Like Tim Tebow at quarterback in recent years, the Bears quarterback, Bobby Douglass from 1969 to the beginning of 1975, was a fearless runner. Both Tebow and Douglass are left-handed and big men. Tebow is 6-foot-3, 235 pounds. Douglass played at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and like Tebow, he did a lot of running. For his Bears’ career, Douglass had 376 completions on 895 attempts giving him a 42% completion rate for a total of 4,932 and 30 touchdowns. In one of his best games, he was 10 for 15 passing—sounds Tebow like? He played aggressively, he was a scrambler. He was not likely to hang around the pocket much and take a sack without a tremendous fight. Although his throwing stats were never great, he had the strongest arm in football and with seemingly little effort could throw a ball 70 yards. Douglass was the Bears QB from 1969 to the beginning of 1975.
His career rushing yards are more impressive. He had 373 rushes for a total of 2,470 yards and 20 touchdowns. In 1972, Douglass had 968 yards rushing and an incredible 6.9 yard gain per run. It would be decades before the NFL would see another running quarterback of the caliber of Douglass–Michael Vick.
Watching Douglass many years ago, many times he threw the ball into the hands of the receivers, but his pass velocity seemed almost uncatchable at times. This is the point that is intriguing to me. What would his statistics be today with receivers wearing modern gloves that might have helped them hold onto the ball? One wonders whether Douglass’s career would have ended up altogether different.
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