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Is Doug Williams in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Doug Williams, at QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Williams, at QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Modified 17 Feb 2021

Former NFL quarterback Doug Williams had a stellar pro football career, making NFL history over the span of 11 seasons.

But is he a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Williams is currently a member of the College Football Hall of Fame (inducted in 2001), however, he's not currently inducted at the pro level.

Williams made NFL history from day one

Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1978, Doug Williams is better known for his success while being the starting quarterback of the Washington Football Team (then known as the "Redskins").

He was drafted in the first round (17th overall), in the 1978 NFL Draft, making history in the process. Until then, no African-American quarterback was ever selected in the first round.

He played five seasons in Tampa, making the playoffs three out of those five campaigns. In just his second year in the league, he led his team to within one game of the Super Bowl, coming up just short to the Rams.

At that time, he was also the only black starting QB in the league.


After a bitter contract dispute with the team's owner in 1983, Williams stepped away from the NFL and joined the short-lived USFL, playing for only two seasons.

Williams makes more history in Washington

After his time in the USFL ended, Williams was able to return to the NFL, joining the Washington Redskins in 1986.

He restarted his career as a backup this time, until he got his shot to start in 1987, eventually leading the team to a playoff berth and making it all the way to Super Bowl XXII.

Washington defeated Denver easily, 42-10, as Williams threw all four of his touchdowns in the second quarter - a current Super Bowl record.

But more importantly, Doug Williams made history in that game by being the first African-American quarterback to start the championship game, win the game and win MVP honors for it.

The only other quarterback to achieve all three feats in the same game is Patrick Mahomes, back when his Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV.


After retiring in 1989, Williams remained active in the football world. He held a variety of coaching jobs at both the high school and college ranks.

He has also had many roles as an NFL executive, both in Tampa Bay and now currently with Washington, as a Senior Advisor.

Published 17 Feb 2021, 09:32 IST
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