- Vinny Testaverde
number=12, 14, 16
caption=Testaverde with the Carolina Panthers in 2007.
birthdate=birth date and age|1963|11|13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers(1987-1992)
New York Jets(1998-2003)
New York Jets(2005)
New England Patriots(2006)
Davey O'Brien Award(1986)
Walter Camp Award(1986)
Pro Bowlselection (1996, 1998)
Vincent Frank Testaverde (born
November 13, 1963in Brooklyn, New York) is a former American football quarterbackwho last played for the Carolina Panthersof the National Football League. Testaverde has previously played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, and the New England Patriots. Testaverde holds the NFL records having thrown a touchdown pass in 21 consecutive seasons and an interception in 19 consecutive seasons. In addition, he holds the NFL record for throwing touchdown passes to 70 different players. As a University of Miamiquarterback, he won the Heisman Trophyin 1986cite web
title=Heisman Trophy - Heisman Winners
accessdate = 2007-01-01 ] .
University of Miami
While growing up in
Elmont, New York, on Long Island, Testaverde attended Sewanhaka High Schoolin Floral Park,cite web | last=Blair | first=Cynthia
title = 1981: Vinny Testaverde Graduates from Sewanhaka High School
Newsday| date= 2004-04-24| accessdate = 2007-01-01 ] and the University of Miami, winning the Heisman Trophyin 1986 on his way to becoming the Hurricanes' all-time leader in career touchdownpasses with 46. Testaverde and UF quarterback, Danny Wuerffel are the only players in college football history to have won the Heisman, Maxwell, Walter Camp, and Davey O'Brien awards, all in 1986 and 1996, respectively. He played in the 1987 Fiesta Bowlagainst Penn State for the 1986 national championship, a game in which the Miami Hurricanes were heavily favored. However, Penn State intercepted Testaverde five times in a 14-10 defeat of top-ranked Miami, and he failed to throw a touchdown pass.Testaverde played an important part in the University of Miami's ascendance as one of the top collegiate football programs of the 1980s and 1990s. Along with Jim Kellyand Bernie Kosar, Testaverde is considered part of the University of Miami's quarterback dynasty.
Testaverde was the first overall draft pick of the
Tampa Bay Buccaneersin the 1987NFL draft.cite web
title = Vinny Testaverde #14 Quarterback New England Patriots
accessdate = 2007-01-02] He has played in two
Pro Bowls (in 1996cite web | url=http://www.pro-football-reference.com/misc/pb1996.htm | title=1996 Pro Bowl rosters | publisher=pro-football-reference.com | accessdate = 2007-01-02] with the Baltimore Ravensand 1998cite web | url=http://www.pro-football-reference.com/misc/pb1998.htm | title=1998 Pro Bowl rosters | publisher=pro-football-reference.com | accessdate = 2007-01-02] with the New York Jets) in twenty one seasons in the NFL.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1988, Testaverde became the Bucs' starting quarterback, with a 47.6% completion rate for 3,240 yards and 13 touchdowns, but with 35 interceptions. Toward the end of his tenure in Tampa, Testaverde began to receive taunts from fans and radio personalities about his color blindness. In 1991 a radio station in Tampa rented a billboard after losing to the New York Giantsthat had Testaverde standing in front of a blue background. The billboard read: "Vinny thinks this is orange!"cite web
title=Vinny, vidi, vici: Our game picker admits his aim is often little off, but like recently unretired Vinny Testaverde, he keeps on chuckin'
last=Arthur |first=Bruce | date=
2006-11-18| publisher= National Post
accessdate=2007-01-02] His numbers continued to improve and, by the
1992season, his last game with Tampa Bay, he threw for a 57.5% completion rate for 2,554 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.
Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens
Testaverde signed as an unrestricted free agent with the
Cleveland Brownsin 1992. After spending half a season as fellow Miami Hurricane Bernie Kosar's backup, he became the starter upon Kosar's release. He spent three seasons in Cleveland, then moved with the Browns to Baltimore and played two more seasons with the newly-renamed Baltimore Ravens. Testaverde made his first Pro Bowl appearance in 1996 with the Ravens.
New York Jets
In 1998, his first season with the Jets,Transactions since 1998 : cite web
title=Vinny Testaverde - Transactions
accessdate=2007-01-02] Testaverde flourished, completing 61.5% of his passes with 29 touchdowns,seven interceptions,and a 101.6 Quarterback rating. In arguably his best season in the NFL, he led the Jets to the 1998 AFC East title and then to the AFC Championship game, where they lost to the eventual
Super Bowlchampion Denver Broncos. He failed to carry this momentum to the 1999 season; Testaverde tore his Achilles tendonin the first game and did not play the rest of the season.
In 2000, however, he returned to quarterback the Jets. The highlight of the season was the "Monday Night Miracle" game against the
Miami Dolphinson October 23, 2000, selected by fans as the greatest game in Monday Night Footballhistory.cite web
title=MNF's Greatest Games: Miami-New York Jets 2000
last=Diegnan | first=Mike
publisher=ABC Sports Online
accessdate=2007-01-02] In that game, the Jets fell behind 30-7 going into the fourth quarter, but came back to win the game, 40-37 behind 5 touchdown passes from Testaverde, including one each to
Laveranues Coles, Jermaine Wiggins, Jumbo Elliott, and two to Wayne Chrebet.
In 2001, he again led the Jets to the playoffs, where they lost in the first round to the
Oakland Raiders. In 2002, he was replaced after a 1-3 start by Chad Pennington.cite web
title=Testaverde benched for Pennington
publisher=NFL.com wire reports
accessdate=2007-01-02] He made cameo appearances to take the last snap in both the playoff clinching game versus the
Green Bay Packersand the 41-0 playoff win against the Indianapolis Colts. In 2003, he was assigned to a backup role behind Pennington, although he started the first 6 games due to Pennington's left wrist injury.
