Jim Everett Talks Quarterback Challenge, Rams ‘All Sports Days’ and High School Wrestling Career

Jim Everett played most of his career with the Los Angeles Rams and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1990. He led the NFL on two touchdown passes and ranked at or near the top of many offensive statistical categories during his 12 years in the league.

Everett ended his career nearly 35,000 yards pass and north of 200 touchdowns at a time when those numbers weren’t as easy to come up with as they are in today’s game. He was considered one of the most reliable and consistent quarterbacks of his era.

His rookie card is in the Topps Football set from 1987, which also contains the first NFL cards from fellow quarterback Jim Kelly, Randall Cunningham and Doug Flutie.

In the latest Card Back Q&A, we flip some of Jim’s earliest cards and share his memories of the NFL Quarterback Challenge, his participation in the Los Angeles Rams ‘All Sport Days’ and the “other” sport he was involved in as a teenager .

Tony reid- Your 1988 Topps card said that you were hugely popular with teammates, worked hard in the weight room and movie room, and were a born leader. As a young player, how important was it for you to gain the trust of your teammates by rolling up your sleeves and setting a good example?

Jim Everett– I’ve always said that I might not have the greatest talent in the NFL, but I wasn’t going to get unemployed in the NFL. I put that on display. I don’t care if we ran four 40s or eight 80s that we ran and did a lot more track work than today, whether we were on the track or in the weight room, I wanted to dominate in all facets of the game and it started with strength. That’s one of the things I would recommend to the players who are playing now, and I tried to recommend Jared Goff that you have to get yourself into a position. Aaron Rodgers did a good job. He came out lanky and I think there are things you can do as you get more mature to tone your body and be better prepared and that’s just my mentality.

TR– Your 1992 Bowman had a quote, “He’s got more physical talent than any QB I’ve been in.” That was from trainer Chuck Knox. That’s a pretty cool quote, after just telling me that you might not have the greatest talent, Chuck Knox literally said you had the greatest talent he has ever seen. What was it like playing for Ground Chuck?

JE– One thing about Chuck Knox was that I don’t think he liked any of his quarterbacks anyway (laughs). Chuck loved running the ball. He says, “Of the three things that can happen between a completion, an incompleteness, and an interception, two of them are bad, so I just want to run.” That was his mentality.

It was fun. It is very much a compliment. I look back and we did a lot of things in the quarterback challenge and the like, and when it came to arm strength it was always up to Randall Cunningham and me during that time. I think when you look at pure cannons and throw the ball, I think of a Josh Allen guy.

TR– In 1992 Pro Line produced a set of cards called Pro Line Profiles. You had five or six cards in the set and the comment on one of the backs of the card mentioned that the Rams team had all sports days while you were there.

Can you describe how an “All Sports Days” was for you and the rest of the team?

JE-That would be out of season. During the season, our rest day was a day of relaxation. “All sports days” were fun. We would have a few days to choose events. It was team bonding stuff that we used to do. There were about 15 of us. One day we’d go out and play a golf tournament with a club. You choose a racket from the bag and have to play the whole round with this racket. My choice was a six iron. I shot an 81 with it. It was not so bad. Par was 69.

We had other times we met and it was a combination of darts and pool at one of our local drink places. It started with Purdue. One of the summers at Purdue University was our Waterfront apartment complex. We invented the Waterfront Olympics. It was a day of pageantry and parades and a great scavenger hunt. We came back and went to the pool. It was one of those days.

TR– On the back of your 1997 playoff Absolute Beginnings, they went out of their way to go back and do some organic stuff out of your younger days.

It recalls your career at El Dorado High in Albuquerque, where you played in four sports including soccer, basketball, golf and wrestling. How was Jim Everett on the wrestling mat?

JE– (laughs) I was thin and you couldn’t reach me. I had a fair amount of leverage. There was another guy who could take me to New Mexico. Golf was a love of mine too. I was a wrestler from the start. I got addicted to it in eighth grade. I went through my junior year. I was in the 185 pound weight class in my junior year. We had the three-time heavyweight national champion. After 185 that was all you had. We didn’t have a 225 pound class like we have now. So, in my senior year, when I was on the scales at 205 or 210 or whatever, there was no way my body type could go back to 185. I had to cut my leg to get back to 185. I had no choice. I wouldn’t try to wrestle the three-time national heavyweight champion for his place. He wanted to kick my ass. I got smart and went and played basketball and grabbed rebounds.

You can follow Jim Everett on Twitter.

About Tony Reid

Tony has been a huge sports fan since childhood. If he could play sports, watch sports, and talk about sports, it was a great day. Even when he was drawn to sports, Tony was drawn to collecting sports cards. Not much has changed over the years. He collects RCs from star players in baseball, basketball, and football. He also has a weakness for first autographs from MMA stars. If you want to talk to Tony about the size of Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson or Ken Griffey, Jr., you can reach him at @reidrattlecage on all social media platforms.