for display only
Big Blue Interactive The Corner Forum  
Back to the Corner

What are the best QB reclamation projects of all time?

Chris684 : 2/23/2021 10:05 am
I was watching the Kerry Collins vs the Jets highlight on Matt's BigBlueVCR twitter feed and started thinking that with where Collins was personally and professionally after his time in Carolina, and with what he was able to accomplish here, his story has to be up there.

I think the criteria has to include injury, ineffectiveness or personal struggles and the QB switched teams and went on to make a big comeback.

Drew Brees comes to mind in New Orleans. I'm not sure if anyone would have thought 1st ballot HOF and all-time great after the elbow injury.

Obviously what Collins did here was impressive. He was in a really low place. While not a HOFer, he built a respectable place in NYG history and his memorable NFC title game performance.

More recently Tannehill comes to mind. I know there must be a bunch I'm not thinking of.
Brett Favre.  
Section331 : 2/23/2021 10:06 am : link
2nd round pick by the Falcons who wore out his welcome by partying and not preparing properly. GB traded for him, and the rest is history.
Kurt Warner  
KDavies : 2/23/2021 10:08 am : link
from the Arena League
Jim  
Johnny5 : 2/23/2021 10:10 am : link
Plunkett
Favre crossed my mind but wasn't sure..  
Chris684 : 2/23/2021 10:13 am : link
good one.

How about Randall Cunningham? I'm not sure of the circumstances at the end of his Eagles career. Obviously he was a very good player for them.

I would have said Michael Vick but I just don't know if his comeback was significant enough in terms of accomplishment. He was also obviously in a very low place.
RE: Jim  
Eric from BBI : Admin : 2/23/2021 10:13 am : link
In comment 15159328 Johnny5 said:
Quote:
Plunkett


This was my first reaction too.
Johnny Unitas?  
Angel Eyes : 2/23/2021 10:16 am : link
9th round draft pick in 1955, got cut by the Steelers before the season started because he was one of four quarterback on the roster and he wasn't believed smart enough to be a quarterback, picked up by the Colts in 1956, and the rest is history
Does Brees really count? He had a good year in SD before they let him  
Ten Ton Hammer : 2/23/2021 10:17 am : link
go, right?
Chris,  
Big Blue '56 : 2/23/2021 10:17 am : link
I believe Brees’ injury with SD was his shoulder
RE: Chris,  
Chris684 : 2/23/2021 10:18 am : link
In comment 15159338 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
I believe Brees’ injury with SD was his shoulder


You're correct. My mistake.
Not sure this was a strict definition of reclamation,  
Big Blue '56 : 2/23/2021 10:19 am : link
but SF thought Tittle was too old and toast when they traded him to us
RE: Jim  
Jimmy Googs : 2/23/2021 10:20 am : link
In comment 15159328 Johnny5 said:
Quote:
Plunkett


One of the best comebacks...nice job here Johnny
Steve Young didn't set  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 2/23/2021 10:24 am : link
the world on fire in Tampa.
Earl Morrall  
Mark in ATL : 2/23/2021 10:27 am : link
Not sure if he meets the criteria but Earl has quite the biography. Replaced a hurt Griese during the Dolphins perfect season, former Giants QB, played 21 years in the NFL, part-time punter, and played in the baseball college WS at Michigan State.
RE: Jim  
steve in ky : 2/23/2021 10:29 am : link
In comment 15159328 Johnny5 said:
Quote:
Plunkett


I was going to post this if nobody else did.
Phil Simms was down and out there  
Jimmy Googs : 2/23/2021 10:30 am : link
for a bit too.

And he wound up going to Disneyland...
RE: Earl Morrall  
Section331 : 2/23/2021 10:34 am : link
In comment 15159351 Mark in ATL said:
Quote:
Not sure if he meets the criteria but Earl has quite the biography. Replaced a hurt Griese during the Dolphins perfect season, former Giants QB, played 21 years in the NFL, part-time punter, and played in the baseball college WS at Michigan State.


Also led the Colts to a 13-1 record and the SB in 1968, until they lost to Namath and the Jets.
RE: Steve Young didn't set  
BelieveJJ : 2/23/2021 10:37 am : link
In comment 15159349 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:
Quote:
the world on fire in Tampa.


Young immediately came to mind, but that's Walsh's work....
Rich Gannon  
mac attack : 2/23/2021 10:37 am : link
in Oakland
Frank Gore  
upnyg : 2/23/2021 10:57 am : link
Torn up knees coming into SF. Missed time early and is still playing at 37.
RE: Frank Gore  
Big Blue '56 : 2/23/2021 10:58 am : link
In comment 15159390 upnyg said:
Quote:
Torn up knees coming into SF. Missed time early and is still playing at 37.


