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Mr. Jake Delhomme
|Jake's Living Memorial for the Coach Russ Faulkinberry Tribute is followed by the August, 2013 Spotlight Feature of Former Athlete by Bruce Brown and numerous articles on Jake and his illustrious career and induction into two Halls of Fame. His LM was submitted on 7/6/2017 and posted by Dr. Ed Dugas that day.
Russ Faulkinberry’s Living Memorial, Jake Delhomme - Football 1993-96
As a scrawny 18 year old freshman QB at USL, I met a man in the athletic facility who would play an important role in my development as a QB. It was not during my playing days at USL that I felt his influence, it was immediately after my eligibility was over.
Coach Russ Faulkinberry was a fixture at our practices and seemed to always be roaming the halls of the athletic department building that he once called home. Coach Russ would always talk to the players while visiting the facility and he would watch over our practices as if it was "his kids" on the field. He was a very large and intimidating man who certainly was not afraid to give you a tip to make your game better.
At first I thought he was a little forward and I really was not sure who he was. Coach Louis Cook and Coach Gerald Broussard would assure me that Coach Russ was a very good man and meant no harm at all, he was just a football coach who never stopped coaching. I then learned that Coach Russ was the winningest coach in USL's history and that he might have been a little tough on his players. Well, I am certain that he was beyond tough on his players because so many have told me so!!!!!
I was fortunate to be the quarterback for the 1993 Sun Belt Conference Champions as a freshman and I was very much looking forward to the next three years of my eligibility. Well, my sophomore year started out a little slower for me than I anticipated, and I vividly remember four games into the season a phrase that Coach Russ mentioned to me while we were chatting in Coach Broussard's office before meetings one day. Coach Russ and I had become friends, not close friends yet, and he looked at me and said "paralysis from analysis". Well, I am 19 years old and I really wasn't sure what that meant, so he explained it to me. I listened then went to meetings, then practice, then back to our dorms at the conference center.
That night I am processing what Coach Russ told me about "paralysis from analysis" and he was so right. I was worrying about what everyone else was supposed to do instead of just doing my job. Well, I took that to heart and things became fun again for me, and we were able repeat as Sun Belt Conference Champs in 1994.
Our friendship grew throughout my Junior and Senior years, and instead of being intimidated by this large man who didn't mince words, I enjoyed being around him.
I was not the most sought after prospect coming out for the NFL and my agent,at the time, did not have a QB coach to help mentor me for this process.
This is where the influence of Coach Russ became a part of my NFL journey. Coach Russ and I were visiting one day in December of 1996 and he asked me what my plans were in preparation for a possible career in professional football. I informed him that I signed with an agent but, that I would be working out on my own to get ready.
Coach Russ offered his services to me and I accepted. He was retired with all kinds of time on his hand and I was chasing a dream.
We had access to the weight room and practice fields at USL because Coach Stokley and Coach Russ were friends and I needed a WR to throw to and who else but Brandon Stokley had to be the one to catch for me.
Coach Russ did not play quarterback, but the man certainly knew how to coach football. We worked all the time together and he would design agility drills and throwing drills and it literally became an obsession for both of us. My back up QB at USL, Brian Soignier, would come and work with us and another buddy of mine who did not play football, but was a childhood friend and student at USL would also work with us.
We became like our own little fraternity. We were four 20 year-olds, full of testosterone and one 70 year old with a plethora of football knowledge who seemed to have a new lease on life.
For the next three years we would always work together in the offseason with Coach Russ and it was a time for fellowship and football.
I would always tease coach after every workout that I am so glad I never played for him because he was so intense at 70 years of age I could only imagine what he was like in his 30's and 40's. He would always respond, "Jake, you are correct, you weigh 220 pounds, I would have had you play tackle and made you like it!!!!!!"
I would bring back new drills for us to do and so would Brandon and coach just loved getting out on that field with us and he would challenge us each and every day. We had a friend in Coach who we would hang out with. We would workout together, go to lunch together, and play basketball together. Well, Coach Russ would not play basketball with us, but he would tell us what we could do to become better basketball players. He never stopped coaching us.
I was fortunate to be the starting QB for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII and I made sure that Coach Russ was live and in person on the 50 yard line for that game. He was more than a mentor to me, he was a dear friend who was an encyclopedia of football knowledge. I am so grateful that he let me read part of that book.
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To view the full feature with photos and other links, click on any story in the news box, then when a news story appears, click on Archived News in the upper left of the new page, then August and 2013 and the headlines of his story.
Spotlight on Former Athlete: Jake Delhomme Football 1993-96
Delhomme born to lead
By Bruce Brown
Written for Athletic Network
Twenty years ago, Jake Delhomme was preparing for his freshman year as a quarterback for Louisiana's (then USL) Ragin' Cajuns.
It figured to be a learning year, spent as a redshirt under coach Nelson Stokley. But fate intervened, as Delhomme was thrust into action midway through the season opener against Utah State.
He started the first of 43 straight games the following week, helped guide the Cajuns to an 8-3 record and eventually became the school's all-time passing leader with 9,216 yards and 64 touchdown passes.
He never lost to an in-state rival, was 25-18 at the helm and engineered a 92-yard touchdown drive in the historic 29-22 upset of Texas A&M as a senior in 1996.
Ten years ago, as UL was preparing for its season opener at South Carolina, Delhomme turned in a dazzling performance in exhibition action against Pittsburgh to earn the role as starter for the NFL's Carolina Panthers.
