Are the Steelers the First NFL Team With Three Black Quarterbacks?

DESCRIPTIONBarton Silverman/The New York Times Charlie Batch

Correct me if I’m wrong – I couldn’t find mention of it anywhere – but as the NFL season opens, the Pittsburgh Steelers would seem to be the only team that’s ever had three black quarterbacks on its 53-man roster: Dennis Dixon, Byron Leftwich, and Charlie Batch.

This will only be the case until the Steelers’ regular QB, Ben Roethlisberger, returns from his four-game suspension. I can think of plenty of NFL teams with two black quarterbacks – McNair/Young, McNabb/Vick, Garrard/Leftwich – but none with three. Any help?

FWIW, the Steelers’ emergency QB, if all the others were to fall (and Leftwich is already injured), is Antwaan Randle El, a wide receiver who played quarterback in college – and is also black.

And if things got really bad, I’m guessing the Steelers would turn to receiver Hines Ward, another former college QB (who is also black). Honestly, I would love to see that, since the hit-happy Ward would probably try to sack a sacker.

All this is particularly fitting for a team that boasted one of the first premiere black quarterbacks in the league, the late Joe Gilliam.


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  1. Tank says:

    The 2005 and 2006 Jaguars had Quinn Gray, in addition to Garrard and Leftwich. Although in 2005, white wide receiver Matt Jones did attempt three passes.

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  2. Tank says:

    Also, Ward in half-black. He’s half-Korean and was born in Seoul.

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  3. Frank222 says:

    Darn, that means we can’t elect Ward President. Off to plan B

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  4. G. Hey Sim says:

    well, if you have 2% African-American blood in you, you are considered black…. Tiger is BLACK also! FYI, so is Miriah Carey

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  5. Matt W says:

    Don’t forget that Steeler’s owner, Dan Rooney, pushed for the Rooney rule which requires teams interview at least one minority candidate for coaching positions.

    The Rooney’s also say that’s what led them to hiring Mike Tomlin.

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  6. Matt says:

    It’s a sign of progress, in a sense, if the fact isn’t mentioned anywhere (else). Thankfully, it’s not that big a deal anymore.

    Now if we can only get some female Asian quarterbacks…

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  7. jen says:

    Again, what is the point of the article? So what, there are three black quarterbacks? Is your point that “barriers” are broken? Did Obama help us get to this “phenomenon”? Really, the more we point out so-called deficiencies in life because of color, the less our chance of looking past color.

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  8. Ray says:

    And I should care whether or not the QBs are black? Maybe you could check for us and see how many teams have black kickers or punters. As if that matters too.

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