Daniel Francis Fouts (born June 10, 1951) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL). Fouts played his entire professional career with the San Diego Chargers from 1973, through 1987. He was one of the most prolific passing quarterbacks during the 1970s, and 1980s, but the Chargers were unable to make it to the Super Bowl during his fifteen-year career. He led the NFL in passing yards four straight years from 1979 to 1982 and became the first player in history to throw for 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993. He lives in Sisters, Oregon and is currently a color analyst for NFL games on CBS television and Westwood One radio. Dan is the son of Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer Bob Fouts.
Fouts in 2012
|Born:||June 10, 1951|
San Francisco, California
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||204 lb (93 kg)|
|High school:||St. Ignatius College Preparatory|
(San Francisco, California)
|NFL Draft:||1973 / Round: 3 / Pick: 64|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Fouts was born in San Francisco, California. He went to Marin Catholic High School, which is located just north of San Francisco in Kentfield, California for his two first years of High School, and was starting for the varsity team by his sophomore year. He decided to transfer to St. Ignatius College Preparatory (San Francisco, CA) for his final two years of high school.
Fouts was somewhat of an unknown when he accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Oregon to play for the Oregon Ducks football team. Things were quite different after the All-Pac-8 quarterback's career where he set 19 school records, including those for career passing yardage (5,995) and total offense (5,871). He was inducted into the University of Oregon Hall of Fame in 1992.
Drafted in the third round in 1973, Fouts helped lead the Chargers to the playoffs from 1979 to 1982 and twice to the AFC title game (1980 and 1981). He led the league four times in passing yards; ending his career with over 40,000, the third player to surpass that landmark. Fouts was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.
Fouts was a 6-time Pro Bowl selection (1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985) and compiled passer ratings over 90.0 for a 3-year stretch (1981–83). Fouts was the first NFL player to surpass 4,000 passing yards and would go on to accomplish this in three consecutive seasons (1979–81), led the NFL in passing yards in four consecutive seasons (1979–1982) and six times eclipsed the 20-touchdown mark with a career-high 33 in 1981. His career high of 4,802 passing yards during the 1981 season was an NFL record at the time.
Fouts set NFL season passing yardage records in three consecutive seasons from 1979 to 1981 with totals of 4,082, 4,715, and 4,802 yards. He broke Joe Namath's professional record of 4,007 set in the American Football League in 1967, and Dan Marino broke Fouts' record in 1984 with 5,084 yards. The Chargers in 1979 were the first AFC Western Division champion to run more passing plays (541) than rushing (481). In 1982, a season shortened to 9 games because of a strike, Fouts averaged 320 yards passing per game, an NFL record that stood until Drew Brees averaged 342.25 in 2011. Highlights that season included back-to-back victories against the 1981 Super Bowl teams San Francisco (41-37) and Cincinnati (50-34) in which Fouts threw for over 400 yards in each game to lead the Chargers to shootout victories. That season, he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player by Pro Football Writers Association and Newspaper Enterprise Association. He finished second in the Associated Press poll behind Mark Moseley, the only kicker to ever win the award. However, AP voted him the league's Offensive MVP, as did Pro Football Weekly.
Fouts garnered All-Pro selections in both 1979 and 1982, while also being named 2nd Team All-Pro in 1980 and 1985. In addition, Fouts was also named 2nd Team All-AFC in 1981 and 1983. However, Fouts and the Chargers lost both AFC Championship Games in which they played.
Fouts's first few years in the league were inauspicious, but with the arrival of head coach Don Coryell in 1978 the Chargers' fortunes turned. Yet it was two years earlier, with the arrival of Bill Walsh as the Chargers' offensive coordinator, that the seeds of success were planted. Under Coryell, the Chargers were known as Air Coryell for the deep passing game and the involvement of the tight end as a key receiver. This required a tough, intelligent quarterback with a strong arm. Fouts fit the bill.
Fouts was not a mobile quarterback and the deep passing game led to many hits. Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh, a Chargers assistant coach in 1976, said "Dan Fouts had a cool, steel-like nerve and courage ... He took a lot of beatings, a lot of pounding, but continued to play, hurt or otherwise. He played more physical football than anybody on his team, including the linebackers". Rarely using the shotgun, Fouts would drop back from center and look for one of a bevy of great receivers. Wide receiver Charlie Joiner and tight end Kellen Winslow were the most famous, both now in the Hall of Fame, but John Jefferson and Wes Chandler, among others, were also key. Fouts's passing enabled Winslow to lead the NFL in receptions twice (1980,1981), while Winslow (1982) and Lionel James (1985) led the AFC in receptions on another 2 combined occasions. James, in fact, set the NFL record (since broken) in 1985 for receiving yards by a running back at 1,027. Jefferson became the first receiver to have 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first three seasons in the NFL. Both Jefferson (1980) and Chandler (1982) led the NFL in receiving yards. Chandler's 129 yards receiving per game average in 1982 is still a league record. Both Jefferson (1978, 1980) and Chandler (1982) led the NFL in receiving TDs. In 1980, Winslow, Jefferson and Joiner became the first trio on the same team to have 1,000 yards receiving in a season. When he retired after 1986, Joiner was the NFL's all-time leader in receptions with 750.
