Lions’ Mark Brunell Lauds Jared Goff’s Mental Makeup


Jared Goff during a game against San Francisco.

The Detroit Lions made a big quarterback shakeup this offseason by design, and coming into the mix is the much-maligned Jared Goff.

Goff might not be at the forefront of everyone’s mind when it comes to thoughts of elite quarterbacks, but that doesn’t mean the player isn’t getting some good love from the coaching staff as he makes his transition to Detroit’s quarterback.

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After speaking with the media for the first time, Brunell was asked about what he thinks makes Goff look special and he said everything has to do with his mindset. As he said, Goff has the right mental makeup to be a success in the league and wants to win, which is half the battle.

Having Goff in the right frame of mind will be key coming to his new stop, so it’s neat to see Brunell connecting with him in a good way right off the bat. Building up Goff’s confidence will be huge considering what he has been through, and it’s clear that is already the goal for the Lions heading into the offseason.

How Brunell’s Experience Fits Goff

The genius of the Brunell hire involves getting a guy into the mix that understands what players are going through because he’s been there and done it himself. From a teaching perspective, that is a huge win for the Lions, considering their staff is loaded with guys who have this kind of experience as a former player. At quarterback, though, such experience adds an extra layer to the mix. There’s few people who have seen exactly what a quarterback sees and will know exactly how they feel, so theoretically, having such a person on a staff is a huge bonus.

A player like Goff is going to come in with his confidence reeling a bit, but Brunell has been through situations just like Goff has, as he explained himself. As Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said, Brunell has been gearing up to be a coach since his playing days are over. Just because he hasn’t coached at the NFL level does not mean he is doomed to failure in this instance. Serving as a mentor for high school players could be a major advantage, given Brunell has been forced to think outside the box of what it means to be successful in the NFL. Now, he has seen what it takes to be successful as a football player in general and adapted his teaching as such.

It’s long been clear that Goff might be landing in the right spot off a messy breakup with Sean McVay, and this connection with Brunell could only make that more the case.

Brunell’s Career Stats

Brunell was one of the most well-known quarterbacks of the 1990s and 2000s, and his career that spanned from 1993 until 2011. A former fifth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers, Brunell was dealt to the Jacksonville Jaguars and put the upstart franchise on the map in a major way. He made three Pro Bowls and made the playoffs three times, reaching the 1996 and 1999 AFC Championship games. Brunell was traded to the Washington Football Team in 2004, and stuck there until 2008 when he joined the New Orleans Saints and managed to claim Super Bowl XLIV as the backup to Drew Brees. In 2010 and 2011 he was the backup for Mark Sanchez as the New York Jets made a run to the AFC Championship but lost. He has been seen on ESPN as a commentator and currently coaches high school football in Florida while being a fixture on radio and television.

Statistically, Brunell finished his career strong, with 32,072 passing yards and 184 touchdowns. When it comes to figuring out what makes a quarterback a success, Brunell could be the right man for the job.

If he can connect with Goff, it could make for a great pairing.

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