On his 75th birthday, let’s take a look at the career of former Lions quarterback Greg Landry.
A glance at the Detroit Lions‘ all-time passing leaders shows Greg Landry fairly prominently in many categories. Over 11 seasons in Detroit (1968-1978), he started 84 games (40-41-3 record) and appeared in 102 contests. Today, Saturday Dec. 18, 2021, is also Landry’s 75th birthday.
Landry was drafted No. 11 overall by the Lions in the 1968 NFL Draft out of UMass. After starting 15 games over his first three seasons, he became Detroit’s starter in 1971 and had what would be the only Pro Bowl season of his career (2,237 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, a league-best 16.4 yards per completion; 530 rushing yards and three touchdowns). In 1972, he had nine rushing touchdowns (tied for fourth in the league).
In 1976, Landry won NFL Comeback Player of the Year with 2,191 passing yards and 17 touchdown passes. He was also sacked a league-high 55 times that season.
Landy was traded to the Baltimore Colts in 1979, where he spent three seasons. After being out of football in 1982 and a couple seasons in the USFL, he spent the 1984 campaign (his final NFL season) with the Chicago Bears.
Landry moved into coaching right after his playing career ended, as quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns in 1985. He was on the Bears’ coaching staff from 1986-1992, serving the latter five seasons as offensive coordinator. He moved on to the University of Illinois as offensive coordinator for two seasons (1993-1994), then he went back to the Lions as quarterbacks coach for two seasons (1995-1996).
Greg Landry is one of the best quarterbacks in Lions history
Landry sits fourth in Lions’ history in passing yards (12,451 yards). His 80 touchdown passes are third in franchise history (behind only Matthew Stafford and Bobby Layne). His average yards per completion as Lions’ quarterback (13.0) is higher than Stafford’s (11.6), and he was the last Lions’ signal caller to make the Pro Bowl before Stafford.
Landry’s 84 starts under center for the Lions also ranks top-five in franchise history.