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Oct. 14: Mark Brunell

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Mark Brunell Chat, October 12, 2005

From Diablo23

Did it upset you at all when people started saying you couldn't play the position anymore?

Mark Brunell

Well, it was upsetting, because, I was confident that I could still play. You know, it’s frustrating to hear those things because obviously they affect me, but they affect my family as well. Anytime that you get criticized publicly, its tough. But I understand that its part of the game and when the quarterback of the team isn’t producing and the teams not moving the ball or scoring points, then he’s going to get some heat. So it was upsetting, but that’s part of the business.

From forbeskin

Hey Mark, I met you a long time ago at Don Pablo's in Jacksonville. (Great food) I'm going to admit, I was one of the many that booed last season. The drop off in performance seemed unbelievable, this wasn't the same QB I remember watching in Jax. Now, after the past 3 games you have done a complete 180. You’re moving around, making key reads, and looking like the QB that Coach Gibbs went after. What do you attribute that to? (Sorry for the boo's and thanks for proving me wrong! I am now a believer!)

Mark Brunell

Well, I tell you, to be successful, for any quarterback to have success, it takes 11 guys and I’m real fortunate that I’ve got 10 other guys around me that are playing good football also. We’ve been together for a year, we’ve added some talent, our line is stronger so there’s a lot of factors of why we are playing better football. So it’s really a privilege for me to be a part of this group because we’re doing some good things and we’ve improved so much from last year.



Thanks for taking the time to answer questions from this chat, here’s my question:

What do you think of our new young Quarter Back Jason Campbell? As you have seen many QB's in camps before in WAS and JAX, how does Campbell look so far, and how does he compare to other QB's you've practiced with?


Mark Brunell

Well, I tell you , he’s got a lot of talent. I believe Jason has a bright future. He’s got a great attitude, a great work ethic, and I think he’ll be in this league for a very long time. He’s got all the tools that you look for in a young quarterback, so I’m confident that he’s going to play in the NFL for a lotta years.

follow-up by Art

But you plan on keeping him on the bench for another 6 or 7 years? (laughs)

Mark Brunell

Yeah, that would be perfect…that would be ideal… (laughs)


First off, thanks for stepping up and taking control of our offense. We are looking much better and show no signs of slowing down. I was wondering how you think our offense has evolved since you've been here and how you see it developing in the future. Thanks and keep up the good work!

Mark Brunell

Well, I think that the biggest thing is that we’ve been together for some time now. Anytime you come into an offense, not having played in that system, or with the other players, it takes awhile to become familiar with these guys you’re playing with, to get comfortable with the offense that you’re running. You know, last year was difficult because we were kind of learning our way through the system. But now that we’ve been in it for a while, we’re having some success. These things take time. Fortunately right now because we’ve worked so hard and we’ve been together for some time, we’re doing some good things.


Mr. Brunell,

As a QB, you have to have patience in the pocket, and awareness of what's going on around you at all times. Patience and awareness are also necessary traits of a fine chef. So, the most important question is undoubtedly this. Charcoal, or the other inferior combustible grilling material?

Or in short. Charcoal or Gas???

Mark Brunell

(laughs) Charcoal or gas? That is a good question…I am a guy that barbecues on a gas grill…but only out of convenience. I would much prefer charcoal, or better yet, burning some real wood. But all my barbecuing is on gas right now.


Dear Mr. Brunell,

Thank you for proving most of us wrong and putting up more than solid performances these past 3 weeks as the starter, it has been quite a thus far and every Sunday I find myself more and more proud to be shouting "c'mon Brunell!" before an offensive play. My question is: How high is your confidence at this point in the Gibbs offense and with the fans going into the game @ KC? Also, can you try to pull with coach to put Cartwright in for a few hand offs?

Thanks, and good luck against that loose KC defense I hope you throw for 350 yards and 4 TD's.

Mark Brunell

Well, our confidence is high. We’re doing some good things on offense, we have a very good defense of course. You know, we are doing some good things. There’s certainly room for improvement. So we are hoping as the season goes to get better. There are still areas that we need to improve in. We need to score more points. We need to cut down on the turnovers. Be better in the red zone. If we can do those things, we’ll be a pretty good offense. We’ve come a long way, but there’s a long way to go.



How come the Redskins aren't featuring Portis in the same fashion as the chargers are Tomlinson. He has the ability to run sweeps and catch passes out of the backfield, yet the majority of his runs are up the middle?

Mark Brunell

Well, opinions vary. I would disagree. We use Clinton as much as we can because he’s such a good player. But at the same time, we have some other good players that we like to get the ball into their hands. We try to get it to Santana, we try to get it to David. Ladell Betts is a good running back. I think we use Clinton about as much as we can. Now some games, you’re going to throw more than you’re going to run, some games you’re going to run more and use Clinton more than others, but we look for balance. And when there’s balance, that’s when you have the efficient offenses that hold onto the ball and move it and score the points. But you know, I think we use Clinton the way we should, and we do understand what an asset he is to our football team.


