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Jake Delhomme

Jake Delhomme (right) and his cousin Kevin Melancon (left) promoting the work of Civitan clubs with developmentally disabled people.
No. --     Cleveland Browns
Personal information
Date of birth: January 10, 1975 (1975-01-10) (age 35)
Place of birth: Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
College: Louisiana-Lafayette
Undrafted in 1997
Debuted in 1999 for the New Orleans Saints
Career history
 As player:
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
TDINT     123–94
Passing yards     19,892
QB Rating     82.1
Stats at

Jake Christopher Delhomme (pronounced /dəˈloʊm/; born January 10, 1975 in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana) is an American football quarterback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. He was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 1997. He played college football at Louisiana-Lafayette. He is known as a one read quarterback that throws ducks.

Delhomme has also played for the Carolina Panthers.


Early years

Delhomme was born to Jerry and Marcia Delhomme, both Cajuns; the last name Delhomme translates into "of the man".[1] Jake's grandfather Sanders Delhomme bred horses, and Jake's father, Jerry, was a jockey who began racing at eight years old.[1] Jake has called horses his "first love", and today he, his father, and his brother own and train thoroughbreds.[2] Delhomme played both quarterback and defensive back for Teurlings Catholic; he made the all-state team in high school ironically not as quarterback, but on defense.[2]

College career

Delhomme played college football for the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, his mother's alma mater.[1] The only true freshman quarterback to start for a Division I school in 1993, his passer efficiency rating ranked second among NCAA freshmen quarterbacks.[3] Playing on a team with future NFL wide receiver Brandon Stokley and offensive lineman Anthony Clement, the Ragin' Cajuns won the Big West Conference twice, and finished with three winning seasons. During his senior year, he led the Ragin' Cajuns to an improbable win over highly favored Texas A&M 29–22. [4]

Delhomme finished his career as the school's all-time passing leader in yards and touchdowns.[3] He started the last 43 games of his career, which was the longest among active quarterbacks at the time. Upon graduating, he was ranked 22nd in NCAA history for passing yards and 28th in total offense.[3] He was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.[5]

Professional career


New Orleans Saints and NFL Europe

Delhomme went undrafted in the 1997 NFL Draft, but was later signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent.[3] After spending the first season on the practice squad, he was assigned to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe as a backup quarterback to future NFL and Super Bowl MVP, Kurt Warner.[3] After another stint on the Saints' practice squad, he was sent back to NFL Europe, this time as a member of the Frankfurt Galaxy. The Galaxy operated under a rare two-quarterback strategy, utilizing both Delhomme and Pat Barnes; the pair was known as the "Double-Headed Quarterback Monster".[6] Delhomme and Barnes would run a quarterback option, with Barnes pitching to Delhomme, who would then throw bombs for touchdowns. The unorthodox strategy worked, as the Galaxy won World Bowl VII over the Barcelona Dragons. Delhomme would later say about his time in Europe:

...I was able to go over and play, but we had some success and we just, we were a team. We were not the most talented team, but we just played together, had the right chemistry.

—Jake Delhomme, [7]

Following his success in Europe, he was brought back to New Orleans as the full-time third-string quarterback. In his first NFL start against the Dallas Cowboys, he threw two touchdowns on route to a Saints victory, the team's third.[3]

Delhomme continued to see limited playing time the following three seasons, as he was the backup to Aaron Brooks and Jeff Blake. He managed to lead all NFC quarterbacks in overall passer rating during the 2001 and 2002 preseasons.[3] His success, coupled with the team's struggles, led fans to chant "We Want Jake, We Want Jake".[8]

Carolina Panthers

With Aaron Brooks cemented as the starter in New Orleans, Delhomme was interested in fighting for a starting spot in the NFL.[9] In the 2003 offseason, he met with representatives from both the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys.[10] He eventually signed with Carolina as a free agent. Ironically, it was his performance against Dallas in 1999 that made new Panthers coach John Fox take notice.[9]

The Panthers had been struggling, and were just one season removed from a dismal 1-15 season, during which they set a then-NFL record for consecutive losses in a single season.[11] Although Rodney Peete was the Panthers' starter, Delhomme was looked at to be the future of the franchise.[9] It did not take long for him to take over.

