Friday, May 13, 2016

1977 Profile: Joe Ferguson

No. 12
"Always looks like he needs a good meal. Not usually listed among the league's best quarterbacks, but he gets the job done. Ferguson ranked third in AFC passing last behind Ken Stabler and Bert Jones.
Injured in the seventh game last year, he paid the price for scrambling when Patriot linebackers Sam Hunt, Steve Nelson and Steve Zabel converged on his back. The result was fractured transverse processes in his lower back. When he and Bert Jones were seniors at neighboring Lousiana high schools, Ferguson was the more highly recruited. A good ole country boy, he was born in Shreveport. The high school successor to Terry Bradshaw, Ferguson was Southwest Conference MVP at Arkansas.
He benefits from defenses keying on O.J. and not thinking Ferguson is a fine quarterback."

-Rich Kucner, The Complete Handbook of Pro Football, 1977 Edition

"Despite missing the final seven games of the 1976 season, Joe set two National Football League records: fewest interceptions (1) and lowest percentage of interceptions (0.66- one interception in 151 attempts). He threw for nine touchdowns in seven games last year. The injury he suffered in the New England game was four fractured transverse processes in his lower back; Ferguson is expected to be at full strength again in 1977. In his last 21 games, he has thrown 34 touchdown passes.
In 1975 Ferguson set two Bills passing marks: most touchdown passes in a season (25) and most consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass (12). He also tied a Buffalo record with four touchdown passes against New England on November 23. Joe holds the Bills' passing mark for the highest completion percentage in one game (81.3), set when he hit on 13 of 16 passes against Green Bay in 1974.
His career statistics include 6,039 passing yards (third on the all-time Bills' list) and 50 touchdown passes (second only to Jack Kemp on the Buffalo career list). He had started 49 consecutive games before his injury. Ferguson made the UPI All-Rookie team in 1973 when he was the only first-year player in the NFL to start every game at quarterback.
An All-America quarterback at Arkansas, Ferguson was voted MVP in the Southwest Conference and a member of the All-Conference team as a junior. He set a number of Razorback passing records for Coach Frank Broyles and was named to the North-South Shrine Game, Hula Bowl and College All-Star squads.
Joe was a physical education major who hopes to someday be a coach. He has worked in the last two off-seasons as an assistant coach at Northwestern Louisiana State University. Hunting and fishing are his favorite hobbies."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-TV-Radio Guide

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