Kordell Stewart

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Kordell Stewart
No. 10
Personal information
Born: (1972-10-16) October 16, 1972 (age 50)
Marrero, Louisiana, U.S.[1]
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school:John Ehret (Marrero, Louisiana)
NFL Draft:1995 / Round: 2 / Pick: 60
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:14,746
Passer rating:70.7
Rushing yards:2,874
Rushing TDs:38
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Kordell Stewart (born October 16, 1972) is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for 11 seasons, primarily with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nicknamed "Slash", he played college football at Colorado. Stewart achieved recognition for the "Miracle at Michigan", a Hail Mary pass he completed to defeat Michigan in 1994. He was selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft.[2]

Stewart held a variety of roles for the Steelers before becoming their starting quarterback in 1997, which saw him help guide the team to an AFC Championship Game appearance. His most successful season was in 2001 where he led Pittsburgh to an American Football Conference (AFC) top seed and a return to the conference championship, while earning Pro Bowl and AFC Offensive Player of the Year honors. Stewart's performance declined the following year, resulting in him being released by the Steelers. Afterwards, Stewart played one season for the Chicago Bears and held a backup role during two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He ranks fourth in quarterback rushing touchdowns at 38.[3]

Early life, family and education[edit]

Kordell Stewart was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He attended John Ehret High School in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.

College career[edit]

In 1991, Stewart received a scholarship to the University of Colorado. Playing under coach Bill McCartney, he became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in school history, setting several Buffaloes records, including most passes completed, most passing yards, and most touchdown passes.[4]

Stewart led the option-oriented Buffaloes to a pair of top-10 regular-season finishes in the AP and Coaches polls in 1992 and 1994 as well as wins in the 1993 Aloha Bowl and 1995 Fiesta Bowl.[5] He was selected as a second-team All-American his senior year as nationally ranked No. 3 Colorado finished 11–1 in 1994.

One of his greatest moments for the Colorado Buffaloes occurred in the beginning of his college career. On September 5, 1992, Stewart started his first game as a sophomore as Colorado unveiled a pass-oriented offense that lifted the 12th-ranked Buffaloes past in-state rival Colorado State, 37–17. Stewart connected on 21 of 36 passes for a then school-record 409 yards and four touchdowns in the contest.[6]

On September 24, 1994, Stewart threw the game-winning, 64-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass into the end zone to wide receiver Michael Westbrook in the closing seconds to beat the Michigan Wolverines.[7]


Season Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Att Yds Avg TD
1991 1 2 50.0 2 0 0 18 144 8.0 1
1992 151 252 59.9 2,109 12 9 60 418 6.9 1
1993 157 294 53.4 2,299 11 7 102 524 5.1 6
1994 147 237 62.0 2,071 10 3 122 639 5.2 7
Totals 456 785 58.1 6,481 33 19 302 1,725 6.3 15

NFL career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Vertical jump Broad jump
6 ft 1+12 in
(1.87 m)
212 lb
(96 kg)
31+12 in
(0.80 m)
9+12 in
(0.24 m)
4.52 s 1.60 s 2.68 s 4.13 s 36.0 in
(0.91 m)
10 ft 5 in
(3.18 m)
All values from NFL Combine[8][9]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]


Stewart was used sparingly for select plays. In his first season, he had 15 carries with 14 receptions (for a total of two touchdowns) while making a handshake deal with Bill Cowher to be given a chance for the quarterback position, as Neil O'Donnell was the incumbent and also slated to be a free agent after the 1995 season was over. After a few games of brief rushes and catches, he got his first pass attempt against the Cleveland Browns. The attempt resulted in a touchdown. In total, he threw seven passes that year.[10]

In the 1996 playoffs, he was used for a couple of carries (nine combined) in Pittsburgh's run to Super Bowl XXX. Against Buffalo, he was used for a punt, which he kicked 41 yards to the endzone for a touchback. In the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts, he caught two passes for 18 yards and a touchdown that gave Pittsburgh a 10-6 lead at halftime in an eventual win. He ran four times for 15 yards in the Super Bowl loss to the Dallas Cowboys, which proved to be his only trip to the big game. [11]

In 1996, Pittsburgh elected to use third-year backup Jim Miller as their week one starter. When he fizzled out in the middle of the game, they went with Mike Tomczak (who had been with Pittsburgh since 1992), with the Steelers being bolstered by their off-season trade acquisition of Jerome Bettis. Stewart played sparingly at quarterback (30 passes) while being more used for catches and runs. He rushed 39 times (his longest play being an 80-yard touchdown run versus Carolina) and caught 17 passes for a combined total of eight touchdowns.[12] In the 1997 playoffs, he ran nine times for 48 yards against the Colts for two touchdowns.[13]


Stewart was named the starting quarterback for the 1997 season. In his first season as a starting quarterback in the NFL, he led the Steelers to an 11–5 record. He was the first quarterback to throw for twenty touchdowns and run for ten in history. The Steelers went to the AFC Championship Game, which they lost to the Denver Broncos. Stewart threw three interceptions (two of which were made in the opposing Denver end zone), and lost a fumble accounting for all four Steeler turnovers in a 24–21 loss.


