Left Handed Quarterbacks | The NFL's Rare Bird

Author: Sykeena Jackson

left handed quarterbacks

Left handed NFL Quarterbacks are very rare. Left handers make up 10% of the population and only .85% of NFL throwers per Five Thirty Eight.  We've accumulated a list of left-handed quarterbacks.

While the Quarterback position in the NFL has always been mainly played by right-handers, notable retired lefties include Mark Brunell (JAX), Boomer Esiason (CIN, NYJ), Ken Stabler (OAK), Steve Young (TB, SF) and Jim Zorn (SEA).

Our information is based off NFL, Bleacher ReportPro Football Hall of Fame, Rutgers University and Wikipedia.   

  Left-Handed NFL Quarterbacks Birthday
1 Allie Sherman February 10, 1923
2 Bobby Douglass June 22, 1947
3 Boomer Esiason April 17, 1961
4 Brock Huard April 15, 1976
5 Cade McNown January 12, 1977
6 Chris Simms August 29, 1980
7 Dave Ragone October 3, 1979
8 David Greene June 22, 1982
9 David Humm April 2, 1952
10 Dennis Morrison May 18, 1951
11 Doug Nussmeier December 11, 1970
12 Erik Wilhelm November 16, 1965
13 Ernie Case November 23, 1919
14 Frankie Albert January 27, 1920
15 Fred Wyant April 26, 1934
16 Jared "Hefty Lefty" Lorenzen February 14, 1981
17 Jeff Carlson May 23, 1966
18 Jim Del Gaizo May 31, 1947
19 Jim Zorn May 10, 1953
20 Kellen Moore July 5, 1988
21 Kenneth Stabler December 25, 1945
22 Mark Brunell September 17, 1970
23 Matt Leinart May 11, 1983
24 Matt Lytle September 4, 1975
25 Michael Vick June 26, 1980
26 Mike Shula June 3, 1965
27 Paul McDonald February 23, 1958
28 Scott Mitchell January 2, 1968
29 Steve Matthews October 13, 1970
30 Steve Young October 11, 1961
31 Terry Baker May 5, 1941
32 Tim Tebow August 14, 1987
33 Todd Marinovich July 4, 1969
34 Tony Graziani December 23, 1973
35 Will Furrer February 5, 1968


Mike Shula was a REALLY hard to find left handed quarterback.  He only played 1 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  

Per Wiki, Shula's football career started with the Crimson Tide, where he was the starting quarterback from 1984 to 1986. The team's record during these three seasons was 24–11–1 (.681), with wins in the Aloha Bowl and the Sun Bowl, plus key victories over USC, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Despite a lack of overwhelming athletic ability or a particularly strong arm, Shula was known for his gutsy performances in big games. He engineered last-minute comebacks against rival Auburn in the 1985 Iron Bowl, and Georgia. After graduating from Alabama, Shula was selected in the 12 round as the 313th overall pick of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he saw little playing time in 1987, his only season in the NFL.

Per "Saturday Down South", Mike Shula, was one of the top 5 left handed quarterbacks in SEC history.  Al.com confirms that former Alabama players Ken Stabler and Mike Shula were both leftys.


mike shula


Here is a look at some very notable left handed quarterbacks who’ve played in the National Football League.

Steve Young

Steve Young | left handed quarter back | Lefties Only

A former professional left handed football quarterback who played 15 seasons in the NFL and 13 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Steve young is the first left-handed quarterback to earn election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Young, who is one of two QBs in history to lead the NFL in passing six times, is currently one of the top rated passer of all-time.  He completed 2,667 of 4,149 passes for 33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns for a passer rating of 96.8 during his career in the NFL.


Frankie Albert

Frankie Albert | left handed quarterback | lefties only

Frankie Albert was an American left handed football player. He played as a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League. Albert attended Stanford University, where he led the 1940 football team to an undefeated season and the Rose Bowl.

He was first round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1942, Albert began his pro career with the San Francisco 49ers in the rival All-America Football Conference in 1946.  One of that league’s great stars, Albert threw for nearly 7,000 yards and amassed an incredible 88 touchdown passes during his four seasons in the AAFC.  His career continued when he and the 49ers joined the NFL in 1950.  He added 3,847 more yards and 27 touchdown passes to his career total before retiring after the 1952 season.

Many who saw Frankie Albert in action credit him as being the greatest left-handed quarterback ever to play the game.


Bobby Douglass

Bobby Douglass | left handed quarterback | lefties only

A former American left handed football quarterback in the NFL who played most of his career with the Chicago Bears, who drafted him in the second round of the 1969 NFL Draft. During his career, he also played for the San Diego Chargers, the New Orleans Saints, the Oakland Raiders, and Green Bay Packers. Douglass retired after the 1978 season, after playing 10 seasons in the NFL.

Douglass played for the Chicago Bears from 1969 to 1975, San Diego Chargers (1975), New Orleans Saints (1976-1977) and the Green Bay Packers (1978).  One of the game’s finer scrambling quarterbacks, Douglass nearly rushed for 1,000 yards in 1972.  In all, he ran for 22 TDs while passing for just 6,493 yards and 36 TDs in his career.


Boomer Esiason

Boomer Esiason | left handed quarterback | lefties only

A left handed American football quarterback and current network color commentator. During a 14-year career in the NFL, Esiason played for the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, and Arizona Cardinals. Since retiring, he has worked as a football analyst, first for ABC and HBO, and currently for CBS Sports on The NFL Today, Westwood One for Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl, and Showtime's Inside the NFL. Esiason also hosts the morning sports radio program Boomer and Gio on WFAN (AM) in New York.

Boomer Esiason, a second round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1984, led the team through 1992.  He also played for the New York Jets (1993-1995) and Arizona Cardinals (1996) before finishing his career back with the Bengals in 1997.  During his career, he completed 2,969 of 5,205 passes for 37,920 yards and threw 247 touchdowns.


Ken “Snake” Stabler

Ken "Snake" Stabler | Left handed quarterback

Ken “Snake” Stabler was a left handed football quarterback in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders (1970–1979), Houston Oilers (1980–1981) and New Orleans Saints (1982–1984). He played college football for the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Roll Tide! Stabler quarterbacked the Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI, was the 1974 NFL Most Valuable Player and was selected as a quarterback for the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team.  “The Snake,” Stabler passed for 27,938 yards and threw 194 TDs during his 184-game career.  After his death on July 8, 2015, Stabler was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.


Jim Zorn

Jim Zorn | left handed quarterback | lefties only

A former American left handed football player and coach in the NFL.  Zorn is best known as the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks for their first eight seasons. He was the quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks from 2001 until the 2007 season, before being hired by the Washington Redskins to be their head coach starting in the 2008 season.

Zorn took charge of the Seattle Seahawks in their inaugural season of 1976.  He guided the team through the 1984 season before finishing his career with the Green Bay Packers (1985) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1987).  He passed for 21,115 yards and tossed 111 TDs while also rushing for 17 scores during his career.


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