Bruener played nine seasons with the Steelers followed by five with the Houston Texans. He retired following the 2008 season. He formerly served on the NFL Players Association Executive Committee. He now serves as a scout for the Steelers.
He was drafted 27th overall in the 1995 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played with the Steelers for nine seasons before signing with the Houston Texans. Bruener was primarily a blocking tight end rather than a pass-catcher but finished his NFL career with 133 catches.
Bruener and his wife Traci live in Washington with their two daughters, Allie and Chloe, and three sons, Carson, Braydon and Hudson. He recently spoke of the central role of Catholicism in his life: