all that duely noted, I dont see any reason to think that any game Hoss won Simms could not have won. Simms was one of the very best quarterbacks to ever play for the Giants. We talk about whether he should be in the Hall of Frame, not whether he could have won a game that his backup managed to win.
I thought Simms was really solid too and  
Jimmy Googs : 11/16/2013 11:29 am : link
better than Hostetler as a career QB

All BillKo said was that Hostetler gave the Giants a needed "shot in the arm" at the end of that year when they were in a rut, and I agree completely.

Simms could have gotten the team thru the playoffs and won the SB, but you just got the feeling we had peaked, as a team, earlier in the year. The team needed something different and Hoss really gave it to them.

I also think the rest of the Giants all picked up their game a bit when Simms went down as they knew the backup QB was playing.

And a little luck never hurts too :)
THE TRUE HERO OF THAT GAME  
OldPolack : 11/16/2013 11:50 am : link
was OJ ANDERSON.
For a player past his PRIME he was A STUD.
Terps, it's probably neck and neck,  
Big Blue '56 : 11/16/2013 1:11 pm : link
But I'd have to give the (slight) edge to Eli over Hoss in the NFC 2011(2012) championship game against the Niners. I have never seen a QB (in a meaningful game) take such a beating and keep getting off the floor to ultimately prevail..A terrible "end of career" type of beating
When I see film on Hoss  
hudson : 11/17/2013 7:20 pm : link
I keep thinking how fortunate it was then to not have UFA because in today's NFL there is no way Hoss would be a Giant for that many seasons.
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