There is no better competitor in the NFL than Billy Kilmer, in life as
well as football. On a December night in 1962, the car which Kilmer was
driving missed an exit on a California freeway and slammed into a
concrete divider, propelling off the freeway and nose diving into a
ditch filled with filthy water. For more than an hour Kilmer lay in that
ditch. He ended up with his chin split to the bone, a gash across one of
his eyes, a concussion and a bone sticking out of his right leg. Due to
infection from the stagnant water and other problems, doctors seriously
considered amputating his leg. He was almost through with life, much
But he came back and became the starting quarterback for the New Orleans
Saints. Last season, Edd Hargett took over much of the time and Kilmer
will now have to fight Hargett, a third year man, for the job. Hargett
has a quick release and throws better.
Yet it is difficult to gauge how far super competitiveness can take you.
"Billy Kilmer just isn't blessed with talent," a scout observed. "But
the guy makes up for it with just dogged, utter determination." "I think
the main problem he has is that he just isn't surrounded with a real
good football team."
Anybody who plays football with Kilmer has to admire him.
So he is a good leader, who has utter confidence in himself. He is
fiery, a real hustler. He is not tall, about 6-0, and built along the
lines of another guy who didn't exactly throw a picture pass, Bobby
Kilmer does not have a real good arm but can have great days throwing,
such as against St. Louis in 1969 when he hit 22 of 32 passes for 345
yards and six touchdowns.
In college he was a good, agile runner but now has some trouble against
a good rush. Not a good idea to blitz him much, though, because he reads
defenses well and has a fast delivery. He likes to hit the "hot"
receiver quickly and his release allows him to have a great deal of
success doing this.
Kilmer sometimes has tendencies to get careless and set up too slowly or
not get back far enough to throw. Thus, he'll get trapped when he
Hargett, who has a bad knee, is apparently soon going to be the Saints'
quarterback but, though Edd is intelligent, he just doesn't have
Kilmer's pro football savvy.
No matter what happens, it is doubtful any other quarterback would have
had the fortitude to get the New Orleans Saints through their embryo