Mark Brunell was a special kind of player. I know it’s a little bit early to say “was” since the dude is still playing, but he is certainly past his prime. When Brunell was at the top of his game he sported a cannon for an arm and a sprinters gift of speed and agility.
Brunell played his college ball at the University of Washington. While a pretty good college QB, he was not a constant at QB for the Huskies. He split time with a couple of other guys, but was part of some great teams that featured the legendary Lincoln Kennedy. Brunell left UW and was part of one of my favorite NFL Drafts ever in 1993.
The 1993 Draft featured top picks Drew Bledsoe and Rick Mirer. Brunell didn’t get selected until the 5th round when he was selected by the Green Bay Packers. Here are the QBs taken in the ’93 Draft:
1. Drew Bledsoe
2. Rick Mirer
58. Billy Joe Hobert (Hobert often started ahead of Brunell at UW)
192: Gino Torretta
216: Alex Van Pelt
219: Elvis Grbac
222: Trent Green
Not a bad draft, actually. Anyway, back to Brunell. Mark went to Green Bay in the fall of 1993 and spent two years sitting on his ass behind Brett Favre (seriously, how many lives can that guy ruin?). Despite throwing only 27 passes in his two years with the Packers, Brunell was in demand around the league. He was traded prior to the 1995 season to the Jacksonville Jaguars for 3rd and 5th round picks. Brunell was the club’s starting QB from 1995 to 2003 and set almost every team record you can think of.
Brunell was a three-time Pro Bowler with the Jags and was actually named the MVP of the 1997 Pro Bowl. The Jags were competitive during most of his time as QB, highlighted by a 14-2 season in 1999 in which the club lost in the AFC title game to Steve McNair and the Tennessee Titans, 33-14 on their home field. Ouch!
Mark eventually lost his job to the slowest QB ever, Byron Leftwich. He was traded to the Washington Redskins and started a few games for them early in the 2000’s. He has spent the last four or five seasons as a back up QB for Drew Brees in New Orleans and sex-maniac, Mark Sanchez with the Jets.
A few quick career highlights:
- 14-2 season in 1999
- Led the conference in yards in 1996, he could really air it out.
- He loved getting sacked. He led the league in sacks a few times. He just craved that contact.
- Owns the NFL record for most consecutive complete passes (22) in a single game.
In addition to his action on the field, he’s got a few things going off of the grid iron as well. According to an anonymous tipster, Mark’s daughter is pretty hot. She was named Miss America’s Outstanding Teen back in 2008. He and his wife also have three sons who we can probably assume, are not as hot as their sister.
Mark declared bankruptcy last season which is surprising since he’s earned over $50M playing football. He lists that he does have over $5M in assets, but he also owes over $25M in liabilities. This would explain while he is still attempting to play in the NFL even though he turns 41 later this year.