Saturday, November 14, 2009
Quinn is in again
By James Walker ESPN.com
Brady Quinn looked to be the answer at QB following the Browns' 29-27 win over the Bills last season, but a year later the Browns' QB situation is still unsettled.
When Brady Quinn last started on "Monday Night Football," the 2007 first-round pick had the type of performance that instilled hope in the Cleveland Browns’ fan base.
Quinn managed the game and was poised last November in leading the Browns to a 29-27 prime-time win over the Buffalo Bills. It was the second consecutive quality start for Quinn, who appeared on his way to being the long-term solution at quarterback in Cleveland.
But one year later, a lot has changed.
Quinn’s future with the Browns is now very uncertain. His house is up for sale in the Cleveland area, and his team is 1-7.
These are the circumstances under which Quinn will get his second shot this season when the Browns host the Baltimore Ravens (4-4) on Monday (ESPN, 8:30 ET). The former Notre Dame product won the starting quarterback job out of training camp but was benched after just 10 quarters.
Quinn said he’s going in a second time with a fearless approach.
"Why should there be a concern?" Quinn said. "I have been through it [the benching] before. I understand the adversity that comes with that. It’s not something that I’m scared of."
It’s been a strange three years in the NFL for Quinn.
Unlike draftmate JaMarcus Russell of the Oakland Raiders, Quinn hasn't had a sustained amount of time to show what he can do as an NFL quarterback. Monday will mark just the seventh career start for Quinn. He’s thrown for just 972 career yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions.
But what Browns fans saw in limited playing time in September was not inspiring.
Under a new system and with several new players in the lineup, Quinn looked unsure of himself and even regressed from the quarterback everyone saw last year. He rarely took shots down the field and had five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles) before the Browns pulled the plug in Week 3 in favor of Derek Anderson.
"Brady approaches everything in a very serious way, in a very detailed way, and I think that’s a great quality, I really do," Browns coach Eric Mangini said. "As you get into the games, you’ve done the work, you’ve done the homework, you’ve prepped and now it’s a function of going with what you see and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong. We’ve all experienced that. You just have to go with what you know."
Cleveland's coaching staff expects a better performance from Quinn this time around. According to Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Quinn has looked good in practice leading up to this game.
"He’s been running the offense the last few days of practice pretty well," Daboll said. "[He’s] been on time with his throws. His drops have been crisp. His accuracy has been good. He's done a nice job these last few days. I think he’s excited to get going here."
Quinn grew up a Browns fan in Columbus, Ohio and has eight games to prove he can be the quarterback of his childhood team. But his second chance comes at a very tenuous time in Cleveland.
Losing is wearing on everyone, some veterans are lashing out, and the team recently relieved general manager George Kokinis of his duties. There is already a buzz about who will take Kokinis' place as more Browns fans are looking forward to next year than the final eight games.
It will be interesting to see if the Browns mail in the rest of this season. A lot it will be up to the new quarterback.
Despite all the chaos surrounding him, Quinn aims to make his second opportunity better than the first.
"I am definitely serious about my job and serious about what we have going on out there," Quinn said.