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John from Riverside

For those of us who were not alive to see it, how did the class of '83 look out of the gate?

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19 minutes ago, NoHuddleKelly12 said:

Marino, Kelly, Montana, Hostetler, 

That’s an insult to the HoFers. 

 

A career backup lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. 

 

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I remember the QB who was under the most scrutiny was Elway because of how he forced the trade from the Baltimore Colts. He struggled with short passes early because he lacked proper touch....he learned as the season went on.

 

Marino was a stud when he took over, his first pro start was against the Bills in the old Orange Bowl, a game the Bills won in OT, their first win there since the 60s. He was out dueled by Joe Ferguson that day, but you could tell he was going to be something special.

 

Ken O'Brien rode the bench that year behind Richard Todd with the Jets and managed to get in some trouble during the season with a nightclub incident. 

 

We know that Kelly wasn't here for 3 years.

 

For some reason I have almost zero memories of Todd Blackledge, no shock considering he was the bust of that draft.

 

As someone else mentioned, Tony Eason didn't start right away either, but around 85-88 he and Boomer was among the top QBs in the AFC. I remember he was considered a reach at the time of the draft.

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, ShadyBillsFan said:

That’s an insult to the HoFers. 

 

A career backup lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. 

 

Dang, I knew I should have gone with Scott Zolak instead 🤪

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Kelly's story is just fantastic. I love the stuff about him saying he "sure as hell" didn't want to play in Buffalo. And then the interview when he played in the USFL and said, "would you rather be in Houston or Buffalo?" before laughing with the interviewer. 

 

Bills fans, especially those living in Buffalo, must have just hated him then. And then he finally agrees to play, plays brilliantly, falls in love with the city, goes to 4 Super Bowls and raises his family there. 

 

It's just great.

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2 hours ago, Johnny Hammersticks said:

Don’t know yet.  Mixed bag from Darnold and Allen.  Baker Mayfield has played one good game.  Rosen played 4 minutes and looked okay.  LJ is at best a gadget player at this point.  We’ll see.  ‘83 was a pretty good class.

I agree overall, but Rosen didn't look okay. He's got a REALLY weak arm. He was the guy I wanted out of this class so I'd love to see him fail.

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This thread got me interested so I've just looked up first round QBs by year since 83 (since this is my era). There were no first rounders in 84 or 85 so let's start with 86:

 

Jim (or Chris...) Everett

Chuck Long (I remember this guy - had no idea he was picked 12th overall)

 

87

Kelly Stouffer

Chris Miller

Jim Harbaugh (had no idea he was taken in the first, either)

 

88

None

 

89

Troy Aikmen

 

90

Jeff George

Andre Ware

 

91

Dan McGwire

Todd Marinovich

 

92

David Klingler

Tommy Maddox

 

93

Drew Bledsoe

Rick Mirer

 

94

Heath Shuler

Trent Dilfer

 

95

Steve McNair

Kerry Collins

 

96

None

 

97

Jim Drunkenmiller

 

98

Peyton Manning

Ryan Leaf

 

99

Tim Couch

Donovan McNabb

Akili Smith

Daunte Culpepper

Cade McNown

 

2000

Chad Pennington

 

 

01

Michael Vick

 

02

David Carr

Joey Harrington

Patrick Ramsey

 

03

Carson Palmer

Byron Leftwich

Kyle Boller

Rex Grossman

 

04

Manning

Rivers

Big Ben

JP Losman (ouch!)

 

05

Alex Smith

Aaron Rodgers

Jason Campbell

 

06

Vince Young

Matt leinart

Jay Cutler

 

07

Jamarcus Russell

Brady Quinn

 

 

08

Matt Ryan

Joe Flacco

 

09

Matt Stafford

Mark Sanchez

 

 

10

Sam Bradford

Tim Tebow

 

11

Cam Newton

Jake Locker

Blaine Gabbert

Christian Ponder

 

12

Andrew Luck

Robert Griffin

Ryan Tannehill

Brandon Weedon

 

13

EJ Manuel (OOOOOUUUUCH!)

 

14

Blake Bortles

Johnny Manziel

Teddy Bridgewater

 

15

Jameis Winston

Marcus Mariota

 

16

Jared Goff

Carson Wentz

Paxton lynch

 

17

Mitchell Trubisky

Patrick Mahomes

Deshaun Watson

 

 

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2 hours ago, Skins Malone said:

Well it certainly could turn into something special.  I still wonder about Rosen.  Idk why really but he is the one a wonder about the most.  I just dont see any fire.  He has that Jay Cutler type demeanor to me.  But he could be great who knows.

 

If it does turned into something truly special the Bill's were part of it again...just like we were in the Kelly draft.

 

There was an interesting observation made on NFL Primetime this week by one of their crew:  when Baker Mayfield entered their last game, his teammates and the crowd were fired up.  When Rosen entered the Arizona game, meh.

