Tom Matte to Kendall Hinton: I’m proud of how you stepped up for your teammates

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Michael David Smith
·1 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Not many people have any idea what it was like for Kendall Hinton on Sunday, when he was called up from the Broncos’ practice squad, where he was a wide receiver, to start at quarterback. But Tom Matte knows.

Matte was similar to Hinton: He had some quarterback experience in college at Ohio State, but when the Baltimore Colts selected him in the 1961 NFL draft, it was to play running back. However, in 1965, the Colts were out of quarterbacks and turned to Matte, just as the Broncos turned to Hinton on Sunday.

The 81-year-old Matte was watching, and he wrote a letter to Hinton this week to commiserate about their shared experience.

“As the only two ‘Instant Quarterbacks’ in NFL history, we have a strong connection, thanks to our shared experience,” Matte wrote, via the Broncos’ website. “I’m proud of how you stepped up for your teammates, particularly in what was an impossible situation in difficult circumstances. Decades from now, I hope you’ll look back with pride on your experience – you’ll have quite a story to tell your grandchildren!”

Matte told Hinton that when he saw the Colts’ two quarterbacks, John Unitas and Gary Cuozzo, get hurt, his response was, “Oh, my god. Don’t tell me I have to play quarterback.” Hinton may have had similar feelings, but he handled a tough situation the best he could, and for that he earned Matte’s respect.

Tom Matte to Kendall Hinton: I’m proud of how you stepped up for your teammates originally appeared on Pro Football Talk