Top 10: Redskins Quarterbacks in Franchise History

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

These guys are the top 10 quarterbacks of Redskins Franchise history. There are plenty of great players to pick from in the 80 year old franchise, but picking the top 10 quarterbacks is a bit tricky considering you want franchise quarterbacks to play for at least 10 years. But these guys are my top 10.

10. Todd Collins

Oh yeah, this list starts off strong. Todd Collins doesn’t exactly sound like a top ten quarterback in franchise history, but the list gets a bit thin after the top seven. Todd Collins is dear in my heart after he stepped in for the injured (and unranked I may add) Jason Campbell during the end of the 2007 season. It was an emotional season after the passing of Sean Taylor and Collins lead the Redskins to a miraculous playoff appearance. Todd Collins was playing out of his mind until the playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, where he played well in my opinion, just not amazingly well. Collins may have only started 3 regular season games and 1 playoff game for the redskins, but he played better in 4 games then many Redskins quarterbacks managed to do over years.

9. Gus Ferotte

If you thought we would get through a list without saying "In Gus We Trust," you were mistaken. Gus wasn’t technically a franchise quarterback either (I know many who argue he could have been), but he did make the stinging mistake of Heath Shuler tolerable. In the 1994 draft, the Redskins Selected Heath Shuler with the third overall pick and they selected Gus Ferrotte in the 7th round. Gus ended up being the starter for the Redskins (after Shuler was so awful) until 1998. Gus is likely most remembered for hurting his neck after he rammed his head into a padded wall on Sunday Night Football in 1997 against the Giants. I would be lying if I said that did not help him come in at number nine on the list.

8. Mark Brunell

We continue the list with "non-franchise" quarterbacks at the number 8 spot. Mark Brunell was an effective quarterback for the Redskins from 2004-2007, but he lost his starting job in favor to Jason Campbell during the 2007 season. Brunell was the captain of an "okay" redskins roster coached by Joe Gibbs. Brunell had some great comeback games against the division rivals and even set the Redskins record for passer rating in a single game. I have some fond memories of Brunell games, and he was a very Joe Gibbs kind of quarterback. This list is filled with Joe Gibbs kind of quarterbacks, and Brunell Deserves to be on it.

7. Billy Kilmer

Ah, Billy Kilmer, a very fascinating quarterback. At least we have finally gotten to a franchise quarterback on the list. While Kilmer was not exactly a "pretty passer," he certainly won a lot of games under George Allen. He was the "blood and guts" kind of quarterback George Allen liked. The Redskins had spectacular records while he was under center and a Super Bowl appearance. The Redskins unfortunately lost to Don Shula’s 14-0 Dolphins in Kilmer’s Super Bowl appearance. Kilmer had two all-pro selections during his time with the Redskins and is currently in the Washington Redskins Ring of Fame. Kilmer also rocked the single bar facemask for his entire career, so he definitely gets some style points on that one.

6. Robert Griffin III

I know what some of you are thinking. It is one of two things. One, "ARE YOU INSANE, DID YOU SEE THIS SEASON? HE SHOULD BE WAY HIGHER!" Option two, "ARE YOU INSANE, DID YOU SEE THIS SEASON? HE SHOULD NOT BE ABOVE BILLY!" While 6 might be a bit high for a guy who has only played one season, I have a hard time saying Billy is a better Quarterback then RG3. Robert is an exceptional passer. While he is still young and did not have to go past his first reads on plays this season, Robert is "the guy." This season, RG3 had a 20-5 touchdown to interception ratio, 3,200 passing yards, 815 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, and an unheard of 102.4 passer rating. He is rookie, and he will get better. But because we only have a small sample size of his work, I cannot rank him higher then 6 on this list. However, I am very confident Robert Griffin III will work his way up to the top 3 of this list someday. I’m going to enjoy watching him do it.

5. Mark Rypien

I would say Mark Rypien is one of the most underrated Redskins quarterbacks. Rypien was the third quarterback to pilot the Redskins to a Super Bowl win during the days of Joe Gibbs and the Redskins dynasty. Rypien and the Redskins were absolutely dominant when they defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI. The team was 14-2 under Rypien during the 1991 season. Rypien threw for 3,564 yards and 28 touchdowns with 11 interceptions during the most dominant season by the Redskins in team history. Injuries caused Rypien to only lead the redskins for a six short seasons, but the former 6th round pick was very good in his time with the team. He is also the only Canadian to ever be the Super Bowl MVP. Fun fact, right?

4. Joe Thiesmann

Now this guy was a good Quarterback. Theismann was the first quarterback to lead the Redskins to a Super Bowl victory under Joe Gibbs. Thiesmann had a very colorful NFL career, to say the least. He made the team originally as a punt returner, then lost a few teeth, then made two Super Bowl appearances, won one Super Bowl, and then had his leg basically ripped off by Lawrence Taylor. That’s a Viking Legend, not a quarterback’s career. Thiesmann will be remembered for many things, including his time as a sports commentator, for being a loud mouth and a bit of a diva, and as the guy on those weird prostate commercials. What I think people should remember about him is that he was a tough quarterback. He was a mobile guy, a great average passer, and a great leader that really understood the game of football.

3. Doug Williams

Doug Williams was an exceptionally talented quarterback that really shined during Super Bowl XXII. Williams was the second of the three quarterbacks to lead the Redskins to a Super Bowl victory under Joe Gibbs. Williams was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was brought into the Redskins organization as a back up quarterback to Jay Schroeder in 1986. After a quarterback controversy during the 1987 season, Williams crushed the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, while throwing for four touchdowns in one quarter. Doug Williams was also the first African American quarterback to appear in and win a Super Bowl and he is arguably one of the most historically significant quarterbacks in NFL history. While I would love to put Williams at number one, he only played for the Redskins for four years and I cannot justify putting him over the top two guys on this list.

2. Sammy Baugh

Sammy Baugh is one of the greatest football players of all time, but he comes in at number two on my list of top ten quarterbacks. As Craig Ferguson always says when he believes he just made people very angry, "I look forward to your emails." Sammy Baugh did not come in at two because of the era he played in, I have tried to judge everyone in their era when formulating this list. Sammy Baugh was a Quarterback, Safety, and Punter for the Redskins from 1937-1952. He won two NFL championships with the Redskins and he popularized the forward pass with his incredible talent. While Baugh is the best player in Redskins history, I have a hard time putting him at number one on the quarterbacks list. He was a great "gunslinger" quarterback, but no one threw like the ball like the guy that is number one on this list.

1. Sonny Jurgensen

I know my bias is showing here, but Sonny is the best Quarterback in franchise history. Sonny’s career numbers are exceptional, especially considering the era he played in was not a pass friendly era of football. His career numbers include a 255–189 touchdowns to interceptions ratio, 32,224 passing yards, and a quarterback rating of 82.6. Sonny’s skills as a passer are breathtaking. Seriously, google his highlight reel. I could watch that guy throw a football all day. I would give anything to get a time machine to be able to go back in time and watch him play football. As Bobby Mitchell likes to say, nobody throws the ball like the "red head." When you question why Sonny is number one on this list, I just have one question to ask you. Did you ever see him play?

Best of the Rest: Jason Campbell, Jay Schroeder, and Norm Snead

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