Despite his injuries, Testaverde's performance with the Jets endeared him to coach
Bill Parcells, who retired from coaching in 1999. One year after Parcells was lured out of retirement by Dallas Cowboysowner Jerry Jones, he brought Testaverde to his new team in 2004.
Testaverde initially was signed to be a backup and mentor to young Cowboys quarterback
Quincy Carter. But after Carter was abruptly cut by the Cowboys, Testaverde was given the starting quarterback job. While many questioned Testaverde's ability to still play in the NFL, the protection schemes and play calling allowed him to showcase his arm, although with mixed results. He was able to throw for significant yardage, but led the league in interceptions, getting picked off on 4% of his passes.
Testaverde's one-year contract with the Cowboys expired early in
2005. The Cowboys chose to instead sign Parcells's 1993number one draft pick, Drew Bledsoe, as their top quarterback, leaving Testaverde without a contract. Parcells cites Testaverde's presence in Dallas as having been important to the development of current starter Tony Romo.
econd Stint with the New York Jets
As injuries on
September 25knocked both Chad Penningtonand backup Jay Fiedlerout for the 2005 season, the New York Jets re-signed Testaverde on September 27, 2005. Testaverde was named the Jets' starting quarterback in week five of the 2005 season, in a home game against the team that originally drafted him, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
December 26, against the New England Patriotson the final ABC telecast of " Monday Night Football", Testaverde set a new NFL record for most consecutive seasons with at least one touchdownpass, 19, by throwing a 27-yard pass to Laveranues Colesto secure the record. That pass is also notable as being the last touchdown pass thrown on "Monday Night Football" while it was still broadcast by ABC. The game was also notable because the Patriots sent in back-up quarterback Doug Flutie, making this the first game in NFL history in which two quarterbacks over the age of 40 completed a pass (Testaverde was 42, Flutie was 43).
New England Patriots
November 14, 2006, the New England Patriotssigned Testaverde as a backup to starter Tom Brady(the only other quarterback on New England's roster at the time was Matt Cassel). Testaverde kneeled down for the final play in a victory against the Packers on November 19, 2006. Testaverde threw a touchdown pass to Troy Brownon December 31, 2006 against the Tennessee Titans, giving him at least one touchdown pass for the twentieth straight season, breaking his own record. The Patriots defeated the Jets, Testaverde's former team, in the first round of the playoffs, and Testaverde took the last couple of snaps to run out the clock.
May 29, 2007, Testaverde stated his interest in returning to the Patriots for the 2007 NFL season, [Testaverde plans to play: cite web
title=Testaverde plans to play
accessdate=2007-05-29] and on
July 13, 2007 confirmed this with Sporting News Radio. He officially signed a 1 year contract for $825,000 on August 18, 2007, but was released on September 1, 2007.
Jake Delhommeout for the 2007 season due to an elbow injury he suffered in a Week 3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, and David Carrout with a sore back, the Panthers signed Testaverde on October 10, 2007. Testaverde, wearing # 16, started his first game with the team on October 14, 2007against the Arizona Cardinals. In that game he threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith, extending his NFL record to 21 consecutive seasons with a touchdown pass. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3056695 Testaverde expected to practice with Panthers Wednesday] ] After leading the Panthers to a 25-10 victory, the 43-year-old became the oldest starting quarterback to win a game in NFL history, and the third-oldest to start one. He has also thrown touchdown passes to 71 different players, also a record. On Sunday October 28th, coach John Fox named Testaverde the starting quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts. In that game, Testaverde lead the Panthers in the longest opening drive for a touchdown in franchise history, consisting of 18 plays and lasting for an unprecedented 11 minutes and one second. Despite winning time of possession in the first half of the game, the Panthers entered the locker room under a 3-point deficit. In the second half, Testaverde left the field with a sprained Achilles tendon, and was replaced by former Houston Texans quarterback David Carr. Ultimately, the Panthers lost 31-7. Reports said that Testaverde would be out for at least a week. [ [http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/70/news;_ylt=ApZI.deptBuVsnXeAw1vx_T.uLYF Vinny Testaverde - Carolina Panthers - News - NFL - Yahoo! Sports ] ]
On December 2, 2007, Testaverde became the second oldest starting quarterback in NFL history at 44 years and 19 days old. He threw two touchdown passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the Panthers' win, breaking his own record for the oldest starter to win an NFL game.
Testaverde announced his plans for retirement on December 29, 2007 which would take effect after the final game of the season for Carolina on December 30. [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/football/nfl/12/29/bc.fbn.panthers.testaverde.ap/index.html] Panthers coach John Fox sent him into the game to take the final kneel-down snap in a game which the Panthers won 31-23, expectantly bringing to an end to the 44-year-old's 21-year NFL career. By the start of 2008, he made it official by announcing his retirement in January.
*The Cleveland Browns moved to Maryland and became the Baltimore Ravens following the 1995 season. The Browns and Ravens legally have separate team records as part of the settlement of the city of Cleveland's lawsuit against the team and NFL.
* [http://www.patriots.com/team/index.cfm?ac=playerbio&bio=32326 New England Patriots bio]
* [http://www.newyorkjets.com/team/all_time/player/755-vinny-testaverde New York Jets bio]
*espn nfl|id=70|name=Vinny Testaverde profile and statistics
*pro-football-reference|id=TestVi00|name=Vinny Testaverde profile and statistics
* [http://www.heisman.com/years/1986.html Vinny Testaverde (1986 Heisman Trophy Winner) profile at Heisman.com]
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