Steve Beuerlein still holds the Panthers' franchise record for passing yards in a single season. That was way back in 1999 when he threw for 4,436 yards. But it was 5 yards with his legs that he might be best remembered in Carolina.
In Week 14 at Green Bay, the Panthers trailed 31-27 when Beuerlein drove the offense to the Packers' 5-yard line. With just 5 seconds left, the Panthers called a timeout to talk about how they would get those final 5 yards on the game's final play.
"I come over to the huddle, and we're all throwing ideas out, and everybody's talking. And all of a sudden, (head coach) George Seifert goes out of the blue, 'What about the quarterback draw?'" Beuerlein recalled in this week's "Inside Scoop."
"I swear to you, everyone that heard that started cracking up, except me, of course. I was insulted. Everyone was laughing because they were like, 'There's no way we are going to run a quarterback draw with Steve Beuerlein at this point.' But George was staring at us from behind his glasses and said, 'They'll never expect it.'"
Up to that point in the season, Beuerlein had averaged just 6.5 rushing yards per game. With weapons like tight end Wesley Walls in the red zone, surely Carolina would throw it.
"When I jogged out to the field, I knew I didn't have a lot of time in that huddle, so I said, 'You guys aren't gonna believe me, you gotta trust me. They want to run the quarterback draw,'" Beuerlein said. "All the guys were looking at me and starting cracking up and were like, 'C'mon call the play.'
"I finally said, 'Listen, everybody shut up. We're running the quarterback draw. Do your job and I'm going to find a way to get this in.'"
Beuerlein took a three-step drop, looked in Walls' direction, and then took off through a hole in the middle of the field. A defender converged on Beuerlein at the goal line, but when the Packer went low, Beuerlein crashed over him into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown.
"There was a combination of feelings right there," Beuerlein said. "First off, the joy of scoring that touchdown in that fashion. But also, you'll see he hit my right knee and I thought my knee had blew up. It felt like a pain that I had never had before. I was excited but in absolute agony with the pain in my knee."
Nearly the entire sideline of Panthers dogpiling on top of Beuerlein didn't help matters. But his knee turned out okay, and Beuerlein's run remains one of Carolina's signature moments.
View photos of quarterback Steve Beuerlein during his career (1996-2000) with the Carolina Panthers.