When you talk about the greatest receivers in NFL history, the name undoubtedly at the top of the list is Jerry Rice. Yet when you think of being able to catch passes from back to back Hall of Famers, it made it easier to accomplish what he did. With sporadic quarterbacking what would Rice’s career resemble most?? That of Mike Quick the player who most reminds our CEO of Rice.
Some may scoff but you have to remember in the early 1980’s, the big numbers coming from receivers were all in the AFC. The great quarterback class of ’83, the Air Coryell Charger receivers, Marino and the Marks Bros., and Steve Largent up in Seattle.
From 1983 through 1986, no one was better than Quick who caught 263 passes for 4,647 yards and 42 touchdowns. He was Jerry Rice before Jerry Rice yet was stuck between the aging Ron Jaworski and the emergence of Randall Cunningham which cost him in the end. Think about it… In 1986 Quick had the 4th of his 5 straight Pro Bowl appearances. He totaled 60 receptions for 939 yards and 9 touchdowns. Not great totals until you realize the Eagles set an NFL record allowing 104 sacks.
His 1983 total of 1,409 yards receiving was the most since Hall of Famer Don Maynard in 1967. That was the year Joe Namath became the first quarterback in history to throw for 4,000 yards. Quick played on the 27th (2nd to last) ranked offense in the NFL in contrast. He played for defensive minded head coach Marion Campbell. What would the late Bill Walsh been able to accomplish drawing plays up for Quick??
In the end you can understand the dilemma that affects certain careers. The cupboard was bare as he played his first 7 years without a single fellow Pro Bowler on offense. By the time Randall Cunningham made the Pro Bowl in ’88, the Eagles had drafted his heir apparent in Cris Carter.
After injuries robbed Quick of his once lethal speed, he retired after the 1990 season. His 363 catches for 6,464 yards and 61 TDs falls short of Hall of Fame consideration. Yet in his prime, he was an electrifying performer who could score from anywhere.
thanks for reading and please share the article.