2003 season and Super Bowl XXXVIII

At halftime of the 2003 season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Panthers were down 17–0. Delhomme took over from Peete and threw three touchdowns, the last coming in a fourth-down situation with just 16 seconds left in the game, to lead the Panthers to a comeback victory.[3][12] He started the following week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and proceeded to start every game during the 2003 season.[3] He then led the Panthers on a Cinderella[13] run through the playoffs, including a double-overtime victory against the St. Louis Rams.[14] The Panthers made it through to Super Bowl XXXVIII to face the New England Patriots. Despite his personal success in the game (16-of-33 for 323 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 113.6 passer rating), as well as setting a record for longest offensive play from scrimmage in Super Bowl history (an 85-yard pass to Muhsin Muhammad), the Panthers fell on a last-minute field goal by Adam Vinatieri.[3] Delhomme was seen standing on the field during the Patriots' post-game celebration; he later commented:

I wanted to catch up to the moment of what it feels like to be on the other side, to be on this side, the losing side. To let it sink in, to hurt, so when we start practice in the fall, the two-a-days and there are days during the season when I’m tired and I want to go home, but I need to watch that extra film. I want to get back there, but I want to get on the other side of that field. They rope you off, the losing team basically. I just want to get on the other side of that rope. I just wanted to watch and let it sink in and hurt a little bit. When I have a tough day, I’ll just think about that feeling and it will make me dig down just a little deeper.

—on losing the Super Bowl, [4]

2004 season

The 2004 season proved bittersweet for Delhomme, as he posted career highs in pass attempts, completions, overall yardage, and touchdowns.[15] Unfortunately, the team was stricken with injuries, fielding five different combinations in their offensive line alone.[3] Starting the season 1–7 after the early losses of running backs Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster[16], as well as Steve Smith[17], their leading wide receiver, the Panthers rallied for a fantastic second half of the season. Delhomme finished the final eight games of the season with a passer rating of 102.8, fourth best in the league during that period. He also threw 17 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions en route to winning six of their last eight games.[3] They ultimately positioned themselves for a playoff berth, but lost that chance with a final game loss to Delhomme's former team, the New Orleans Saints.[18]

2005 season

2005 saw Delhomme return the Panthers to the playoffs. In addition to the team's success, Delhomme had one of his most productive seasons as a quarterback. His 11 victories as a starting quarterback set a team record, and he set career highs in completion percentage (60.2) and passer rating (88.1).[3] In addition, his success led to Steve Smith leading the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, becoming only the third wide receiver to accomplish the "triple crown" in league history.[19] Once again, he led the Panthers through the playoffs, including a shutout of the New York Giants, although the team ultimately fell to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game.[20]

2006 season

Delhomme started the 2006 season as the Panthers' quarterback, the first time in franchise history that the same quarterback was the starter for three straight seasons.[3] He set records during the season by making 150 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, bettering Steve Beuerlein's previous team record. The following week against the Washington Redskins, he continued his assault on the team record books by breaking Beuerlein's records for completions and passing yards.[3] Unfortunately, he injured his thumb in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and missed three games. During his time off, Chris Weinke started for the first time since the 2002 season, and in his first game shattered the team record for passing yards in a single game with 423 yards, but his three interceptions cost the Panthers the game against the New York Giants.[21] Weinke could only manage a single victory in Delhomme's absence (against the rival Atlanta Falcons, only his second victory as an NFL starter[22]), and Delhomme returned for the season finale against the New Orleans Saints.[3]

2007 season and injury

The 2007 season season started with a win against the St. Louis Rams and a loss to the Houston Texans. However, in the third game of the season (against division rival Atlanta Falcons), Delhomme suffered an elbow injury that would set off a series of changes for the Panthers at the quarterback position.[23] David Carr, who signed with Carolina in the off-season, took over as the Panthers' starting quarterback. After Carr injured his back in a defeat of the New Orleans Saints, [24], the Panthers signed Vinny Testaverde, who started the next game against the Arizona Cardinals just four days later, and in the process became the oldest starting quarterback to win a game in the NFL.[25] However, an injury to Testaverde coupled with Carr's spinal cord injury led to rookie Matt Moore starting in week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks, a game he won.[26] Meanwhile Delhomme opted for season ending Tommy John surgery on the elbow after two weeks of testing his arm.

Delhomme taking warmups before a game against the Chicago Bears on September 14, 2008.

