August 31, 2016

Highlighted Year: Pat Haden, 1975

Quarterback, Southern California Sun

Age: 22
1st season in pro football
College: Southern California
Height: 5’11” Weight: 180

Haden was a member of national championship teams at USC in 1972 and ’74 and appeared in three Rose Bowls. He was also an Academic All-American and received a Rhodes Scholarship following his graduation. Haden was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round of the 1975 NFL draft but signed with the Sun of the WFL with the stipulation that he would need to cut his season short in order to begin his studies at Oxford. He took over the starting duties in the second week and played well until departing the club just a few weeks before the league folded.

1975 Season Summary
Appeared in 7of 12 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 163 [9]
Most attempts, game – 40 at San Antonio 8/9
Completions – 98 [6]
Most completions, game – 24 at San Antonio 8/9
Yards – 1404 [6]
Most yards, game – 313 at San Antonio 8/9
Completion percentage – 60.1 [1]
Yards per attempt – 8.6 [1]
TD passes – 11 [4, tied with Don Horn]
Most TD passes, game – 3 at San Antonio 8/9, vs. Philadelphia 8/29
Interceptions – 9 [8, tied with Tom Sherman & Sonny Sixkiller]
Most interceptions, game – 3 at San Antonio 8/9
300-yard passing games – 1
200-yard passing games – 3

Attempts – 12
Most attempts, game – 4 (for 26 yds.) vs. Charlotte 9/14
Yards – 44
Most yards, game – 26 yards (on 4 carries) vs. Charlotte 9/14
Average gain – 3.7
TDs – 0

Sun went 7-5 and were first in the WFL Western Division when the league folded. They led the league in touchdowns (45, tied with San Antonio) and were second in rushing yards (2047), passing yards (2431), and scoring (354 points).

With the WFL having folded, Haden joined the Rams in 1976. There were concerns about his lack of size and arm strength and he made the club as the third-string quarterback behind James Harris and Ron Jaworski but started seven games (amid some controversy when Harris was benched in his favor) and showed promise. Haden overcame the challenge of fading veteran QB Joe Namath in 1977 to pass for 1551 yards and 11 touchdowns and gained selection to the Pro Bowl. He had his biggest statistical season in ’78, starting all 16 games for the only time in his career and throwing for 2995 yards with 13 TDs, although also 19 interceptions. Haden started the first ten games in 1979 until going down with a broken finger and backup QB Vince Ferragamo led the club to the NFC Championship. Regaining the starting job in ’80, he again suffered a broken passing hand and threw only 41 passes and, following another injury-riddled year in 1981, Haden retired to practice law. Overall in the NFL, he threw for 9296 yards and 52 touchdowns. A smart and unselfish quarterback, if physically limited and best suited to a ball control offense, the club went 35-19-1 during Haden’s starts and he was named to one Pro Bowl.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970