To properly wrap up this week of non-stop John Beck conversation, I was fortunate enough to get a few minutes with Billy Kilmer at today’s Mickey Steele Memorial Golf Outing. Kilmer, of course, was half of one of the greatest quarterback controversies of all time, the bumper sticker-inspiring Sonny/Billy debate. To make things even better, Kilmer is a South Florida resident, and was familiar with Beck from his rookie season with the Dolphins — and, despite Beck’s well-chronicled struggles there, Kilmer came away with a favorable impression.
“He had a lot of natural talent, I thought,” Kilmer said. “I know when [Beck] was drafted, Sonny Jurgensen thought he had a lot of potential. I think Mike Shanahan will bring that out in him. But you gotta have competition at that position.”
Which, Kilmer claims, is a very good thing. “You’re gonna have to have good competition at that position, and that’s what makes a good quarterback.”
Which is not to say that Kilmer is totally onboard with Beck’s radio tour from this week:
“In one respect, it shows that he’s got a lotta confidence,” Kilmer said. “In another respect, I’d be very quiet. I’d do all my talking on the field, and in practice, and working, and being the best quarterback that he can be. That would be my attitude.”
In fact, that WAS Kilmer’s attitude, during his famous duel with Jurgensen. “I stayed very quiet around here,” Kilmer explained, “because Sonny was the man and I was here as a backup. And the only thing I knew: if I got a chance to play, I had to be ready. I couldn’t go out there and flop. And y’know, that’s what history is.”
Tags: billy kilmer, john beck, Sonny Jurgensen
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