Pass protection was also critical for such an offense. The Chargers had an excellent offensive line which protected Fouts well, and included four-time Pro Bowler Ed White, five-time Pro Bowler Russ Washington, 3 time Pro Bowler Doug Wilkerson, Billy Shields and Don Macek. The Chargers led the league in passing yards an NFL record 6 consecutive years from 1978–1983 and again in 1985 under Fouts. They also led the league in total yards in offense 1980-1983 and 1985.
Despite going to the playoffs from 1979 through 1982 and playing in two AFC Championship Games, the Chargers never went to the Super Bowl under Fouts (although they went 7 years after his retirement). Usually this is attributed to poor defense and their unwillingness to run the ball. In Fouts's prime the defense was not as stellar, but the running game became far better with the addition of Chuck Muncie, traded from New Orleans in 1980, and the drafting of James Brooks from Auburn in 1981. It is believed the defense had little opportunity to improve as the offense often scored quickly, leaving the defense to spend far too much time on the field. It also hurt that Fred Dean, an All-Pro sack specialist, was traded away to the San Francisco 49ers in 1981 in a contract dispute, and Dean would win UPI NFC Defensive Player of the Year (while playing in only 11 games) that year en route to a Super Bowl victory and help the 49ers to another Super Bowl title three years later. Dean would later be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"I can't say how much it affected us, because we did make it to the AFC championship game," said Chargers' All-Pro defensive lineman Gary "Big Hands" Johnson of the loss of Dean. "But I could say if we had more pass rush from the corner, it might've been different." U-T San Diego in 2013 called the trade "perhaps the biggest blunder in franchise history." Fouts himself would almost be traded in 1983 to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for the rights to John Elway due to a contract dispute, but would come to an agreement on an extension and Elway would be infamously traded to the rival Denver Broncos instead.
Overall, the Chargers achieved three wins against four losses in the playoffs under Fouts, who threw for over 300 yards in all but two of those games. One of their more notable wins was the 1982 playoff game known as The Epic in Miami, where Fouts led his team to a 41–38 victory by completing 33 of 53 passes for a franchise record 433 yards and 3 touchdowns on the hot and humid day. His completions, attempts, and yards in the game were all NFL postseason records at the time. The following week in the AFC championship game in Cincinnati, there was a 92 °F drop in temperature compared to the previous week in Miami, and the Chargers lost 27-7 in what is known as the Freezer Bowl.
The following season, he threw for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 31–28 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card round. Fouts's playoff career ended in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against Miami, where he threw 5 interceptions to only one touchdown pass. Fouts went on to play for four more seasons with the Chargers, retiring in 1987 after 15 years with them. He ended his career as the Chargers' all-time leader in passing yard and touchdowns with 43,040 and 254 respectively.
Fouts finished his 15 NFL seasons with 3,297 of 5,604 completions for 43,040 yards and 254 touchdowns, with 242 interceptions. He also rushed for 476 yards and 13 touchdowns
Fouts is one of only ten quarterbacks in NFL history who have achieved two consecutive 30-touchdown passing seasons. The others are Steve Bartkowski, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Jeff Garcia, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Y. A. Tittle. He was also the third quarterback in NFL history to pass for 40,000 yards, after fellow Hall of Famers Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton, and the first quarterback ever to throw for over 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.
In 1999, he was ranked number 92 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
In 1992, he was inducted into the University of Oregon and State of Oregon Sports Halls of Fame.
Fouts was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, his first year of eligibility.
In 2009, he was picked by the fans as the "Greatest Charger Of All Time" for the Chargers 50th anniversary year.
In 2010, he received the Davey O'Brien Legends Award during Colt McCoy's award ceremony.
In 1988 through 1993, Fouts started his career as an analyst on NFL on CBS. He worked with a variety of play-by-play announcers including Dick Stockton, James Brown, Verne Lundquist, Brad Nessler, Jim Nantz, Jack Buck, and Tim Ryan.
