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Notre Dame quarterbacks set NFL futility mark

Vincent Frank

Former Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book was thrown into the fire Monday night for the New Orleans Saints. With north of 20 Saints players sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols, the rookie fifth-round pick got the start against a streaking Miami Dolphins team.

To say that it didn’t go swimmingly would be an understatement. Book’s second NFL regular-season pass was picked off and returned for a touchdown in a game New Orleans ended up losing 20-3.

It didn’t get better after that first possession. Book completed 12-of-20 passes for 81 net yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked an absurd eight times and hit a total of 14 times.

In Book’s defense, things were not set up well for him to succeed with New Orleans pretty much relying on a backup offensive line. Head coach Sean Payton touched on that after the game.

“In fairness to Ian, it’s impossible to evaluate his play. Hopefully we can get a little healthier, get some guys back and be ready to go next week,” Payton told reporters in reference to Book’s first NFL start.

Even then, this disastrous performance adds another layer to Notre Dame quarterbacks struggling big time at the NFL level.

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Notre Dame quarterbacks have now lost their past 24 regular-season starts

former notre dame quarterback ian book
Dec 27, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Ian Book (16) looks on against Miami Dolphins during the second half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

This information comes to us via Elias Sports, and is absolutely eye-opening. Looking at the past four Notre Dame products to start NFL regular-season games, they have lost 24 consecutive starts.

That list includes Brady Quinn, Jimmy Clausen, DeShone Kizer and the aforementioned Book. It’s the longest said streak in the NFL since 1950. Overall, the records of these quarterbacks are just stunningly bad.

  • Brady Quinn: 4-16
  • Jimmy Clausen: 1-13
  • DeShone Kizer: 0-15
  • Ian Book: 0-1

Yes, that’s a combined 5-45 record for former Notre Dame quarterbacks at the NFL level.

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We also did some more digging on our end. It tells us a story of former Irish signal callers who just have not lived up to expectations at the professional level.

  • Rick Mirer: 24-44
  • Kent Graham: 17-21
  • Steve Beuerlein: 47-55
  • Blair Kiel: 0-3
  • Rusty Lisch: 0-1

Before that? Well, Joe Montana was the third-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers back in 1979. It’s been a long time since a Notre Dame quarterback has had success in the NFL.

Buyer beware.

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