Meet The Black And Gold Quarterbacks: Mark Brunell

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Meet The Black And Gold Quarterbacks: Mark Brunell
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

This is the second article in a three part series which will profile each of the three quarterbacks on the New Orleans Saints roster.

If you're any kind of NFL fan, you've probably heard of Mark Brunell.

He was born on September 17, 1970 in Santa Maria, California. He became the starting quarterback for the St. Joseph High School Nights (Santa Maria, California) in the 1985, '86 and '87 seasons, leading the team to two league championships and one appearance in California's state championship series.

He signed with the University of Washington after completing high school and took over the starting quarterback job in his sophomore year with the Huskies. After having an excellent sophomore season which saw the Huskies finish ranked at No.5 in the Associated Press poll and a Rose Bowl win over Iowa, Brunell was expected to take the Huskies all the way in the next season.

That however, did not happen.

Brunell suffered a devastating knee injury in the annual Husky spring game but returned in the third game of the season, not fully recovered but by then, the starting job had been wrestled away by Billy Joe Hobert (who would also be a Saint later in his career).

Brunell was not declared the starter again until his senior season after Hobert had been suspended from the league for violating league rules and even after a bevy of losses, the Huskies were still named Pac-10 champions and Brunell started his second Rose Bowl game.

Brunell was selected by the Green Bay Packers in fifth round of the NFL Draft but was acquired by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 in a trade for the third and fifth round picks in the 1995 NFL Draft.

While a Jaguar, Brunell was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and was awarded the Pro Bowl MVP award in his first appearance in Honolulu.

Following halftime of the third game in the 2003 season, Brunell was benched in favor of young gun Byron Leftwich and Brunell was soon traded to the Washington Redskins.

After several seasons with the 'Skins which saw him being benched for other quarterbacks (Jason Campbell and Patrick Ramsey) on two separate occasions, he was released.

The New Orleans Saints signed the left hander on March 13, 2008 as a replacement for former backup quarterback, Jamie Martin.

He is the backup to starting quarterback Drew Brees but third string quarterback Joey Harrington is expected to challenge him for that spot.

In his career, Brunell has completed 2,738 out of 4,594 pass attempts for 31,826 yards, 182 touchdowns, and 106 interceptions.

He has rushed 509 times for 2,433 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The 6'1, 217 pounder is currently 38-years-old and in his 17th NFL season. 

Coming Next: Drew Brees

This article also appeared on www.saintspodcast.webs.com

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