Prior to the 1998 season, the Steelers lost their offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey as he was signed as the Cowboys head coach. To replace him, the Steelers brought in Ray Sherman from the Vikings. In addition, Stewart's leading receiver and Pro Bowler Yancey Thigpen also left via free agency after the 1997 season. By mid-season in 1998, the Steelers had lost three of the five starting offensive linemen from the 1997 AFC Championship game and, as a result, Stewart and the Steelers offense struggled and failed to make the playoffs in both seasons.


Coach Bill Cowher named Kent Graham quarterback to start the season, and the team got off to a 1–3 start. When Graham injured his hip, Stewart was tapped to replace him. The team finished 9–7 and missed the playoffs by one game.


As starting quarterback, Stewart led the 2001 Steelers to a 13–3 regular-season record and the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Under the tutelage of new QB coach Tom Clements and new offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, Stewart had his best year as a pro, throwing for over 3,000 yards, completing 60 percent of his passes, and attaining a passer rating of 81.7. He threw for 14 TDs and ran for five more. Stewart was elected to the Pro Bowl and was named the Steelers MVP.

The Steelers easily defeated the then-defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the divisional playoffs. The eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots defeated the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.


Stewart began the 2002 season as the Steelers' starting quarterback, but after throwing an interception into double coverage in the end zone at home against the Cleveland Browns in the third game of the season, he was replaced by increasingly popular backup Tommy Maddox, and Stewart was released at the end of the season. Stewart did start two games in place of an injured Maddox to keep the team's playoff hopes alive. Maddox returned, and Stewart never played in Pittsburgh again.

Chicago Bears[edit]

The following season, Stewart signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears and was named the starter. After several poor performances in 2003, he was replaced in favor of Chris Chandler. After getting the same results from Chandler, he was reinserted as the starter, before getting benched in favor of rookie Rex Grossman after the Bears were eliminated from the playoffs. Stewart was released at the end of the season.

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

Stewart was signed in 2004 by the Ravens to play a backup role to Kyle Boller, and later served as a replacement for the injured Anthony Wright. He did not, however, throw a pass that season. He was unexpectedly successful as an emergency replacement for punter Dave Zastudil, being named NFL Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance. He was released following the 2004 season, but due to an injury to starting quarterback Kyle Boller during Week #1 of the 2005 season, the Ravens once again signed Stewart to be a backup to Anthony Wright.


Pittsburgh Steelers color commentator Myron Cope gave Stewart the nickname "Slash".[14] He chose this name under the presumption that Stewart could play multiple positions—quarterback/receiver/rusher (quarterback "slash" receiver "slash" rusher).

After confining him to many utility roles during the 1995 season, when the Steelers made it to Super Bowl XXX only to lose to the Dallas Cowboys, the team gave Stewart the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback position in 1996. Following a preseason battle, Bill Cowher named Jim Miller as the Steelers' starting quarterback and kept Stewart in his "Slash" role. Miller struggled at Jacksonville on opening day and was replaced by Mike Tomczak for the rest of the season. In a December 1996 game against the Carolina Panthers, Stewart set a then-NFL record for longest touchdown run by a quarterback with an 80-yard rush.[citation needed]

NFL career statistics[edit]

Year Team GP Passing Rushing Receiving
Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD
1995 PIT 10 5 7 71.4 60 1 0 136.9 15 86 5.7 1 14 235 16.8 1
1996 PIT 16 11 30 36.7 100 0 2 18.8 39 171 4.4 5 17 293 17.2 3
1997 PIT 16 236 440 53.6 3,020 21 17 75.2 88 476 5.4 11 0 0 0.0 0
1998 PIT 16 252 458 55.0 2,560 11 18 62.9 81 406 5.0 2 1 17 17.0 0
1999 PIT 16 160 275 58.2 1,464 6 10 64.9 56 258 4.6 2 9 113 12.6 1
2000 PIT 16 151 289 52.2 1,860 11 8 73.6 78 436 5.6 7 0 0 0.0 0
2001 PIT 16 266 442 60.2 3,109 14 11 81.7 96 537 5.6 5 0 0 0.0 0
2002 PIT 7 109 166 65.7 1,155 6 6 82.8 43 191 4.4 2 0 0 0.0 0
2003 CHI 9 126 251 50.2 1,418 7 12 56.8 59 290 4.9 3 0 0 0.0 0
2004 BAL 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 1 −1 −1.0 0 0 0 0.0 0
2005 BAL 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 4 24 6.0 0 0 0 0.0 0
Totals 125 1,316 2,358 55.8 14,746 77 84 70.7 560 2,874 5.1 38 41 658 16.0 5

Post-NFL career[edit]

Following Boller's reactivation on November 9, 2005, the Ravens cut Stewart instead of keeping him as a third-string player, activating running back Musa Smith instead. Stewart had no comment following the announcement he had been cut from the team.[citation needed]

Stewart made guest appearances on the TV shows Deal or No Deal[15] and Pros vs. Joes.[16][17]

On April 29, 2008, in an interview on the WCNN "680 The Fan", Stewart expressed interest in returning to the NFL. Also, according to ESPN2's First Take on July 28, 2008, Stewart had not officially retired and had been working out at his home, to attempt a comeback during following pre-season. He later was put into free agency but was never selected by a team.[citation needed]

He appeared in January 2009 as an analyst on ESPN's College Football Live, and then later appeared again in July during the show's "50 States Tour" for the show's episode regarding Colorado athletics.