2008 season and return

Delhomme returned to the starting position for the 2008 season. In the first game of the 2008 season, Delhomme restarted his career by coming back on the San Diego Chargers with a touchdown pass on fourth down as time expired to win the game. This is similar to his debut game in 2003.[27] After finishing the regular season 12-4 (Tying the Panthers best record in franchise history), the Panthers were eliminated from the playoffs when January 10, 2009, on his 34th birthday, Delhomme threw for a career worst five interceptions (and one fumble) against the Arizona Cardinals in the divisional round of the playoffs, ending the season with an overall record of 12-5.

2009 season

On April 23, 2009, the Panthers signed Delhomme to a 5-year extension worth $42.5 million, with a $20 million guarantee, putting him under contract through 2014.[28] In the season opener loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, Delhomme went 7 of 17 for 73 yards with four interceptions and a lost fumble, before getting benched for journeyman Josh McCown. Delhomme threw game-ending interceptions the next 2 games, and despite throwing for 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions with a 54.3 rating through the first 3 games, coach John Fox has kept Delhomme as the Panthers' starting quarterback. Steve Smith jokingly told Delhomme after their loss against the Eagles "I never liked you as a quarterback."[29] After the team's bye week, Delhomme still struggled. His next three games gave him 2 more touchdowns to 6 more interceptions. In the next four games however, Delhomme would only throw 1 interception. In spite of this improved performance, the team went 2-2 in those 4 games. Delhomme's most recent performance mimicked the early season problems, with a 0 TD, 4 INT game against the New York Jets. During the loss to the Jets, Delhomme broke a finger on his throwing hand and was replaced by backup Matt Moore for the next two games, a 16-6 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a 20-10 loss to the New England Patriots. After those games, Moore started to heat up, he beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-7, then beat the Giants in their final game at Giants Stadium, winning a blowout win 41-9, and then went on to beat the New Orleans Saints 23-10. Delhomme was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve on December 24, 2009. He was released by the Panthers on March 5, 2010.[30]On March 11, 2010 Delhomme visited the Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland Browns

On March 13, 2010, Delhomme signed a two year deal with the Cleveland Browns.[31]

Career statistics

Regular season

    Passing   Rushing
Season Team League GP Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Rat Att Yds TD
1998 Amsterdam NFLE 1 15 47 31.9 247 0 4 0 0 0
1999 Frankfurt NFLE 11 136 202 67.3 1410 12 5 21 126 0
1999 New Orleans NFL 2 42 76 55.3 521 3 5 62.4 11 72 2
2000 New Orleans NFL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2001 New Orleans NFL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2002 New Orleans NFL 4 8 10 80.0 113 0 0 113.7 4 -2 0
2003 Carolina NFL 16 266 449 59.2 3219 19 16 80.6 42 39 1
2004 Carolina NFL 16 310 533 58.2 3886 29 15 87.3 25 71 1
2005 Carolina NFL 16 262 435 60.2 3421 24 16 88.1 24 31 1
2006 Carolina NFL 13 263 431 61.0 2805 17 11 82.6 18 12 0
2007 Carolina NFL 3 55 86 64.0 626 8 1 111.8 6 26 0
2008 Carolina NFL 16 246 414 59.4 3288 15 12 84.7 17 25 2
2009 Carolina NFL 11 178 321 55.5 2015 8 18 59.4 17 60 0
Regular season totals 97 1630 2755 59.2 19892 123 94 82.1 167 330 7
NFLE totals 12 151 249 60.6 1657 12 9 21 126 0


    Passing   Rushing
Season Team League GP Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Rat Att Yds TD
2003-04 Carolina NFL 4 59 102 57.8 987 6 1 106.1 6 5 0
2005-06 Carolina NFL 3 54 90 60.0 655 5 4 82.4 5 24 0
2008-09 Carolina NFL 1 17 34 50.0 205 1 5 39.1 0 0 0
Playoff totals 8 130 226 57.5 1847 12 10 75.87 11 29 0

Personal life

Delhomme was married to the former Keri Melancon in 2000; the two were childhood sweethearts[1], and were "Junior Sweethearts" at Teurlings Catholic.[32] They have two daughters: Lauren Elizabeth, who was born on December 17, 2001, and Lindsey Marie, who was born on February 25, 2007.[33] Delhomme wears #17 because it is the date of his first daughter's birthday, and she was born after 17 hours of labor.[1] The Delhommes are practicing Roman Catholics.[32]