Fouts left CBS in 1994 to become a sports anchor for KPIX-TV in his hometown of San Francisco. In the fall of 1997, Fouts returned to network television as an analyst, this time serving as a college football analyst for ABC Sports alongside play-by-play man Brent Musburger.
In 1998 Fouts made his big-screen debut, portraying himself in the football comedy The Waterboy, starring Adam Sandler. Fouts and Musburger appeared late in the film as ABC Sports' broadcast team for the fictitious New Year's Day "Bourbon Bowl" game.
After Jackson's retirement from ABC in 2006, Fouts became a play-by-play announcer, adding his own commentary on the game at times since he was a former player and analyst. His broadcast partner for 2006 and 2007 was Tim Brant, now that Jackson opted to permanently retire.
On February 11, 2008, ESPN announced they weren't re-signing Fouts or his partner Tim Brant.
It was reported in USA Today on August 20, 2008, that Fouts was returning to CBS for NFL games with a variety of play-by-play announcers including Don Criqui, Ian Eagle, and Dick Enberg. In 2009, he was moved to partner with Enberg as the number 3 broadcasting team for the NFL on CBS. Fouts has since teamed with Eagle in the number three slot until 2014, when the pair was elevated to the number two team behind Jim Nantz and Phil Simms (and later, Tony Romo). Fouts and Eagle are often called "The Bird and the Beard".
He had been the play-by-play voice for Chargers preseason games carried on CBS stations throughout Southern California for many years (2012-2016), alongside fellow Charger alum Billy Ray Smith.
In 2018, Fouts continued to be a color commentator and analyst for CBS Sports during NFL games.
The 1971 Oregon Webfoots football team represented the University of Oregon during the 1971 college football season. Home games were played in Eugene at Autzen Stadium.
Led by fifth-year head coach Jerry Frei, the Ducks were 5–6 overall and 2–4 in the Pacific-8 Conference. They did not play UCLA and lost the Civil War to Oregon State for an eighth consecutive year.Oregon was led by junior quarterback Dan Fouts and senior All-American halfback Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashād), the fourth overall pick of the 1972 NFL Draft, taken by the St. Louis Cardinals. Rashād played ten seasons in the NFL, primarily as a wide receiver with the Minnesota Vikings.
Two months after the season, Frei resigned as head coach on January 19, 1972, and assistant coach Dick Enright was promoted two weeks later.1972 Oregon Webfoots football team
The 1972 Oregon Webfoots football team represented the University of Oregon during the 1972 college football season. Home games were played in Eugene at Autzen Stadium.
Led by first-year head coach Dick Enright, the Ducks were 4–7 overall and 2–5 in the Pacific-8 Conference. Tied for sixth place in the Pac-8, Oregon was outscored by their opponents, 285 to 194. Oregon met five ranked teams and won once. In the Civil War at Parker Stadium in Corvallis, the Ducks broke an eight-game losing streak against Oregon State, beating OSU head coach Dee Andros for the first time in the series.Oregon was led on the field by senior quarterback Dan Fouts, who was selected in the third round of the 1973 NFL Draft, 64th overall. He played fifteen seasons in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.1973 San Diego Chargers season
The 1973 San Diego Chargers season was the team's fourteenth year, and fourth year in the National Football League.
The team was coming off a season that ended with a 4–9–1 record. Although he was offered a five-year contract toward the end of the previous season, 1973 would prove to be Harland Svare's final season as the team's head coach.
The team obtained quarterback Johnny Unitas in a trade with the Baltimore Colts, but Unitas was a shell of his former greatness. In the middle of the season he was replaced at quarterback by rookie Dan Fouts, the team's third-round pick in that year's draft.1979 San Diego Chargers season
The 1979 San Diego Chargers season was the team's 20th season, and 10th in the National Football League. Their 12–4 record was tied for the best in the league in 1979.
The 1979 Chargers finished in first place in the AFC West after having finished 9–7 in 1978. The Chargers made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts threw for more than 4,000 yards, and wide receivers Charlie Joiner and John Jefferson both gained more than 1,000 yards receiving. The Chargers became the first AFC West champion to run more passing plays (541) then rushing (481).The season ended with a playoff loss to the Houston Oilers.
