Stephen Taylor “Steve” Beuerlein is a former football quarterback, and currently is an NFL and college football analyst for CBS.Beuerlein led Anaheim, California’s Servite High School to California’s championship in 1982. In 1982 his Servite team played Ohio’s famed Archbishop Moeller High School. Moeller won 27-15, but Beuerlein’s performance at Servite, and in the game with Moeller, caught the eye of Notre Dame’s new head coach Gerry Faust, who had previously coached Moeller. Beuerlein attended Notre Dame the following year.
In a 1986 game against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Beuerlein was on the receiving end of one of the more notable sacks in college football history. Alabama linebacker Cornelius Bennett, who would go on to a Pro Bowl NFL career, knocked Beuerlein unconscious with a hit that was featured by sports artist Daniel Moore in the painting “The Sack.” Even after his NFL career ended, Beuerlein would claim that “The Sack” was the hardest he’d ever been hit.He graduated with a degree in American Studies.
Beuerlein was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders in the fourth round of the 1987 NFL Draft, but suffered a season ending injury in pre-season play. He made his NFL debut the following year, splitting quarterback duties with Jay Schroeder for the next two years. The Raiders finished third in the AFC West division both years.
Beuerlein’s limited playoff experience came with the Dallas Cowboys, after being traded to them 1991, in relief of an injured Troy Aikman. He started in a win against the Chicago Bears, throwing 180 yards, and a touchdown, with no interceptions. The following week, he started but was relieved by Aikman after the Detroit Lions jumped too far ahead for the Cowboys. On his last play as a Cowboy, Beuerlein fumbled the ball on a botched handoff to Derrick Gainer, in Beuerlein’s second play of the game.The Cowboys would go on to win 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII.
He would play with the Arizona Cardinals in 1993, passing for his first of three 3000 yard season.
In 1995 he was the first selection in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was the starting quarterback for the first game in team history. He would later lose his starting job to Mark Brunell.
In 1996 he was acquired by the Carolina Panthers, where he remained for the next five years. Beuerlein holds many Panthers passing records. Many of these include single-season records set during 1999, probably his most successful year in the NFL, for passing yards (4,436), touchdowns (36), attempts (571), and completions (343). He made the Pro Bowl that year as well, the only time in his career.
He holds three of the top four single-game passing yard totals in Carolina team history (373, 368, and 364). His 5 touchdown passes in the last week of the 1999 season are still a team record.
He set career records with the Panthers included most attempts (1,723), completions (1,041), passing yards (12,690), passing touchdowns (86), highest completion percentage (60.4%), and highest passer rating (87.7). They have all since been broken by former Panthers starting quarterback Jake Delhomme.
His 36 touchdown passes was second only to Kurt Warner in the NFL in 1999, and as of 2010, is tied for the ninth highest single-season total in league history. His 4,436 passing yards led the league, as did his 343 completions.
Beuerlein finished his career with the Denver Broncos in 2002 and 2003, playing in twelve games over two years mostly as a backup. However, before retiring in 2004, he signed a token one-year deal with Carolina, saying he wanted to retire as a Panther.
In 2003, Beurlein partnered with fitness solutions provider Wilkins Fitness Enterprises in North Carolina, the largest distributor of fitness equipment, accessories, flooring and solutions in the Carolina’s. With their recent national expansion in 2010, Wilkins Fitness Enterprises became the largest fitness company in the United States representing over 300 companies products and working a range of customers including gyms, YMCAs, corporations, multi-family, apartments police and fire stations, resorts, hospitals, rehab centers, schools, universities, truck stops, military, senior assisted living, and professional sports teams. Their chairman, Ron Wilkins, was recently named as Chair of the Fitness Industry Dealer Association.
In 2004, Beuerlein joined CBS Sports as a game analyst for The NFL on CBS. He made a notable gaffe during a November 25, 2007 telecast of a game between the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals: After the Titans’ LenDale White and Bengals’ Marvin White had an altercation that resulted in offsetting personal fouls, the Bengals called a brief timeout resulting in a commercial break. Beuerlein did not realize the break was a short one, and once the game resumed was overheard saying “USC thugs, man” over the air. This was explained as a joke which was not intended for airing. LenDale White is a former player for Beuerlein’s college rival, the University of Southern California. He also occasionally works on college football games for CBS.
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