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Kordell Stewart
Position(s)
QB, WR, RB, P
Jersey #(s)
10
Born October 16, 1972 (1972-10-16) (age 37)
Career information
Year(s) 19952005
NFL Draft 1995 / Round: 2 / Pick: 60
College Colorado
Professional teams
Career stats
TDINT 77–84
Passing Yards 14,746
QB Rating 70.7
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards
  • Pro Bowl selection (2001)
  • 1995 “Joe Greene Great Performance Award”

Kordell Stewart, nicknamed "Slash" (born October 16, 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is a former American NFL quarterback. Stewart attended the University of Colorado and was drafted 60th in the 1995 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Playing for Colorado in 1994 he completed a hail mary pass to beat the University of Michigan 27-26, a play known as "The Miracle at Michigan." Among NFL quarterbacks, his 38 rushing touchdowns ranks second all-time, behind Steve Young's 43. The NFL Network named him #6 on its list of the 10 most versatile players in NFL history.

Contents

Biography

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Early Life and high school years

Stewart was born in New Orleans and raised in Marrero, Louisiana, where his father Robert Stewart, Sr. and older brother Robert, Jr. own a barber shop.[1]

Stewart's mother, a heavyset smoker, died from lung cancer when Stewart was ten years old.[1] As a result, Stewart wore number 10 throughout his playing career in high school, college, and the NFL as a tribute to his mom and became an anti-smoking advocate. With the Steelers, Stewart's number 10 was previously worn by kicker Roy Gerela during the team's dynasty years in the 1970s, later by quarterback Scott Campbell, and is currently worn by wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

Stewart attended John Ehret High School in Marrero and lettered in football. As a junior, he passed for 1,645 yards and 19 touchdowns. As a senior, he passed for 942 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for another 923 yards and 23 touchdowns, and was named Louisiana's Most Valuable Player and the New Orleans Player of the Year.

During his senior year in high school, Kordell predicted that he would one day be the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

College career

In 1991, Stewart attended the University of Colorado. Playing under coach Bill McCartney, he would become one of the most prolific quarterbacks in school history, setting several Buffaloes records, including most completed passes, most passing yards, and most touchdown passes.[2]

Stewart led the option-oriented Buffaloes to an 11-1 record and a top-3 finish in the AP and Coaches polls in 1994, as well as wins in the 1993 Aloha Bowl and 1995 Fiesta Bowl. He was selected as a second team All-American his senior year.

On September 24, 1994, Stewart threw a game winning, 76-yard hail mary pass to Michael Westbrook in the closing seconds to beat the University of Michigan.[3]

NFL career

1997

Stewart got his chance to start at quarterback in 1997. In his first season as a starting quarterback in the NFL, he led the Steelers to an 11–5 record and the AFC Championship Game.

1998 and 1999 seasons

Prior to the 1998 season, the Steelers lost their offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey. To replace him, the Steelers brought in Ray Sherman from the Vikings. In addition, Stewart's leading receiver and Pro Bowler Yancey Thigpen also left via free agency after the 1997 season. By mid-season in 1998, the Steelers had lost three of the five starting offensive linemen from the 1997 AFC Championship game and, as a result, Stewart and the Steelers offense struggled.

2000

Coach Bill Cowher named Kent Graham quarterback to start the season, and the team got off to a 1–3 start. When Graham injured his hip, Stewart was tapped to replace him. The team finished 9–7 and barely missed the playoffs.

2001

As starting quarterback, Stewart led the 2001 Steelers to a 13–3 regular-season record and the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Under the tutelage of new QB coach Tom Clements and new offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, Stewart had his best year as a pro, throwing for over 3,000 yards, completing 60 percent of his passes, and attaining a passer rating of 81.7. He threw for 14 TDs and ran for 5 more. Stewart was elected to the Pro Bowl and was named the Steelers MVP.

The Steelers easily defeated the then-defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the divisional playoffs. The eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots defeated the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.

2002

Stewart began the 2002 season as the Steelers' starting quarterback, but after throwing an interception into double coverage in the end zone at home against the Cleveland Browns in the third game of the season, he was replaced by increasingly popular backup Tommy Maddox, and Stewart was released at the end of the season. Stewart did, however, keep the team's playoff hopes alive in his final appearance.

2003–05

The following season, Stewart signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears and was named the starter. After several poor performances in 2003, he was replaced in favor of Chris Chandler. After getting the same results from Chandler, he was reinserted as the starter, before getting benched in favor of rookie Rex Grossman after the Bears were eliminated from the playoffs. Stewart was released at the end of the season. Stewart was signed in 2004 by the Ravens to play a backup role to Kyle Boller, and later served as a replacement for the injured Anthony Wright. However, he did not throw a pass that season. He was unexpectedly successful as an emergency replacement for punter Dave Zastudil, being named NFL Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance. He was released following the 2004 season, but due to an injury to starting quarterback Kyle Boller during Week 1 of the 2005 season, the Ravens once again signed Stewart to be a backup to Anthony Wright.

Post-NFL Life

Following Boller's reactivation on Wednesday, November 9, 2005, the Ravens cut Stewart instead of keeping him as a third-string player, activating running back Musa Smith instead. Stewart had no comment following the low-key announcement he had been cut from the team.

Stewart made guest appearances on the TV shows Deal or No Deal and Pros vs. Joes.

On April 29, 2008, in an interview on the WCNN 680 "The Fan", Stewart expressed interest in returning to the NFL. Also, according to ESPN2's First Take on July 28, 2008, Stewart is not officially retired and has been working out at his home, to attempt a comeback next pre-season.

He appeared in January 2009 as analyst on ESPN's College Football Live, and then later appeared again in July during the show's "50 States Tour" for the show's episode regarding Colorado athletics. Stewart is currently an analyst for NFL post-game coverage for ESPNEWS.

Kordell will be a sideline reporter for the newly formed United Football League.

Nickname

Pittsburgh Steelers radio announcer Myron Cope gave Stewart the nickname "Slash" due to his abilities as a utility player willing to play other positions such as running back/wide receiver/punter.

After confining him to many utility roles during the 1995 season, when the Steelers made it to Super Bowl XXX only to lose to the Dallas Cowboys, the team gave Stewart the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback position in 1996. Following a preseason battle, Bill Cowher named Jim Miller as the Steelers' starting quarterback and kept Stewart in his "Slash" role. Miller struggled at Jacksonville on opening day and was replaced by Mike Tomczak for the rest of the season. In a December 1996 game against the Carolina Panthers, Stewart set an NFL record for longest touchdown run by a quarterback with an 80-yard rush.

Personal life

Stewart is currently married and has a son named Syre, who is 5 years old. He now resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Stewart is also an avid golfer. In 1998 Kordell was featured as a guest on the popular Nickelodeon game show 'Figure it Out!'. [4]

References

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mike Tomczak
Pittsburgh Steelers Starting Quarterbacks
1997–1999
Succeeded by
Kent Graham
Preceded by
Kent Graham
Pittsburgh Steelers Starting Quarterbacks
2001–2002
Succeeded by
Tommy Maddox
Preceded by
Jim Miller
Chicago Bears Starting Quarterbacks
2003
Succeeded by
Chad Hutchinson

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