AFC North: Charlie Weis

Q&A with Brady Quinn

June, 17, 2009
6/17/09
11:00
AM ET
 
  Joe Robbins/Getty Images
  Brady Quinn has his sights set on being the Browns' starting quarterback.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

BEREA, Ohio -- It is not a stretch to say Brady Quinn waited most of his life to be the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns.

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.

Would it really have been any different if, say, you were drafted by the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers or Denver Broncos?

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.

(Read full post)

Denver must call Cleveland

March, 31, 2009
3/31/09
10:15
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

If the Denver Broncos want a starting-caliber quarterback in return for Jay Cutler, the team must call the Cleveland Browns.

No other potential trading partner has a quarterback to offer who could give the Broncos anything close to the same value as Cutler. The Browns have two players: Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson.

 Anderson
 Quinn

Quinn, a Notre Dame alum, is a prodigy of Charlie Weis, whom Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels learned under while both were with the New England Patriots. The offensive system McDaniels will run in Denver should have similar concepts to what Quinn learned at Notre Dame. That makes for an easy transition.

Sure, Quinn lacks experience. But if McDaniels can tutor Matt Cassel and make him into a star in one year with zero starts since high school, McDaniels could certainly work with Quinn, who played four full seasons in college and has three NFL starts.

In the event Denver doesn't like Quinn, the Browns also have Anderson available. He is physically gifted in terms of arm strength. So if the Broncos want to go deep more often than not, Anderson would be the pick.

  2008: Best of Jay Cutler
  NFL.com Video
  The best moments from Jay Cutler in 2008.

Anderson proved that with the right tools around him he could be a viable NFL quarterback. He won 10 games with the Browns and threw 29 touchdown passes in 2007, which is the year he made it to the Pro Bowl.

So take your pick, Denver, because the Browns have a lot to offer at the quarterback position.

Unless the Broncos believe drafting a rookie quarterback and letting him try to lead the team to the playoffs is wise, then working out a deal with Cleveland is the best move Denver could make.

Morning take: Rolle set to return

November, 6, 2008
11/06/08
7:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC North:

  • Cornerback Samari Rolle, following neck surgery, is set to return this week for the Baltimore Ravens.

Morning take: Rolle has had a tough go at it health-wise. But Baltimore can definitely use him in the second half of the season.

Morning take: This is a big decision for Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger will not be 100 percent and the Steelers need to think of their long-term goals. Yet, they can't afford to drop home games in November and December.

Morning take: We know why "Uncle Charlie" is excited. The Denver Broncos have the NFL's version of Navy's defense.

Morning take: Thanks to all the Bengals fans who participated. I felt like a counselor at times jotting down all the frustrations.

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