Stewart was also a sideline reporter for the United Football League[citation needed] and is currently[when?] an analyst on various ESPN shows such as NFL Live,[citation needed] NFL 32,[citation needed] Take 2,[citation needed] and Mike and Mike in the Morning.[citation needed]

Stewart officially retired from the NFL in 2012.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Stewart has a son, Syre, with his ex-girlfriend Tania Richardson.[19]

Stewart met Porsha Williams, a granddaughter of civil rights leader Hosea Williams, in 2009 at downtown Atlanta's Luckie Lounge.[20] On May 21, 2011, they married in a lavish ceremony that was featured on WE tv's Platinum Weddings.[21] Stewart filed for divorce from Williams on March 22, 2013, on the grounds that the marriage was irretrievably broken. Initial reports stated he was unwilling to pay any spousal support.[22]

In March 2017, Kordell won a $3 million lawsuit against internet personality Andrew Chad Caldwell, who made headlines in 2014 in front of a St. Louis church stating that he was delivered from homosexuality. Andrew Caldwell claimed to have a gay relationship with Kordell, which was proven false.[23]

Stewart is an avid golfer and carried a nine handicap when he was an active NFL player.[24][25]

Stewart was the cover athlete for the 1997 video game NFL Blitz.

On March 23, 1998, Stewart appeared on the first-ever cover of ESPN The Magazine alongside Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez and Eric Lindros.[26]

Stewart later published an essay on The Players' Tribune, detailing the racism and false rumors of homosexuality he faced as the Steelers' quarterback.[27]


  1. ^ "They saw Kordell's potential".
  2. ^ "1995 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 31, 2023.
  3. ^ "Newton ties Steve Young's rushing TD record; Panthers beat Bucs 38-10 to clinch NFC's top seed".
  4. ^ "Colorado Football Individual Records" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2011.
  5. ^ "Fiesta Bowl College Football". The Baltimore Sun. January 1, 1993. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  6. ^ "Colorado unveils big pass-oriented offense". The Tuscaloosa News. Tuscaloosa, Alabama. September 6, 1992. p. 5C. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  7. ^ Ivan Maisel (June 7, 2007). "Stewart to Westbrook silenced Big House crowd". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 7, 2007.
  8. ^ "Kordell Stewart, Combine Results, QB - Colorado". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  9. ^ "Kordell Stewart RAS". ras.football. January 6, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "Why former Steelers QB Kordell 'Slash' Stewart should be in Hall of Honor: 'That would mean the world to me'".
  11. ^ "Kordell Stewart Playoffs Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  12. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers - December 22nd, 1996". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  13. ^ "Wild Card - Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers - December 29th, 1996". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  14. ^ Leitch. "R.I.P. Myron Cope". Deadspin. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  15. ^ 16W Marketing, LLC: Kordell Stewart
  16. ^ IMDB.com: Pros vs Joes (Kordell Stewart Gets Revenge on the Refs), Season Two, Episode Two, February 1, 2007
  17. ^ IMDB.com: Pros vs Joes (Kordell Stewart Slashes Through the Joes), Season Two, Episode Six, March 1, 2007
  18. ^ "Kordell Stewart retires ... Seven years after last game". NFL.com.
  19. ^ "Does Porsha have an OOW child?? - Page 2". Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013. Tania Richardson Is Syre's Mother
  20. ^ "Meet Porsha Williams Stewart, the newest 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' cast member | Radio & TV Talk". Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013. Introducing Porsha williams-stewart
  21. ^ "Kordell& Porsha". Platinum Weddings. May 1, 2011.[dead YouTube link]
  22. ^ Rivera, Zayda (March 26, 2013). "Kordell Stewart, Porsha Williams split: Former NFL player files for divorce from 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star". New York Daily News. New York. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  23. ^ Rohrbach, Ben (March 15, 2017). "Kordell Stewart wins $3 million lawsuit against male YouTube sensation who said they dated". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  24. ^ Chico Harlan (December 24, 2004). "Kordell Stewart puts Pittsburgh experience in perspective". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  25. ^ Suzanne Woo (May 30, 2012). "Former Steelers' QB Kordell Stewart Retires". Business Golf Blog. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  26. ^ Steve Wulf (September 10, 2019). "Who's got next? The four athletes who appeared on our first cover". ESPN. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  27. ^ Stewart, Kordell (February 4, 2021). ""You Know What I Heard About Kordell Stewart???"". The Players' Tribune. Retrieved November 4, 2021.

External links[edit]