Read + Write + Report
Home | Start a blog | About Orble | FAQ | Blogs | Writers | Paid | My Orble | Login

Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Sidney Crosby

I continue my recent string of Jaguars-themed Historical Player Profiles with their former star quarterback; Mark Brunell. The now-bankrupt backup Jets quarterback is probably shaking his head at the team's most recent loss. The lefty has lost most of his former glory, so I'm just going to focus on his notable seasons with the Jags and Washington Redskins.

Brunell is currently in his 17th season, and the three time Pro Bowler was a 5th round pick in the 1993 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks made a mistake in taking highly-regarded Notre Dame product Rick Mirer instead of waiting for Brunell to tumble. The Packers already had their answer in Brett Favre, and Brunell and the Jaguars struck gold when he was traded for a 3rd and fifth rounder.

The greatest quarterback in team history, Brunell would be named to the '96,'97, and '99 Pro Bowls. He was simply sensational in 1996, as he led the league in passing yards (4,367) and also led the NFL with 7.8 yards per attempt. This was made all the more impressive when you consider he was sacked a league-leading 50 times. It was the best season of his career, and he even had a league-leading three fourth quarter comebacks to show for it. Despite the 63.4 completion percentage, Brunell did throw 20 picks that year.

A season later, Mark Brunell still made the Pro Bowl- and was the game's MVP- on the strength of just seven interceptions. He also averaged 7.6 air yards per attempt and had a 91.2 QB Rating.

A devout Christian who is known as one of the nicest players and best mentors in the league, Mark Brunell threw for under 3,000 yards in 1998 but came back in 1999 with 3,060 yards and another Pro Bowl appearance (the last one of his career). Only two percent of his passes were picked off, and Brunell had another solid season.

Two interesting statistical streaks emerge when looking at Brunell's career, and these are his six straight seasons of at least 200 passing yards per game (1996-2001) and his streak of eight consecutive seasons with a QB Rating of at least 82.0 (1995-2002). Brunell has a career AV of 120, a QB Rating of 84.0, 6.9 yards per attempt, and 22 game-winning drives. Pro-Football Reference's Fan EloRater has him as the 374th best player in NFL history as of November 9th.

Known as a good scrambler, Mark Brunell was dealt to the Washington Redskins after the 2003 season when Byron Leftwich was named the Jaguars new starting quarterback.

However, Brunell got off to an awful start with his new team in 2004. In 2005, he turned up the heat to the tune of an 85.9 QB Rating and was third in the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award voting. He came up big with two key touchdown passes in an MNF game against the 'Skins most hated rivals; the Dallas Cowboys. His two bombs to the elite Santana Moss in the final four minutes gave them an incredible 14-13 victory. Although they were knocked out in the playoffs, they were able to take down the Tampa Bay Bucs in the Wild Card game.

Brunell set the record for the most consecutive complete passes in a game (22) in a game against the Houston Texans in 2006. However, eight weeks later, David Carr tied that record. What makes this all the more interesting is the fact that those 22 passes were his first attempts of the game.

That game was the only high point of a poor season for Brunell, as he was surprisingly benched in favor of first round pick Jason Campbell. Although Campbell would go on to have a decent career- up until his unfortunate injury this season- many people believed that this was an imprudent move and that the usually classless Redskins made Mark Brunell their scapegoat.

The Whataburger owner and Madoff/Dykstra investor signed on with the New Orleans Saints to back up superstar QB and franchise savior Drew Brees. This turned out to be a great move for the holder, as he won a Super Bowl ring thanks to the prolific play of Brees under center in 2009. The former Ed Block Courage Award winner and "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year did play a role as one of the main advisers to Drew Brees that season.

Mark Brunell signed a two-year deal with the New York Jets in 2010 to back up and mentor Mark Sanchez. Although a solid backup, Brunell was released after the 2010 season and was forced to take a reduced pay cut. He did, and Brunell has filed for bankruptcy since; mainly thanks to some ill-advised investments. It is a somewhat sad story, but at least he has that ring and those 11 Whataburgers won't be closing either.

Although Mark Brunell wasn't a great quarterback by any measure, he was a solid player and is a great person. Everybody will tell you that he is one of the best mentors around, and he is a very religious person whose attitude made him an ideal leader. The problem is that his life has been ridden with bad-luck, and it has costed him what would have certainly been a better career. However, Brunell was able to win a Super Bowl with the Saints and has had a nice 17-year career thus far.
108 AY/A-plus for his career


The Steelers are obviously in good shape with another Super Bowl appearance under their belts. However, there are still some weaknesses on this roster that need to be patched up.

