We’ve long clamored for the opportunity to show folks that the Black QB is more than a dual-threat, run-first option at the helm.
From the days of Fritz Pollard, the first Black signal-caller to play in the NFL in 1923, to today’s elite starters (Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, LaMar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott) playing the position is an arduous journey and the Black quarterback is always looking over his shoulder and facing criticism. Or being forced into a box.
There have been 7 Black QBs to start a Super Bowl (Doug Williams, Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Patrick Mahomes), with Dougie Fresh being the first to start and win the penultimate game in 1987 as the backup for the then Washington Redskins.
They were calling him “Touch Of Class” around the DC area after his MVP performance. “Steve Air McNair” of small school fame (Alcorn St), got the Titans within a yard of tying the SB in regulation in 1999.
Donovan McNabb and Warren Moon are probably the most accomplished as far as stats go, but Moon’s defense failed him on several occasions and McNabb came up short in his only SB appearance in 2004. Colin Kaepernick was a fade pattern away from winning one as the backup who got the job following an Alex Smith injury and never relinquished it in 2012.
Russell Wilson became the second Black QB to win a title in 2013 and if not for his sheisty coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle suits not wanting Marshawn “I’m About That Action Boss and “I’m Only Here So I Don’t Get Fined” Lynch to win MVP in 2014, Russ would have two rings.
Cam Newton led the Panthers to the big game in 2015, but the team didn’t play well. It was Peyton Manning being carried to his second Super Bowl win by one of the all-time great playoff defenses.
Finally, this guy named Patrick Mahomes Jr. — the guy who many said wouldn’t last because QBs from Texas Tech and the BIG 12 usually don’t — took the NFL by storm winning an MVP and Super Bowl in his first three seasons. His SB comeback against the San Fran 49ers was one for the ages.
In today’s NFL, there are 5 very unique and gifted Black QBs leading the way with a variety of distinguishable skills.
1. Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes is the first player in history to win an MVP and a Super Bowl MVP before the age of 25. His composure and confidence to make any play on the field with his elite arm, athleticism, and IQ, as well as his ability to buy time with his legs.
We can’t forget his no-look and left-handed passes where he incorporates his baseball acumen into his football style. I often hear folks saying he’s only doing this because he has the best play-calling minds in the league in Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy dialing it up for him.
These people know not what they speak.
It takes a maestro to run an offense as complex as Reid’s and Mahomes doesn’t miss a beat. He’s straight Chris Brown on the dance floor with it. I’m so intrigued when watching him lead the Chiefs, and I often forget he’s human when he throws an incompletion or interception. But he’s the gold standard at the position in the league for any race of QB. He’s also the highest paid in the league at his position and has an ownership interest in the Kansas City Royals.
2. Russell Wilson
Dangeruss AKA “The Humble Vet” has unfathomably never received one MVP vote. That will change this season. It’s time for him to get his due. All he’s done is lead Seattle to the playoffs 7 of the 8 years he’s been in the league and they’ve been a legit contender for at least five of those years.
Of course, Russ is always missing one key piece or another. He finally has an explosive offense, but his defense is among the worst in the NFL. He’s still 5-0 this season. Being married to Ciara is just the icing on the cake.
3. Lamar Jackson
Here’s the one that just makes me smile. His name is Lamar Jackson. As the 2018 NFL Draft approached all I remember hearing is that he should change positions. Don’t tell that to former Ravens GM and NFL Hall Of Famer Ozzie Newsome, who in his last draft before retiring, drafted Jackson after being told he wouldn’t pan out. Many a moronic analyst and prognosticator said he was too short (6’3) and can’t throw.
All the 2016 Heisman trophy winner out of Louisville did was lead the league with 36 TD Passes and win MVP.
Jackson’s MVP put him in elite company as just the fourth Black QB to win the award along with McNair (2003), Cam (2015) and Mahomes (2018).
In 2019, LJ obliterated every defense he faced as the featured weapon in Greg Roman’s very unique offensive scheme, designed to accentuate what Jackson does best.
LaMar’s still playing on his rookie deal but a huge extension is imminent as the “Charm City” Ravens have their signal-caller for years to come.
4. Deshaun Watson:
This list of superb pigskin pushers isn’t complete without the guy who shredded a star-studded Alabama squad loaded with future pros in back-to-back title games. Watson leads a Texans team in complete disarray following the horrible leadership of the recently fired Bill OBrien.
Watson, fortunately, has been the one undeniably incredible constant in H-Town since he passed over in the draft for Mitchell Trubisky and eventually inserted as the QB. He’s cerebral and tough as nails and third in the NFL in passing yardage this season with 1,786. The former Clemson stud can make every throw and is still very elusive. Watson lost DeAndre Hopkins and still signed a long-term deal so he’s committed to the process. It’s my hope they bring in a guy like Eric Bienemy and let him work with and continue to harness and develop Watson the way he’s done with Mahomes in KC. Watson has all the tools. Watson just needs the right coaching, more weapons and the perfect system for his talents.
5. Dak Prescott
Last but not least I give you Rayne Dakota Prescott AKA DAK — a guy who played in an offense run by Dan Mullen at Mississippi State.
Why is this important you ask?
Let me break it down for you. Mullen was also the OC in Florida under Urban Meyer when they won two titles with Tim Tebow as their QB. So for Dak to turn himself into an elite signal-caller and passer is nothing short of amazing.
Only Tom Brady has more wins than Dak’s 42 as a starter since 2016. But for some reason, Jerry Jones and Dallas fronted on giving Dak the extension he wanted. Playing as a lame duck QB, Dak was breaking passing records until he suffered a gruesome compound fracture and ankle dislocation that will keep him sidelined for 4-6 months at the very least.
It’s a sad situation considering how fast The Jones Family was willing to take care of Tony Romo when he was due a contract, despite his many shortcomings. With DAK sidelined, Dallas got thumped 38-10 on Monday night by a very solid Cardinals team led by another talented Black signal-caller named Kyler Murray. Dak still leads the NFL in passing yardage this season with 1,856.
I didn’t add Kyler Murray to the list just yet, but he’s on his way. The other guys have just been doing it longer. But the former Oklahoma QB is dynamic and explosive.
Cam Newton started the season very strong and then he got COVID-19 and didn’t look his best in a Sunday loss to Denver. Cam is still working out kinks.
I love what Teddy Bridgewater aka “Teddys Jam” is doing in Carolina as well after his catastrophic knee injury.
Mahomes, Watson, and Wilson are the three highest-paid at the position and top 3 highest-paid players in the NFL.
I love the fact that all of these quarterbacks have different styles. They aren’t just dual-threat. They’re so much more than that on and off the field. It’s great to see that society is finally accepting of African-American quarterbacks being the face of a corporate franchise. Now, organizations need to allow them the same development time and margin for error afforded to their white counterparts.
All these guys do is give you all they have WEEKLY while WINNING and that should be good enough.