JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tuesday night saw the season debut of the Mark Brunell Show. But like almost everything else this year, it was a bit different than the norm.
During an exclusive digital event that included select News4Jax insiders in the live virtual audience, Brunell discussed the departure of Leonard Fournette.
AP sports writer Mark Long told 1010 XL radio that he heard that Jaguars’ players were unhappy with Fournette and told the coaching staff they wanted Fournette gone. Brunell responded to the rumor.
“Well, we’ve been talking about the culture for a few years now. Things that have gone on in the locker room things that we’re not privy to but you know, Cole, you’ve heard things, I’ve heard things that dysfunction that has existed for some time now,” Brunell said. “And what does that dysfunction lead to at least two players wanting to leave, and it leaves two very unsuccessful football seasons.
“If that is the case at what Mark Long is reporting. And if it’s actually true, what an indictment on Leonard Fournette for a group of players to go into the head coach or the GM and say, “Hey, listen, this guy has to go.’ I’ll be honest with you, I find it really hard to believe that it was that bad.
“Leonard Fournette has had his issues before suspensions he said things that a lot of people have disagreed with, but if that’s true, what a shame it is, and I hope it’s not. I hope it’s more of a football thing. To me, Cole, I think it was a number of reasons why Leonard Fournette, not in here anymore, and perhaps that was one of them.”
Brunell also got nostalgic, when asked about what he missed about his playing days, in particular, the glory days with the Jaguars when Brunell was the starting quarterback.
“You can never replicate the feeling of being on the field and your fans just going crazy because you just made a big pass or it was a sack or something like that,” Brunell said. “It’s the greatest, and I absolutely miss that. And so, so when games are on TV or I see a highlight or something, I’m brought back to those moments because I can remember those big wins. Unfortunately, I can remember those tough losses too and so I remember those feelings as well.
“But I cherished the relationships that I’ve built in those locker rooms, the friendships that, to this day, I still have. Just being around the guys, playing a kids game when you’re 28-years-old. Are you kidding me? And then someone actually giving you money to do it. It was a dream come true. I love Jacksonville. I love our fans. I love the memories. My biggest regret in life is that we didn’t win a Super Bowl here because it was something that we could have all shared in.
“But it was a great run, and I missed the signs--some of them were great. It was a special time, it was absolutely a special time. I’m about to get teary-eyed here a little bit. I wish you didn’t ask that question.”
The next Mark Brunell show, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, will once again be a digital event. To be a part of the event and have a chance to ask a question, become a News4Jax insider. Simply click the blue “Join Insider” button at the top of News4Jax.com.
When the regular season begins, the Mark Brunell Show will return to the airwaves on CW-17 beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Thereafter, the show will air on Monday nights.