Dan Fouts San Diego Chargers
"Hey man, I got it made. I’ve got no worries, no problems. All I have to do is go out every day and play football. How could anyone complain about that?”
Dan Fouts, an All-Pac 8 quarterback at the University of Oregon, was the third-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1973. He played for the Chargers for 15 seasons before retiring after the 1987 campaign.
Although the 6-3, 204-pounder battled injuries for much of his career, he played a major role in transforming the Chargers from also-rans to AFC Western division champions in 1979, 1980 and 1981. While he never led his team to a Super Bowl, Fouts nevertheless won widespread acclaim as one of the truly outstanding passers of his era.
In 15 seasons, Fouts completed 3,297 passes for 43,040 yards and 254 touchdowns and an 80.2-point rating. He also rushed for 476 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. At the time of his retirement, he was one of only three quarterbacks to pass for more than 40,000 yards. He led the NFL in passing yardage four straight years from 1979 to 1982, and became the first player in history to throw for 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.
Fouts was the AFC Player of the Year in 1979 and then, in 1982, he was named the NFL Most Valuable Player by the Pro Football Writers of America, the AFC Player of the Year by United Press International and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year by Associated Press. He was also an All-Pro choice in 1979, 1982, and 1985 and All-AFC in 1979 and 1982.
He played in six Pro Bowls in a seven-year span. In both 1980 and 1981, Fouts led the Chargers to the AFC championship game. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Chargers 34-27 in 1980 in spite of Fouts' 336-yard, two-touchdown passing performance. The 1981 AFC title game was played in 59-below-zero wind chill conditions. Still, Fouts completed 15 passes for 185 yards and the Chargers’ only touchdown, a 33-yard pass to Kellen Winslow, in a hard-fought loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.