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6 hours ago, matter2003 said:

Kelly was in the USFL for 3 years and lit it up.

 

Actually, Kelly spent his first TWO seasons in the USFL. It folded before it's 3rd season. That's when Kelly joined the Bills. Kelly's 1st couple years with the Bills were nothing special either actually. Statistically, Kelly's best two back to back seasons here were in 1990 and 1991. He always seemed to throw a lot of Int's. That's where it helped having Thurman Thomas running the ball! But they did go to the 4 straight Super Bowls... Marino was very good and could almost beat you single handedly. Buffalo had the better overall team though. Bruce Smith was always the big difference on defense. The Bills always had some of their best games playing against the Dolphins.

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24 minutes ago, DefenseWins said:

 

Actually, Kelly spent his first TWO seasons in the USFL. It folded before it's 3rd season. That's when Kelly joined the Bills. Kelly's 1st couple years with the Bills were nothing special either actually. Statistically, Kelly's best two back to back seasons here were in 1990 and 1991. He always seemed to throw a lot of Int's. That's where it helped having Thurman Thomas running the ball! But they did go to the 4 straight Super Bowls... Marino was very good and could almost beat you single handedly. Buffalo had the better overall team though. Bruce Smith was always the big difference on defense. The Bills always had some of their best games playing against the Dolphins.

Kelly played really well in the USFL as well, he and Steve Young played what anyone who ever watched it claims to be the best game of football ever played. 

 

The best game never seen, I think they called it. Kelly eeked our the win in the end. 

 

EDIT: “greatest game no one saw.” 

Edited by Bobby Hooks
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6 hours ago, Gordio said:

 

 

Agreed, tough to beat the class of 83.  You had 3 first ballot HOFers & you also had Ken Obrien, who had a pretty dam good career but doesn't get the credit since he is always compared to the other 3.  Blackledge & Eason sucked imo.

 

Eason was never the same after facing the '85 Bears in the Super Bowl.

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The original question was how the rookie class of 83 looked in 83.  Marino was a stud his rookie year.  Elastic struggled a bit but you could tell he was going to be good.   The others didn't play much.

 

Different times now with all these kids playing early.   But to say this class is better than a class with 3 HOFers is premature to say the least.

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8 hours ago, John from Riverside said:

All of the first rounders except for Baltimore are all starting before mid season is even here...........

 

I realize that this will not be fully know for a few years......but does this look like the greatest QB draft ever?

Elway starting but not playing well, Marino backing up and threw two TD's in mop up role, Blackledge backing up and not playing, O'Brien backing up Richard Todd,  Tony Eason backing up Steve Grogan, Kelly lighting it up for USFL Houston Gamblers

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8 hours ago, BillsEnthusiast said:

This thread stems from the thread asking if this was already the greatest QB class ever. I was not alive in 1983, and I was wondering how some of the quarterbacks looked right out of the gate. I won't count Kelly because of the whole Houston Gamblers thing. But, how did guys like Ken O'Brien or Todd Blackledge look? Did Elway and Marino look like world-beaters from the start? I know Marino sat for a few games, but Elway started immediately. 

Elway was bigger than life to start. Marino was close to bigger than life. Remember that stats were different back then. QBs didnt go 20 for 25.The WRs got roughed up.Dinks and dunks were rare.You could see they were both gonna be great early.O'Brien started slow but you could see the good arm.He didnt have the quickness or vision that Elway and Marino had.Obvious from the beginning.--I would guess the 18 QB class wont match up to 83....-But Goff and Wenz '17---we shall see.

 

I see a similarity in swagger between Allen and kelly. Kelly way more accurate arm and better QB smarts.Allen better athlete. Both with the sports healthy'im superior' attitude

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9 hours ago, Johnny Hammersticks said:

Don’t know yet.  Mixed bag from Darnold and Allen.  Baker Mayfield has played one good game.  Rosen played 4 minutes and looked okay.  LJ is at best a gadget player at this point.  We’ll see.  ‘83 was a pretty good class.

 

 

Darnold played well in game one after a pick six on his first throw, but has not looked great in weeks 2 or 3.  I think McCown would give them a better chance to win, but Darnold needs the snaps to grow.

 

Allen looked shaky in Baltimore and the first half against LA, but he showed steady improvement in the second half and against Minn.  Needs to keep getting better.

 

Mayfield played 2.5 quarters and looked excellent against a Jet team that was prepared for TT.  I did not see much adjust from NY and Mayfield picked them apart with throws to spots TT can not (will not) usually throw to.  I look forward to seeing him against teams that game plan for him.

 

Rosen played about 4 minutes and I was very unimpressed.  He threw a pick and a pick six that a penalty wiped out.  It was a no win situation, but he looked no better than Bradford and I thought many of his passes lacked some zip to get where they needed to go.

