|No. 11, 17|
|Born:||January 3, 1963|
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||212 lb (96 kg)|
(Albuquerque, New Mexico)
|NFL Draft:||1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
James Samuel Everett III (born January 3, 1963) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 12 seasons, primarily with the Los Angeles Rams. He played college football for the Purdue Boilermakers and was selected as the third pick in the first round of the 1986 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. Unable to work out a contract agreement with Everett, the Oilers traded his rights to the Rams, with whom Everett played from 1986 to 1993. He then played with the New Orleans Saints from 1994 to 1996 and ended his career with a stint with the San Diego Chargers in 1997.
Purdue University recruited Everett out of Eldorado High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jim Everett led his high school team to the State Championship game in 1979 against the Demons of Santa Fe High School. The Demons' stifling defense (held opponents to 100 points) and record-setting offense (547 points scored) handed the Jim Everett and his Eagle teammates their second loss of the season, and avenged a loss the Demons suffered earlier in the year. In 1980 they finally won the school's only state championship. In addition to quarterbacking the team, he played defense as a safety.
Recruited to play either safety or quarterback, he was soon slotted into the quarterback role where he narrowly missed out on being a four-year starter at Purdue, as a game-day decision before his first game as a freshman led to Scott Campbell getting the nod over Everett. Campbell held off Everett for three years, one of which Everett was able to redshirt to gain an extra year of eligibility. Upon Campbell's graduation to a seven-year career in the NFL, Everett took over the reins of the pass-oriented Boilermakers offense.
As a junior, Everett led the Boilermakers to the 1984 Peach Bowl, where he passed for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Purdue lost the game to Virginia, quarterbacked by future Green Bay Packer Don Majkowski, 27-24. Everett is also the only Purdue quarterback to ever beat Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State all in the same season.
During the 1985 season, Everett led the NCAA in total offense (3,589 yards), at the time a school record (since broken by fellow Purdue alum Drew Brees). He finished sixth in balloting for the 1985 Heisman Trophy.
Everett earned regular membership on the Distinguished Students list at Purdue, and graduated with a degree in industrial management. During his time at Purdue, Everett regularly tutored fellow Purdue athletes in courses such as calculus and statistical analysis. He was also initiated into the Sigma Chi fraternity as an undergraduate. During his senior year, he was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor in recognition of his athletic and academic achievements.
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Everett had a productive NFL career, especially with the Rams, where he was a statistical leader in several passing categories. His Rams teams were successful early in his career, earning playoff berths in 1986, 1988, and 1989, despite never reaching the Super Bowl. Everett continued to produce fine statistics, and was rewarded with a trip to the 1991 Pro Bowl game in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Despite productive years with the Rams, 1989 marked Everett's final playoff season in his NFL career. Starting in 1990, the Rams began to trade or release players due to financial concerns. (For example, LeRoy Irvin spent his final season with the Lions. Meanwhile, Greg Bell, who had been the team's starting running back, spent 1990 across town.) After winning 13 games in 1989 (including 2 playoff wins), the Rams won 19 games from 1990-93 combined (5 in 1990, 3 in 1991, 6 in 1992, 5 in 1993).
The 1993 season was a low point in Everett's career. He played in only 10 games but managed to throw 12 interceptions. He threw only eight touchdown passes, tying the lowest yearly total of his career and matching his rookie total when he only played in six games. Around mid-season, Rams coach Chuck Knox benched him for T. J. Rubley.
In three years with the Saints, benefitting from receivers such as Quinn Early and former Falcon receiver Michael Haynes and former Bear fullback Brad Muster in the backfield, Everett threw 22, 26, and 12 touchdowns. But the team finished 7-9, 7-9, and 3-13 in those three years, respectively. The Saints, like many other NFL teams, released or traded core players when the NFL's salary cap took effect around the time Everett arrived in New Orleans. The Dome Patrol defense had largely been dismantled by 1994. Only Sam Mills remained on the Saints' roster by 1994, and that was Mills's final season, as he departed for the expansion Carolina Panthers the following year. Running backs Dalton Hilliard and Craig Heyward had also both left the Saints by 1994.
Over his career, Everett performed well enough to be among league leaders in several passing categories. His 203 touchdown passes rank 25th all-time, and his 34,837 passing yards are 14th all-time. He also ranks 15th all-time in completions and 16th all-time in pass attempts. On a year-to-year basis, he was among the top ten league leaders in pass attempts (seven times), completions (eight times), pass yards (seven times), and passing touchdowns (six, including leading the league twice).
Everett's two postseason victories (both in 1989) tied him with Vince Ferragamo, James Harris, and Norm Van Brocklin for second-most playoff victories during the Rams' first stint in Los Angeles (as of 2018, it is now the third-most). Only Ferragamo had more wins (three) during the Rams' 49-year stint in Los Angeles. Kurt Warner's five playoff victories during the Rams' years in St. Louis have since superseded Ferragamo's record.
Following the 1989 regular season, Everett was reportedly "shellshocked" from the numerous times he was sacked and hit in the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers (the 49ers won, 30-3). At one point in the game, Everett was so rattled that he collapsed to the ground in the pocket in anticipation of a sack, even though the 49ers' defensive players had not yet reached him, a play now known as Everett's "phantom sack".
His struggle eventually led to a 1994 confrontation with then Talk2 host Jim Rome. Rome had regularly mocked Everett's aversion to taking hits on the field, mockingly referring to him as "Chris" Everett (a reference to female tennis player, Chris Evert). When Everett appeared as a guest on Talk2, Rome wasted no time, calling him "Chris". Everett dared Rome to repeat it to his face again, implying that a physical confrontation would ensue were Rome to do so. Rome did so and Everett overturned the table between them and shoved Rome to the floor while still on the air. Rome was not injured and no legal action followed the confrontation.
Play occurs on a third-and-ten with about four minutes left in the third quarter