Delhomme, who had left the New Orleans Saints in hopes of finding a team of his own, sparked the Panthers to the Super Bowl in that 2003 campaign. He then threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns in a 32-29 loss to the New England Patriots to cap a magical ride in a near-miss classic.
Both times when Delhomme was called upon to lead his team, he showed what being a born leader is all about – which surprised no one who knew him well.
“Growing up, we played sports all the time,” said Delhomme, who always wanted to be wherever older brother Jeff (5 years older) was and was rarely granted any slack in that pursuit.
“I was always the tag-along, always the aggravating little brother,” he said. “I wanted to be in the mix. I always wanted to be the man.”
Delhomme was always the quarterback, too, from third grade onward, although at Teurlings Catholic he also played safety and kicker. In fact, he was All-State at safety in Class 1A in 1992 when Evangel's Josh Booty rode a wave of impressive statistics to the quarterback spot.
Teurlings lost in the 1992 playoffs to Ascension Catholic, a team with 27 seniors to TCHS's total roster of 25 - “They crushed us,” Delhomme said – but his 6,703 career yards and 65 prep touchdown passes attracted a UL program at a crossroads after a two-win season.
“I never anticipated how my college career would turn out,” Delhomme said. “I looked at it as an opportunity to play football and to get my education paid for. I enjoyed the moment, and I relished being the quarterback.
“You grow up faster as a player, and as the quarterback. I always wanted the team to believe in me going into Saturday's game.”
Delhomme found eager targets in 1993 in Marcus Carter, Buck Moncla, Myron Robinson and Ryan McGrath, and settled in behind veteran center Robby Waguespack.
Junior safety Orlando Thomas, himself a future star with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, led a defense that included Rocky Guidry, Britt Jackson, Brian Jackson and Jeff Mitchell.
“It all meshed,” Delhomme said. “The team had an attitude and we all competed. We were a good team. It would have been fun to go to a bowl game.
“One regret I have in life is that we never got to practice (for a bowl) over the Christmas break. It's like January in the NFL in the playoffs. We would have been over the moon.”
Delhomme had to wait for his chance to lead an NFL team, laboring largely in obscurity with the Saints and even playing for Amsterdam and Frankfurt in NFL Europe.
His first NFL start produced a win over Dallas near the end of the 1999 season, but then after two games, back on the shelf.
Finally in 2003, with Jake and wife Keri expecting first child Lauren, he signed with Carolina.
“I was looking for a chance to compete, and it came down to Carolina and Dallas,” he said. “I had a lot of respect for (Cowboys' head coach) Bill Parcells, and I hit it off with (quarterbacks coach) Sean Payton, but economics was a factor. Carolina offered me $1 million more to sign.
“My agent said they were more ready to win now, and there's a lot of respect around the NFL for Carolina, for (owner) Jerry Richardson, from the top down including (coach) John Fox. It was nice.
“It was so smooth. We were all on the same page. There were so many 'ups' too that season. It was the right glove.”
The only better finish would have been a Super Bowl victory.
“You see grown men with tears in their eyes before the game,” Delhomme said. “You come down the tunnel and all the cameras are flashing. It's fantastic.
“After the game, they rope off the field (for the trophy presentation) and the media is all over. I wanted to be on the other side of that rope. I remember thinking about when – not if – we would get back and win it.”
Carolina never returned to the Super Bowl, but Delhomme carved out 7 productive seasons with the Panthers including 72 touchdown passes and
10,526 yards in his first three campaigns.
He left for Cleveland and an injury-plagued year in 2010, then served as a late-season pickup with the Houston Texans in 2011.
“I wanted to play well,” Delhomme said. “The game's too important to just pick up a paycheck.”
Houston had clinched the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs when hosting Tennessee in the finale. T.J. Yates and Delhomme figured to split time for starter Matt Schaub, but Yates was injured early and Delhomme came on to hit 18-of-28 for 211 yards and a score in a 23-22 defeat.
“We scored late, and went for two, but we were offsides and then the snap went over my head,” Delhomme said. “My last NFL pass was a touchdown to Bryant Johnson. My first (1999, vs. Dallas) had been a deflected interception, but my last was a touchdown.
“I have pretty good recall of the games I played, and at each level the results become more magnified. I would always play the game over and over in my mind.
“Towards the end, I was not enjoying the wins and I took the losses too hard. If I have a regret, I wish I would have enjoyed the wins more. I was always pretty critical of myself. That's what drove me.”
Delhomme finished his NFL career with 20,975 yards, 126 touchdowns and respect as a professional who was always prepared to lead. He put just as much effort into a meaningless season finale in 2011 as he did into the game that meant everything – the Super Bowl – following the 2003 season.
Lauren Delhomme is 10 now, and loves to watch football with her father. Sister Lindsey is 6, and both are active in Biddy Basketball. Both will likely attend Teurlings, now a 4A school with a waiting list and a new stadium.
Delhomme, a 2006 inductee into the UL Athletic Hall of Fame, remains a low-key local favorite who has yet to officially announce his retirement from the NFL despite a year away from the game.
He is back in the family business of training race horses with Jeff and their father Jerry, and still thrives on a challenge.
“The biggest problem with a lot of guys (professional athletes) is that they don't know what to do with themselves when they retire,” he said. “There is a large number of divorce and bankruptcy. There's nothing to fill that competitive void.
“In horse racing, if you're successful 17-20 percent of the time, that's damn good. I love the competition.”
He also loves the back-to-back New Orleans Bowl victories by UL's current Ragin' Cajuns under coach Mark Hudspeth.
