Dieter Brock
No. 5
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1951-02-12) February 12, 1951 (age 73)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Jones Valley (AL)
College:Auburn
Jacksonville State
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
CFL status:American
Career highlights and awards

Ralph Dieter Brock (born February 12, 1951) is an American former football player and coach. He played professionally as a quarterback in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and National Football League (NFL). He is best remembered as the quarterback for the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, leading the league in passing for four years.[1]

Early life

Brock was born in Birmingham, Alabama.[2][3] He attended Auburn University and Jacksonville State University,[4] and graduated from Jacksonville State University in 1974.[5][6]

Professional career

CFL

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

After college graduation, Brock signed a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and was a starting quarterback in 1975.[7] Nicknamed "The Birmingham Rifle", Brock is only one of two Blue Bombers players to win back-to-back CFL Most Outstanding Player awards in the 1980 and 1981 CFL seasons.[8][9] In 1981, Brock broke Sam Etcheverry's 1956 record of 4,723 passing yards with 4,796 yards.[10] Brock started his illustrious professional football career as a little used back-up quarterback for the Bombers in 1974. That season, the team traded away their aging star passer Don Jonas to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the much younger Chuck Ealey.[11] About midway through the 1975 season, Brock became the starter and that resulted in Ealey being sent to the Toronto Argonauts.[12]

In 1981, Brock won his second consecutive Most Outstanding Player Award. This season was the best statistical season in his professional career. On October 3, when Winnipeg played in Ottawa, Brock set a record for pass completions in a game (41), and placed third for most consecutive passes completed in a game (16).

That year, he set the following CFL single season passing records, which have since been surpassed:

Brock posted career highs in pass percentage (62.5), pass touchdowns (32), percentage of pass attempts going for touchdowns (5.7), and pass efficiency (97.3).

Despite Winnipeg finishing second place in the West Division several times, getting to two West Division Finals, and Brock having personal success, the Blue Bombers were never able to advance to the Grey Cup during Brock's tenure.

When Brock left the Blue Bombers, he held team records in the following career passing categories: yards (29,623), completions (2,168), attempts (3,777), touchdowns (187), and interceptions (129).

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

In 1983, Brock played part of the season with Winnipeg, and finished the season with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after he was traded there in exchange for Hamilton quarterback Tom Clements.[13] Hamilton lost the East Division Final to the eventual Grey Cup Champion, Toronto Argonauts.

The 1984 season was Brock's last in the CFL. Brock's Tiger-Cats faced Clements' Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup. Despite early success and a 14-point lead for Hamilton, Winnipeg defeated Hamilton 47-17.

Brock ended his career CFL career without a Grey Cup victory, but had many accomplishments. Upon completion of his CFL career, Brock ranked second all-time in the following CFL career passing categories:

NFL

Brock left the CFL after ten seasons and joined the National Football League for the 1985 season. In what would be his only season playing in the NFL, Brock signed with the Los Angeles Rams as a 34-year-old rookie, setting the NFL record for oldest rookie quarterback in history. Despite the team's star running back Eric Dickerson holding out the first two games over a contract dispute, Brock led the team to a 7-0 start, a feat no other quarterback would accomplish in their first season with a team again until Ben Roethlisberger started 13-0 with the Steelers in 2004.[14] Brock led the team to a division title, the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs, and set team rookie records for passing yards (2,658), touchdown passes (16), and passer rating (81.8) (most of his rookie passing records have since been broken). Brock's final game was the 1985 NFC Championship Game against the Chicago Bears, where he only managed 66 yards passing and lost a fumble that Wilber Marshall returned for a touchdown to close out the scoring in a 24-0 game.

In the 1986 preseason, Brock suffered an injury to his left knee on a tackle by Bo Eason of the Houston Oilers in the first exhibition game on August 2. Brock underwent arthroscopic knee surgery the following week and went on the injured reserve list the next month.[15] Although the Rams had Steve Bartkowski as backup, they elected to deal with the Oilers and their new draft pick Jim Everett (who they had a dispute with over signing).[15]

When Brock did tests with the team later in the month to test his knee, he aggravated his back (which he stated had been a chronic problem since 1982). Tests revealed he had a "degenerative disk in his lower back", one that could not be corrected by surgery due to the nature of his throwing position, in which he would wrench his back each time he moved to let go of a pass (cortisone injections proved futile). [16] One of five quarterbacks on the roster, he was released by the team after the year ended; he chose to move on from playing football to a coaching career.