Gore’s not a QB
Otis Anderson  
upnyg : 2/23/2021 10:58 am : link
Stl.to Giants, then SB
Vinny Testaverde  
Danny Kanell : 2/23/2021 10:59 am : link
Had a pretty good career revitalization with the Jets.
RE: Phil Simms was down and out there  
Angel Eyes : 2/23/2021 11:00 am : link
In comment 15159357 Jimmy Googs said:
Quote:
for a bit too.

And he wound up going to Disneyland...

What changed in '84 for Simms?
RE: Jim  
Matt M. : 2/23/2021 11:01 am : link
In comment 15159328 Johnny5 said:
Quote:
Plunkett
First name that came to mind for me also.
RE: RE: Jim  
Blue21 : 2/23/2021 11:19 am : link
In comment 15159334 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
In comment 15159328 Johnny5 said:


Quote:


Plunkett



This was my first reaction too.


Me too
Brad Johnson...  
bw in dc : 2/23/2021 11:20 am : link
Buccaneers.
RE: Steve Young didn't set  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 2/23/2021 11:48 am : link
In comment 15159349 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:
Quote:
the world on fire in Tampa.


Definitely the 1st player to come to mind. He was a super talented but wild running QB with poor passing skills on one of the worst teams of all-time. He goes to one of the best teams of all-time, sits behind one of the GOATs for 4 years and learns how to be a QB from Montana and Walsh. Then goes on to have one of the best primes for a QB in NFL history where he tears up the league and masters the WCO, he even led better offenses and put up better numbers than Montana on his way to a Championship + 2 MVPs.

Randall Cunningham in 1998 with Minnesota is a good one too imo. He was another talented running QB who head a really good career for Philly but was clearly on the decline as his athleticism and speed were no longer what they used to be. He then gets to play with Randy Moss and Cris Carter and absolutely tears up the league with his best passing season ever and is 1st team All Pro on one of the best offenses ever.

Rich Gannon was a fairly mediocre NFL QB who was mostly a backup for most of his career. He goes to Oakland and in his mid 30s he comes a star QB who was 1st team All Pro twice and led his team to the Super Bowl.
Lenny Dawson  
chick310 : 2/23/2021 11:55 am : link
After being a first round pick of the Steelers, he had some tough early years before finally landing in Kansas City and eventually winning a Super Bowl.



has to be Jim Plunkett  
Victor in CT : 2/23/2021 12:07 pm : link
he was shell shocked physical wreck after NE and SF.
Warren Moon  
pjcas18 : 2/23/2021 12:14 pm : link
should be in this discussion (apologies if I missed him)



RE: Warren Moon  
Matt M. : 2/23/2021 12:16 pm : link
In comment 15159516 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
should be in this discussion (apologies if I missed him)


Agreed. He is often overlooked. He was one of the very best of his era when he settled in with Houston and ultimately turned into an all time great. He is underrated, in my opinion. That has more to do with how the teams he was on were designed, than him as a QB.
RE: Kurt Warner  
trueblueinpw : 2/23/2021 12:17 pm : link
In comment 15159325 KDavies said:
Quote:
from the Arena League


Agree. At least in my time watching football, there’s no one really close. I think I’m going with Kerry Collins number two.
Maybe it's semantics  
Matt M. : 2/23/2021 12:25 pm : link
But, I view Warner as less of a reclamation project and more of a Cinderella or came out of nowhere story. He wasn't a big prospect at any time. He wasn't big on the draft radar. He was a throw in to the roster one year and that happened to be the year their QB went down.
Brees had a good season during his last year in San Diego  
Bear vs Shark : 2/23/2021 12:38 pm : link
I don't think anyone thought he'd ascend to become an all time great at the time, but I think he's categorically different than Collins, Tannehill, or someone like Rich Gannon (though maybe Gannon doesn't even count - he was a career backup for a while before starting, right? Seems different than someone who was a starter, fell off, and then came back to a high level).
RE: Brees had a good season during his last year in San Diego  
Angel Eyes : 2/23/2021 12:53 pm : link
In comment 15159553 Bear vs Shark said:
Quote:
I don't think anyone thought he'd ascend to become an all time great at the time, but I think he's categorically different than Collins, Tannehill, or someone like Rich Gannon (though maybe Gannon doesn't even count - he was a career backup for a while before starting, right? Seems different than someone who was a starter, fell off, and then came back to a high level).

