Mark Brunell thinks the 2021 Lions could pull a 1996 Jaguars-like surprise

Mark Brunell
Getty Images

Lions quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell is aware that no one thinks his team is going to be any good this year. And he’s OK with that, because he’s been on another team that greatly exceeded its low expectations.

That team was the 1996 Jaguars, an expansion team in only its second year of existence that made it to the AFC Championship Game.

“I was part of a team that very few people gave us a chance to do anything,” Brunell said, via the Detroit News. “Going into 1996, the expectations were really low. All we heard was, ‘Maybe get to .500, maybe win five or six games, a lot of inexperience, a lot of lack of talent’ and this and that. We actually started out that season and the first 11 games we were 4-7, and then we turned it around.

“My point in saying all that is we were a team that people didn’t give much of a chance to do anything. It kind of sounds familiar doesn’t it? My point is that it can happen. We believe it’s going to happen, and there’s something about being part of a football team where everyone outside the building says that you can’t and the message inside the building is, ‘You know what? Forget about what you’re hearing or what people are saying. You have to believe that you can.’ Certainly this is going to be a group that is going to believe that we can, that we can do some good things early, regardless of what’s being said out there, outside of the Detroit Lions.”

It would be very surprising if the Lions made the playoffs at all, let alone the conference championship game. Brunell thinks he’s with a team that is going to surprise people.

28 responses to “Mark Brunell thinks the 2021 Lions could pull a 1996 Jaguars-like surprise

  1. On a side note. Mark Brunell also believes in The tooth fairy, The Easter Bunny, and that Congress is doing a bang up job.

  2. I think the Lions will not be as bad as most people think, and will certainly be better than last year despite a huge loss of talent and drop-off in quality between the QB they traded away and for.

  3. Absolute front-running choke artist no respect for that man in any way..he had a pro bowl roster In Duval Thanks for nothing ‘coach’

  4. WOW guy was coaching high school last week and now thinks he’s going to the Super Bowl! Just WOW!

  5. Lions’ new coaching staff and front office is very heavy on the rah-rah PR. Which is great but right now they are 0-0 and in the honeymoon phase post-Patricia. They need to lower expectations a bit here. Our defense was historically bad in a number of key categories last year and our passing game is taking a few steps back with the loss of Stafford, Galloway, Jones, and Amendola. Build a solid culture and foundation, draft well, develop talent but save the playoff talk for next season, please.

    Long-Suffering Lions Fan

  6. I’d like to know how Mark coaches a QB that has a better completion percentage, higher QB rating and multiple seasons with more passing yards then he ever had. Mark is probably also responsible for mixing the Gatorade and laundering the game worn jerseys.

  7. There are always one or two surprise teams every season but it’s never the Lions.

  8. The Lions have been around for 90 years. I don’t think Lions fans find it amusing that Brunell compared them to an expansion team.

  9. I hope he’s right. Of course I don’t think it’s going to happen, no one does, but it sure is fun to be a fan of this team again.

  10. That was the year they went 13-3, with three losses to the Titans. Home field advantage for certain, and still is today.

  11. It is not about Mark Brunell, it’s about the Lions. I love the clean slate approach this team is taking. I don’t know how well they will do this year, but they should at least be fun to watch

  12. there are a lot of ex saints personnel on the lions staff…coaches and players including burnell…lets see if they can turn the lions around like sean peyton did in new orleans….

  13. At least they finally have a QB who’s actually won important things like road playoffs games.

  14. Until proven otherwise, I will find it hard to take Man Campbell seriously as HC. That opening press conference was right out of a He-Man cartoon. I’m not a Lions fan, but I’ve always pulled for them a bit because they’ve been so lousy for so long. One post-season victory since…the 1950s?!?!?! Ouch! Goff is just a stop-gap until they draft in the top 5 next year looking for their franchise guy…

  15. Scenario 1) Goff does pretty well, and it makes McVay look like a bad coach for not getting enough out of him. The Lions are happy with the trade, having found their QB of the future.

    Scenario 2) Goff does poorly, and it makes the Rams look smart for pulling this off, or at least the Lions look foolish. The Lions are unhappy with the trade, and will have to draft a QB in a year or two, and will be kicking themselves for having passed up a chance to draft a QB in 2021.

  16. Their top 2 WR are Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman. Goff struggled with Woods/Kupp/Cooks.

  17. Mark Brunell is the Lions QB coach, of course he going to speak very positively about the Lions for the upcoming season. What did you expect him to say?: “Yeah, I think 8-9 would be a successful season for this team.”

  18. I read the headline and was wondering why the heck Brunell would say such a thing…then I clicked and learned he’s affiliated with the team. Okay, makes sense now.

  19. What’s he supposed to say we’re gonna suck just like every year? They have a new coach , gm , QB everything is new.

  20. Brunell has been a high school football coach for the last eight years, and has never coached in the NFL.

    But sure, he’s got a good sense of these things.

  21. Lions seem like one of those teams that could surprise and pull out a couple wins early but eventually talent gives way and they crumble by mid-season.

    Unfortunately they play the 49ers, Packers and Ravens to start the season so I don’t even see that happening.

  22. pmars64 says:
    Until proven otherwise, I will find it hard to take Man Campbell seriously as HC. That opening press conference was right out of a He-Man cartoon.
    That press conference was over the top crazy. But, the intended audience wasn’t the press. He was speaking directly to Lions fans. Detroit loves straight-talking villains and bad guys. They expect leaders to have swagger. When the people complained that Suh was playing dirty, Lions fans loved him.

    If the Dan Campbell regime starts winning games, Detroit will be crazier than after Stanley Cup wins. But that’s a really huge if and Lions fans know it better than anyone.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.