Many heroes emerge during the NFL playoffs on a year-in, year-out basis. Sometimes, those names get lost to history due to their obscure nature.
In the world of NFL stats, few one-year wonders can stack up to Los Angeles Rams quarterback Dieter Brock. While Brock did play professional football from 1974 to 1983, only one season was spent in the NFL.
During his career, Brock would become the oldest rookie quarterback in NFL history, signing with the Rams at the age of 34. Brock’s experience would serve Los Angeles well.
The Rams would go 12-6 in his only season with the team, reaching the 1985 championship game. Here’s a more in-depth look at Brock’s odyssey in the NFL.
The Long Road to Tinseltown
Brock is a native of Birmingham, Ala., and first attended Auburn. When that didn’t work out for him, Brock would go to Jacksonville State University, where he graduated in 1974.
After graduation, with little interest coming from the NFL, Brock signed a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1974. He would end up serving as the Bombers’ quarterback until 1983.
During this time, Brock became the first player in Blue Bomber history to win back-to-back CFL Most Outstanding Player Awards, capturing recognition in 1980 and 1981. For the 1981 season, Brock passed for 4,793 yards which broke a CFL record that stood since 1956.
After leaving the Bombers, Brock spent two seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The NFL Calls
Brock finally got a chance to go to the NFL when he signed a four-year, $2.1 million deal with the Rams. Los Angeles was looking for a more steady quarterback after Vince Ferragamo, who started Super Bowl XIV for the Rams, had been inconsistent in the years following the Super Bowl appearance.
Brock also stepped into a team with a solid running game with future Hall-of-Fame running back Eric Dickerson.
Brock won the job in training camp and would be counted on to carry the team early. Dickerson held out for the first two weeks of the season due to a contract dispute.
Brock Serves as Strong, if Inconsistent, Game Manager
Brock set a team record during his first season in the NFL by completing 59.7 percent of his passes. However, the rest of his stat line showed the rookie still had to adjust after going from career-long CFL standout to NFL rookie.
Brock was sacked 51 times despite having a solid offensive line. He also passed for 2,658 yards and threw 16 touchdowns against 13 interceptions.
Despite Brock’s inconsistency, the 1985 Rams started the season 7-0. Brock’s seven consecutive victories as a rookie quarterback would serve as a record until the Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger won 13 in a row in 2004.
The Rams did struggle down the stretch and finished the year 11-5, which was good enough to win the NFC West.
Playoff Disaster, but Still a Winner
Brock’s first postseason appearance ended with a 20-0 victory for the Rams over the Dallas Cowboys. His impact on the game, however, was minimal at best. Brock completed six of his 22 passes for 50 yards and threw an interception.
So what kept the Rams in the game? Dickerson had one of his best performances, rushing for 248 yards and two touchdowns. Dallas quarterback Danny White also threw three interceptions.
Bad News Bears
The 1985 Bears’ defense is regarded as one of the top units in NFL history. Brock never really stood a chance.
Chicago beat up Brock, sacking him three times. Brock passed for 66 yards, had a pass intercepted, and only completed 10 of his 31 passes. The difference was Chicago also cracked down on Dickerson. The Bears limited him to 46 rushing yards on 17 carries.
No Sophomore Season
Brock fell by the wayside in 1986. Knee and back injuries finally limited his playing ability to the point where the Rams went in another direction.
Los Angeles went out and traded with Houston to bring in Jim Everett. Brock would retire. While his NFL career was brief, he was selected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1995.