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Encyclopedia > Earl Morrall
Earl Morrall
Date of birth May 17, 1934 (age 72)
Place of birth Flag of United States Muskegon, Michigan
Position(s) Quarterback, Punter
College Michigan State
NFL Draft 1956 / Round 1/ Pick 2
Career Highlights
Pro Bowls 2
Awards 1972 NFL Comeback P.O.Y.,
1968 AP NFL MVP,
1968 UPI MVP
Stats
Statistics
  • Pro Football Reference
  • DatabaseFootball
Team(s)
1956
1957-1958
1958-1964
1965-1967
1968-1971
1972-1976
San Francisco 49ers
Pittsburgh Steelers
Detroit Lions
New York Giants
Baltimore Colts
Miami Dolphins

Earl Edwin Morrall (born May 17, 1934, in Muskegon, Michigan) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. Morrall, who also occasionally punted, lasted 21 seasons in the National Football League as both a starter and reserve. In the latter capacity, he earned something of a back-handed compliment: the greatest backup quarterback in NFL history. Morrall made Pro Bowl appearances following the 1957 and 1968 seasons. May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_States. ... Muskegon is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... In American football, each team has 11 players on the field at one time. ... Navy quarterback Aaron Polanco sets up to throw. ... The word punter may refer to: Someone who uses a Punt (boat). ... This is a list of athletic conferences of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). ... Michigan State University (MSU) is a public university in East Lansing, Michigan. ... The NFL Draft (officially the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting) is an annual sports draft in which National Football League (NFL) teams take turns selecting amateur college American football players and other first-time eligible players. ... The 1956 NFL Draft was held on November 29, 1955. ... The Pro Bowl is the National Football Leagues all-star game. ... The NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award has been given out after every season since 1972, except for 1985 when no winner was selected. ... The NFL Most Valuable Player Award is given by various entities, most notably the Associated Press, to the player who has contributed the most to the success of the players team. ... UPI Most Valuable ... City San Francisco, California Other nicknames Niners, The Red And Gold, Bay Bombers Team colors Cardinal red, metallic gold and black Head Coach Mike Nolan Owner Denise DeBartolo York and John York General manager none Mascot Sourdough Sam League/Conference affiliations All-America Football Conference (1946-1949) Western Division (1946... City Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Team colors Black and Gold Head Coach Mike Tomlin Owner Dan Rooney General manager Kevin Colbert League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1993–present) Eastern Division (1933–1943; 1945–1949) Western Division (1944) American Conference (1950–1952) Eastern Conference (1953–1969) Century Division (1967–1969) American Football... City Detroit, Michigan Team colors Honolulu Blue, Silver, and Black Head Coach Rod Marinelli Owner William Clay Ford, Sr. ... City East Rutherford, New Jersey Other nicknames Big Blue Wrecking Crew, Big Blue, G-Men, The Jints, The New York Football Giants Team colors Royal Blue, Red, Gray, and White Head Coach Tom Coughlin Owner John Mara (50%) and Steve Tisch (50%) General manager Jerry Reese League/Conference affiliations National... City Indianapolis, Indiana Team colors Speed Blue and White Head Coach Tony Dungy Owner Jim Irsay General manager Bill Polian Mascot Blue League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1953–present) Western Conference (1953-1969) Coastal Division (1967-1969) American Football Conference (1970-present) AFC East (1970-2001) AFC South (2002... City Miami Gardens, Florida Other nicknames The Fins, The Fish Team colors Aqua, Coral and Navy Head Coach Cam Cameron Owner Wayne Huizenga General manager Randy Mueller Mascot T. D. League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1966-1969) Eastern Division (1966-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference... May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... Muskegon is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... Navy quarterback Aaron Polanco sets up to throw. ... For other uses of National Football League, see National Football League (disambiguation). ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ...


Pre-Professional Career

Morrall led Muskegon High School in Muskegon, Michigan, to a state football championship in 1951, setting off a determined recruiting effort by the University of Michigan, the University of Notre Dame and Michigan State University. The efforts of the colleges were enough for the principal of Muskegon High, George A. Manning, to complain that Morrall's education was suffering. Muskegon High School is a public high school located in Muskegon, Michigan. ... Muskegon is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (UM or U of M) is a coeducational public research university in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... The University of Notre Dame IPA: is a Roman Catholic institution located in Notre Dame, Indiana, immediately northeast of South Bend, Indiana, United States. ... Michigan State University (MSU) is a public university in East Lansing, Michigan. ...


Eventually choosing Michigan State, Morrall played three seasons for the Spartans, leading them to a 9-1 regular season record in 1955. He capped his senior year with a victory over the UCLA Bruins in the 1956 Rose Bowl game. 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of California, Los Angeles, generally known as UCLA, is a public university whose main campus is located in the affluent Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Rose Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game, usually played on January 1 (New Years Day) at the stadium of the same name in Pasadena, California. ...


