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Chargers By The (Jersey) Numbers: #13

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After an exciting, memory-inducing #12....we're back to a poor selection for #13 before ramping things up tomorrow.  Six quarterbacks, one wide receiver and none of them with the Chargers longer than three seasons.  Yippee.  At least it'll be fun to be reminded of obscure players that we forget about, right?  RIGHT?  Maybe not, but then again....this may lead to a surprise winner!  Let's get to the nominees and the shocking results...

The Nobodies:

  • Brian Brennan - Brennan was an OK wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns through the second half of the 80s and into the early 90s.  After eight seasons with them, Brennan split his last season between San Diego (6 games) and Cincinnatti (9 games).  In his 6 games with the Chargers he caught 3 passes, none for a touchdown.
  • Don Horn - Don was a first round pick in the 1967 NFL Draft, an All American out of San Diego State University picked by the Green Bay Packers.  Unfortunately, his NFL career was less impressive than his college careeer because he only threw for only 3,369 yards and 20 touchdowns in 8 seasons.  Horn played the final season of his career as a backup quarterback with the Chargers, but never got into any games.
  • Wayne Clark - Clark played three seasons as the backup QB for the Chargers in the early 70s.  He backed up John Hadl and later Dan Fouts.  He started 4 games for San Diego, leading the team to a 1-3 record in those games and completing about 44% of his passes.  His career QB rating is 24.5.
  • Gale Gilbert - As a backup QB in the NFL, a starter in college and a Little League baseball player, Gale Gilbert has been a part of an incredible number of big sports moments, but never really factored into any of them..  Check out this resume:
  1. Gilbert is the only player in NFL history to be a member of five straight Super Bowl teams. Gilbert was a member of the Bills who played in four straight Super Bowls (XXV through XXVIII) and of the Chargers who played in Super Bowl XXIX. Gilbert was on the losing team in all five Super Bowl games.
  2. In the famous game featuring "The Play" between the University of California Golden Bears and the Stanford University Cardinals, Gale Gilbert was a sophomore and the starting quarterback for the University of California.
  3. As a youth, Gilbert played catcher for Red Bluff Little League in the 1974 Little League World Series and lost in the final game to Taiwan 12-1.

Gilbert was with the Chargers for two seasons in the mid-90s, starting 2 games and going 0-2 in them.  Although he completed 60% of his passes as a Charger, he threw 5 interceptions against 3 TDs and had a QB rating of only 67.7.

  • Moses Moreno - I've often talked about going to preseason games and falling in love with Moreno's game.  I swore he was destined for big things.  He was not.  In two seasons with the team he started 2 games, going 0-2 in those games.  He completed just over 50% of his passes, but threw no TDs against 2 Ints.  His QB rating as a Charger was 54.8.  Bonus trivia: Moses was the brother of San Diego linebacker Zeke Moreno.
  • Steve Tensi - Tensi was drafted in both the NFL and AFL drafts in 1965, choosing to sign with the Chargers as a backup QB to John Hadl.  In two seasons with the Chargers, Tensi started 2 games and lead the team to 2 losses.  Although he threw 5 TDs against 1 Int, he completed only 40% of his passes.  His QB rating as a Charger was 92.2, which was not enough to subplant Hadl.  After his second season Tensi signed on to be the starter for the Denver Broncos, going 10-21-1 in 32 starts as their signal caller.
  • Mark Vlasic - Vlasic spent 3 seasons with the Chargers after being drafted by them in the 4th round of the 1987 NFL Draft.  He started 3 games as a Bolt, going 2-1 in those games.  He threw 2 TDs against 5 Ints and compiled a QB rating of 46.6.  Despite a pedestrian career, Vlasic may have the most extensive Wikipedia entry of any QB not headed for the Hall of Fame.

So that's it.  That's all of them.  A bunch of backup QBs that didn't perform well enough to earn the starter's spot.  I guess I have to pick one to represent #13.  I really don't want to.  Wait a minute, I have an idea....

Floyd_medium

Malcom_floyd_medium

You recognize that guy, don't you?  Tall, lanky receiver with good hands.  Of course you recognize him!  You just don't recognize the number.  The winner, and the player chosen to represent Chargers jersey #13.......

Malcom Floyd, WR.  Do you remember when Chargers fans fell in love with Malcom?  I do.  Marty decided to give his starters a rest in a meaningless week 17 game against the Chiefs in 2004.  That's when three things stood out.  1) Philip Rivers, the kid we had drafted to replace Brees, was really good and maybe as good as Drew.  2) Ryan Krause is a beast that cannot be defeated.  3) Malcom Floyd has great hands and body control.  If he fills out a bit he'll be dangerous.  Well, two of those things actually came true.  And in that game, Malcom Floyd caught 3 passes (including a TD) while wearing the #13!  Krause struggled to stay healthy, and for some reason Floyd was sent back to the practice squad the following year, but eventually Floyd put on some more muscle and was given an opportunity to shine (switching to #80 in the process).

In 35 games with the Chargers, Floyd has caught 52 passes and 8 TDs.  He averages 15.8 yards per reception.  He has never fumbled.  The strangest thing about Floyd is how nobody else saw his potential.  He was a four-year starter at Wyoming, and in his senior season he caught 63 balls for 834 yards and 6 TDs.  Yet, Malcom was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and was signed by the Chargers as an undrafted free agent.  Another example of how good the San Diego Chargers scouting staff is.

Floyd has personality to go along with his game, and unlike a lot of professional football players he values his intelligence.  Floyd has received a grade of honors in Triple I (I don't know what it is either, but it measure intelligence).  Following his outstanding performance in Triple I, Malcom delivered again with another honors in Hematology/Oncology.  On exiting the Alumni auditorium, Mr. Floyd famously announced, "If it were not for the great variability among individuals, medicine might as well be a science and not an art."  Malcom is publicly a big fan of Chinese cuisine. When asked about the link between enterotoxins and fried rice, he exlaimed "B.cereus, fried rice?"

For those quotes alone, he wins.  Add in his performance as a freakishly-gifted wide receiver, who will probably be one of the Chargers starting receivers in 2009 or 2010, and he's locked it up.  He deserves this one because he's got no chance at #80.  So your winner, Malcom Floyd!