Brock still holds the Blue Bombers record for career passing yards with 29,623. In 2005, for the commemoration of the Blue Bombers' 75th anniversary, Brock was named one of the 20 All-Time Blue Bomber Greats. He was elected into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1995.[17]

Career statistics

CFL statistics
Year Team Games Passing Rushing
GP Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
1974 WPG 16 12 27 44.4 176 6.5 0 2 35.4 2 6 3.0 0
1975 WPG 16 116 244 47.5 1,911 7.8 11 9 74.0 36 173 4.8 2
1976 WPG 16 223 402 55.4 3,101 7.7 17 18 75.9 46 72 1.6 2
1977 WPG 16 242 418 57.8 3,063 7.3 23 19 80.2 62 220 3.6 6
1978 WPG 16 294 486 60.5 3,755 7.7 23 18 85.0 28 47 1.7 3
1979 WPG 15 194 354 54.8 2,383 6.7 15 12 75.8 30 97 3.2 1
1980 WPG 16 304 514 59.1 4,252 8.3 28 12 94.3 43 87 2.0 4
1981 WPG 16 354 566 62.5 4,796 8.5 32 15 97.3 35 116 3.3 0
1982 WPG 16 314 543 57.8 4,294 7.9 28 15 88.9 33 123 3.7 4
1983 WPG 6 115 223 51.6 1,892 8.5 10 9 78.5 13 38 2.9 2
HAM 6 114 197 57.9 1,241 6.3 8 6 77.4 14 24 1.7 2
1984 HAM 15 320 561 57.0 3,966 7.1 15 23 70.9 48 134 2.8 6
Career 170 2,602 4,535 57.4 34,830 7.7 210 158 82.8 390 1,137 2.9 32
NFL statistics
Year Team Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
1985 LARams 15 15 11–4 218 365 59.7 2,658 7.3 16 13 82.0 20 38 1.9 0
Career 15 15 11–4 218 365 59.7 2,658 7.3 16 13 82.0 20 38 1.9 0

In popular culture

In every episode of the Dave Dameshek Football Program on iTunes, Dameshek and Adam Rank compete over who can make the best organic reference to Dieter Brock. He appeared as a guest on their 100th episode.[18]

References

  1. ^ 2007 CFL Facts, Figures, and Records. Canadian Football League. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-9739425-2-1.
  2. ^ Martin, Andrew (October 8, 2020). "Dieter Brock: The Oldest Rookie Quarterback in NFL History". SportsRaid. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  3. ^ February 15 in Gadsden is recorded by "Ralph Dieter Brock". Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
  4. ^ "Dieter Brock Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Draft, College". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  5. ^ "The 1970's - Quarterback Dieter Brock". Winnipeg Blue Bombers. August 12, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  6. ^ "Winnipeg Blue Bombers To Induct Dieter Brock Into Ring of Honor". Jacksonville State University Athletics. September 7, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  7. ^ "The Dieter Brock Story". Winnipeg Blue Bombers. September 7, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  8. ^ Newman, Bruce (August 19, 1985). "A Rifle Wrapped In An Enigma". Sports Illustrated Vault. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  9. ^ Callaghan, Corey (August 21, 2018). ""The Birmingham Rifle" Dieter Brock reminisces on Blue Bomber days - Winnipeg". Global News. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  10. ^ "Bombers honour Brock". Winnipeg Sun. September 7, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  11. ^ Snelgrove, Brian (August 6, 2010). "Retro Profile: Dieter Brock". CFL.ca. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  12. ^ Billeck, Scott (September 10, 2016). "Sep 2016: Iconic QB Dieter Brock inducted into Blue Bombers Ring of Honour". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  13. ^ "Tom Clements". Winnipeg Blue Bombers. April 17, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  14. ^ Cooney, Frank (October 24, 2013). "Dieter Brock: Mythbusting NFL's last 7-0 rookie QB". Yahoo! News. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  15. ^ a b Dufresne, Chris (October 10, 1986). "Brock's Career Takes a Detour : Injured Ram Quarterback May Have Reached End of Trail". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  16. ^ "Rams Drop Brock". The New York Times. December 14, 1986. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  17. ^ "Dieter Brock". Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  18. ^ "DDFP 100: A.J. Hawk and a very special guest - NFL: The Dave Dameshek Football Program".