- University of Michigan (1989-1992)
- San Francisco 49ers (1993-1996)
- Kansas City Chiefs (1997-2000)
- Baltimore Ravens (2001)
- Led Michigan to two Rose Bowls
- Was the quarterback during WR Desmond Howard’s Heisman Trophy season in 1991
- Left Michigan as the school’s all-time leader in passing attempts, completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns (all have since been broken)
- Drafted in the 8th round (219th overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft
- Was a starting quarterback for 5 seasons in the NFL (4 with Kansas City, 1 with Baltimore)
- Made the Pro Bowl in 2000
- Retired after the 2001 season
Grbac played at the University of Michigan from 1989-1992. He finished his college career with 522 completions for 6,460 yards and 71 touchdowns, becoming Michigan’s all-time leader in all 3 of those categories (his records were eventually broken by John Navarre in 2003 and then Chad Henne set new records in 2007).
Grbac also led Michigan to back-to-back Rose Bowls. In 1991, Grbac’s top receiver was Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, and the team went 10-1 in the regular season before falling to Washington in the Rose Bowl. In 1992, Grbac led the Howard-less Wolverines to an undefeated season (9-0-3), which culminated in a Rose Bowl victory over the same Washington team that had beat them the previous year.
Many Michigan fans say Grbac is the best quarterback they have ever had. Here is a thread from a Michigan forum asking fans to rank the top Michigan QB’s of all-time.
Grbac to Howard (vs. Notre Dame, 1991):
Despite his success in college, Grbac wasn’t selected until the 8th round of the 1993 NFL Draft. Out of 224 total picks, he was taken 219th. Amazingly, the 8th round of the ’93 draft produced 6 Pro Bowlers, and Grbac wasn’t even the lowest Pro Bowl quarterback selected. Trent Green was taken 3 picks later, at #222, and went on to make two Pro Bowl appearances (2003 & 2005). Here is a list of the 8th round selections in the ’93 draft who went on to become Pro Bowlers (* denotes number of Pro Bowl appearances):
- Troy Brown, WR, New England (*)
- Craig Hentrich, K, Green Bay/Tennessee (**)
- Jessie Armstead, LB, New York Giants (*****)
- Blaine Bishop, S, Houston/Tennessee (****)
- Elvis Grbac, QB, Kansas City (*)
- Trent Green, QB, Kansas City (**)
Speaking of Jessie Armstead, how intimidating is this picture of him in college?
Back to Grbac…..
He spent the first 4 years of his career in San Francisco backing up Steve Young. He saw playing time in 43 games for the 49ers and started 9 times before going to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1997 to be their starting quarterback. Grbac started for 4 seasons in Kansas City and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2000 after throwing for 4,169 yards and 28 TD’s. After the Pro Bowl he became a free agent and was signed by the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens (coming off a Super Bowl win) placed high expectations on Grbac, but he was unable to fulfill them. He threw more interceptions (18) than touchdowns (15), and was constantly taunted and criticized by fans and the press. To make matters worse, the Ravens cut him after the season in a salary cap move and refused to renegotiate his contract. As a result, Grbac decided to retire, much to the surprise of the rest of the league.
(Buy this poster here)
NFL fans can be ruthless when players disappoint them. This guy puts Elvis Grbac on his extensive list of Players Who Really Sucked. And here is an entry for “Elvis Grbac” on Urban Dictionary. According to the entry, the term “Elvis Grbac” is defined as “The state of sucking at any given activity. To perform terribly.”
Grbac is a member of the Terrible Jersey Hall of Fame. This kid doesn’t care though:
He knows Grbac was a solid 8th round pick.
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