Marlin Briscoe, a pioneering scrambling quarterback who needed to overcome prejudice towards Black athletes taking part in that place throughout the Nineteen Sixties, and who later received two Super Bowl rings as a large receiver with the Miami Dolphins, died on Monday in Norwalk, Calif., exterior Los Angeles. He was 76.
His daughter (*76*) Marriott stated the reason for his demise, in a hospital, was pneumonia. She stated he had been having circulation issues in his legs.
Briscoe made professional soccer historical past in 1968, throughout his rookie 12 months with the Denver Broncos, when he turned the primary Black participant to begin at quarterback within the Super Bowl period. Though he had starred at quarterback in faculty, many coaches at the time believed that Black gamers had been incapable of dealing with the complexity of that place.
Briscoe went on to set a group rookie document by tossing 14 touchdowns for the Broncos (one fewer that 12 months than Joe Namath of the New York Jets), when Denver was a part of the American Football League. He played in 11 games that season, beginning 5, and ran for 308 yards and three scores.
Briscoe was often called the Magician, and his versatility as a passer and runner was a harbinger of the Black quarterbacks to come back.
“He was born too soon,” Doug Williams, the primary Black quarterback to begin and win a Super Bowl, stated in a telephone interview. Williams, who led the Washington Redskins (now Commanders) to a 42-10 rout over Denver in Super Bowl XXII, capping the 1987 season, and was voted the sport’s most beneficial participant, stated that Briscoe was a forerunner of the fashionable Black quarterback.
“He was Michael Vick before there was Michael Vick,” Williams stated. “He was Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson all tied up in one.”
Despite Briscoe’s achievements, the biases of the time saved him from taking part in quarterback previous his rookie season. He stated that Lou Saban, the Broncos’ head coach, compelled him out as quarterback with out an evidence earlier than the 1969 season. After asking to be launched, Briscoe joined the Buffalo Bills, the place he switched to broad receiver and shortly realized the brand new place.
“All I wanted was a chance to showcase my skills,” he advised The New York Times in 2014. “It was a mirror of what the ’60s were about, particularly in the African American community. We said, ‘No, this is what we want,’ so it was easier for me. If it had been in the ’50s, no way in the world would I have done that. But I grew up in the right time to express myself.”
Briscoe performed three seasons in Buffalo and had his finest 12 months in 1970, when he caught 57 passes for 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns and was chosen for the Pro Bowl.
In 1972 he joined the Miami Dolphins, who had misplaced in Super Bowl VI the earlier season. The Dolphins had been a run-first group and already had two established receivers in Paul Warfield and Howard Twilley, so Briscoe’s statistics declined.
But the Dolphins accomplished the N.F.L.’s solely excellent season after they received Super Bowl VII, and so they repeated as champions for the 1973 season. Briscoe later performed for the Detroit Lions, the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots.
Marlin Oliver Briscoe Jr. was born on Sept. 10, 1945, in Oakland, Calif. His dad and mom, Marlin and Geneva Briscoe, moved to Omaha when he was younger. Raised by his mom, who labored in a faculty cafeteria, he grew up in a multiethnic housing venture that sat within the shadow of a meat packing plant and that produced different sports activities stars, amongst them Bob Gibson and Gale Sayers.
Briscoe played football at the Municipal University of Omaha (now the University of Nebraska Omaha), and although he was comparatively small at 5-foot-10 and 175 kilos, he was a superb passer and runner and a pure chief. As a quarterback he set 22 faculty information, together with for passing yards (5,114) and touchdowns (53).
He was chosen by the Broncos within the 14th spherical of the professional soccer draft in 1968, however the group meant to make use of him as a defensive again.
Briscoe understood how troublesome it will be to alter his coach’s thoughts. He advised Saban that he would signal as a defensive again if Saban gave him a tryout as a quarterback throughout coaching camp, in entrance of followers and reporters. He wished to reveal his abilities.
“I think they just did it to pacify me,” he advised The Los Angeles Times in 2000. “I knew that the powers that be in 1968 would be fearful of a Black quarterback.”
Saban performed down Briscoe’s throwing and working abilities, Briscoe stated, and dispatched him to work with the defensive backs.
Still, Briscoe stated, he had let individuals know that “a Black man could think and throw.”
A hamstring damage saved him from taking part in early within the season, however on Sept. 29, with Saban abruptly discovering himself in want of a quarterback, Briscoe was known as to fill in for the struggling starter, Jim Leclair, and Briscoe practically led the group to a comeback victory over the Boston (now New England) Patriots.
Saban supplied solely a lukewarm evaluation of the efficiency, however the subsequent week Briscoe nonetheless turned the primary Black beginning quarterback in A.F.L. historical past, towards the Cincinnati Bengals; he was changed within the second half by Steve Tensi in a 10-7 victory.
In certainly one of his largest video games, towards the Dolphins on Oct. 27, Briscoe took over for Tensi, after Tensi had thrown three interceptions, and rallied the Broncos to a 21-14 win. He had two dashing touchdowns, together with one which put the Broncos in entrance for good.
For the 5-9 Broncos, Briscoe handed for 1,589 yards, threw 13 interceptions and had a 2-3 document as a starter.
After his taking part in profession, he turned a monetary dealer, however within the late Seventies he turned hooked on cocaine. In the subsequent decade he lived on the streets for some time; was kidnapped by drug sellers, who tossed him out of a automotive in a dispute over a drug debt; and gave his Super Bowl rings to a banker for collateral on a mortgage. (The banker offered them.)
On Jan. 31, 1988, Briscoe was serving a jail sentence for drug possession when he watched Williams lead Washington to victory in Super Bowl XXII.
“I was in a dark place,” Briscoe told the website The Undefeated (now Andscape) in 2016. “What happened — it cost me a lot. But I felt I was a part of what Doug did. I felt like what I did all those years ago helped Doug.”
After he stopped utilizing medication, Briscoe had a storage enterprise and labored for a Boys & Girls Club within the Los Angeles space as a fund-raiser and assistant venture supervisor.
In addition to his daughter (*76*), he’s survived by one other daughter, Rebecca Briscoe. He was married and divorced thrice.