As part of a marketing campaign, the Chargers created their fight song, "San Diego Super Chargers".The 2006 edition of Pro Football Prospectus, listed the 1979 Chargers as one of their "Heartbreak Seasons", in which teams "dominated the entire regular season only to falter in the playoffs, unable to close the deal." Said Pro Football Prospectus of the team, "the creative [head coach] Don Coryell always designed potent offenses, but the San Diego defense didn't catch up until 1979. ... In their first playoff game, the Chargers hosted a Houston Oilers team missing running back Earl Campbell and quarterback Dan Pastorini and fell on their faces. Fouts threw five interceptions and no touchdowns, and the Chargers blew a third quarter lead and lost 17–14. The Chargers would not have the best record in the NFL again until the 2006 season. They would not have another top ten defense in points allowed until 1989. They would not win 12 games in a season until 2004. Their best shot at glory went horribly awry, thanks to the worst game in the illustrious career of Dan Fouts."1980 San Diego Chargers season
The 1980 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 11th season in the National Football League (NFL), and its 21st overall. the team failed to improve on their 12–4 record in 1979 and finished 11-5. They won their first playoff game in 17 years. The season ended with loss to the Raiders in the playoffs.
Dan Fouts broke his own record with over 4,500 yards passing, with 30 touchdowns. The Chargers finished #1 in total offense #2 in scoring. The defensive unit finished #6, leading the NFL with 60 QB sacks. The Chargers finished 11-5, winning the tiebreaker with the Oakland Raiders for the AFC West crown.
To help bolster a sagging running game, Running back Chuck Muncie was traded from the New Orleans Saints mid-season.The Chargers Achilles heel that season was turnovers which they led the league in giveaways. In the Divisional Round against Buffalo, a 50-yard touchdown pass from Fouts to Ron Smith in the final 3 minutes of the game lifted the Chargers to a 20-14 win. In the AFC Championship Game, big plays and turnovers got the Chargers down, 28 to 7. The Chargers comeback fell short as the Raiders hung on to win 34-27, with Oakland running out the final 7 minutes of the 4th quarter.1981 San Diego Chargers season
The 1981 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 12th season in the National Football League (NFL) and its 22nd overall. The team failed to improve on their 11–5 record from 1980 and finished 10-6. In the playoffs, they beat the Dolphins in a game known as the Epic in Miami and lost to the Bengals in a game known as the Freezer Bowl.
1981 was the second straight season in which the Chargers reached the AFC Championship Game, as well as their second consecutive loss.
Running back Chuck Muncie enjoyed his best season, running for 1,144 yards and 19 touchdowns, tying the then-NFL season record for rushing touchdowns.During this season, the Chargers lost two key players by way of trade. Before Week 3, wide receiver John Jefferson was dealt to the Green Bay Packers, while defensive end Fred Dean would be dealt to the eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers by Week 5. The season was chronicled on September 18, 2008 for America's Game: The Missing Rings, as one of the five greatest NFL teams to never win the Super Bowl.1982 San Diego Chargers season
The 1982 San Diego Chargers season was the team's 23rd year, and 13th in the National Football League. The team had a 10–6 record in 1981. It was a strike-shortened season so the league was divided up into two conferences instead of its normal divisional alignment. It ended with a second round loss to the Dolphins. This would be the team's last playoff appearance until 1992.
The 1982 Chargers were the top-scoring team in the NFL. They scored a total of 288 points, 32 per game. They led the league in passing touchdowns (19), rushing touchdowns (15, tied with the Raiders) passing yards (2,927), and yards per attempt (8.9).
The Chargers defense, however, surrendered the most passing yards (2,292), and second-most first downs (119) in the league.Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts was named the Pro Football Writers of America MVP, and 1982 AP Offensive Player of the Year. Wide receiver Wes Chandler, tight end Kellen Winslow, and guard Doug Wilkerson all made first-team All-Pro.1983 Pro Bowl
The 1983 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 33rd annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1982 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 6, 1983, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 47,207. The final score was NFC 20, AFC 19.Walt Michaels of the New York Jets led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry. The referee was Fred Silva.Dan Fouts of the San Diego Chargers and John Jefferson of the Green Bay Packers were named the game's Most Valuable Players. A late touchdown pass from Danny White of the Dallas Cowboys to Jefferson provided the NFC margin of victory.
Players on the winning NFC team received $10,000 apiece while the AFC participants each took home $5,000 which were double the payouts of the previous year.1983 San Diego Chargers season
The 1983 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 14th season in the National Football League (NFL), its 24th overall. the team fell from their 6–3 record from 1982 to 6-10. It was their first losing season since 1976, as it is to date the most points the Chargers have surrendered in a sixteen-game season.
Despite San Diego's disappointing 6-10 record, they led the NFL in passing yardage for the sixth consecutive season, which remains an NFL record.1984 San Diego Chargers season
The 1984 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 15th season in the National Football League (NFL), its 25th overall. The Team improveed on their 6–10 record in 1983 to 7-9. Despite winning seven games, the Chargers failed to win a single game within their division.
