“I Think Our Game Has Changed Because Of Their Talents” | League-Record 14 Black Quarterbacks Start Under Center In Week 1 Of 2023 NFL Season

For the third time in four seasons the NFL saw its number of Black quarterbacks starting the season increase. From nine in 2020, then 11 in 2022, to a new league record of 14 during opening weekend of the 2023 NFL season.

Led by the usual culprits like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Jalen Hurts, Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson, there were also some rookie and second-year talents sprinkled in as well. 

With three of the top four picks of the 2023 NFL draft in Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson all getting the nod along with Atlanta Falcons second-year signal caller Desmond Ridder and Green Bay Packers 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love succeeding Aaron Rodgers, the landmark weekend is something to smile about. During Super Bowl week NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did his best to explain what the Black quarterback means to the game 

A Changing Of The Guard?

At last season’s Super Bowl which featured the first matchup of two Black starting quarterbacks, Goodell spoke about the evolution of the position, why it took so long, and how players are no longer being discouraged from playing the position. 

“There probably are a variety of reasons, none of them good,” Goodell said. “Because the reality is there’s such great talent at that position Black and white. And I think I was talking to Doug Williams about this last week, the pride that he has in seeing the advancements. … our quarterbacks in general, that’s the field general.”

“People talk about their talent and their ability to run but they are incredible leaders. They understand the offense. They run complex offenses, probably more complex than we’ve ever run in the past. And they really add such an element to the game. And I think our game has changed because of their talents. And I think the game has changed on the college level also to develop their talents earlier. And that’s true for all QBs. I just think it’s another example of where diversity makes you better.”

Fourteen Black starting quarterbacks represent a huge change as nearly half of the league’s 32 franchise’s QB1 are melanated. The aforementioned Young, Stroud and Richardson became the first time in league history the first QBs selected were Black. 

Ravens Took It Up Another Notch

Not only do the Ravens have a Black starter (Jackson), but they’re also believed to have the first all-Black quarterback room with LJ8’s backups and QB coaches all being Black. 

Thursday-Sunday was a landmark weekend 57 years in the making.

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