|No. 11, 10, 14, 15|
|Born:||May 17, 1934|
|Died:||April 25, 2014 79) (aged|
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||205 lb (93 kg)|
|High school:||Muskegon (MI)|
|NFL Draft:||1956 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com|
Earl Edwin Morrall (May 17, 1934 – April 25, 2014) was an American football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for 21 seasons. Morrall, who also occasionally punted, played 21 seasons in the National Football League as both a starter and reserve. In the latter capacity, he became known as one of the greatest backup quarterbacks in NFL history. He is most known for helping the Miami Dolphins win Super Bowl VII.
Morrall led Muskegon High School in Muskegon, Michigan to a state football championship in 1951. He attended Michigan State University, where he played under head coaches Biggie Munn and Duffy Daugherty. He played three seasons for the Michigan State Spartans football team, leading them to a 9–1 record in the 1955 season. He capped his senior year with a victory over the UCLA Bruins in the 1956 Rose Bowl. Morrall also played baseball at Michigan State and played in the College World Series as a shortstop and third baseman. He was offered the opportunity to play professional baseball but chose instead to play football.
In his more than two decades on the professional gridiron, Morrall played for six different teams, starting with his rookie year in 1956 as a first-round selection by the San Francisco 49ers. On September 16, 1957, he was traded along with guard Mike Sandusky to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for linebacker Marv Matuszak and two first-round draft picks. Despite the high cost of the transaction, the Steelers traded him just over a year later to the Detroit Lions in order to obtain future Hall of Famer Bobby Layne. Morrall was with the Lions for the next six years, having his best season in 1963 by throwing for 24 touchdowns and more than 2,600 yards. The following year, he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in an October 18 contest against the Chicago Bears.
After spending the off-season rehabilitating from his injury, Morrall was dealt by the Lions to the New York Giants for Mike Lucci who had been acquired from the Cleveland Browns, Darrell Dess and a draft pick as part of a three-team transaction on August 30, 1965. The Browns obtained defensive back Erich Barnes from the Giants to complete the trade.Enduring his role during the Giants' rebuilding phase, Morrall threw for 2,446 yards and 22 touchdowns that season, but found himself seeing spot duty over the course of the next two years. He was traded to the Baltimore Colts for an undisclosed draft choice on August 25, 1968. Butch Wilson was sent to the Giants to complete the transaction eight days later on September 2.
During the 1968 Baltimore Colts season, he filled in for 9 games for an injured Johnny Unitas leading to an NFL championship shutout victory and Super Bowl III, which they lost to the New York Jets. For the 1972 Miami Dolphins season (both under coach Don Shula) he filled in for 11 games for an injured Bob Griese leading to Super Bowl VII and the only perfect season in NFL history. Morrall made Pro Bowl appearances following the 1957 and 1968 seasons. In 2015, Morrall, Griese and Dan Marino were voted to the 50 greatest players in the Miami Dolphins’ 50 year history.
On April 25, 1972, Morrall was claimed on waivers for $100 by the Miami Dolphins, reuniting him with his former Colts head coach, Don Shula. Shula described Morrall as "an intelligent quarterback who's won a lot of ball games for me."
Morrall replaced the injured Bob Griese for the Dolphins during the team's October 15 win over the San Diego Chargers.The victory gave Miami a 5-0 record, with Morrall building on that win to lead the team to the first undefeated regular season in the NFL since 1942 and only undefeated season ever, starting 11 out of 17 games that year. After notching a win in the team's first playoff game against the Cleveland Browns, Morrall struggled against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game, leading to the return of Griese.
Morrall would remain as a Dolphin quarterback for the next four seasons before finally announcing his retirement on May 2, 1977.Until first Doug Flutie and then Vinny Testaverde almost 30 years later, Morrall was the oldest quarterback to start and win a football game in the NFL. In those 21 seasons, he was part of 255 games, completing 1,379 passes for 20,809 yards and 161 touchdowns.
In 2018, the Professional Football Researchers Association named Morrall to the PFRA Hall of Very Good Class of 2018.
Morrall became the quarterback coach at the University of Miami in 1979.During his time there, he worked with Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde and Mark Richt. In 1989, he was elected to the Davie, Florida city council and eventually became mayor. Morrall ran for the Florida House of Representatives District 97 seat as a Republican in 1992 and lost.
During a 1989 interview, Morrall was asked what it took to come off the bench and be an effective quarterback and team leader. His response was, "When you get the chance to do the job, you have to do the job. That's all there is to it."
He died on April 25, 2014 at his son's home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.He was 79. After death, examination of his brain disclosed that he had grade 4 (the most serious stage) chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member team of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Hard Rock Stadium, located in the northern suburb of Miami Gardens, Florida. The team is currently owned by Stephen M. Ross. The Dolphins are the oldest professional sports team in Florida. Of the four AFC East teams, the Dolphins are the only team in the division that was not a charter member of the American Football League (AFL).
Super Bowl III was the third AFL–NFL Championship Game in professional American football, and the first to officially bear the trademark name "Super Bowl". Played on January 12, 1969, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the game is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in both American football history and in the recorded history of sports. The 18-point underdog American Football League (AFL) champion New York Jets defeated the National Football League (NFL) champion Baltimore Colts by a score of 16–7.
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Richard Robert Volk is a former American football player who played for the Baltimore Colts, New York Giants, and Miami Dolphins. He retired with 38 career interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries, and totaled 574 yards on interception returns and 548 yards on punt returns.
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John Thomas "Sandy" Sandusky, Jr. was an American football player and coach. He played seven seasons as an offensive and defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1950s for the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers before starting a 36-year career as an assistant coach. He was head coach of the Baltimore Colts for part of the 1972 season.
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