Writing about the greatest Charger quarterbacks was easy. This assignment is a little tougher. Ryan Leaf of course holds the title as the all time worst Chargers quarterback, but he had some stiff competition.
We will take a stroll through Charger history and try to detail some of the busts that have taken snaps behind center for the Bolts.
Ed Luther had a decent enough arm, but was not up to the rigors of running
the Air Coryell offense.
If you blinked , you missed his career in San Diego where he compiled a 2-7 record as a starter. Luther's main claim to fame is the six interceptions he tossed in one game in 1983, against the Washington Redskins.
He eventually ended up with the Atlanta Falcons.
Moses Moreno? Talk about obscure, Moreno started for then head coach Mike Riley in 2000. The word BRUTAL comes to mind, as Moses moved about as well as Charlton Heston did AS Moses.
Moreno started two games, losing both, and was never heard from again. Moreno took a good sack however...
I almost forgot about Jim Everett, as I had blacked out that whole season in my mind. Everett came to the Chargers as a big name quarterback from the Los Angeles Rams in 1997.
Jim compiled a gigantic 1-0 lifetime record as a Charger quarterback.
Babe Laufenberg? The Chargers might as well have started Babe Ruth, given how small the Babe looked behind center—Laufenberg actually was not that bad, but he played on a terrible Chargers team, and basically had no chance. Laufenberg racked up a 2-4 record as a starter.
The Babe had one highlight as a Charger- and it was in a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys, where he led a 21-point comeback in the fourth quarter, teaming with WR Darren Flutie. Were you there? I was...
Erik Kramer came to San Diego as an upgrade—but he only won two games as the Chargers starting quarterback. Kramer started just four games before the Chargers moved on.
Mark Malone had the impossible task of replacing Dan Fouts. Malone was not the worst quarterback in Chargers history, but he only managed two wins out of eight starts.
Malone did give the Miami Dolphins and Dan Marino fits one afternoon in Miami, but still lost 31-28.
Malone graduated from El Cajon High school, a suburb of San Diego.
Billy Joe "Overthrow" Tolliver lasted 19 starts as the chargers quarterback, and he went 8-11. Tolliver had as good an arm as anyone in the league- touch was his problem.
Tolliver would throw a five-yard out pass as hard as he could, usually smashing the receiver in the face with it, and underthrew when going down field.
Tollivers best game for the Chargers was at Washington in 1989, where he threw for 351 yards in a losing effort. against the Redskins.
Billy Joe finished his career in New Orleans.
With recently acquired Stan Humphries waiting in the wings in 1992, the Gagman got all of one start, which he lost. The Chargers were STILL trying to replace Dan Fouts, who retired after the 1987 season.
Gag is not a good word when discussing quarterbacks. ;)
I will never forget watching Leaf bounce a football in front of my seats all afternoon after he was benched, completely isolating himself from the coaches and teammates.
Ryan showed no interest in winning, or learning how to. It was all so easy in college, and Leaf just could not deal with the fact that NFL defenses were much more sophisticated that the ones he had faced in college.
Leaf went 4-14 in his 18 starts for the Chargers.
In fairness to Leaf, he didn't study under Don Coryell or Marty Schottenheimer, he was force to deal with the Chargers all time worst head coach,
Gilbride destroyed both Leaf and Stan Humphries in the short time he was the head coach.
To this day, Gilbride has never taken responsibility for throwing Leaf to the wolves, with almost no training or guidance.
Who know how Ryan's career would have turned out if he had been tutored by Bill Walsh or Bill Cowher. At least he was nice to Nikki, his Charger Girl wife at the time...
I am sure I left off some names, feel free to contribute your own Chargers worst quarterback memories...