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Top 5 Pro Canes: Quarterbacks

Once known as “QBU” which former Canes quarterback had the best career in the NFL?

Jim Kelly #12...

So last year, we did a countdown of the top five Hurricanes at each position, though we only ranked them based off their accomplishments while at Miami. This summer, we’re again doing a countdown of top five Hurricanes at each position, though this time we’re judging them off their accomplishments in the NFL.

Let’s start with the quarterbacks!

5: Ken Dorsey

Although he was absolutely phenomenal at Miami in college, that success didn’t quite translate over to the NFL. Dorsey played from 2003 to 2008 for the 49ers and Browns, and never quite got his shot, since Cleveland and San Francisco both drafted quarterbacks in the first round while he was on each team (Alex Smith, Brady Quinn). However, the reason he makes this list is because of the success he had in the NFL as a coach. From 2013 to 2018, Dorsey was the quarterbacks coach for the Panthers, helping Cam Newton win the NFL MVP in 2015 while also leading Carolina to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance. In February of 2019, Dorsey was hired to the QB coach for the Bills.

4. Craig Erickson

You may be surprised to see ole Erickson on this list, and honestly you have good reason to. In seven NFL seasons, Craig played for the Eagles, Buccaneers, Colts, Dolphins and Bears. He makes this list based solely off his 1993 season with Tampa Bay, where Erickson threw for over 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns. The next year, Erickson nearly hit 3,000 yards again.

3. Vinny Testaverde

The man who played in the NFL until he was at least 57 years old. Vinny was the number-one overall pick in the 1987 Draft, and played for the Buccaneers, Browns, Ravens, Jets, Cowboys, Patriots and the Panthers. In total, his career in the NFL lasted 21 seasons, and Vinny had some great memories, like when he brought the Jets back from 23 points down in the fourth-quarter to shock the Dolphins in 2000. He still holds the Tampa Bay record for career passing yards (14,820), and his 33 touchdowns in 1996 is still a Ravens single season record. He also the NFL record consecutive seasons with a touchdown pass, as well as being the oldest player to win an NFL game (44).

2. Bernie Kosar

If it wasn’t for John Elway or perhaps Earnest Byner, Kosar would’ve gone to the Super Bowl and maybe even be number-one on this list. For the Browns, Kosar did a lot of winning. His 489-yards of passing in 1986 was a playoff record until 2018. He led Cleveland to three AFC Championships in four years from 1986 to 1989, only to be snakebitten each time. In 1993, Jimmy Johnson signed Kosar to replace the injured Troy Aikman. Kosar filled in admirably, and helped Dallas win the NFC Championship game once Aikman was hurt again. Though he didn’t start in the Super Bowl, Kosar still got a championship ring when the Cowboys won. Bernie then spent 1994 to 1996 with the Dolphins, and actually taught Dan Marino the famous “fake spike” play that he used to beat the Jets with in 1994. In his eight year NFL career, Kosar was a two-time Pro Bowler.

  1. Jim Kelly

Bernie Kosar has Earnest Byner, Jim Kelly has Scott Norwood. If the Bills were able to win just one of those four Super Bowls, Kelly would be remembered much differently today. As quarterback for the Bills, Kelly changed a franchise in Buffalo and made them winners. Implementing the “no-huddle” offense, the Bills became one of the greatest machines in NFL history. As Buffalo’s starting quarterback for 11 years, Kelly led the Bills to the playoffs in eight of those seasons and won six division championships, and four AFC championships. While he didn’t win a Super Bowl, Kelly was still inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He’s the only Hurricane quarterback to be in the Hall of Fame.