Baltimore’s 2nd Greatest QB

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People who say that Joe Flacco is the second best quarterback to ever play for a Baltimore NFL team never saw Bert Jones play. Talk about a guy who carried a team!

Couple of quick stories regarding Bert…

I have co-hosted many shows with former Baltimore Colts All-Pro Bruce Laird who was a safety and return specialist for the Horseshoe. Bruce once shared that one day while practicing he messed up his technique and was caught flat-footed with his back to the quarterback — Bert. Yet he was able to recover and turn around at the nick of time to deflect the pass. He credited the quick recovery to a whistling sound he heard. He turned towards Bert upon hearing it. The whistling sound was create by the velocity of Bert’s pass.

In 2001 while in Tampa, I was running around Ybor City enjoying the celebratory festivities prior to Super Bowl XXXV. At one of the bars I ran into Franco Harris and his college teammate Lydell Mitchell. I happened to talk to Lydell for a bit and asked his opinion of Bert and how he might have fared in the modern NFL.

To paraphrase, Lydell said that Bert could do it all and that if he played today he’d be one of the greats. He went on to say that the Ruston Rifle was every bit as good as John Elway and that he would have benefitted from modern medicine. Jones never fully recovered from a AC joint separation and he was never the same after suffering the injury — an injury that robbed the league of a star, a potential Hall of Famer and clearly the second best quarterback ever to dress on Sundays in Baltimore.

It is generally recognized that Johnny Unitas is the best quarterback to ever represent Baltimore. Who is the second best?
Joe Flacco
Bert Jones
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