Gus Frerotte in Vikings training camp (2008)
|No. 12, 11|
|Born:||July 31, 1971|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||233 lb (106 kg)|
|High school:||Ford City (PA)|
|NFL Draft:||1994 / Round: 7 / Pick: 197|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Gustave Joseph Frerotte (; born July 31, 1971) is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the seventh round of the 1994 NFL Draft. He played college football at Tulsa.
At the University of Tulsa, he started eight games as a redshirt freshman in 1990 after quarterback T.J. Rubley was injured, starting his first career game at Oklahoma. He finished his college career as the school's second-ranked all-time passer, behind Rubley. During his collegiate career, he threw for 5,480 yards and 32 touchdowns on 432-of-860 passing. His 2,871 passing yards as a senior were the most by a Tulsa quarterback in 28 years. As a sophomore, Frerotte also handled punting duties for the team and averaged 35.5 yards per punt.
Frerotte was picked in the seventh round of the draft with the 197th overall pick by the Washington Redskins; earlier in the same draft, the Redskins had selected Heath Shuler with their first-round pick (third overall). However, by the next season Frerotte was the starting quarterback due to Shuler's injuries and struggles adjusting to the professional game. Frerotte would retain the starting job until 1998.
Frerotte was selected to the 1997 Pro Bowl, but sprained his neck by ramming his head into a padded cement wall during a touchdown celebration in a 7–7 tie against the New York Giants on ESPN Sunday Night Football.
During his Pro Bowl season in 1996 (actual Pro Bowl Game played in February 1997), Frerotte passed for 3,453 yards (6th best in NFL and his career high), also ranking 9th in pass completions, finishing the year completing 270 of 470 passes. Frerotte also ranked 3rd in the league in average yards per pass completion (12.3). Frerotte had led the league in that category the season before (13.8 yards per completion), his first as a steady starter (16 games, 11 starts), finishing that year with 199 completions in 396 attempts for 2,751 yards with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
In 1999, he played for the Detroit Lions, where he backed up Charlie Batch. Frerotte wound up starting for the Lions in the playoffs while Batch was out with injuries; the Lions lost in the Wild Card round to the Redskins, Frerotte's former team, 27-13.
The 1999 season statistically was one of Frerotte's best, posting a career-high 60.2% completion percentage (4th best in NFL) and an 83.6 passer rating (9th best in NFL and best of Frerotte's career when starting 6 or more games). He also finished in the NFL Top 10 for Highest Average yards Per Pass Attempt at 6.88 (9th in NFL) & Passing Yards Per Game at 235.2 (8th in NFL). Frerotte's best game of the season came vs Chicago (11/25/99) completing a career best (up to this point) 29 completions for 309 yards with 2 Touchdowns and no interceptions, a key player in a narrow 21-17 win. The following week Frerotte again played well, this time facing his former team, helping Detroit beat Washington 33-17 completing 21 of 32 passes for 280 yards with 1 Touchdown and no interceptions. Frerotte established a then career high 375 yards, completing 24 of 39 passes again with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions in a losing effort vs Arizona on 11/14/99 (Full Season Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.com and individual game statistics courtesy of NFL.com).
In 2000, Gus was a backup for the Denver Broncos. After Brian Griese was injured, he led the Broncos to the playoffs. The team lost in the opening round to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. He remained the Broncos' backup until the 2001 NFL season was over.
Playing in 10 games (6 starts) subbing for the injured Griese, Frerotte lead Denver to four wins in his six starts, finishing the season with a 59.8% completion percentage (2nd best of career in a season with 6 or more starts), passing for 1,776 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. Frerotte finished 4th in the league in Average Yards Per Pass Completion (12.9) and 10th in Average Yards Per Pass Attempt (6.88).
Among his more notable performances, Frerotte quarterbacked a wild 38-37 win over Division Rival San Diego on November 19, overcoming 4 interceptions and a lost fumble by passing for a career-high 462 yards and 5 Touchdowns. He was far more efficient in wins over New Orleans on 12/03/00 (11 completions in 16 attempts for 201 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions) and in the regular season finale vs San Francisco on 12/23/00 (18 completions in 29 attempts for 205 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions). At one stretch Denver scored at least 38 points in three consecutive games with Frerotte starting at quarterback (11/19/00 vs San Diego, 11/25/00 vs Seattle, 12/03/00 vs New Orleans). (Full season statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.com and individual game statistics courtesy of NFL.com)
He joined the Cincinnati Bengals in 2002, winning the starting job before losing the position after three games to Jon Kitna under the soon-to-be-fired coach Dick LeBeau. His most notable play with the Bengals came against the Cleveland Browns on September 15: Frerotte, attempting to avoid a sack by Orpheus Roye, threw the ball with his left hand (Frerrotte is right-handed) and was intercepted by Browns defensive lineman and former teammate with the Washington Redskins, Kenard Lang, who returned the ball 71 yards to the Bengals 8-yard line.
Frerotte earned the Miami Dolphins starting job in 2005. He started 15 games, guiding the Dolphins to a 9–6 record, throwing for 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, completing 52% of his passes and finished the season with a 71.9 quarterback rating.
On April 1, 2008, he returned to the Vikings, signing a two-year, 3.75 million dollar deal. He was Tarvaris Jackson's backup for the first two games of the year. On September 17, 2008, he was named the starter for the rest of the 2008 season by head coach Brad Childress. Frerotte led the Vikings to an 8-3 record before suffering a back injury, which reinstated Jackson as the starter.
Frerotte had expressed interest in being the starting quarterback for the Vikings for the 2009 NFL season, but was released on February 27, 2009, after the team traded for quarterback Sage Rosenfels. The Vikings, however, would end up signing Brett Favre to be their eventual starter.
By December 2010, Frerotte was working for GAIMPlan Consulting which helps high school athletes select a college. On January 19, 2011, Frerotte announced he would be taking over as head coach at John Burroughs School in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. His teams were runners up in the state championship game in 2011 and 2012. In 2017, Frerotte joined Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based startup RC21X as the Vice President of Brain Health Initiatives. The company developed a cloud-based tool to monitor brain performance. Frerotte also serves as a brand ambassador for the firm.