Former NFL quarterback Blair Kiel passed away on Sunday at the age of 50. Kiel is perhaps best known these days as the uncle to Gunner Kiel, a highly touted quarterback recruit for Notre Dame, but he played in the NFL for seven seasons after a college career which began with him as a freshman starter at Notre Dame.
Kiel was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 11th round of the 1984 NFL draft. He played in Tampa for one season, and then two years with the Indianapolis Colts and three years with the Green Bay Packers. In his career, he started three games -- lost them all -- and completed 56 percent of his career 193 pass attempts. He finished his career with 1,296 yards passing, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Former Irish running back Allen Pinkett, who played with Kiel at Notre Dame, remembered his quarterback in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.
"I sort of viewed him the same way I viewed (former Irish All-American) Dave Duerson, and Dave was my captain and Dave was the guy I really tried to emulate the most. Being the quarterback at Notre Dame is unlike any other position the United States. So to be able to handle all that pressure with the grace that he did it with, I definitely learned a lot from Blair. He was always a model of consistency in terms of keeping your head up."
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