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NFL football player, Jake Delhomme, was born January 10, 1975 in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Jake Delhomme is quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. He was originally signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 1997.
In 2005, Delhomme was selected to his first Pro Bowl. Since 2003, no other NFL quarterback has more game winning or tying drives in the game's final 2 minutes than Jake Delhomme. He currently has 16, including 2 already in 2008, against the Bears and Chargers.
Jake Delhomme went undrafted in the 1997 NFL Draft, but was later signed by his hometown New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent. After spending the first season on the practice squad, he was assigned to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe as a backup quarterback to future NFL and Super Bowl MVP, Kurt Warner. After another stint on the Saints' practice squad, he was sent back to NFL Europe, this time as a member of the Frankfurt Galaxy. The Galaxy operated under a rare two-quarterback strategy, utilizing both Delhomme and Pat Barnes; the pair was known as the "Double-Headed Quarterback Monster". The unorthodox strategy worked, as the Galaxy won World Bowl VII over the Barcelona Dragons. Delhomme would later say about his time in Europe:
“ ...I was able to go over and play, but we had some success and we just, we were a team. We were not the most talented team, but we just played together, had the right chemistry. ” —Jake Delhomme,
Following his success in Europe, Jake Delhomme was brought back to New Orleans as the full-time third-string quarterback. In his first NFL start against the Dallas Cowboys, he threw two touchdowns en route to a Saints victory, the team's third.
Delhomme continued to see limited playing time the following three seasons, as he was the backup to Aaron Brooks and Jeff Blake. He managed to lead all NFC quarterbacks in overall passer rating during the 2001 and 2002 preseasons. His success, coupled with the team's struggles, led fans to chant "We Want Jake, We Want Jake".
With Aaron Brooks cemented as the starter in New Orleans, Delhomme was interested in fighting for a starting spot in the NFL. In the 2003 offseason, he met with representatives from both the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys. He eventually signed with Carolina as a free agent. Ironically, it was his performance against Dallas in 1999 that made new Panthers coach John Fox take notice.
The Panthers had been struggling, and were just one season removed from a dismal 1-15 season, during which they set an NFL record for consecutive losses in a single season. Although Rodney Peete was the Panthers' starter, Delhomme was looked at to be the future of the franchise. It did not take long for him to take over. At halftime of the 2003 season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Panthers were down 17–0. Delhomme took over from Peete and threw three touchdowns, the last coming in a fourth-down situation with just 16 seconds left in the game, to lead the Panthers to a comeback victory. He started the following week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and proceeded to start every game during the 2003 season. He then led the Panthers on a Cinderella run through the playoffs, including a double-overtime victory against the St. Louis Rams. The Panthers made it through to Super Bowl XXXVIII to face the New England Patriots. Despite his personal success in the game (16-of-33 for 323 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 113.6 passer rating), as well as setting a record for longest offensive play from scrimmage in Super Bowl history (an 85-yard pass to Muhsin Muhammad), the Panthers fell on a last-minute field goal by Adam Vinatieri.
Delhomme started the 2006 season as the Panthers' quarterback, the first time in franchise history that the same quarterback was the starter for three straight seasons. He set records during the season by making 150 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, bettering Steve Beuerlein's previous team record of 119. In addition, in a game against the St. Louis Rams, he broke Beuerlein's team record for pass attempts; the following week against the Washington Redskins, he continued his assault on the team record books by breaking Beuerlein's records for completions and passing yards. Unfortunately, he injured his thumb in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and missed three games. During his time off, Chris Weinke started for the first time since the 2002 season, and in his first game shattered the team record for passing yards in a single game with 423 yards, but his three interceptions cost the Panthers the game against the New York Giants. Weinke could only manage a single victory in Delhomme's absence (against the rival Atlanta Falcons, only his second victory as an NFL starter), and Delhomme returned for the season finale against the New Orleans Saints.
In the third game of the 2007 season, Delhomme suffered an elbow injury in a game against the division rival Atlanta Falcons. The injury set off a series of changes for the Panthers at the quarterback position. David Carr, who signed with Carolina in the off-season, took over as the Panthers' starting quarterback. After Carr injured his back in a defeat of the New Orleans Saints, the Panthers signed Vinny Testaverde, who started the next game against the Arizona Cardinals just four days later, and in the process became the oldest starting quarterback to win a game in the NFL. However, an injury to Testaverde coupled with Carr's spinal cord injury led to rookie Matt Moore starting in week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks, a game he won. Meanwhile Delhomme opted for season ending Tommy John surgery on the elbow after two weeks of testing his arm. Delhomme returned to the starting position for the 2008 season. In the first game of the 2008 season, Delhomme restarted his career by coming back on the San Diego Chargers with a touchdown pass on fourth down as time expired to win the game. This is similar to his debut game in 2003.
Delhomme is married to the former Keri Melancon in 2000; the two were childhood sweethearts, and were "Junior Sweethearts" at Teurlings Catholic. The Delhommes are practicing Roman Catholics. They have two daughters: Lauren Elizabeth, who was born on December 17, 2001, and Lindsey Marie, who was born on February 25, 2007.