“I couldn't be more proud,” Delhomme said. “I think Coach Hud is getting comfortable in Lafayette now. He's more at ease. People here are so friendly, and they don't want anything from you in return.
“There's excitement in the air from the next generation coming up. You see kids wearing UL jerseys now.”
It seems like just yesterday, there were hundreds of USL Delhomme jerseys around South Louisiana.
Teurlings' Class of 1993 will hold its 20-year reunion this fall. Few will have a more eventful set of memories to re-live as Jake Delhomme.
Posted in August, 2013.
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Former Football: Cajuns' Delhomme - hometown hero with humble heart - video football 96 highlights
Bruce Brown, Special to the Advertiser, June 20, 2015
Jake Delhomme is still the same person he's always been.
That might not seem that hard, but after all he's achieved, the Breaux Bridge product still remains a product of his south Louisiana roots.
When Delhomme helped rescue Lafayette's Teurlings Catholic from the doldrums and into the state playoffs, it didn't go to his head. If anything, it drove him to work harder.
USL's Ragin' Cajuns endured a 2-9 campaign in 1992, but true freshman Delhomme took over at quarterback midway through the 1993 season opener and promptly sparked the Cajuns to an 8-3 finish.
Again, his reaction was to seek improvement, and he threw for a career record 9,216 yards and 64 touchdowns at the school.
He was 25-18 as the starter, including a 29-22 upset of No. 25 Texas A&M in 1996, and never lost to an in-state foe.
Then, when he got his chance to lead an NFL team after years as a backup in New Orleans, Delhomme directed the 2003 Carolina Panthers to their only Super Bowl berth.
That stage wasn't too big, either, as he threw for 323 yards and three scores in a thrilling 32-29 loss to New England.
With each step along the way, including 20,975 yards and 126 TDs in 11 NFL seasons, Delhomme stepped up to lead. And yet, he remained the same person throughout.
"It means he was raised right," said Teurlings coach Sonny Charpentier, who was Delhomme's TCHS position coach. "He's grounded, and he's got his priorities straight. His dad and mom (Jerry, Marcia) did a good job.
"He has definitely never forgotten where he came from, like some (pro) athletes do. He's a huge ambassador for this area."
Notre Dame Pioneers coach Lewis Cook saw many of the same qualities as USL's offensive coordinator.
"That's why, as an 18-year-old, Jake was able to step in and lead us from 2-9 the previous year to 8-3," Cook said. "He was grounded, mature, highly motivated and extremely competitive."
"He went at it and attacked it. What you see is what you get with Jake."
Delhomme will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on June 27, joining a class that includes among others Carencro's Kevin Faulk and Broussard's Yvette Girouard, but he remains the same approachable Cajun he was when he was young.
"It hasn't changed my life," Delhomme said. "It has put me in contact with a lot of people I hadn't talked to in a while. I've invited a lot of people as a token of gratitude."
"The Hall of Fame allows you to take a step back and appreciate the people and places that have been a part of my life, and how lucky I was that things worked out for me."
Delhomme relied on his solid upbringing for strength and patience as he awaited his turn in the NFL - similar to Hall of Famer Ron Guidry with the New York Yankees in the 1970's.
"I was so proud of him," Charpentier said of Delhomme. "There were so many times he could have said it was not meant to be. But when the lights came on, he was always ready.
"He deserved everything he got. That's why I think he appreciates it more. So many just give up. It takes a guy who believes."
"Quite honestly, I did question whether I would get the chance," said Delhomme, undrafted in 1997. "It was by chance I got a free agent tryout with the Saints. I got the call to be their training camp arm, then once I got there I said this is not too big for me."
He languished on the Saints bench, with no pass attempts for two years, before defeating Dallas in a late-season start in 1999. Then it was back to the bench until 2002 mop-up duty as coach Jim Haslett stuck with Aaron Brooks and missed the playoffs.
Delhomme even played in NFL Europe to get seasoning, but he lost some prime years.
"The talent level is fairly close," he said. "The difference is, what drives you? Are you mentally strong enough to make it?"
His patience finally bore fruit when he signed with the Panthers.
"I loved what I did for a living, and I ended up in the right place," Delhomme said. "In Charlotte, the owner (Jerry Richardson), team and structure are all there. I took true ownership in what came with my job, and to walk into that locker room after a win on Sunday was the pinnacle for me."
Delhomme caught lightning in a bottle in 2003, leading Carolina to the Super Bowl with playoff wins over Dallas (29-10), St. Louis (29-23 in two overtimes) and Philadelphia (14-3) - the last two on the road.
The ex-Cajun hit 59-of-102 passes for 987 yards and six scores in the postseason, including a 69-yard TD to Steve Smith to end the Rams game and vault his team to the NFC title game against the Eagles.
"It was like a fast, happy dream," Delhomme said of the Super Bowl clincher. "It was my first year starting, and I was still learning to be an NFL quarterback."
"It's more than just playing. Injuries keep adding up. There's a physical toll. You can never stop learning. The whole year was on fast-forward.
"Then, when we got in the huddle (with the game in hand), it was pure joy. I saw two grown men cry - two of my linemen, one a 13-year veteran and the other 11-year. I said, "Wow." That's when you truly get it."
Next was the Super Bowl, and that near-miss against Kevin Faulk and the Patriots.
"After the game, they rope off the field (for the trophy presentation) and the media is all over," Delhomme said. "I wanted to be on the other side of that rope. I remember thinking about when - not if - we would get back and win it."
