A quarterback, also known as the signal-caller, is positioned behind the center and is responsible for directing the team’s offensive play and calling out signals. Their leadership and direction are crucial in determining whether a team will win a football match or leave without any points. Football is predominantly played by righties, with only about 33 left-handed quarterbacks appearing in the National Football League [NFL]. Are you wondering who the left handed quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame are?
Not surprisingly, there are only two quarterbacks who have made it to the Hall of Fame. If you’re interested in knowing more them, the total number of left-handed quarterbacks in the NFL, and left-handed quarterbacks who have won the Super Bowl, keep reading!
Table of Contents
- 1 Who Are the Two Left Handed Quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame?
- 2 How Many Left Handed Quarterbacks Are in the NFL?
- 3 Current Left-Handed NFL Quarterbacks
- 4 Left-Handed Quarterbacks to Win Super Bowl
- 5 Why Are There No Left Handed Quarterbacks?
- 6 10 Best Left Handed Quarterbacks of All Time
- 7 Concluding Thoughts
Who Are the Two Left Handed Quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame?
The first left-handed quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was Steve Young, who was amongst the Class of 2005 inductees. Currently known as one of the two top-rated passers of all time, Young started his career as a professional football player in 1984.
He first played for the BYU Cougars football team, moving on to play for Los Angeles Express in the United States Football Team [USFL]. He has also played for Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League [NFL].
Moreover, he’s one of the two quarterbacks in history who have led the NFL in passing six times! During his career in the NFL, he completed a whopping 232 touchdowns for a passer rating of 96.8 and 2,667 of 4,149 passes for 33,124 yards.
The following are some other achievements from Young’s career as a professional football player:
- He won 7 Pro Bowl games.
- Young was named NFL’s Most Valuable Player twice.
- He was the Super Bowl MVP (XXIX).
- He has won three Super Bowl champion (XXIII, XXIV, XXIX).
Ken Stabler, aka The Snake, who started his football career in 1968, is the second left-handed quarterback to have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 2016 after he passed away at the age of 69.
He started his career by playing for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team and later joined Oakland Raiders for AFL/NFL and proved to be one of the greatest players by leading the team to greater heights of success during his years playing as the quarterback.
He has also played for New Orleans Saints and Houston Oilers in the NFL. In addition to this, he was also famous for throwing 194 TDs during his 184-game career and passing for 27,938 yards. The following are some of Stabler’s other achievements during his career as a professional football player:
- He received the First team All-Pro twice during his career.
- In 1974, he was named NFL’s Most Valuable Player.
- He has four wins to his name in the Pro Bowl games.
He won the Super Bowl XI championship.
How Many Left Handed Quarterbacks Are in the NFL?
Although a number of left-handed quarterbacks followed the lead of Frankie Albert, who was the first-ever left-handed quarterback to play for the NFL between 1942 and 1953, there is currently only one quarterback in the NFL who is left-handed. Since 1942, we’ve only seen 33 left-handed quarterbacks. However, despite their staggeringly low numbers, they have proved to be competent football players on the field. Almost all 33 of the left-handed quarterbacks have won titles, rings, or, at the very least, college football trophies.
Current Left-Handed NFL Quarterbacks
The only left-handed quarterback, who also played in the 2021 NFL season, is Tua Tagovailoa, who played for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team in 2017 and, in 2020, joined the Miami Dolphins football team for the NFL.
He received the Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards in 2018 as a sophomore and was also named the MVP after winning the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship. Astonishingly, Tagovailoa is right-handed outside of football.
Before Tagovailoa, between 2012 and 2017, Kellen Moore, who started off with the Boise State Broncos football team, signed with Dallas Cowboys and, later, with Detroit Lions for the NFL. With 50 wins to his name, he became the quarterback with the most wins in the NCAA Division I FBS history. He was also awarded the First-team All American twice during his time on the Boise State Broncos football team.
In 2010, there were a whopping seven left-handed football players out of the 33 who were playing as the left-handed quarterback in the NFL. The following are their names and the years they played this position:
- Michael Vick [2001-2015]
- Chris Simms [2003-2010]
- Tyler Palko [2004-2011]
- Jared Lorenzen [2004-2014]
- Matt Leinart [2006-2013]
- Pat White [2009-2014]
- Tim Tebow [2010-2015]
Left-Handed Quarterbacks to Win Super Bowl
Ken Stabler might have been the second left-handed quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he was the first left-handed quarterback to win a Super Bowl during Super Bowl XI. Following his lead, David Humm also won two Super Bowls (XI and XVIII).
Humm started his career in football when he started playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and later signed with four major NFL teams, including Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Colts, and Los Angeles Rams. In addition to this, he was also awarded the Second team All American honor and won the First team All-Big Eight in 1974, before which he was the Second team All-Big Eight in 1972.
