Detroit Lions backup quarterback David Blough is happy to have former NFL signal-caller Mark Brunell on the team's revamped coaching staff.
Prior to joining the Lions, Brunell, who played 19 seasons in the league and was a three-time Pro Bowler, served as the head football coach of the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, a coed college preparatory school in Jacksonville, Fla.
As Blough spoke about Thursday with members of the Detroit media, Brunell's playing past has provided the first-year NFL quarterbacks coach with a significant amount of relatability to the organization's QBs room, which is also comprised of Jared Goff and Tim Boyle.
"Mark's been fantastic. He gets it. He stood in our shoes. He’s taken the live bullets,” Blough told reporters. “He has had a lot of success. He’s had a lot of times where I’m sure he wishes it went different, and he can share those kind of experiences for Jared, for Tim, for myself, where we can sit in that room and we can learn. I think some would say we’re probably a relatively young room. We’re 26 and under, and we’ve got a guy who played 20 years and can share those experiences, where we don’t have to learn them for ourselves. And, I think that’s going to pay dividends for us in the long run.”
Blough is still relatively new to the position at the NFL level, having only played in six games (five starts; all of which came in 2019).
In those six contests, the 25-year-old has only completed 54.3 percent of his passes, and has thrown for just four touchdowns and 1,033 yards, to go along with seven interceptions.
Blough's inexperience adds to the level of importance of Brunell serving as a mentor to Detroit's collection of young passers.
Going into year No. 3 now for himself as a pro, Blough is ready to apply what he's learned from his first two seasons and prepared to soak up additional lessons from Brunell and the rest of the new Detroit coaching staff.
"I think, over the last few years, I've gotten to learn a lot of great lessons about playing this position, from guys in the room, from coaches. And now, I'm here, and I get to apply it with the new staff and earn their trust," Blough said. "That's all you can ask for as a player, going into your third year, is just an opportunity to prove yourself and play good football. And, that's my goal, and (to) go out there and earn the trust of these coaches and help change this team and help with what Dan's (head coach Dan Campbell) trying to build."
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Speaking of Campbell, the first-year Lions head man, during his media session Wednesday, was very complimentary of the former Purdue Boilermakers quarterback.
"I love the kid, if I'm being totally honest with you. He's a little football player. And, when I say that, I mean that in the highest regard. He's smart, he's extremely smart. He knows where to go with the football. I love his timing," Campbell expressed. "He knows how to command the huddle. He communicates well, and on top of that, he's a hell of a dude. So, he's not disappointed. He's doing a good job. He's out there competing with the rest of those guys."
Blough, meanwhile, has felt "empowered" by the positive manner in which Campbell has treated him.
"It's always great to hear the head coach say good things about you. And man, he's been first class from the first time we talked on the phone," Blough said. "And, you know, he got to be in New Orleans around Drew (Brees). That was my hero, looking up to him. And, Dan has said, 'Just go out there and run our offense. Do what you do. Play your game. Make the right play every single time.' You know, that's what I try to do when I take the field. And, Dan has empowered us as quarterbacks to do that."
Blough is expected to compete with Boyle for the Lions' backup QB job once training camp kicks off for Detroit in late July.
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