Chapter 2, Page 77

He was the kind of guy who wouldn't speak to you if you were standing next to him on an elevator," Jurgensen said. "So one day, King and I left Hershey, Pennsylvania, where we were having camp, and we went off to play golf. King was a fantastic golfer.

"The team couldn't even practice that day. After a while, [teammate] Tom Brookshire and [journalist] Jack Whittaker found us on the 12th green — King was putting and I was on the fringe. They ran up to me and asked me what I was thinking about, and I told them that my main concern was getting the ball down [in the hole] in two shots. I had a meeting with the team the next morning, and my salary went up to $19,000."

Two years later, Jurgensen found out, to his great surprise, that he had been traded to Washington. Although he had made a mark in Philly, in Mitchell's opinion Jurgensen still "needed to make a team his own."

His first season in Washington, Jurgensen began to take possession, passing for 2,934 yards and 24 touchdowns. In 1966, those numbers increased to 3,209 yards and 28 scores. Even that stellar performance was topped a year later, when Jurgensen completed 57 percent of his passes for a then-NFL record 3,747 yards and 31 touchdowns. He also set league records for attempts (508) and completions (288) in a single season.

"Sonny could hit a gnat from 50 yards away," said Mitchell. "I hated to lose Norm Snead [who went to Philadelphia in the Jergensen trade], because I was getting a ton of balls from him — Sonny spread it out more — but you knew Sonny had a better game. I never saw anyone handle a team like Sonny. I used to rate [Baltimore Colts quarterback] Johnny Unitas as the best field general I ever saw, but I might change that to Sonny — there was definitely no comparison between them in throwing the football."

Although his Redskins teams scored points with regularity, Jurgensen never got the chance to play on the stage where every football fan could witness his gifts — the Super Bowl. In his 18 years, Jurgensen said, he played for nine different head coaches. Although there were some legends like Norm Van Brocklin and George Allen among them, it wasn't until 1969 that Jurgensen realized what he had been missing.

Page 77 | Next Page: 78

Other Pages in Chapter 2:
43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Names, Numbers
Trivia Quiz

Redskins | NFL | Sports

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