The Panthers reached the NFC Championship Game again in 2005, losing at Seattle, and also made the playoffs in 2008. But they were never super again.
Delhomme stayed with Carolina through 2009, had an injury-shortened 2010 campaign with Cleveland and was a midseason insurance pickup with the Houston Texans in 2011.
His last NFL pass was a touchdown against Tennessee - full circle from a tip-drill interception first attempt in 1999 - and he finished 61-43 as a starting quarterback in the league.
Returning to the family business with Jerry and brother Jeff, Delhomme serves as vice president of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
"The biggest problem with a lot of guys (professional athletes) is that they don't know what to do with themselves when they retire," he said. "There is a large number of divorce and bankruptcy. There's nothing to fill that competitive void."
"In horse racing, if you're successful 17-20 percent of the time, that's damn good. I love the competition."
Delhomme and wife Keri keep busy with athletic daughters Lauren (12) and Lindsey (8), who thrive in Biddy Basketball with their father helping as a coach.
"I love that they love it," he said. "But they also enjoy being around people. They're proud when their teammates do well. They're growing up and evolving."
"Without doubt, they get that from my wife. She's full of life. Enthusiasm is something that gets lost. I don't need negative, and we raise our kids that way."
Asked what his legacy will be, Delhomme said, "I hope I'm remembered as a competitive SOB who will do whatever it takes to win. On the personal side, I want to be remembered as someone who enjoys life and treats people with respect. That's good enough for me."
ABOUT THIS SERIES
This is one of a Louisiana Sports Writers Association series of stories featuring the members of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame's 2015 Induction Class. They will be enshrined June 27 in Natchitoches.
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Daily Advertiser, September 16, 2010
BEREA, Ohio - As his teammates busily dressed for practice, Jake Delhomme hobbled across the hallway from Cleveland's training room to the locker room.
Wearing a protective boot on his injured right ankle, Delhomme felt out of place.
"It's embarrassing," the quarterback said.
Injured during the first half of his debut with the Browns, Delhomme did not practice on Wednesday and his playing status for Sunday's home opener against Kansas City will depend on how quickly he recovers from the first ankle injury of his 12-year NFL career.
Delhomme, who got hurt while throwing a costly interception in Sunday's 17-14 loss at Tampa Bay, underwent an MRI Tuesday. He refused to reveal the results or any specifics other than to say "I have an ankle that's bothering me, and I'll just kind of leave it at that.
"I'm a big believer in what's said in the training room stays in the training room."
If Delhomme can't play, the Browns will start Seneca Wallace, a career backup who was expected to take all of the practice snaps with Cleveland's first unit. Wallace is 5-9 as a starter with 25 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in seven seasons with Seattle.
Delhomme's injury occurred on the game's biggest play. With the Browns up 14-3 and driving toward more points, he forced a short, sidearm toss to tight end Benjamin Watson that was picked off by Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber and returned to the Cleveland 3.
The Buccaneers scored a touchdown one play later, trimming the Browns' lead to 14-10 and stealing all the momentum from Cleveland.
Delhomme refused to blame his injury for the errant throw, which came as he was being pressured.
"It was a poor decision," he said. "It had nothing to do with me throwing an interception."
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Football: Jake calms fears
The Associated Press • August 17, 2010
BEREA, Ohio - One drive: 11 plays, 80 yards in under six minutes.
That's all it took for Jake Delhomme to convince many Cleveland fans that the Browns' seemingly endless problems at quarterback are history.
Well, it's way too early to proclaim the team's QB problems over, but Delhomme's brief but bright exhibition debut on Saturday night in Green Bay went a long way toward restoring the veteran's image, and it helped further faith that president Mike Holmgren can revive the Browns.
In his first and only series, Delhomme went 6 of 7 for 66 yards and moved the Browns to a quick touchdown against a highly regarded Packers defense. Cleveland rallied after blowing a 14-0 lead to win 27-24 on a last-second field goal, but Delhomme's performance was both a personal victory and vindication for Holmgren, who raised some eyebrows when he signed the 35-year-old free agent as one of his first executive acts in March and discarded both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson.
"Jake did an excellent job on the first drive," coach Eric Mangini said Monday. "We were able to do a lot of things against a team we weren't able to do much against last year."
Beginning with his first throw, a 17-yard completion to tight end Evan Moore, Delhomme was efficient, decisive and polished. With Delhomme in charge, Cleveland's offense, ranked dead last statistically in the NFL last season, clicked like it rarely has in recent years.
It was an opening act to behold.
"It was great to see our offense march right down the field," said kicker Phil Dawson, who made a 58-yard field goal and a 46-yarder in the final 1:27. "I can't remember the last time I was kicking extra points like that. It was efficient, everyone knew what to do. There were no penalties. To execute like that was refreshing and hopefully we can keep it going."
That's what Seneca Wallace did. Replacing Delhomme following a turnover after Cleveland took a 7-0 lead, Wallace threw a TD pass to wide receiver Brian Robiskie and tossed another to tight end Benjamin Watson in the second quarter to help the Browns take a 21-14 halftime lead.
A year ago, the competition between Quinn and Anderson for the starting job dominated Mangini's first camp with Cleveland and carried into the regular season. There's no such drama this summer, and that in itself is reason to believe the Browns are going to be better in 2010.
It's early, but Mangini is comforted by the newfound stability at quarterback.