Before the second game of the season against the Seattle Seahawks, running back Chuck Muncie missed the team's charter flight from San Diego. He told Chargers coach Don Coryell that he was late because vandals slashed the four tires on his car, but Coryell did not believe him. Muncie arrived in Seattle, but he was sent back to San Diego and did not play. Two days later, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a second-round draft pick; however, a urinalysis given by Miami detected cocaine, and the trade was voided. Afterwards, Muncie entered an Arizona drug rehabilitation center for a month. On November 15, he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL; he never played another NFL game.1986 San Diego Chargers season
The 1986 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 17th season in the National Football League (NFL), and its 27th overall. the team failed to improve on their 8–8 record from 1985 Following a stagnant 1–7 start, Head Coach Don Coryell was fired and Al Saunders was named interim Head Coach. After the season, Saunders was named the permanent Head Coach and would hold the position through the end of the 1988 season. Leslie O'Neal was named Defensive Rookie of the Year.1987 San Diego Chargers season
The 1987 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's strike-shortened 18th season in the National Football League (NFL), and the 28th overall. The team improved on their 4–12 record in 1986 to 8-7 but missed the playoffs. The strike of 1987 reduced the regular season schedule from sixteen to fifteen games. Their stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium, hosted Super Bowl XXII at the end of the season.
The Chargers started the season 8–1, with victories over playoff teams Indianapolis and Cleveland, before notoriously losing their final six games of the season, narrowly missing the playoffs. All but one of their final six losses came to teams that made the postseason in 1987.
1987 was the final season for Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts, who had been with the team since 1973, had led the league in passing four times, and who retired only the third quarterback in history to pass for more than 40,000 yards. Also retiring after the season was tight end Kellen Winslow; ending his career after having played since 1979.Air Coryell
In American football, Air Coryell is the offensive scheme and philosophy developed by former San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell. The offensive philosophy has been also called the "Coryell offense" or the "vertical offense".
With Dan Fouts as quarterback, the San Diego Chargers' offense was among the greatest passing offenses in National Football League history. The Chargers led the league in passing yards an NFL record six consecutive years from 1978 to 1983 and again in 1985. They also led the league in total yards in offense 1978–83 and 1985. Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, and Kellen Winslow would all be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame from those Charger teams.Ed Luther
Joseph Edward Luther (born January 2, 1957 in Gardena, California) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the 1980 NFL Draft. He played college football at San Jose State.
Luther was a backup quarterback behind Dan Fouts with the Chargers. He also played for the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Bulls in 1985 of the USFL.History of the San Diego Chargers
The professional American football team now known as the Los Angeles Chargers previously played in San Diego, California as the San Diego Chargers from 1961 to 2017 before relocating back to Los Angeles where the team played their inaugural 1960. The Chargers franchise relocated from Los Angeles to San Diego in 1961. The Chargers' first home game in San Diego was at Balboa Stadium against the Oakland Raiders on September 17, 1961. Their last game as a San Diego-based club was played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on January 1, 2017 against the Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated the host Chargers, 30–13.List of Los Angeles Chargers starting quarterbacks
These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the National Football League (NFL)'s Los Angeles Chargers or its predecessor, the San Diego Chargers. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the team.San Diego Chargers 50th Anniversary Team
The San Diego Chargers (known now as the Los Angeles Chargers) announced their 50th anniversary team in 2009 to honor the top players and coaches in the history of the National Football League team. The Chargers were founded in 1959 as part of the American Football League. The anniversary team included 53 players and coaches selected from 103 nominees. The Chargers originally stated that only 50 members would be selected; the group is still sometimes referred to as the 50 Greatest Chargers. Online voting by fans accounted for 50 percent of the voting results; votes from Chargers Hall of Famers and five members of the local media made up for the other 50 percent. Over 400,000 votes were cast online. Dan Fouts and LaDainian Tomlinson received the first and second most votes, respectively. The team features eight Pro Football Hall of Fame members and 11 players that were active on the 2009 Chargers team.Tom Drougas
Thomas Christopher Drougas, Jr. (born December 25, 1949) is a former American football player who played offensive tackle in the National Football League in the 1970s.
He played high school football at Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon and played offensive lineman for the University of Oregon, becoming a first-team All-America selection in 1971, as the leading blocker for the Ducks’ high-powered offense that featured the likes of quarterback Dan Fouts, receiver Bob Newland, and running back Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashad). He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with their first pick in the 1972 NFL Draft. He later played for the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Miami Dolphins before retiring in 1976.
|Led the league|
|NFL Offensive Player of the Year|
Dan Fouts—awards and honors