Joe Kapp most often is identified as a great competitor. He'll have to
be if he is to recreate the marvels of Minnesota with his new club at
For all of his machismo, Kapp also had a lot of good material going for
him when he led the Vikings to the NFL title in 1969. The next
September, after moving to Boston following a contract dispute, he found
the pay better but the personnel worse. The lagging Patriots also
underwent a mid-season coaching change. Boston at this point was not a
good showcase for Kapp's brash, opportunistic style, but the quarterback
who tied an NFL record by throwing seven touchdown passes against
Baltimore only a year before could be back. His record for battling the
odds is a good one.
At 6-2 and 215, Kapp is big enough. At 32, he's old enough. And Lord
knows he's tough enough. As a scout said, "When Kapp was at Minnesota,
he played quarterback in the same manner the Vikings play defense-
aggressive, mean and nasty. He is a great competitor. He thinks tough."
Swell. But can he get it all going at Boston?
don't think Kapp is the quarterback a lot of people say he is," one
veteran defensive back noted. "I think he's a tough guy and a good
leader who was surrounded by a fine team at Minnesota. That defense got
the ball for him a lot. Life surely changed for him at Boston."
Observed a star corner back: "I won't say Kapp is a great quarterback.
He's a winning quarterback. His tremendous leadership ability makes up
for his inability to throw the ball accurately. At Minnesota I saw him
almost down on his back and throw it straight up and Gene Washington
would jump and catch it. Once his style has time to take hold at Boston,
some of those players may surprise you- and they may surprise
He's not one to worry about risks.
"Kapp is one of the guttiest quarterbacks you'll see," the corner back
continued. "If he takes off running, he'll hurt the defender. But he
gets downright reckless. He'll throw the ball and not know where it's
going. And he'll take a chance on running when he doesn't have to."
"Kapp is a fantastic competitor," said another scout. "He has a better
arm than people want to believe. Just because he doesn't throw a spiral
all the time doesn't mean he can't throw the ball a helluva long way.
The thing that gets him through is his fantastic desire to win. He pulls
people up around him. He has all the leadership qualities you'd want."
His determination is being tested at Boston, but many observers are
anxious to see him take the Patriots next season from the beginning of
"He is an excellent leader and will move the ball some way," a scout
said. "He likes to throw from the roll-outs and bootlegs. If the pass is
there, he takes it. If the pass is not there, he loves to run with the
ball. He will throw the interception, but he also will throw touchdown
passes. He possesses what all good quarterbacks must have- poise. There
are quarterbacks with more ability but none who are better competitors."
So, let's wait and see.