What do Michael Bishop, Tommie Frazier, D.J. Shockley, Troy Smith, Charlie Ward, and Pat White have in common? They are all black quarterbacks who didn’t get a true chance to prove themselves in NFL regular-season action. All of them were excellent rushing QBs and some of them passed the ball better than Tim Tebow.

This isn’t a knock on Tebow, who will lead the Denver Broncos against the New England Patriots in a divisional playoff game Saturday night. But the success of the Broncos quarterback shows that many unconventional quarterbacks might have been winners in the NFL if they had been given better opportunities. Frazier and Ward won national titles in college (Frazier won two). Ward and Smith won Heisman Trophies.

The list doesn’t even include the many black quarterbacks who were switched to other positions or the signal callers from past generations who never got a chance.

The NFL has come a long way since the days when there were no black starting quarterbacks. Is there still racism in the NFL at the quarterback position? Would Tebow have even gotten a chance to play if he were black? Or was it Tebow’s celebrity status that helped him get onto the field?

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