The Greatest NFL Starting Job Thefts of All Time

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 18: (2nd left) Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley of the Arizona Cardinals and (M) head coach Ken Whisenhunt talks with (R) quarterback Kurt Warner #13 as (L) quarterback Matt Leinart #7 stands behind and watches against the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC championship game on January 18, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 18: (2nd left) Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley of the Arizona Cardinals and (M) head coach Ken Whisenhunt talks with (R) quarterback Kurt Warner #13 as (L) quarterback Matt Leinart #7 stands behind and watches against the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC championship game on January 18, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
11 of 32
Next

Embed from Getty Images

Detroit Lions: Tobin Rote takes over for Bobby Layne

Bobby Layne was one of the superstars of his era in the 1950s. He’d already led them to two NFL championships and was on course for another in 1957. Then in the 11th game of the year, he got caught in a pileup and broke his leg. In relief, his backup Tobin Rote threw five touchdowns to just one interception in the playoffs to secure a championship victory over the mighty Cleveland Browns.

That along with some strong relief performances earlier that year convinced the Lions it was time for a change. Layne had been great but his ongoing party boy lifestyle off the field finally wore them out. He was traded a couple games into the 1958 season to the Pittsburgh Steelers. On his way out, he declared the Lions would not win another championship for 50 years.

They still haven’t. Rote played just two more seasons for them before heading off to San Diego where he led them to an AFL championship in 1963.