← Blog Home
The Forward Pass
By 1905, the brutality of the game of football began to surface as a concern. The harsh style of play resulted in 18 deaths and President Roosevelt called for reform within the games harsh style of play. In December of 1905, representatives from 62 schools convened in New York to establish a new system of rules. In order to alleviate serious injury the notion of a forward style pass was implemented.
On September 5, 1906 Bradbury Robinson, quarterback for St. Louis University, dropped back and completed a pass to little fanfare and amazement. Bradbury’s 20-yard strike is documented as the first legal forward pass in the history of the game.
However, the forward pass really began to influence the style of the game through the play of Pop Warner’s Carlisle Indians. In 1907, Warner implemented an entire offensive scheme, which centered on the forward pass. The undersize Carlisle Indians began to dominate college football, forever changing the game.