Work in Sports
Beuerlein happy to be in Hawaii after career year
Posted: Saturday February 05, 2000 09:58 PM
HONOLULU (AP) -- Steve Beuerlein had experienced many injuries, even more disappointments and just enough success to keep playing in the NFL for 13 seasons.
He's always had talent that's brought with it lofty expectations, but he was either injured, ineffective or playing well on bad teams that couldn't win.
Injury-free and comfortable in a system for the first time, Beuerlein had a career year in 1999, throwing for 4,436 yards and 36 touchdowns as the Carolina Panthers improved to 8-8.
That's earned him his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
"I've probably got a better sense of appreciation than most of these guys because I've gone about as long as anybody without a chance to be in this," Beuerlein said.
Having George Seifert take control in Carolina was a stroke of good fortune for Beuerlein. Following their problems with Kerry Collins, the Panthers brought Seifert in and he looked to Beuerlein to stabilize the quarterback position.
Given an offense suited to his talents, and encouraged to just go and play, Beuerlein responded with his best season.
"It's only the second or third time where I've had the chance to play a majority of the season," he said.
"As the year went along, we just kept getting better and better offensively. People around the league, once they started seeing that consistency, realized we had a pretty good offense. Fortunately for me, I got recognized a little bit."
Getting in the right situation helps explain why veteran quarterbacks such as fellow Pro Bowler Rich Gannon of Oakland and 1999 Pro Bowlers Vinny Testaverde and Randall Cunningham have had successful revivals the past two years.
"The bottom line ... is getting into the right situation for you," Beuerlein said. "Where you've got a system that fits you, you've got people around you that understand it and make you look good, and you've got a coaching staff that has the confidence to let you go out there are do your thing."
Beuerlein will share time at quarterback with Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams and Brad Johnson of the Washington Redskins, both also making their Pro Bowl debuts. Warner will start, but isn't sure how much he'll play.
AFC coach Tom Coughlin was amused when asked whether he was pleased with the intensity he was getting from his players during practice.
"Intensity? This is an all-star game!" Coughlin said.
NFC coach Tony Dungy is emphasizing the reward aspect of the week. He's counting on players' natural ability to shine through.
"Basically, you're here for enjoyment," Dungy said. "But they want to play a good game and they're getting zeroed in what they have to do."