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Bert Jones
Jersey #(s)
7, 17
Born September 7, 1951 (1951-09-07) (age 58)
Ruston, Louisiana
Career information
Year(s) 19731982
NFL Draft 1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
College LSU
Professional teams
Career stats
TD-INT 124-101
Yards 18,190
QB Rating 78.2
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Bertram Hays "Bert" Jones (born September 7, 1951, in Ruston, Louisiana) is a former LSU and NFL quarterback who played for the then Baltimore Colts and, briefly, the Los Angeles Rams. At Ruston High School, he was given the nickname, "The Ruston Rifle". He is the son of former NFL running back, Dub Jones of the Cleveland Browns.



Jones went to the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity (Gamma chapter), and also played for LSU's football team. While at LSU, Jones only started two games prior to the end of his junior year, but he started every game after that, leading LSU to a 12-2-1 record. During his senior year (1972), LSU went 9-2-1. Except for one week, LSU spent that entire season ranked in the AP Top 10. That year, Jones became the first quarterback in LSU history to be awarded consensus All-American honors. Jones also finished 4th in the vote for the Heisman Trophy and was voted the National Collegiate Player of the Year by the Cleveland Touchdown Club.

One of Bert Jones' most famous moments came in the 1972 LSU-Ole Miss game, when he led LSU to a 17-16 last-second victory by hitting RB Brad Davis in the end zone for a touchdown as time expired. Jones's other major victories included #14 LSU's 28-8 victory over #7 Notre Dame in 1971 (televised by ABC) and #8 LSU's 35-7 victory over #9 Auburn in 1972.

During his 17 games at LSU, Bert Jones completed 52.6 percent of his passes for 3,225 yards and 28 touchdowns, which at the time was the most career passing yards and touchdowns of any quarterback in LSU history.


In 1973, Jones was chosen in the first round (2nd overall) of the NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts to be the Colts heir apparent to Johnny Unitas, who was later traded to San Diego. During his eight year tenure as the Colts' starting QB, Jones and his teammates enjoyed three consecutive AFC East division titles (1975–77). But in each of those years, the Colts lost in the first round of the playoffs. The 1977 playoff game (known as Ghost to the Post) is famous as the 2nd longest game in NFL history (after the Dolphins-Chiefs double overtime playoff Dec. 25, 1971); the Colts fell to the Oakland Raiders, 37-31. The Colts' fortunes seemed to rise and fall with Jones; he missed most of 1978 and 1979 with a shoulder injury, and the Colts fell to last place in the AFC East those two seasons.

The 1976 regular season was Bert Jones's finest as a professional as he threw for 3,104 yards and a career high 24 touchdowns compiling a passer rating of 102.5. Jones was one of only three quarterbacks to achieve a 100+ passer rating during the entire decade of the 1970s, joining Dallas' Roger Staubach (1971) and Oakland's Ken Stabler (1976). Jones was thus honored by the Associated Press as 1976's NFL Most Valuable Player and NFL Offensive Player of the Year, selected All-Pro and named to the Pro Bowl team. Jones was also selected 2nd Team All-Pro following the 1977 season.

In 1982, his final season, Bert Jones played in four games for the Los Angeles Rams before a neck injury forced him to retire.

In 1990, Jones participated in the first NFL QB challenge. He finished 1st in the retiree category and 3rd in the regular competition. (The regular competition taking the top 3 finishers from the alumni competition and adding them to the regular field of current QBs). Given his strong performance, Bobby Beathard, then the GM of the Chargers, wanted Jones to come out of retirement. Bert was 39 at the time and chose not to try a comeback.

The widely respected scout Ernie Accorsi is quoted as saying that if Bert Jones had played under different circumstances, he probably would have been the greatest player ever. John Riggins has been quoted as saying Bert was the toughest competitor he has ever witnessed. On the eve of Super Bowl XLII New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, in discussing his choices for the greatest quarterbacks of all time, described Jones as the best "pure passer" he ever saw.[1]

Later Years

Jones now owns and operates a wood treatment facility about fifteen miles (24 km) from his home in Simsboro, also in Lincoln Parish west of Ruston.

Jones once hosted Suzuki's Great Outdoors on the ESPN network. He invited his friend Grits Gresham to appear on three episodes of the series, and Gresham hosted Jones on two episodes of his own The American Sportsman on ABC.

Jones is a former appointee to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and is active in environmental and outdoors activities.


  1. ^ "Super Bowl Notebook: Belichick lists Bert Jones as one of his all-time QBs". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 2008-02-03.  

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Marty Domres
Baltimore Colts Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Mike Pagel
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Fran Tarkenton
AP NFL Most Valuable Player
1976 season
Succeeded by
Walter Payton

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