On April 23, 1994 the Redskins drafted Heath Shuler as their quarterback of the future with the 3rd overall pick. As an afterthought to most fans, the Redskins would select a little known quarterback from Tulsa named Gus Frerotte in the 7th round. Exactly 6 months from this date a true quarterback controversy was born.
Shuler held out all of pre-season and training camp before securing a $19 million dollar contract. In the meantime, Frerotte was busy learning the offense while the starting quarterback position was handed to veteran John Friesz. Shuler wouldn’t get his first start of the season until game 5 and would start 3 games before getting injured. During his 3 starts Shuler would complete just 35% of his passes while throwing 7 INT’s.
Enter Gus Frerotte. Making his first NFL appearance the Redskins found themselves down 17-3 in the 2nd quarter when the legend of “In Gus We Trust” was born. Frerotte would throw 2 TD’s and lead the Skins to 24 unanswered points over the next 2 quarters on the way to a 41-27 win in Indianapolis.
Frerotte finished with 226 yards passing, 2 TD’s and no picks. Henry Ellard led the team in receiving catching 6 balls for 108 yards. Ricky Ervins carried the rock 27 times for 90 yards and 2 TD’s. Defensively the Redskins were led by Ken Harvey’s 2 sacks, a sack by Sterling Palmer and an interception return for a touchdown by Andre Collins.
The Colts were paced on offense by current 49er’s head coach Jim Harbaugh, who would pass for 186 yards and 2 TD’s. Rookie running back and future Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk rushed for 86 yards and added 127 yards receiving while scoring an 85 yard TD.
The quarterback “controversy” would last a little more than a season. By the end of 1995 Frerotte was entrenched as the Redskins starter. Shuler’s last pass for the Redskins would come in that 1995 season and he was out of football after 97‘. Frerotte would go on to play 15 seasons in the NFL and was a Pro Bowler for the Redskins in 1996.
Cheers and Hail