National Football League Career

In his more than two decades on the professional gridiron, Morrall played for six different teams, starting with his rookie year in 1956 as a first-round selection by the San Francisco 49ers. On September 16, 1957, he was traded along with guard Mike Sandusky to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for linebacker Marv Matuszak and two first-round draft picks. Despite the high cost of the transaction, the Steelers traded Morrall just over a year later to the Detroit Lions in order to obtain future Hall of Famer Bobby Layne. Morrall would be with the Lions for the next six years, having his best season in 1963 by throwing for 24 touchdowns and more than 2,600 yards. The following year, he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in an October 18 contest against the Chicago Bears. Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... City San Francisco, California Other nicknames Niners, The Red And Gold, Bay Bombers Team colors Cardinal red, metallic gold and black Head Coach Mike Nolan Owner Denise DeBartolo York and John York General manager none Mascot Sourdough Sam League/Conference affiliations All-America Football Conference (1946-1949) Western Division (1946... September 16 is the 259th day of the year (260th in leap years). ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A Guard may be a person or an organisation. ... City Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Team colors Black and Gold Head Coach Mike Tomlin Owner Dan Rooney General manager Kevin Colbert League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1993–present) Eastern Division (1933–1943; 1945–1949) Western Division (1944) American Conference (1950–1952) Eastern Conference (1953–1969) Century Division (1967–1969) American Football... A linebacker is a position in American and Canadian football. ... City Detroit, Michigan Team colors Honolulu Blue, Silver, and Black Head Coach Rod Marinelli Owner William Clay Ford, Sr. ... Robert Lawrence Layne was born December 19, 1926, in Santa Ana, Texas. ... October 18 is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years). ... City Chicago, Illinois Other nicknames Da Bears, The Monsters of the Midway Team colors Navy Blue, Orange and White Head Coach Lovie Smith Owner Virginia Halas McCaskey Chairman Michael McCaskey General manager Jerry Angelo Fight song Bear Down, Chicago Bears Mascot Staley Da Bear League/Conference affiliations Independent (1919) National...


After spending the off-season rehabilitating from his injury, Morrall was dealt to the New York Giants as part of a three-team transaction on August 30, 1965. Enduring his role during the Giants' rebuilding phase, Morrall threw for 2,446 yards and 22 touchdowns that season, but found himself seeing spot duty over the course of the next two years. On August 25, 1968, he was traded to the Baltimore Colts for an undisclosed draft choice. City East Rutherford, New Jersey Other nicknames Big Blue Wrecking Crew, Big Blue, G-Men, The Jints, The New York Football Giants Team colors Royal Blue, Red, Gray, and White Head Coach Tom Coughlin Owner John Mara (50%) and Steve Tisch (50%) General manager Jerry Reese League/Conference affiliations National... August 30 is the 242nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (243rd in leap years), with 123 days remaining. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... August 25 is the 237th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (238th in leap years), with 128 days remaining. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ...


When regular Colts signal caller Johnny Unitas was injured in the final exhibition game, Morrall became the team's starter. Morrall proceeded to lead the Colts to a 13-1 record, then added two playoff victories en route to winning the NFL's Most Valuable Player award, leading the Colts into Super Bowl III. However, in one of sport's greatest upsets, the Colts lost 16-7 to the New York Jets, with a second-quarter interception of a pass by Morrall symbolizing the team's luck on the day. Wide receiver Jimmy Orr was wide open near the end zone, but Morrall's throw elsewhere was picked off to blunt the Colts' momentum. Two years later, Morrall again replaced an injured Unitas in Super Bowl V, but the occasion proved to be much happier as the Colts won 16-13 over the Dallas Cowboys on a 32-yard field goal by Jim O'Brien at the end of regulation. John Constantine Johnny Unitas (May 7, 1933 – September 11, 2002) was a professional American football player in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. ... The NFL Most Valuable Player Award is given by various entities, most notably the Associated Press, to the player who has contributed the most to the success of the players team. ... Date January 12, 1969 Stadium Miami Orange Bowl City Miami, Florida MVP Joe Namath, Quarterback Favorite Colts by 18 National anthem Anita Bryant Coin toss Tom Bell Referee Tom Bell Halftime show America Thanks with Florida A&M University Attendance 75,389 TV in the United States Network NBC Announcers... City East Rutherford, New Jersey Other nicknames Gang Green, the Green and White Team colors Green and White Head Coach Eric Mangini Owner Robert Wood Johnson IV General manager Mike Tannenbaum League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Eastern Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football... Jimmy Orr (born November 4, 1935, in Seneca, South Carolina) is a former American Football wide receiver who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Colts for 13 seasons from 1958 to 1970. ... Date January 17, 1971 Stadium Miami Orange Bowl City Miami, Florida MVP Chuck Howley, Linebacker, Cowboys Favorite Cowboys by 2 National anthem Tommy Loy (Trumpeter) Coin toss Norm Schachter Referee Norm Schachter Halftime show Florida A&M Band Attendance 79,204 TV in the United States Network NBC Announcers Curt...