We all know how great Ben Roethlisberger is, and they are deep at quarterback. Dennis Dixon is a decent player, Byron Leftwich is startable, and Charlie Batch is a good veteran backup. The Steelers have arguably the best group of QBs in the league. The Philadelphia Eagles are close with Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, and Mike Kafka. The Packers are also in contention with Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, and Graham Harrell.

Rashard Mendenhall is a good power rusher, and Mewelde Moore is one of the premier third down backs in the game. He racks up yards after contact and played really well in the Super Bowl. At receiver, Mike Wallace is the best deep threat in the game. Their receivers play well off of eachother's strengths and weaknesses. Hines Ward is a possession receiver that plays the short game. Heath Miller is a solid blocking tight end that is a nice red zone target as well as another short range receiver. Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown are speedy downfield receivers. Overall, it is a solid core that suits Roethlisberger.

Willie Colon was missed last season, and he is a huge upgrade over the completely inept Jonathan Scott at left tackle. Colon is a solid player, and he is the best offensive lineman on the Steelers. Chris Kemoeatu is a great run blocker who has incredible strength. He does a great job of pulling defensive linemen and creating holes. I would say he is the second best OL on Pittsburgh. Rookie center Maurkice Pouncey is overhyped, but he is still a great leader- especially for a young player- and he will definitely be a good player for years to come.

Trai Essex is a poor guard, and Flozell Adams is a decent run blocker but horrible in every other part of his game. Adams is too old and is only a decent run blocker because of his size. The O-Line has no depth, and the Steelers sorely need to draft a guard and maybe a tackle too.

Defense has always been a strength in Pittsburgh, and it all starts with Dick LeBeau's amazing blitz packages in his 3-4 defense. Aaron Smith is still one of the better run stopping ends in the league, and that's very important for a 3-4 end. Brett Keisel put together a nice year in 2010, and fellow 2010 starter- because Smith was out for the year- Ziggy Hood was also solid. Nick Eason is a capable backup too.

James Harrison is a stellar pass rusher, and he plays a rugged style that makes him pay far too much fine money. However, Harrison is the best linebacker in the league because of his pass rushing ability and his decent run D. LaMarr Woodley completes the dynamic edge rushing duo. He is very explosive and is a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.

James Farrior is actually still a solid player, even at this stage in his career. Farrior's leadership and excellence are vital, and he is the one that mentored Lawrence Timmons. Farrior still gets the tackles; he always has. Lawrence Timmons had an incredible year last year and was the second best linebacker in 2010; behind teammate James Harrison. Timmons is going to be a star in the NFL for a while. Jason Worilds and Larry Foote are solid backups.

The biggest problem with the Steelers lies with their cornerbacks. Ike Taylor is a top cover corner that excels in zone coverage, but he's the only person on this roster worth starting at the position. Teams almost always throw it away from him because their other corners are just so bad. Bryant McFadden is a physical corner, but he gives up far too many catches and repeatedly gets burned. Nickel corner William Gay is poor. The only good thing I have to say about is that he's fast, and pretty much every cornerback in the NFL is fast. Fourth corner Anthony Madison is terrible and can't cover at all.

Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu make up one of the five best safety tandems. Clark is a vicious hitter that is excellent in run support, but he is one of the worst safeties in coverage. Polamalu is one of the biggest superstars in football, and his meaning to the Steelers cannot be expressed in words. He is such an athletic and instinctive player that can do it all. Polamalu can blitz, intercept, and he is the guy that the scheme revolves around. Antonio Brown is a good returner and so are backup returners Antwaan Randle El and Emmanuel Sanders. Shane Suisham is one of the worst kickers in the league, and punter Jeremy Kapinos is subpar.

Mike Tomlin is one of the best coaches out there, and his players love to play for him. He does a great job of motivating and managing. We already talked about LeBeau, and both of them help make up a really good coaching staff. With all that being said, I see the Steelers going deep in the playoffs again next season. What about you? Leave your input in the comments section.
Pittsburgh's Main Man

Joe Soriano's Blogs

153 Vote(s)
7 Comment(s)
4 Post(s)
26729 Vote(s)
81 Comment(s)
294 Post(s)
78 Vote(s)
0 Comment(s)
3 Post(s)
Moderated by Joe Soriano
Copyright © 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 On Topic Media PTY LTD. All Rights Reserved. Design by
On Topic Media ZPages: Sydney |  Melbourne |  Brisbane |  London |  Birmingham |  Leeds     [ Advertise ] [ Contact Us ] [ Privacy Policy ]