As mentioned earlier, Steve Young, who was the first left-handed quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, also won three Super Bowls (XXIII, XXIV, and XXIX). Another left-handed quarterback, Mark Brunell, who played football between 1993 and 2011, was also named the Super Bowl XLIV Champion. Starting off with the Washington Huskies football team, Brunell played for five different NFL teams, including Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, and New York Jets. Furthermore, he also took home the 1993 Rose Bowl champion award along with three Pro Bowls. He was also a player in the Pride of the Jaguars.
Between 2012 and 2014, Jared Lorenzen also started making waves as one of the best left-handed quarterbacks to play in the Super Bowls. Although his career lasted a short tenure, he was the Super Bowl XLII champion. Additionally, he was in the Second Team All-SEC in 2002 and also had the most pass attempts and yards in Kentucky Wildcats football history.
Lorenzen started his football career as a Kentucky Wildcats football player and later signed with the following teams:
- New York Giants (NFL)
- Indianapolis Colts (NFL)
- Kentucky Horsemen (AF2)
- Northern Kentucky River Monsters (UIFL/CIFL)
- Owensboro Rage (CIFL)
Why Are There No Left Handed Quarterbacks?
Despite almost all left-handed quarterbacks in history receiving more than one award, honors, rings, and even earning election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there’s still a shortage of left-handed quarterbacks on the field.
One of the most significant reasons behind this shortage is that the offensive lines are built to accommodate right-handed players on the field, and coaches are forced to adjust their play and shift players on the rare occasion that a left-handed quarterback has joined the team. Moreover, receivers, who are also predominantly righties, find it challenging to snag and catch left-handed throws.
Coaches routinely sign with right-handed quarterbacks because it is the easier route to take, and everyone is used to playing with a righty. It has also been reported that if two players have equal ability and skill, the one who is right-handed will be picked by the coaches.
Even Tua Tagovailoa was a right-handed quarterback until his father decided to train him differently and switch him to a lefty. Most lefties would roll out to the left side of the field and find it difficult to throw to the right side of the field. Their strategy and tactics not only make it difficult for players on the field but have reportedly been called bizarre by watchers and fans as well. However, most often than not, left-handed quarterbacks are not signed or trained by coaches because they don’t want to switch their entire play to accommodate a single player. Moreover, their throws also rotate clockwise, which becomes tricky for the wide receivers. All of these reasons combined explain why left-handed quarterback players are so rare. This is quite the opposite in baseball where a lefty pitcher or lefty batter are highly prized. Even being a left-handed volleyball player or basketball player can be slightly advantageous on the court.
10 Best Left Handed Quarterbacks of All Time
The following are the ten best left-handed quarterbacks of all time:
1. Steve Young
We’ve already discussed quite a bit about Steve Young, but did you know? He was also a dynamic rusher who picked up 5.9 yards per carry across his career and also retired as the leader in completion percentage with 64.3%.
2. Boomer Esiason
Boomer Esiason, who played between 1984 and 1997 in three teams, including the Bengals, Jets, and Cardinals, was also the 1988 MVP in the NFL. He put up seven seasons with more than 3 thousand passing yards. When he was named the MVP, he made 28 touchdowns and threw for 3,572 yards.
3. Michael Vick
Playing between 2001 and 2015 with teams such as the Falcons, Eagles, Jets, and Stealers, Michael Vick made his name as one of the strongest and fastest quarterbacks of his time. He ran for 1,039 yards in 2006 and became the first quarterback to cross the 1,000 mark.
4. Ken Stabler
During the time Ken Stabler was named the MVP in 1974, he made 26 touchdowns and threw for 2,469 yards.
5. Mark Brunell
Mark Brunell made his mark early on in his career as the starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars football team. He was a Pro Bowler thrice in his career and threw for a league-high 4,367 yards when he was playing for the Jaguars in 1996. A Super Bowl in 2009 was well-earned as the fast runner picked up 4.7 yards per carry throughout his career.
6. Jim Zorn
Jim Zorn led his team to a back-to-back winning streak between 1978 and 1979 when he also made 35 passing touchdowns and approximately 7,000 passing yards. Like Brunell, he also picked up 4.7 yards per carry throughout his career.
7. Frankie Albert
When we think of modern offenses and bootleg plays, Frankie Albert definitely makes it as the top 10 left-handed quarterbacks of all time. In 1948 and 1949, he led in passing touchdowns with 29 and 27 touchdowns in the years, respectively.
8. Scott Mitchell
1995 was when Scott Mitchell’s true talent came to light as he completed 59.3% of his passes for 4,338 yards while playing for the Detroit Lions. He also completed 32 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions.
9. Bobby Douglas
In 1972, Bobby Douglas ran for 968 yards and completed approximately 45% of his passes during the length of his career. He also averaged a whopping 6.5 yards per carry throughout his career.
10. Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow came to the limelight because of his successful football career while studying in Florida. He threw for 1,729 and made 12 touchdowns with additional 660 yards and six touchdowns on the ground in 2011.
Despite left-handed quarterback players possessing similar, if not better, skills, there’s still a shortage of them on the field either due to stubborn coaches or because left-handed players end up training as righties to make it to the top of the football realm.