On April 25, 1972, Morrall was claimed on waivers for $100 by the Miami Dolphins, reuniting him with his former Colt head coach, Don Shula, who said, "I happen to have a good memory. I remember what Earl did for me in 1968." April 25 is the 115th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (116th in leap years). ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... City Miami Gardens, Florida Other nicknames The Fins, The Fish Team colors Aqua, Coral and Navy Head Coach Cam Cameron Owner Wayne Huizenga General manager Randy Mueller Mascot T. D. League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1966-1969) Eastern Division (1966-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference... Donald Francis Shula (born January 4, 1930 in Grand River, Ohio) is a former professional football coach for the National Football League. ...


Shula's words proved prophetic when history repeated itself: Morrall replaced the injured Bob Griese for the Dolphins during the team's October 15 win over the San Diego Chargers. The victory gave Miami a 5-0 record, with Morrall building on that win to lead the team to the first undefeated regular season in the NFL since 1942. After notching a win in the team's first playoff game against the Cleveland Browns, Morrall struggled against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game, leading to the return of Griese. However, Morrall's efforts did not go unnoticed when he was named American Football Conference Player of the Year also in 1972, along with the inaugural NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Robert Allen Griese (born February 3, 1945 in Evansville, Indiana) is a former American football quarterback who earned All-American honors with the Purdue Boilermakers before being drafted in 1967 by the American Football Leagues Miami Dolphins. ... October 15 is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years). ... NFL logo For other uses of the abbreviation NFL, see NFL (disambiguation). ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... ... City Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Team colors Black and Gold Head Coach Mike Tomlin Owner Dan Rooney General manager Kevin Colbert League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1993–present) Eastern Division (1933–1943; 1945–1949) Western Division (1944) American Conference (1950–1952) Eastern Conference (1953–1969) Century Division (1967–1969) American Football... The American Football Conference (or AFC) is one of the two conferences that compose the National Football League. ... The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of the two conferences of the National Football League (NFL). ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award has been given out after every season since 1972, except for 1985 when no winner was selected. ...


Morrall would remain as a Dolphin reserve quarterback for the next four seasons before finally announcing his retirement on May 2, 1977. In those 21 seasons, Morrall was part of 255 games, completing 1,379 passes for 20,809 yards and 161 touchdowns. May 2 is the 122nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (123rd in leap years). ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ...


External links

  • Earl Morrall at pro-football-reference
  • Muskegon Area Sport Hall of Fame: Biography
Preceded by
Johnny Unitas
NFL Most Valuable Player
1968 season
Succeeded by
Roman Gabriel
Preceded by
First selection
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award
1972
Succeeded by
Roman Gabriel
NFL MVP Award from the Associated Press.
1957: Jim Brown | 1958: Gino Marchetti | 1959: Charlie Conerly | 1960: Norm Van Brocklin & Joe Schmidt| 1961: Paul Hornung | 1962: Jim Taylor | 1963: Y. A. Tittle | 1964: Johnny Unitas | 1965: Jim Brown | 1966: Bart Starr | 1967: Johnny Unitas | 1968: Earl Morrall | 1969: Roman Gabriel | 1970: John Brodie | 1971: Alan Page | 1972: Larry Brown | 1973: O. J. Simpson | 1974: Ken Stabler | 1975: Fran Tarkenton | 1976: Bert Jones | 1977: Walter Payton | 1978: Terry Bradshaw | 1979: Earl Campbell | 1980: Brian Sipe | 1981: Ken Anderson | 1982: Mark Moseley | 1983: Joe Theismann| 1984: Dan Marino | 1985: Marcus Allen | 1986: Lawrence Taylor | 1987: John Elway | 1988: Boomer Esiason | 1989: Joe Montana | 1990: Joe Montana | 1991: Thurman Thomas | 1992: Steve Young | 1993: Emmitt Smith | 1994: Steve Young | 1995: Brett Favre | 1996: Brett Favre | 1997: Brett Favre & Barry Sanders| 1998: Terrell Davis | 1999: Kurt Warner | 2000: Marshall Faulk | 2001: Kurt Warner | 2002: Rich Gannon | 2003: Peyton Manning & Steve McNair| 2004: Peyton Manning | 2005: Shaun Alexander | 2006: LaDainian Tomlinson

  Results from FactBites:
 
Earl Morrall (179 words)
Earl Morrall played for 6 teams over 21 years and was the leading force in the Miami's perfect season.
Earl is best remembered playing for the Colts and Dolphins, but some may have forgotten his years with the 49ers, Steelers, Giants and Lions.
Earl was able to hang on to only one helmet after his football days were over and that was from Detroit.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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