"It has been great," he said. "You can see that both of those guys go in, and it's a little different package for each player, but they're both efficient with the operation. Seneca makes some plays with his feet that cause problems. The throws were on time and guys had a chance for every ball. It was great to watch."
Delhomme came to Cleveland with a down-to-earth reputation as both a good teammate and solid citizen. He has lived up to the advanced billing.
"We're lucky to have him," running back Jerome Harrison said after practice. "He is a professional, man, in how he carries himself, how he gives advice to the younger guys."
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Jake Delhomme's always been big on family.
It doesn't take much of a geographic circle to encompass most of his family members, many of whom are involved in Acadiana's horse-racing industry. He and wife Keri are building a house in the family homestead near Breaux Bridge.
His adopted club, the Carolina Panthers, at times appears more like a family than an NFL team, to the point of holding family outings.
Early last month in a morning break from training camp, virtually every member of the Panthers took a field trip to Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte and experienced NASCAR up close and personal. Players took turns riding along in stock cars that turned laps at up to 180 mph.
"I told the guy when I got in, 'I hope I don't throw up,' " Delhomme said. "He said, 'Just aim that way. Aim out the window.'
"I have a new-found respect for those guys. I've never come close to going that fast before. It's unbelievable. We did three or four laps and those guys do two or three hundred."
The morning at the track had other things in common with a family outing. It was private, with no cameras or reporters allowed.
Center Jeff Hangartner, a second-year player who took over in the middle of the offensive line last year, said later the time away from practice was valuable to the club.
"The closer you are as a team, the better you're going to play together," he said. "The more you like each other, the more you trust each other. It definitely shows on the football field. Any kind of team-building stuff is always good to do."
A few days earlier, Delhomme joined four other key Panthers - wideout Steve Smith, defensive end Julius Peppers, running back DeShaun Foster and tackle Jordan Gross - on an outing at Carolina owner Jerry Richard-son's lake house.
"It was a good time," Delhomme said. "We cut up, we water skied, shot baskets, played tennis. What made it fun is that all of us there were real close friends. Julius is kind of the wild card there - he's one of the greatest guys you'd ever meet, but most times, he doesn't say a word."
Richardson, the only NFL owner who is a former player in the league, fosters that family atmosphere, Delhomme said.
"Everybody says this, but I don't think there's any doubt he's the best owner in football," Delhomme said. "He's a quiet man, a man of integrity and one that commands respect when he walks into a room. But he also knows football, and he knows his players. He doesn't just know the top guys, he knows everyone, knows their wives and their kids. All the players are very close with him."
It's that same atmosphere, not to mention his own upbringing, that makes Delhomme bristle at recent off-field actions by some of his NFL brethren. And he is all for the recent suspensions of Tennessee defensive back Adam "Pacman" Jones, Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Henry and Chicago defensive lineman Terry "Tank" Johnson for violating the NFL's conduct policy.
"That's one of the best things we have," Delhomme said of the policy. "We have a duty as NFL players to behave off the field. That's what I love about what Mr. Goodell (NFL commissioner Roger Goodell) is doing. ... We told him we appreciate it because the guys who are not doing the right thing by the fans, they're getting punished for it."
Delhomme said the highly-publicized suspensions have darkened the public's perception of NFL players.
"Not enough is getting out there about the good things that are getting done," he said, "all the charity work - it all gets lost. When we do something in Charlotte, people always tell us that they can't thank us enough, but there's not a player on our team that doesn't love doing things like that. That's the stuff that we're supposed to be doing. That's good for your soul."
Delhomme's career statistics
YEARS COMP. ATT. PCT. YDS. TD
'92 218 394 55.3 3,351 32
Career 421 835 6,703 65
Years G Comp. Att. Pct. Yds. TD Int. Long
'93 11 145 259 56.0 1,842 14 12 53
'94 11 119 259 45.9 1,712 10 18 63
'95 11 190 351 54.1 2,761 20 10 62
'96 11 201 377 53.3 2,901 20 17 79
Career 44 655 1,246 52.6 9,216 64 57 79
YEARS-CLUB G COMP. ATT. PCT. YDS. TD INT.
'98-Amsterdam 1 15 47 31.9 247 0 4
'99-Frankfurt 11 136 202 67.3 1410 12 5
Career 12 151 249 60.6 1657 12 9
Years-Club G Comp. Att. Pct. Yds. TD Int. Long
'99-Saints 2 42 76 55.3 521 3 5 51
'02-Saints 4 8 10 80.0 113 0 0 54
'03-Panthers 16 266 449 59.2 3,219 19 16 67
'04-Panthers 16 310 533 58.2 3,886 29 15 63
'05-Panthers 16 262 435 60.2 3,421 24 16 80
'06-Panthers 13 263 431 61.0 2,805 17 11 72
Career 67 1,151 1,934 59.5 13,965 92 63 80
Originally published on July 8, 2007.
CajunBlog: Delhomme ends disappointing season on high note
Every time there was a television shot of him on the Carolina Panther sideline, it was obvious that his right thumb hurt like crazy. But people who know Jake Delhomme even a little bit knew that wasn't going to keep him off the field Sunday.
The former UL quarterback standout had missed the previous three games because of that thumb, two of which the Panthers lost in falling out of the playoff mainstream.
But the competitor in him wanted to end his season on the field, not watching from the sidelines, even though Sunday's game meant nothing to either his team or the New Orleans Saints as far as postseason play.
Delhomme quarterbacked the entire 31-21 win at the Superdome Sunday, one that came over a Saints squad headed for the playoffs and with a first-round bye. New Orleans substituted liberally and played much of the final three quarters with backups in many positions.
