Talk to us about.......Heath Shuler

YankeeVol

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Heath was capable of accurately throwing the ball in a way that made it look as if it was picking up speed as it flew through the air. Unreal arm talent and could take your breath away with some of the throws he could make.

Injuries, bad OL and poisoned media/fan sentiment wrecked his chances in the NFL, as others have said. Really a shame.
Poor play wrecked his chances, though injuries played a large part too. Gus Frerotte played better than Heath did. He did get 1 vote for OROY though.

He should have returned for his "senior" year. Holding out didn't help him either.
 
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lostsheep

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Had a friend who was a walk-on during the Shuler years.
He tells a story about a linebacker on the team taking a cheap shot at Benji during practice and a scuffle breaking out.
Apparently the scuffle ended with Heath flying in with some sort of karate kick on the linebacker that ended the matter.
Think he was a blackbelt.
 

LadyVolette

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Had a friend who was a walk-on during the Shuler years.
He tells a story about a linebacker on the team taking a cheap shot at Benji during practice and a scuffle breaking out.
Apparently the scuffle ended with Heath flying in with some sort of karate kick on the linebacker that ended the matter.
Think he was a blackbelt.
That’s good stuff.. I could see it
 
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LadyVolette

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I remember the student section pounding the Florida bench with water filled cups…the crowd was nasty that day due to the treatment the Vols had received at Gainesville the year before when Fulmer’s wife was spit on.
Oh yeah, I had forgotten about Vicki getting hocked up on.. no bueno.. I think that was when they moved us (the student section) 😂.. banished to the nosebleeds lol.. I saw some cups a flyin’ lol.. we were all wild and stupid lol
 
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SpookyAction

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He was a huge get first of all, top recruit. The reason was he was a duel threat, a real duel threat because he could throw on the run and he ran the ball like a fullback, no slides he took them head on. One of the toughest QB's to ever play for UT.
Shuler was the best passer on the move I ever saw in college.
He failed at Washington because he never mastered the defense's misdirection at the line of scrimmage. Opposing coaches realized quickly they could disguise coverages at the line of scrimmage and Shuler did not adjust after the snap.

Mike Ditka said Shuler was the finest practice QB he ever saw.
It also mattered that Shuler was never surrounded by elite talent in the NFL. He was running for his life from the first snap. Like Tim Couch, he was beaten to death. Hard to have pocket presence with no pocket to pass from. Being mobile is nothing to NFL defenses when the QB is not elusive.
It was said Shuler ran like a FB. Not a plus against NFL LBs and safeties.

Another season in college might have helped. Not sure it would have been very different.
 

perico

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This right here. Charlie Ward won the Heisman in '93 and should've won the Heisman in '93. Florida State was the consensus national champion and Ward put up some eye-popping stats. Heath Shuler had the misfortune of being in the mix the same year as Ward because most other years he would've deserved the Heisman.

All things considered, Heath Shuler is probably the second-best QB that Tennessee has ever had. It's easy to forget just how good that 1993 offense was, and Shuler didn't have as many weapons as played on the really good Tennessee teams in '89 and '90, or even as many weapons as Peyton would have later.

I think the reason Shuler doesn't rank higher in UT football lore is because he declared for the draft after his junior season. If he had come back for his senior season, he would've had a good shot at winning the Heisman (even though Salaam was good), Tennessee would've certainly had a better record...but Manning wouldn't have gotten the experience as a true freshman that helped get him ready for a breakout season in 1995. It's interesting how things pan out. If Shuler doesn't leave, does Tennessee redshirt Manning? If that happens, does Tennessee win the NC in '98 with Manning instead of Martin at QB?
No. The 1998 team had to change their offensive identity to win a natty. Look how bad we got slaughtered in the 1997 bowl game. We were a finesse offense with Peyton.
 

volfeeva

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I got to see Heath play/beat LSU in Death Valley in 1992. Learned a few new curse words from LSU fans screaming at their own team. That was back when coaches wore a suit/tie along the sidelines and the quarterback wasn't bubble wrapped
 
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basspond

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I'm late in seeing this post but, my comments would be that: Shuler played QB with the attitude of a linebacker but, with the talent of great QB. He dared the defender to stop him. One on one, he was going to win every single time. He refused to lose no matter what. He played with 100% commitment on every play. Period.
 
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