AFC North: 2007 NFL draft
|Joe Robbins/Getty Images|
|Brady Quinn has his sights set on being the Browns' starting quarterback.|
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Raised in Columbus, Ohio, Quinn was a die-hard Browns fan growing up and dreamed of someday leading the team. His travels took him to a successful football career at Notre Dame before eventually becoming a first-round pick of the Browns in 2007.
But since joining the Browns, Quinn's career has yet to get off the ground. He stood on the sideline for a majority of his rookie year and started just three games in 2008 before breaking a finger on his throwing hand.
While competing with teammate Derek Anderson, this year will be the first legitimate chance for Quinn to win the job he's coveted since a youth. Recently Quinn sat down with ESPN.com's AFC North blog to discuss his approach heading into the 2009 season.
Brady, I will throw you a curveball right off the bat. With Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, and Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini in Cleveland, why have you been unable to avoid the Bill Belichick tree your entire career?
Quinn: [Laughs] I love it. For me, I had success with [Weis] in college. And although things didn't necessarily work out the past couple of years, it's been time and time again a successful tree. The coaches come from a great pedigree. They command a lot of respect, and you know what you're going to get every day with hard work, discipline and smart football and people keeping each other accountable.
Does that mentality and style fit you well?
Quinn: Without a doubt. That's why it's easy for me, because it's all about the team. It's all about our team and putting it before everything else. That's something that I'm a huge advocate of, and I try to be as humble and selfless as possible.
It's fair to say you waited most of your life for this opportunity to lead the Browns. During the process of competing for the job, are you able to take this all in?
Quinn: It truly is surreal. I guess I kind of look back at my life at this point and having the opportunity to play for Notre Dame, which was a dream come true. That was a team I rooted for growing up and had an opportunity to play for them was a dream. Now being that the Cleveland Browns was a team I rooted for growing up, I'm 2-for-2 in that category. It's all surreal, and I'm trying not to get too caught up in it. I'm just trying to get better each day and try to do something special each day. So hopefully I can look back on something great.
Quinn: I think it would. It would be special because you're playing in the NFL, and you're allowing yourself to have a job that you love. Playing football every day, that's unbelievable. But it doesn't have that same lure or aura about it, because it wasn't the same team you rooted for growing up. The 49ers, I grew up liking them as well because I was a Joe Montana fan.