That might have been part of the reason for Delhomme's best quarterback rating of the season, a 123.3 mark that included 23-of-27 completions for 207 yards and two scores. But it also came after nearly a month of inactivity and with a thumb that hurt every time he took a snap.
"I took them (snaps) with the left hand pretty much all week long," Delhomme said after the win that left Carolina at 8-8. "I probably grabbed it a lot. Sometimes you get a good sting.
"This one mattered, absolutely. To me, 8-8 is average and 7-9 is below average."
The fact that he played, bum thumb and all, wasn't lost on Delhomme's Panther teammates.
"He's not 100 percent pain-free by any means, but he toughed it out," offensive tackle Jordan Gross said. "It was a tough move by him to come out and play, especially when we knew last night that this would be our last game. For him to still risk it, I thought that said a lot about him."
Carolina's slim playoff hopes ended one night earlier when the New York Giants beat Washington in a Saturday night contest. But Delhomme said ending the season with a win was a plus.
"You want to go out with a win. It's not the win you want to end the season with, but at least it's a win."
It also re-established him as the Panther's leader, after several weeks of questioning by local media and fans.
"He's our starting quarterback," said Panthers coach John Fox after the game. "He's the guy we rely on ... he's kind of the fire on that side of the ball. We missed him while he was gone, there's no question about that."
Originally published Jan. 2, 2007
New UL Hall of Fame class relished chance to shine
October 29, 2006 -
Nia Kiggundu arrived from the rarified air of Albuquerque, N.M.
Beverley Langley flew in from Amityville, N.Y.
Kevin Figaro was minutes away.
Jake Delhomme couldn't make it, but he had a solid permission slip to miss the festivities from the Carolina Panthers.
The 2006 class of the Ragin' Cajuns Lettermen's Club is as eclectic as their addresses are far flung, but all shared a unique level of accomplishment and drive to excel.
"I had a great career at UL," said Kiggundu, the school's most decorated volleyball player and a record-setting performer from 1993-96. "It gave me the opportunity to grow as an athlete.
"What was most important to me was not the outcome, but the passion I had for the game. When you love what you do, that comes across in everything you do."
Kiggundu set a Cajun record for kills that may never be broken. Her career mark of 2,227 is a staggering 903 more than her nearest pursuer and ranks among the Top 25 all time in NCAA history.
She currently is in pharmaceutical sales, stationed in her native New Mexico.
The trip to Saturday's homecoming parade and luncheon at the Petroleum Club was much shorter for Figaro, a star at Lafayette High and from 1977-81 for the Ragin' Cajun basketball program.
Known for his extraordinary leaping ability, Figaro was a defensive standout for the Cajuns until taking over the scoring load when Andrew Toney finished his career. As a senior in 1980-81, Figaro ranked 14th in the nation in scoring at 22.8 points per game.
He parlayed that talent into a success pro basketball career abroad, earning honors in France and Switzerland before returning to Lafayette in 1989.
"I enjoyed my four years at UL, on and off the court," Figaro said. "I loved the game, and I played my heart out for the University and the team.
"I'd like to thank the guys who played with me who helped me become a better player."
Figaro was joined by his parents, wife and three sons. He is the director of the Boys Group Home in Lafayette and remains active in AAU coaching.
Langley, a native of Jamaica who transferred to UL from Southern-New Orleans, was a star sprinter in track and field. She finished with nine Sun Belt Conference individual titles, four relay crowns and the 1997 women's Sun Belt outdoors championship.
"I looked forward to representing UL at that time," said Langley, who is in automobile sales in New York. "Coach (Tommy) Badon was so aggressive on the girls' side, so I felt I had to do whatever I had to do to perform well.
"In winning the 1997 championship, the friendships...and the determination... I remember those days with tears."
Teurlings Catholic product Delhomme, who posted a 25-18 record as a starting quarterback from 1993-96 and is UL's all-time career passing leader, was in Charlotte preparing for the Panthers' NFL home contest tonight against the Dallas Cowboys.
But the Breaux Bridge native sent his grateful regards via video.
"Whenever you play a sport, you never think about halls of fame," said Delhomme, who was represented by his parents at Saturday's luncheon. "You play for the love of it. I was lucky enough to have some great guys around me."
"If you ask Jake, he'll tell you he's just playing football," said brother Jeff, on his way to Charlotte for tonight's game. "But Jake is larger than life. He doesn't realize how many people he's touched."
"UL means a lot to me," Delhomme said. "I grew up 10 minutes from there, and they gave me an opportunity to perform on the field. It's good to see things get back to normal again (winning) with (coach) Rickey Bustle.
"It's a great honor. It really is. More important - go Cajuns, get another win."
Originally published October 29, 2006
Athletic Hall of Fame: Delhomme, Figaro picked
October 22, 2006 - Local products join Kiggundo, Langley to make up star-studded class
One is the most dominant player in the history of the UL volleyball program. Another is the most accomplished local player ever to grace the storied men's basketball program. A third won 13 Sun Belt Conference track and field honors.
All the other one did was quarterback his NFL team to the Super Bowl.
It is an impressive group that will be honored Saturday with induction into the UL Athletic Hall of Fame, one of the highlights of the university's Homecoming activities.
Football standout and Breaux Bridge native Jake Delhomme, Lafayette basketball standout Kevin Figaro, volleyball's Nia Kiggundu and track and field sprint star Beverley Langley will be introduced at halftime of Saturday's 4 p.m. UL-Middle Tennessee contest.
