When Scott Brunner first started working with Joe Flacco to prepare the Delaware quarterback for the 2008 NFL combine, he wanted to work on Flacco's mobility.
So Brunner, a former New York Giants quarterback (1980-83), was proud when he watched Flacco make big plays with his arm and feet to win Super Bowl XLVII MVP honors on Sunday night.
"I am most proud of the fact that we kind of debunked the myth that he wasn't a mobile quarterback and he couldn't get out of his own way if he had to," Brunner said by telephone on Monday. "Many times, he escaped the pressure and showed his athleticism. He may not be the guy that breaks the 50-yard run, but he can make plays."
Brunner and the rest of the country watched Flacco complete 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. In the postseason, Flacco passed for 11 touchdowns and no picks.
Flacco, who is from Audubon, N.J., attended the University of Delaware, like Brunner did. So it seemed only natural for Brunner to mentor Flacco early on.
Brunner helps train quarterbacks and offensive players at TEST Football Academy. Brunner and Flacco trained at the Martinsville, N.J., location.
Brunner hopes the whole conversation about whether Flacco is an elite quarterback is over now. And he expects Flacco, a free agent, to be paid like an elite quarterback.
"I think the elite QB thing is really overdone," said Brunner, who also is a partner at a firm called Net Worth Management Group. "Certainly, the way he played it was typical Joe. He remained unflappable throughout the game, executed early and made some great plays. And when it looked like things were sliding away in the second half, he kind of hoisted the team on his back."
"Some people, those doubters who don't want to believe that he is a top-notch quarterback, will continue to find flaws in his game," Brunner added. "And people who are fans of Joe Flacco will point to his strengths. I think, more than anything, his playoff record stands on its own. Nobody has more playoff wins than him in the last five years."
Looks like all that work over five years ago paid off.
"We got him started in the right direction," Brunner said. "That is what I am most proud of."