Mr. Brunell,

First off, I'd like to tell you that the crow I'm eating after thinking you'd passed your prime tastes horrible, but I'm glad you made me eat it! I was wondering, even with the much-improved production by the offense in terms of yards, we're still having issues scoring once we're in the red zone. What would you say is at the heart of these troubles?

Thanks for answering, and for the Dallas game. You and Santana might be getting Christmas cards from me!

Mark Brunell

Well, I think that it’s just a lot of little things. I would say its consistency. Its realizing that when you do get in the red zone, the game gets a little quicker. Your decisions as a quarterback have to be quicker. You have to be more accurate. The timing is critical. All of those things we’re getting better at. We recognize that we have to improve on them. But I think we’re heading in that direction. So hopefully as the season goes on we’ll be better in the red zone, but I’m confident that we will.

Mr. S

Mr. Brunell,

How has Patrick Ramsey taken his week 1 benching?

Mark Brunell

You know, Patrick is a good friend. I’m very much impressed with him as a player. I’m even more impressed with him as a person. He’s got a lot of character, he’s got a great attitude, he works very hard, and he’s got a bright future in this league. I think Patrick is taking everything professionally, as you would expect Patrick to do, because he’s a great guy. I think he knows that he’s got a bright future, he’s got a lot of football ahead of him and many productive years ahead. He’s handled everything great and I think the world of the guy.


Mr. Brunell,

I don’t understand why people in the media constantly criticize your arm strength and deep ball. I remember when you were throwing them left and right to Jimmy Smith and McCardell, and now that we’ve opened the playbook up some we are seeing the same thing to Moss. Do you think this criticism is stemmed from the media's tendency to throw all the blame on the QB?

Mark Brunell

Well, you know I think that it starts there. When an offense isn’t moving the ball, and the quarterback is putting up good numbers, and you’re not scoring points they’re going to look at my position. And so, I think the media looks for reasons, they look for answers to why the production isn’t there and someone came up with me not having arm strength and I think it was written one time and people started running with it. It was just one of those things. It was kind of an interesting thing to hear, knowing that I do have some arm strength. I don’t have the strongest arm in the league, of course, but it’s certainly strong enough to play at this level.


One thing I’ve noticed about you…you’re highly accurate, you’re able to get the ball out to where you want to get the ball. But you don’t have any problem taking a dump pass, hurting your stats by throwing the ball away and making the smart play. Is that something you consciously do or is it natural to you to make a negative play better even if it hurts your stats a little bit?

Mark Brunell

You never want to throw an incomplete pass. If nothing’s there downfield, you want to have the ability to get it off to the running backs or the tight ends. At times those guys are blocking and so you do not have any options. Sometimes you only have a couple receivers out there. If they’re covered you’ve got two options. You can run it or you can get rid of it. And many times, you’re not able to run it. There are no lanes or no where to go and you just have to get rid of it. Now that hurts your stats, it hurts your rating, all of that. But what’s most important is doing the best thing for the team and not really being concerned about your numbers. If you’re thinking about your numbers or your stats, you really don’t have any business being out there trying to move the team.



I just wanted to thank you, not only for your outstanding play, buy for your character, honesty, and faith. Needless to say, it’s very refreshing to see a professional athlete like yourself with such strong moral values.

P.S. Please come back and replace Leftwich.


Mark Brunell

Well, you know I think that having values is very important as a person, I think it’s important as a football player. I think the values that are important to me are having a good attitude, working hard, being a team player, looking out for the guys that you’re playing with. So those certainly help you as a football player, helps the team. We’re fortunate to have a lot of guys like that on this team. There are a lot of guys with values, a lot of guys with high standards on how they conduct themselves on the field and off the field, and that only helps the team.


To ALL '' Skin '' fans. If you look back upon coach Gibbs tenure as a head coach of the Washington Redskins, and you will see coach Gibbs has almost always gone with the seasoned veteran to lead his offence. Mark Brunell is not washed up!! He may have lost a step or two from his glory days in Jacksonville, but he has one of the best presences of minds of any QB in the league. If the '' Skins '' surround Mark with a sound offensive line, everyone will be in for a great ride this year!! This offence has yet to peak, but they are not far off. What do we need to do to get there.

Mark Brunell

Well, we realize that we’ve got a lot of work to do. We need to score more points. We want to. We’re working hard towards that. And I think, as the season goes, hopefully as an offense we’ll get better. And that certainly is the goal is to produce more points. To win in this league you’ve got to score points, and we’ve been frustrated that we haven’t scored enough up to this point. We’ve won 3 games, but we need to find a way to get more points on the board. But it’s still very early, there’s a lot of football to be played. So that’s our goal, to get those numbers higher.



As a friend and confident of Patrick Ramsey's, what do you feel has been the biggest factor that has stunted his development? If there were one thing that you could point to that would enable him to become the quarterback he is capable of, what would that be?

Mark Brunell

Well, its just time on the field. Young quarterbacks, the best thing for young quarterbacks is to get on the field. The more you’re on the field – because that’s where you learn – being on the sidelines, you don’t grow, you don’t get better by just watching. You know, the more Patrick’s on the field, the better he’ll become. That goes for every position, not just quarterback.

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