"This is a very deserving class," said Ragin' Cajun Lettermen's Club president Tommy Badon. "Each one, in their own way, uniquely represents the university with class and integrity. And obviously they're among the top athletes that have ever competed here in their sports."
In addition to athletic excellence, Hall of Fame recipients must have earned a college degree and have shown character and citizenship in their lives following graduation.
Hall of Famers are selected by a committee of the Letterman's Club, a group comprised of men and women who lettered at UL. The organization is a constituent chapter of the UL Alumni Association.
Delhomme is in his fourth season with the NFL's Carolina Panthers and led his squad to the NFC Championship and a berth in Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004.
The Breaux Bridge native and graduate of Teurlings Catholic High started 43 consecutive games at quarterback for the Cajuns between 1993-96, starting the second half of the opening game of his natural freshman year and taking virtually every snap for the next four seasons.
He finished his career with 9,216 passing yards - at the time, the top mark in Louisiana football history - and 64 touchdowns. He threw for 5,662 yards and 40 scores in his final two seasons, after pacing UL to back-to-back Big West Conference co-championships in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Overall, the Cajuns posted a 25-18 record in Delhomme's 43 starts against continually-improving schedules, and one of those 25 wins was the biggest home victory in the program's history when he quarterbacked the Cajuns to the 29-22 win over Texas A&M in 1996.
Out of college, Delhomme signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints, then with the Carolina Panthers as a free agent in 2003. In four seasons with the Panthers entering today's game at Cincinnati, he has thrown for 12,503 yards and 81 touchdowns while completing 59.2 percent of his passes. He had career bests for completions (310), passing yards (3,886) and touchdowns (29) in the 2003 Super Bowl season, and he was named to the Pro Bowl in 2004.
Figaro came out of Lafayette High as a defensive specialist and was the youngest member of a squad that included some of the great names in Cajun basketball history, most notably UL Hall of Famer Andrew Toney.
His team reached the final eight of the NIT in his junior season in 1980 and Figaro was named honorable mention All-Southland Conference. The next year, though, the balance of that team left via graduation, and Figaro had to take on a complete different role. As a senior, he averaged 22.8 points per game, scoring almost as many points (639) as his first three years combined.
Figaro ranked 14th nationally in scoring that year and also led UL in rebounding on the way to first-team all-league honors before being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks. He played two years in the CBA, making that league's All-Star team both seasons, and began an international career in 1984 that included stops in France and Switzerland.
Kiggundu is UL's most decorated volleyball player and the only player in school history to earn All-Sun Belt Conference honors in each year of a four-year career. In her four seasons from 1993-96, she set a school record for kills with 2,227 - 903 more kills than her closest competitor and good enough to rank in the NCAA's all-time career top 25.
She was the Sun Belt's Freshman of the Year and Louisiana Freshman of the Year in 1993 and was a four-time Sun Belt Player of the week during her career. She also won three straight All-Louisiana honors in 1994-96 and was named the Louisiana Athletic Directors Association Player of the Year both in 1995 and 1996.
In a career that spanned indoor and outdoor seasons from 1996-2000, Langley garnered nine individual Sun Belt Conference sprint titles as well as four relay titles. Her times of 11.60 in the 100-meter and 23.47 in the 200-meter both rank in UL's top four all-time marks, and she ran on three of the top four 400-meter relay squads in school history.
In 1996, Langley qualified for the NCAA Indoor National Championships in the 200-meter after winning both the league's 100-meter and 200-meter crowns and running a leg on the league-champion 4x400-meter squad as a freshman. She also had an individual league title and a relay crown in helping the Cajun women capture the 1997 Sun Belt Outdoor Championship.
She won the league's 200-meter title in each of her years of outdoor competition, and was named to both the Sun Belt's indoor and outdoor 30th Anniversary teams.
Hall of Fame activities
The new UL Hall of Fame class will be involved in four activities Saturday during the Cajuns' Homecoming celebration, centered around the 4 p.m. football contest against Middle Tennessee.
The Hall of Famers will ride in the annual Homecoming Parade at 10 a.m., a parade that features former Cajun and NFL standout Brian Mitchell as grand marshal. The honorees will then have formal induction ceremonies during an 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the Petroleum Club.
The luncheon is open to the public and tickets are $30. Information on tickets is available from Angela Morrison at the UL Alumni Office at 482-0900.
The Hall of Fame class will also be on hand at the Alumni Tailgating area prior to the game and will be introduced and honored during halftime activities.
Originally published October 22, 2006
Gannett News Sevice
February 23, 2004
Jake Delhomme, quarterback of the Carolina Panthers and Breaux Bridge native, was chosen to serve as parade Marshal for the King Gabriel LXV Parade on Mardi Gras Day. Delhomme is an honor graduate of Teurlings catholic High School and a 2001 cum laude honor graduate of UL Lafayette.
He served as quarterback for UL Lafayette's Ragin' Cajuns, joined the New Orleans Saints football team and subsequently, the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., leading them in Superbowl XXXVIII
Delhomme served as the first captain of the Krewe des Jeunes Amis in 1997. In 2000, he served as Parade Grand Marshall of the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival and was guest speaker for the Breaux Bridge chamber of Commerce e Banquet in 2003.
Delhomme is married to the former Keri Melancon and the father of one daughter, Lauren Elizabeth. He is a participant in an supporter of several charitable organizations, including the Special Olympics, Salvation Army,, Toys for Tots and the Harvest Food Bank. He and his wife served as honorary co-chairs for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation "Race for the Cure" in 2003. He also visits the Carolina Medical Center children's Hospital, contributing time and gifts.
