December 18, 1946 |
Nashua, New Hampshire
|NFL Draft:||1968 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Gregory Paul Landry (born December 18, 1946) is a former American football player and coach who played quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) from 1968 to 1981, and again in 1984. He played for the Detroit Lions, Baltimore Colts and Chicago Bears. He played college football at Massachusetts.
Landry was the first quarterback selected in the first round (11th overall) of the 1968 NFL Draft after a stellar career at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he was selected All-Yankee Conference for two seasons. In 1971, as a member of the Lions, he passed for 2,237 yards and 16 touchdowns and was named to his only Pro Bowl that year.
In 1976, he passed for 2,191 yards and 17 touchdowns and was named the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year.
After setting a couple of passing records with the Lions, he moved on to play for the Baltimore Colts for three seasons where in 1979, as a member of the Colts, he played brilliantly despite a 5–11 record after a season-ending injury to starting quarterback Bert Jones. He passed for a career best 2,932 yards and 15 touchdowns that season. He then played for George Allen on the Chicago Blitz and Arizona Wranglers in the United States Football League (USFL) in 1983 and 1984. He then played one season with the Chicago Bears before retiring as a player in 1984.
Landry was also notable as a rusher, in addition to his passing. He rushed for over 2,600 yards and 21 touchdowns in his career, exceeding 500 yards on the ground in both 1971 and 1972, as well as averaging ten yards per carry in 1970 and scoring 9 touchdowns in 1972. He currently ranks third on the all-time Lions career passing yardage list (12,451), and ranks second in touchdown passes with 80.
Landry began his coaching career in 1985 handling the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks, and later joined Mike Ditka's staff as quarterback coach in 1986, following the Bears' rout of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. With the Bears, he was also the wide receivers and tight ends coach before taking over as offensive coordinator from 1988 to 1992 and participating in six division championships.
Following the 1992 season, he was hired as the offensive coordinator at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign for two seasons. The 1994 Illinois Fighting Illini had the second-best passing offense in the Big Ten Conference, which carried the team to a 30–0 win in the Liberty Bowl over East Carolina, which was making its first bowl appearance in 16 seasons.
The following year, Landry returned to the Lions as quarterback coach, helping them to become the top offensive unit in the NFL and guiding Scott Mitchell to record-setting passing numbers that season. He retired from coaching after the 1996 season to become a local radio host.
In 2012, Landry was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.
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