 

I agree 83 was a good class, but it is way to early for comparisons at this point.  Heck Kelly was not even in the NFL because of the USFL - so very hard to judge.

Edited by Rochesterfan

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9 hours ago, Skins Malone said:

Well it certainly could turn into something special.  I still wonder about Rosen.  Idk why really but he is the one a wonder about the most.  I just dont see any fire.  He has that Jay Cutler type demeanor to me.  But he could be great who knows.

 

If it does turned into something truly special the Bill's were part of it again...just like we were in the Kelly draft.

The 4 minute or so that he has played were lacking in fire, huh?

 

 

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9 hours ago, BillsEnthusiast said:

This thread stems from the thread asking if this was already the greatest QB class ever. I was not alive in 1983, and I was wondering how some of the quarterbacks looked right out of the gate. I won't count Kelly because of the whole Houston Gamblers thing. But, how did guys like Ken O'Brien or Todd Blackledge look? Did Elway and Marino look like world-beaters from the start? I know Marino sat for a few games, but Elway started immediately. 

Well I’ve been aBroncos fan for a long time but I was only 12 when Elway was drafted. I can tell you that he was pretty bad. He was also drafted that year by the New York Yankees ( he was that good at baseball too). It got so bad for him that he contemplated leaving football for a baseball career. He was better his second year but still struggled. What saved Elway were the comebacks. He would suck for 57 minutes and then have this ridiculous comeback. In his defense he didn’t have a lot of talent around him but it seemed to click in his 3rd year and the rest is history. 

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9 hours ago, mead107 said:

I’m to old to remember.  Over 35 years ago. 🤔

Nothing is grabbing me.  

 

Is this meant to be funny?

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It looks like most of you are either too young or didn't follow the USFL.  Kelly played 2 of the 3 USFL seasons.  He didn't sign in time to play the 1st season and ended up signing with the expansion Houston Gamblers.  He played for the Gamblers both of their 2 seasons.  He lit it up but took a lot of sacks running the run and shoot offense.  I'll give you an example of Kelly's toughness even in the USFL:  I was listening to a NJ Generals/Gamblers game (I was living in the NY metro area in the 3 USFL seasons) on my way home from Queens to Suffolk County.  In the 1st half Kelly went out with a knee injury.  The announcers were feeling bad for Houston because they speculated that Kelly would be lost for weeks.  The 2nd half starts and to the announcers amazement Kelly returns to the game. That was my introduction to the toughness of Jim Kelly.    

After the 3rd USFL season in spring 1985 it was announced there would be a move to the fall in  1986. One aspect of that move was the merger of Houston into the Generals.  The Generals already had Doug Flutie at QB but everyone knew Kelly would be the Generals QB .  The Generals actually had a camp where Flutie and Kelly were shown in photos throwing side by side. After the league ended up with the $3 verdict the league eventually suspended operations letting the p!ayers go to the NFL.  By that time a number had already left for the NFL with some leaving after the spring of 1985 and playing the fall 1985 NFL season.  The suspension eventually became the folding of the USFL.

 

 

Edited by Albany,n.y.

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As long as Allen becomes a Hall of Famer is all that I care about.

 

 

 

Edited by Buffalo Barbarian

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Marino was great. Elway was terrible. Blackledge even worse - could not even beat out a journeyman QB.  I think Eason sat behind Grogan most of the year. O’Brien sat behind Todd.  Eason had a few good seasons, O’Brien too. Elway got better.

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14 hours ago, John from Riverside said:

All of the first rounders except for Baltimore are all starting before mid season is even here...........

 

I realize that this will not be fully know for a few years......but does this look like the greatest QB draft ever?

 

There was 3 HOF QB's in that draft (Elway.Marino, Kelly), this class would have to produce 4 HOF QB's, the odds are unlikely but not impossible. 

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8 hours ago, Bobby Hooks said:

Kelly played really well in the USFL as well, he and Steve Young played what anyone who ever watched it claims to be the best game of football ever played. 

 

The best game never seen, I think they called it. Kelly eeked our the win in the end. 

 

EDIT: “greatest game no one saw.” 

 

And the two QB's (Kelly and Steve Young) later had the famous "No Punt" game out in San Francisco in 1992 (9-13-92)

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8 hours ago, Bobby Hooks said:

Kelly played really well in the USFL as well, he and Steve Young played what anyone who ever watched it claims to be the best game of football ever played. 

 

The best game never seen, I think they called it. Kelly eeked our the win in the end. 

 

EDIT: “greatest game no one saw.” 

 

 

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17 hours ago, C.Biscuit97 said:

Strongly disagree.  3 games is a strong sample size.  This is the best qb class ever and I don’t think it’s close. 

 

...according to the TBD Rules Book, three games defines a career for analytical purposes......................

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17 hours ago, Sky Diver said:

 

Rosen isn’t very mobile and he doesn’t throw well while on the move.

 

Plus he has that saban voodoo hex on him

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