Hall of Fame Vikings QB Pounds His Chest

Minnesota Vikings tackle Frank Myers (74) tries to block Green Bay Packers defensive end Ezra Johnson (78) as he chases the quarterback Fran Tarkenton (10) on Oct. 22, 1978, at the Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Green Bay Packers 21-7. © Green Bay Press-Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK.

When the Minnesota Vikings eventually end the Kirk Cousins era, there’s a decent chance they audition a mobile quarterback at QB1.

And if they do so, that man will follow in the footsteps of Vikings Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton — per him.

Hall of Fame Vikings QB Pounds His Chest

Tarkenton tweeted, seemingly out of nowhere Tuesday, that he created the role of mobile quarterback in the NFL. He asserted, “I invented scrambling. The two best quarterbacks this year played against each other in the Super Bowl. They’re both scramblers, and that started with me!”

Hall of Fame Vikings QB
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Tarkenton doesn’t tweet too terribly often, usually a handful of times per month. And the posts usually involve his advice or motivational quotes. But this week, he was inspired to tweet the scrambling-quarterback announcement and TikTok video along with it.

And Tarkenton isn’t wrong with his declaration. He indeed popularized tucking and running it, not necessarily in the current form of Lamar Jackson, who is almost a run-first quarterback. Instead, Tarkenton wasn’t afraid — at all — to dance out of the pocket and turn would-be sacks into rushing gains.

Players after him, like Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick, were faster and perhaps better at the scrambling part, but Tarkenton was the Godfather. A while back, Bleacher Report called him the fourth-best mobile quarterback in NFL history behind Vick, Cunningham, and Steve Young and summarized the Tarkenton experience, “Tarkenton was a trailblazer as he did the unthinkable in his era by being a running quarterback. Despite his style of being versatile as a runner and passer, Tarkenton was the NFL all-time leader in passing yards with 47,003 {when he walked away from the sport].”

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He currently ranks seventh all-time in rushing yards by a quarterback and is widely considered the best quarterback in Vikings history. Tarkenton led Minnesota to three of its four Super Bowl appearances in 1974, 1975, and 1977. In fact, he was the final quarterback to lead the team to a Super Bowl. It’s been a 46-year drought.

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True to the dual-threat nature of quarterbacking, Tarkenton also ranks 11th all-time passing touchdowns, most recently kicked out of the Top 10 by Matt Ryan. Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford trails Tarkenton on the leaderboard by 9 touchdown passes.

The 83-year-old made headlines last summer — also on Twitter — when he pounded the table for former teammate Jim Marshall’s Hall of Fame credentialing. Tarkenton tweeted in August, “Jim Marshall deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He’s more deserving than any other Vikings player to be in there. He never missed a game in 19 years! He never missed a practice or had a down day! A truly incredible player.”

Marshall was denied entry.

Tarkenton played 177 games as a Viking, the 14th-most in franchise history.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.