Neil O’Donnell Biography
Neil O’Donnell (Kennedy) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League for 14 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and Tennessee Titans. He played college football at Maryland.
Neil O’Donnell Early life
O’Donnell grew up in Madison, New Jersey, where he played football at Madison High School in high school. Neil Kennedy O’Donnell was born in Morristown on July 3, 1966. Neil’s four older siblings performed and won state championships for local coaching legend Ted Monica. Stephen O’Donnell was a quarterback from the All-State who played for Duke.
By the moment Neil enrolled at Madison High School, Coach Monica had retired but mentored him throughout much of his young life in soccer. Neil was the skinny brother, but he wasn’t prevented from competing with his brothers. He was nicknamed Super Babe by his dad, Jack, who owned a car dealer in neighboring Morristown.
By the moment he reached Madison High, Neil created a rifle arm and a toughness brand of take-no-prisoners in preparing for his attempt at his freshman year team. As a sophomore and junior, he was the star of the Dodgers varsity, but in those two seasons, the team won only three matches. He was promoted as the captain of the team, however, and at the end of the season.
Neil walked out and hired his friends to join him as a senior who had left the squad. He was reconnected to his football origins during his senior year, becoming the quarterback of the team. Neil appeared with more than 25 pounds of fresh muscle after the summer and wanted the squad in 1985 to have a respectable 4-2-3 season. Maryland’s coach Bobby Ross enjoyed all about Neil, though he was lacked the stats and honors of other high school stars.
Neil O’Donnell Age
He was born on 3 July 1966 in Morristown, New Jersey, United States, He is currently 52 years old.
Neil O’Donnell Super Bowl
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss in the AFC Championship Game to the New England Patriots ended Pittsburgh’s run for a record seventh Super Bowl title. But, had it not been for the play of former Steelers quarterback Neil O’Donnell, the Steelers might very well already have seven Lombardi Trophies.
But O’Donnell’s costly interceptions in the second half of Super Bowl XXX against the Dallas Cowboys cost his team a chance at a title. While Leon Lett’s fumble in Super Bowl XXVII was certainly a blunder, his team was well in control of the game, and his mistake didn’t end up affecting the final outcome. The same can’t be said for O’Donnell, who comes in at number one on our list of Super Bowl blunders.
Dallas cornerback Larry Brown became Super Bowl MVP thanks to his two picks off O’Donnell in the second half of the game. Entering the third quarter of the game, the Cowboys held a slim lead at 13-7 when Brown made his first interception and returned it 44 yards. Dallas would eventually score on a one-yard touchdown run by Emmitt Smith.
But the Steelers fought back in the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 20-17 in favor of the Cowboys. With Pittsburgh driving for the go-ahead score, O’Donnell threw another interception to Brown, which was all the more shocking considering not a single Steelers receiver was in sight of the play. Brown took the pick down to Pittsburgh six-yard line, setting up another score by Smith that put the game away and ended Pittsburgh’s hopes of “winning one for the thumb.”
Neil O’Donnell Net Worth
Football player salaries range dramatically. At the low end, NFL players earn between $400,000 and $600,000 per year. At the top end, stars can earn $50 million or more. The NFL salary cap is nearly $175 million.
Neil O’Donnell College career
O’Donnell red-shirted the 1986 season at the University of Maryland, then spent three seasons (1987–89) playing for the Terrapins, taking over the starting QB job in the 1988 and 89 seasons. He performed under Head Coach Joe Krivak, who after Bobby Ross left the program in 1986 was promoted from QB coach. The Krivak period was characterized by mediocre outcomes, particularly in the O’Donnell years.
The Terps completed 5-6 in 1988 and 3-7-1 in 1989, tying Penn State in particular, only the second time Maryland had prevented losing to the Nittany Lions in the sequence up to that point. During O’Donnell’s career there, the Terps failed to achieve a bowl game. He was backed up by QB Scott Zolak, who for both of his seasons pushed O’Donnell as a starter to play time.
Neil O’Donnell Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected O’Donnell with the 70th general pick in the NFL draft of 1990. He began in eight matches in 1991 after sitting on the bench for his entire rookie season before becoming the full-time QB of the team in 1992. O’Donnell threw for 2,283 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in the 1992 NFL season, getting his career’s only Pro Bowl selection. The phenomenon
In 1993, he had another great season throwing for a career-high 3,208 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions finishing with a 1.4 interception percentage, the second lowest in his career. O’Donnell led the Steelers to Super Bowl XXX but threw two interceptions to Dallas Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown to set up short touchdown drives in the second half. He became a free agent at the end of the season.
Neil O’Donnell New York Jets
The Steelers produced an offer to O’Donnell, but he signed a $25 million five-year agreement with the New York Jets on February 29, 1996. He went 0–6 as a starter in his first season before suffering a season-end shoulder injury despite throwing in three of these beginnings for 292 or more yards.
His output enhanced the following season during the following year, 1997, under the new coach Bill Parcells. Ultimately he dropped out of favor with Parcells and lost Glenn Foley’s starting job. O’Donnell declined to re-negotiate his contract, which paid him $6.65 million for the upcoming season, and Parcells decided to waive O’Donnell.
Neil O’Donnell Cincinnati Bengals
O’Donnell signed a $17 M four-year agreement with the Cincinnati Bengals on July 7, 1998. O’Donnell threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Carl Pickens in 1998 with the then-1–3 Bengals remaining 20 seconds to score the winning touchdown against Pittsburgh 3–1. O’Donnell’s 90.2 passer rating was sixth in the NFL and fifth in the AFC among regular starting quarterbacks. However, because of a bad defense.
Neil O’Donnell Tennessee Titans
O’Donnell signed a multi-year agreement with the Titans on July 24, 1999, serving as the backup of Steve McNair. He conducted well, winning four of his five starts in 1999 for an injured McNair, leaving on McNair’s return a perennial.500 squad at 5–1. O’Donnell went off the bench later and led Tennessee to a Week 17 47–36 win in Pittsburgh on the way to the AFC and Super Bowl X championships.
O’Donnell retired after the 2002 season, but in December 2003, when McNair and Billy Volek were wounded, they were told to come back for one match. He began in the regular-season finale and produced a good performance, completing 18 of 27 passes for 232 yards and two scores, leading the Titans to a 33–13 win over the Buccaneers of Tampa Bay.
O’Donnell ended his career with the lowest interception percentage in NFL history, averaging only 2.11 interceptions for every 100 pass attempts. Since then, Aaron Rodgers has eclipsed the record (1.46 interception percentage through the 2018–19 season). O’Donnell also wore number 14 during most of his career, except for his one-year stint with the Bengals, where he was 12.
After the retirement of former quarterback and West Coast offense pioneer Ken Anderson in 1986, the Bengals did not issue number 14 until 2011 when Andy Dalton began to wear number 14 for the Bengals.
Neil O’Donnell Post-football career
After the 2003 season, O’Donnell retired permanently. He rejected the offer to return to the Steelers by head coach Bill Cowher in 2004 after beginning quarterback Tommy Maddox suffered a season-end injury. This opened the door for Ben Roethlisberger to become the full-time starter. From 2005 to 2007, O’Donnell discovered a job as a sports analyst covering mainly the Titans at WTVF, Nashville’s CBS channel. He is presently a Kentucky and Tennessee sales representative for FieldTurf.
Neil O’Donnell Family
He has a brother Steve O’Donnell who is an American television writer. His credits include Late Night with David Letterman, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, and The Chris Rock Show.
Neil O’Donnell Married
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