SONNY JURGENSEN

SONNY JURGENSEN

Class of 1983
Quarterback >>> 6-0, 202
(Duke)
1957-1963 Philadelphia Eagles, 1964-1974 Washington Redskins

Christian Adolph Jurgensen, III. . .Exceptional passer, superb team leader, intelligent, determined, competitive, poised against pass rush. . .Career 82.625 passing rating. . .Won three NFL individual passing titles. . .Surpassed 3,000 yards in five seasons, 300 yards in 25 games, 400 yards in five games. . .Career totals: 2,433 completions, 32,224 yards, 255 touchdowns. . .Excelled in spite of numerous injuries. . . Born August 23, 1934, in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Sonny Jurgensen riddled enemy defenses with picture-perfect bullets for 18 seasons in the National Football League. With Philadelphia for seven seasons and Washington for 11 more, Sonny – one of the finest pure passers ever – accumulated a seemingly endless list of individual records.

Even at the age of 40 in his final 1974 season, Jurgensen won his third NFL individual passing crown. Particularly in Washington, Jurgensen became a folklore-type hero. “I had as much fun playing as anyone,” he once said. “But on the field, it was serious business. I was interested in winning.”

Whether the Redskins won or lost, adoring fans knew Jurgensen would provide game-long excitement, throwing long and short, dissecting defenses, and working on the clock. A classic drop-back passer, Sonny was respected for his ability to deliver the ball at the last moment under the pressure of a vicious pass rush.

In many circles, he was recognized as the best passer of his time. A five-time Pro Bowl selection, his stats include 2,433 completions for an impressive 32,224 yards and 255 touchdowns. “All I ask of my blockers is four seconds, “ the veteran quarterback once explained. "I try to stay on my feet and not be forced out of the pocket. I beat people by throwing, not running. I won't let them intimidate me into doing something which is not the best thing I can do."

In 1969, Vince Lombardi took over the Redskins’ coaching. Many wondered if Lombardi and Jurgensen could work together. Noted for his taskmaster approach to coaching, Lombardi quickly developed a strong admiration for the fun-loving quarterback. "Jurgensen is a great quarterback," the coach said without hesitation. "He hangs in there under adverse conditions. He may be the best the league has ever seen. He is the best I have seen."

Year
Team
G
Att.
Comp.
Pct.
Yds.
TD
Int
Rating
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1957 Philadelphia
10
70
33
47.1
470
5
8
53.6
10
-3
-0.3
2
1958 Philadelphia
12
22
12
54.5
259
0
1
77.7
1
1
1.0
0
1959 Philadelphia
12
5
3
60.0
27
1
0
114.2
0
0
0.0
0
1960 Philadelphia
12
44
24
54.5
486
5
1
122
4
5
1.3
0
1961 Philadelphia
14
416
235
56.5
3723
32
24
88.1
20
27
1.4
0
1962 Philadelphia
14
366
196
53.6
3261
22
26
74.3
17
44
2.6
2
1963 Philadelphia
9
184
99
53.8
1413
11
13
69.4
13
38
2.9
1
1964 Washington
14
385
207
53.8
2934
24
13
85.4
27
57
2.1
3
1965 Washington
13
356
190
53.4
2367
15
16
69.6
17
23
1.4
2
1966 Washington
14
436
254
58.3
3209
28
19
84.5
12
14
1.2
0
1967 Washington
14
508
288
56.7
3747
31
16
87.3
15
46
3.1
2
1968 Washington
12
292
167
57.2
1980
17
11
81.7
8
21
2.6
1
1969 Washington
14
442
274
62.0
3102
22
15
85.4
17
156
9.2
1
1970 Washington
14
337
202
59.9
2354
23
10
91.5
6
39
6.5
1
1971 Washington
5
28
16
57.1
170
0
2
45.2
3
29
9.7
0
1972 Washington
7
59
39
66.1
633
2
4
84.9
4
-5
-1.3
0
1973 Washington
14
145
87
60.0
904
6
5
77.5
3
7
2.3
0
1974 Washington
14
167
107
64.1
1185
11
5
94.5
4
-6
-1.5
0
Career Total
218
4262
2433
57.1
32224
255
189
82.6
181
493
2.7
15
Additional Career Statistics: Receiving: 1-3
Full Name: Christian Adolph Jurgensen, III

Birthdate: August 23, 1934

Birthplace: Wilmington, North Carolina

High School: New Hanover (Wilmington, N.C.)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 29, 1983

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 30, 1983

Presenter: Edward Bennett Williams, President, Redskins

Other Members of Class of 1983: Bobby Bell, Sid Gillman, Bobby Mitchell, Paul Warfield

Pro Career: 18 seasons, 218 games

Drafted: 4th round (43rd player overall) in 1957 by Philadelphia Eagles   

Uniform Number: 9

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