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Mark Brunell? Really?



When his Redskins career was finally ending back in the mid-1870s, I never would have guessed that Mark Brunell would one day star in a most memorable NFC Championship Game image for a team heading to the Super Bowl. But that's the great thing about sports. One year's washed-up limp-armed much-debased starting quarterback can become the next decade's NFC Championship-starring holder.

"I have no idea where the ball went," Garrett Hartley said after he kicked that game-winner on Sunday night. "I knew as soon as it went off my foot that it was good. I just turned and hugged Brunell."

Mark Brunell--the guy who, three years ago had fallen to third-string behind Jason Campbell and Todd Collins, the guy who threw a total of zero passes in 2007 and 2008--was the center of attention Sunday night, hugging the hero, and moving on to a chance at even more glory. Beats holding the clipboard for the clipboard holder.

The Saints' third QB, Chase Daniel, also has his share of Redskins ties, having been cut this summer in favor of a 17th offensive lineman.

"When my agent told me the Saints were interested, there was no hesitation in my mind," Daniel recently told the Columbia Daily Tribune. "I loved my time in Washington, believe me. But how things turned out this season, you look at Washington and you look at us, I think it worked out for the best."




Then there's Gregg Williams. You remember him, right. His son recently enrolled at Virginia Tech, and the school put out a release that mentioned how young Chase was the son of the Saints defensive coordinator and the Redskins' former head coach. They since corrected that last part, but ESPN.com picked up the first version, and is still telling people that Williams's papa ran the Redskins. Also, as Rick Snider pointed out Sunday night, the third G now stands for "Gumbo."

As for Brunell, he's 39, about 11 months younger than Brett Favre. The Redskins were 10-11 in his final 21 starts; they've gone 23-33 since he lost his job. He once told the Washington Times that "professionally, [his time in D.C.] wasn't ideal many times," and I think fans would reciprocate that feeling, although there will always be that Monday night in Dallas.

And if, heaven forbid, something happens to Drew Brees in the Super Bowl....

"I've been around the block a few times," Brunell told the New Orleans Times-Picayune before this season. "That's where a lot of my confidence comes from. I've been out there in big games, in pressure situations. I've had success. I've put some numbers up and won some games. That's part of the reason why I'm here. That's why Coach (Payton) likes veteran backups like myself and Joey Harrington; we've been out there before. We're not just out of college. We've been in a lot of football games."


By Dan Steinberg  |  January 25, 2010; 9:51 AM ET
Categories:  NFL , Redskins  
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Comments

Mark Brunell trying to join the distinguished list of recent backup quarterbacks who earned Super Bowl rings while sporting a crisp baseball cap. Note, he could be the FOURTH backup with Redskins ties to win the big one:


Steelers: Charlie Batch
Giants: Jared Lorenzen
Colts: Jim Sorgi
Patriots: Rohan Davey
Bucs: ROB JOHNSON
Ravens: TONY BANKS
Rams: TRENT GREEN

Posted by: SEJerome | January 25, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Good for Brunell, and Double G.

Posted by: trolly_time | January 25, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't have happened to a classier guy, and it still bothers me that, years later, so many Washington fans are still buying into the make-Brunell-the-scapegoat thing and forgetting about all the good things he did while he was here.

Posted by: TonyKP | January 25, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I saw this one coming a long time ago.

I knew Steinberg couldn't help himself.

If the Saints made the Super Bowl he was going to churn up all of these comments about Brunell and Gregg Williams getting a last laugh at the Redskins.

Does this happen everywhere else?

Are media and fans in Green Bay, Miami, San Diego, New England, Chicago so self-loathing that if a championship team has a BACKUP player that used to play for them they zero in on that player and the fact he was let go here?

Allen and Shanahan are here now.

Time to get over the self-loathing and 'woe is me' mentality that has taken this town over.

Brunell didn't win a game for the Saints this year and was as instrumental to their getting to the Super Bowl as Tom Owen was to the Redskins in 1982.

Jeeesh.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 25, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The weekend's games underscored the value of having a good starting quarterback -- who can execute plays, reach coverages, complete passes and score touchdowns. Can't imagine JC17 ever being able to do much of anything we saw here...

Posted by: Vic1 | January 25, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"Brunell didn't win a game for the Saints this year and was as instrumental to their getting to the Super Bowl as Tom Owen was to the Redskins in 1982."

I'll agree that Brunell didn't win any games with his quarterbacking skills, but ask Nick Folk and Tony Romo how important a good ball holder is in a playoff game. He earned his paycheck last night.

Posted by: jaradel | January 25, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I want to trash Brunnell as a former redskin doing well but I can't what a good person.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 25, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

also dan, no love for pierson priouleau (sp?) and leigh torrance?

Posted by: SEJerome | January 25, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I want to trash Brunnell as a former redskin doing well, but I can't, what a good person.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh, folks!

For one thing, yes, folks everywhere wail and gnash their teeth when their players go elsewhere and do well. Why do Washington fans think that everything is only done here? We actually - wait for it - care LESS about football than people in, say, Buffalo or Philly.

For another thing, Brunell is definitely more instrumental to the Saints' current status than who? was to the Redskins in '92. The holder may have more to say than either the snapper or the kicker whether the field goal is good or not. That post is chosen for a reason. Ask "hero" Garett Hartley if you don't believe me.

And for one more thing, I can see no reason why anyone would "want" to trash a former Redskin doing well. This is the nature of pro sport. They are jobs; people let go from here were not wanted here. And what, should be hated for that? I don't want to see them come back and kill my team. I could even do with their not holding for FGs while their team narrowly beats my team on its way to the Super Bowl. But you bet your bottom dollar I am happy as hell for those former Redskins right now. Wish I could see them on the street to tell them so.

Posted by: poorskins | January 25, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I don't "want" to trash but if a player does decent to bad as a redskin then goes on and does well with another team there has to be a little bit of envy or something close to that.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 25, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Shut-up Steinberg, have you even played football?

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | January 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Shut-up Steinberg, have you even played football?

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | January 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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