Maybe Warner in his last three years with Arizona would count? Three solid seasons, including two trips to the postseason and a Super Bowl appearance.
The obvious choice is Brees  
Jay on the Island : 2/23/2021 1:09 pm : link
But some other candidates are Warner, Moon, Rich Gannon.
RE: RE: Phil Simms was down and out there  
mfsd : 2/23/2021 1:21 pm : link
In comment 15159397 Angel Eyes said:
Quote:
In comment 15159357 Jimmy Googs said:


Quote:


for a bit too.

And he wound up going to Disneyland...


What changed in '84 for Simms?


He finally stayed healthy

Can you imagine if BBI was around when Simms was drafted and in his early years? We’ve got people starting threads crying about silly things like why we haven’t cut Tate yet this offseason.

It took Simms 6 years to play a full 16 games and hit his stride with the Giants, many BBI posters would have lost their shit about him back then
Warren Moon  
JohnB : 2/23/2021 1:59 pm : link
6 years in the CFL before making to the NFL. 6 years! 5 of them he won the Grey Cup. Now he's in the HoF.
Tom Brady  
UConn4523 : 2/23/2021 2:01 pm : link
.
RE: RE: RE: Phil Simms was down and out there  
Ten Ton Hammer : 2/23/2021 2:04 pm : link
In comment 15159587 mfsd said:
Quote:
In comment 15159397 Angel Eyes said:


Quote:


In comment 15159357 Jimmy Googs said:


Quote:


for a bit too.

And he wound up going to Disneyland...


What changed in '84 for Simms?



He finally stayed healthy

Can you imagine if BBI was around when Simms was drafted and in his early years? We’ve got people starting threads crying about silly things like why we haven’t cut Tate yet this offseason.

It took Simms 6 years to play a full 16 games and hit his stride with the Giants, many BBI posters would have lost their shit about him back then


Kinda goes without saying that the world is different now. How did people get their Giants coverage back then? Some magazine articles a few times a year, local news, and then in-season on gamedays.

Now it's all day every day. When you get bashed over the head with content you find things to complain about.



Kerry was my favorite GIANT during his era...  
Grey Pilgrim : 2/23/2021 2:05 pm : link
Good Times!
Depends on what you mean by reclamation.  
81_Great_Dane : 2/23/2021 7:25 pm : link
Unheralded underdogs: Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, John Unitas.

Failed and came back: Plunkett, Collins, Young. Young's bottom wasn't as low as Plunkett's or Collins's.

Starter back from injury: Brees for sure. Simms qualifies. But I don't think either was exactly a "reclamation project." Brees and the Chargers had unfortunate timing. He'd been meh at first there, the light finally went on, and then he got hurt. Simms kept getting hurt and missing big chunks of games. (If BBI had existed then, the label "china doll" would have been applied to him many, many times. One of the toughest guys you'd ever see at QB.)

Never-was to star: Guys like Rich Gannon, Steve DeBerg, who looked like career backups then suddenly jumped to another level with the right team/coach/system.

Does Sonny Jorgensen count or  
St. Jimmy : 2/23/2021 8:12 pm : link
was that just a bad trade?
I don't think Brees counts. He was into his own last two years in SD  
BH28 : 2/23/2021 11:18 pm : link
The issue was (and the give Daniel Jones more time crowd will like this) is the chargers drafted eli/Rivers after two bad years by Brees. But in 2004 and 2005 he was the Brees we know.

The shoulder injury and rivers arrival led to him leaving SD
RE: Depends on what you mean by reclamation.  
Angel Eyes : 2/24/2021 10:05 am : link
In comment 15159950 81_Great_Dane said:
Quote:
Unheralded underdogs: Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, John Unitas.

Failed and came back: Plunkett, Collins, Young. Young's bottom wasn't as low as Plunkett's or Collins's.

Starter back from injury: Brees for sure. Simms qualifies. But I don't think either was exactly a "reclamation project." Brees and the Chargers had unfortunate timing. He'd been meh at first there, the light finally went on, and then he got hurt. Simms kept getting hurt and missing big chunks of games. (If BBI had existed then, the label "china doll" would have been applied to him many, many times. One of the toughest guys you'd ever see at QB.)

Never-was to star: Guys like Rich Gannon, Steve DeBerg, who looked like career backups then suddenly jumped to another level with the right team/coach/system.

Late-career Warner could fall into the second category. He was injured in 2002 (broken fingers), was benched in 2003, lost his starting job to Eli in 2004, and split time in Arizona between Josh McCown and Matt Leinart. Leinart was ineffective in 2007, so Warner came off the bench and had three strong years (2007-2009) before retiring.
Back to the Corner