Delhomme has garnered popularity as a pitch-man for the Cajun fast food restaurant, Bojangles', where he is often depicted as a single-minded fried-chicken addict who audibles Bojangles' "fixin's" at the line of scrimmage. [34] One commercial parodies the film Jerry Maguire and the line "Show me the money!"; teammate Steve Smith is featured in a cameo. [35] Another commercial with Smith portrays the duo as the Dukes of Hazzard, driving The General Lee with a large chicken head on the roof.[36] Delhomme has also done SunCom Wireless limited edition cell phone commercials that feature a Panthers logo and his signature,[37] and he has appeared in public service announcements for Civitan International.[38] Delhomme is noted for licking his fingers before every play, and sticking his tongue out as part of his focus.[39][40]

ESPN's Chris Berman calls him "Jake 'daylight come and you gotta' Delhomme", a play on words of the Banana Boat Song by Harry Belafonte.[41]

The official Panthers website featured a regular discussion with Delhomme during the regular season, known as "Cajun Up with Jake".[42]


  1. ^ a b c d e Jon Saraceno (2004-01-24). "Delhomme's Cajun spice is just nice". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Jake Delhomme". NFL Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Jake Delhomme". Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Interview with Jake Delhomme". Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry. 2004-03-04. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  5. ^ "Former Athletes to be Inducted into Hall of Fame". University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  6. ^ "Early Start to Week Two". Our Sports Central. 2007-04-17. Retrieved 2007-09-06.  "Pat Barnes and Jake Delhomme split playing time right down the middle and famously became known as the "Double-Headed Quarterback Monster."
  7. ^ "First and Ten: Jake Delhomme". IGN. 2004-01-04. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  8. ^ Ryan McPherson (2004-09-24). "The Real Deal:Jake Delhomme". Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  9. ^ a b c "A Rising Star in the NFL". Acadiana Profile. 2004-02. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  10. ^ "First and Ten: Jake Delhomme". IGN. 2004-01-05. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  11. ^ "Patriots whip Panthers 38-6, clinch AFC East title". Sports Illustrated. 2002-01-06. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  12. ^ "NFL Game Center:Box Score - Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers". 2003-09-07. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  13. ^ Alex Gordon (2004-05). "Hockey Digest analysis: the season after". Hockey Digest. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  14. ^ "Panthers stun Rams 29-23 in double overtime". Sports Illustrated. 2004-01-11. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  15. ^ "ESPN-Jake Delhomme". Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  16. ^ "NFL Recap: San Diego at Carolina". Sports Illustrated. 2004-10-24. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  17. ^ "NFL Recap: Green Bay at Carolina". Sports Illustrated. 2004-09-14. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  18. ^ "NFL Recap: New Orleans at Carolina". Sports Illustrated. 2005-01-02. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  19. ^ "Steve Smith". Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  20. ^ "Box Score=Carolina at Seattle". Sports Illustrated. 2006-01-24. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  21. ^ "NFL Game Center: Game Recap: New York Giants at Carolina Panthers". 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  22. ^ "NFL Game Center: Game Recap: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons". 2006-12-24. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  23. ^ Associated Press (2007-09-23). "Panthers capitalize on Falcons' penalties in victory". Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  24. ^ "NFL Game Center: Game Recap - Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints". 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  25. ^ "NFL Game Center: Game Recap - Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals". 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  26. ^ "NFL Game Center: Game Recap - Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers". 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  27. ^ "Foxhole: Delhomme to have surgery". 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ [2]
  32. ^ a b "Alumni 1992". Teurlings Catholic High School. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  33. ^ Dan McDonald. "Expectations running high". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  34. ^ Delhomme's Player Profile
  35. ^ NBC story about commercial
  36. ^ Delhomme & Smith Bojangles commercial on YouTube
  37. ^ Jake Delhomme on Suncom
  38. ^ Jake Delhomme PSA
  39. ^ David Fleming. "Delhomme is finger-licking good". Retrieved 2008-11-13. 
  40. ^ Andrew Mason (2008-07-27). "Mason's Minutes: Monday Quick Hits". Retrieved 2008-11-11. "If one ever writes a Panthers encyclopedia, the entry under the word "concentration" will have a picture of Jake Delhomme with his tongue out."
  41. ^ Mountain Times column
  42. ^ Cajun up with Jake: Phil-osophical

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Rodney Peete
Matt Moore
Carolina Panthers Starting Quarterbacks
2003 - 2007
Succeeded by


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