The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
February 23, 2004
Family relishes year
Jake Delhomme's incredible season not surprising to his family.
January 16, 2004
BREAUX BRIDGE - Jake Delhomme is an overnight success ... seven years after playing his final game for UL Lafayette's Ragin' Cajuns.
Delhomme left the New Orleans Saints in 2003 for the chance to start at quarterback in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, and on Sunday he'll lead the Panthers into the NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia against the Eagles.
If National Football League general managers and coaches had just listened to the Delhomme family, though, they could have saved themselves some time.
"I always thought he could play in the NFL," said older brother Jeff, a stellar wide receiver whose own NFL dreams crashed with a knee injury while playing for McNeese State.
"Maybe my perception of an NFL quarterback is Jake. He might be what an NFL quarterback would be like. He resembles Joe Montana in size and stature, and he's making me a believer the older he gets."
"It wasn't surprising," Marcia Delhomme said of her youngest son leading Carolina to the NFC South division title. "I knew if given a chance he could do it."
"It has happened very fast for us. When he got to training camp and was trying to learn a new system, it was hard for him to adjust at first. Then it took off, and it's just been amazing. He's so good."
"He's completely happy. It's the best move he ever made."
"Little did we know that Carolina would be the place," father Jerry Delhomme said. "When Jake visited there, they must have given him a sign that he would have a real chance to start. Where he was, there was no chance."
Delhomme was behind Aaron Brooks at quarterback in New Orleans, and clearly would not have the opportunity to lead the Saints despite moments of success with that team.
"To this day, he has no ill feelings towards the Saints," Jerry Delhomme said. "They would have paid him a good amount of money just to hold a clipboard (on the sidelines). But he still had the urge in him to see what he could do. It's addictive. You miss that euphoric feeling of winning."
Almost before he could walk, Jake Delhomme seemed to be in a hurry to be a successful athlete.
"Jerry was coaching a team of fourth graders, and Jake excelled in the third grade, so we said "Let Jake play," Marcia Delhomme said. "He always played earlier, and he was always the quarterback, always the leader."
"A friend called me the other day and asked me if I remembered way back when Jeff would be playing and Jake was in my lap, and she reminded me that I had a hard time containing him. She said she knew then he was going places."
"I always knew he wanted to do something, because he pushed hard to do it."
Jeff Delhomme played a big part in that early sense of urgency. Five years older than Jake, he provided an athletic role model for his little brother.
"Jake thought Jeff was God," Marcia Delhomme said. "He loved it when Jeff would have his friends over who played ball."
"He always wanted to play with us," Jeff Delhomme said. "There were always older kids around the house, and I think that's why he over-achieved."
"And, I could see that he always got the job done some kind of way, in every sport he played. Whether it was football, basketball or track and field, he would find a way."
That restlessness and leadership were apparent each step of the way.
"When we would go see Jeff play at McNeese, Jake would get other kids together and get a game going in the parking lot," Marsha Delhomme said. "He always had that knack."
I'd come out of the stadium, and he'd always be playing football," Jeff Delhomme said.
Both Delhomme brothers starred at Teurlings Catholic, and Jake signed with UL Lafayette Coach Nelson Stokley in 1993 expecting to redshirt his first year. But midway through his first college game, he was thrust into action and he started the next 43 games.
"Looking at this season, when you see the way things are happening, I'm flashing back to when Jake was at (then) USL," Jerry Delhomme said. "He's orchestrating the whole deal."
"The majority of his comebacks in college were when he was in the shotgun, pulling the trigger. This brings me back. The Panthers are conservative, but when they put him in the shotgun and decide to go with it, that's what he had at USL.
"He's able to sling the ball. He's so comfortable in the shotgun."
"I thought he might be able to go further with it when he would win game after game in college," Jeff Delhomme said. "It was with different players and circumstances, but it was he way he would win. I noticed when he would beat Tulane in the Superdome that it seems like he's always doing that."
Playing quarterback is about leadership as much as it is about arm strength, and that leadership has always set Jake Delhomme apart.
"His preparation is just so unbelievable," Jeff Delhomme said. "That's why he's in the position he's in. He's always on his toes, ready to compete."
Panthers players have responded to Delhomme's infectious leadership, all the while teasing him about his Cajun accent.
He's still the Breaux Bridge product who helped with his father's horse training business years ago, an athlete who drew others into his cause.
"In his USL days, there were people who would come tailgate with us who never went to a game in their lives," Jerry Delhomme said. "And, since he left, they haven't been back."
"I'm getting calls from people who never did follow football who want to talk about how he's doing. I got one call from a man who is 81 years old who knew Jake and felt part of him. He's getting Direct TV, just to watch the games."
"At Ericsson Stadium, where Jake parks, there are always tons of people lined up on the fence, asking him to sign autographs. He'll sign for 45 minutes. He makes sure he's signed whatever they need.
"I ask him about it, and he said, "Daddy, that's what it's all about."
"I thought I had a shot, and it ended for me," Jeff Delhomme said. "Now I get to relive my dreams through him. It's like I'm in his position.
"For my three kids (a boy, 11, and girls, 6 and 5), he's more than just Uncle Jake. He'll say "I'm just playing football" but he's larger than life. I don't think he'll realize until it's over how many lives he's touched."
The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
January 16, 2004
|Football:|| 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996|
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