Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Jaguars to induct Mark Brunell into Pride
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Quarterback Mark Brunell will be back on the field with the Jaguars one more time.
The team will honor him at halftime of the Dec. 15 game against Buffalo at EverBank Field as the newest member of the Pride of the Jaguars. He joins offensive tackle Tony Boselli, running back Fred Taylor, and previous owners Wayne and Delores Weaver in the organization’s hall of fame.
"This is real special," Brunell said Tuesday. "The passing records, they get broken eventually. The other individual awards, Pro bowls and those things, big games, sometimes get forgotten. But the opportunity to be on the Pride, that goes on. That lives on."
Brunell played nine years in Jacksonville (1995-2003) and still owns or shares 23 franchise passing records, including career passing yards (25,698), single-season passing yards (4,367 in 1996), single-game passing yards (432 vs. New England in 1996), touchdown passes (144), and 300-yard passing games (six).
He led the NFL in passing in 1996 and helped guide the Jaguars on an improbable playoff run to the AFC Championship Game in just the franchise’s second season. Brunell led the Jaguars to a franchise-best 14-2 regular season and another appearance in the AFC title game in 1999. He is a three-time Pro Bowler and was the game’s MVP in 1997.
"I was very fortunate," Brunell said. "I’m a firm believer that to do well as a quarterback in the NFL you’ve got to have good people around you. From the first day that I stepped foot in Jacksonville I was very thankful that I had very good people around me, starting with the head coach in Tom Coughlin, a great coaching staff, and like I said, great teammates like Tony, Fred, and the list goes on and on."
This will mark the third consecutive season in which the team has inducted someone into the Pride of the Jaguars. Boselli was the first player inducted in 2006, followed by the Weavers in 2011 and Taylor last season.
"It has never been a question of whether or not Mark belonged there," Jaguars president Mark Lamping said. "It was only a question of when."