Roman Gabriel, the first Filipino-American NFL quarterback and MVP in 1969, has died at the age of 83.

Roman Gabriel of the Los Angeles Rams faces off against the Buffalo Bills during an NFL football game on September 27, 1970 at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York. File photo from Focus on Sports/Getty Images

Roman Gabriel had great size and a big arm when he was the No. 2 pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 1962. Even while playing in the ground-grinding era, he still carried The Rams have a team record with 154 touchdown passes.

Gabriel, the NFL's first Filipino-American quarterback and the league's MVP in 1969, died on Saturday. He was 83 years old.

His son, Roman Gabriel III. He announced his father's death He said on social media that he died peacefully at home of natural causes.

In 2021, the elder Gabriel told the Los Angeles Times: “I'm retired due to heart problems and arthritis but I'm happy.” He said he split time between Wilmington, North Carolina, and Little River, South Carolina.

“We mourn the passing of Rams legend and football pioneer Roman Gabriel.” The Rams said on the Xformerly known as Twitter.

Gabriel, who played at North Carolina State and was a two-time Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.

Read more: Dick Butkus, the Chicago Bears' ferocious cornerback and Hall of Famer, has died at the age of 80

He was 6-foot-5 and weighed 235 pounds, a large number for a quarterback of that era. Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi once called him a “big telephone pole,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

See also  Tyler Adams returns to the USA roster for the UEFA Nations League Finals

Gabriel played 11 years with the Rams and five years with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he was traded after the Rams acquired John Haddle.

“Gabe was an amazing player and an even better teacher. Words cannot explain my gratitude for what an amazing teammate he was,” retired midfielder Ron Jaworskiwho Gabriel backed up with the Eagles in his final season, posted on X. “Special player and an even better man!”

Gabriel was such a high prospect that the Rams made him the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft, and the AFL rival Oakland Raiders selected him No. 1. Gabriel ended up signing with the Rams, although it took until George Allen was hired as coach in 1966, Gabriel begins to leave his mark.

From 1967 to 1970, Gabriel led the Rams to a 41-14-4 record and two division titles, though never a playoff appearance. He was voted the 1969 Most Valuable Player after throwing for 2,549 yards with 24 touchdown passes and five rushing scores.

Allen left for Washington after 1970, and Gabriel was shipped to the Eagles in 1973. He was the NFL Player of the Year, leading the league with 23 touchdown passes and 3,219 yards, as he tried to help revitalize the Eagles' offense.

After his retirement, Gabriel worked briefly at CBS, where he called NFL games.

He went into coaching, with stints at Cal Poly Pomona, the Boston Breakers of the NFL and Raleigh Durham of the World League of American Football.

Gabriel was also involved in acting. His film credits included the 1968 film Skidoo starring Jackie Gleason, and the 1969 film The Undefeated starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson. He appeared in TV shows such as “Gilligan’s Island,” “Perry Mason,” “Ironside,” and “Wonder Woman.” He also joined Bob Hope on the USO's tour of Vietnam.

See also  Alabama overshadows LSU, and Washington overshadows USC

Leave:
Roman Gabriel of the Los Angeles Rams faces off against the Buffalo Bills during an NFL football game on September 27, 1970 at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York. File photo from Focus on Sports/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *