Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs added depth at the quarterback position by signing once highly touted Brady Quinn. After a great career at Notre Dame, Quinn seemed destined for NFL greatness. Quinn was a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns, so being drafted by them was a dream scenario for him.
There is no doubt that his career to this point has been a disappointment. That can't be argued. What can be argued though is whether or not he has been given a fair chance. Many of his haters say he has. Then there are those like me who feel that you have to give a guy more than 12 starts in five years to get a fair assessment. Does the name Alex Smith mean anything?
Quinn has had a lot of things go against him; some of which was his fault, a lot of which was not. Let's start with what was his fault. Most importantly, the holdout as a rookie. By the time he got to camp he was too far behind to begin the year as the starter. Derek Anderson goes on to have possibly the biggest fluke of a season ever. If not for the holdout, nobody would even know who Anderson was.
Taking endorsement deals as a rookie also was not the best move, since he really wasn't playing. That had to rub teammates the wrong way.
There are other things that have happened that he had no control over, the first being the broken finger his second year (more on that later). The next was all the coaching changes he has dealt with. Finally, he had to take a backseat to Tebowmania in Denver despite outperforming Tim Tebow in the preseason.
Going to Kansas City is another fresh start for Quinn. He will likely back up Matt Cassel (at least to start the season). However, KC is expecting Cassel to really step to the next level, which he has yet to do. If Cassel doesn't step up right away this upcoming season, Quinn could get the long awaited second chance.
Who is better?
Quinn has dealt with his share of haters over the years. There are those that say the only reason he is still in the NFL is because of his looks and his Notre Dame pedigree. I would argue that those two factors have held him back way more than they have helped.
His haters say that the girls may love him but the coaches don't like him. No coach will ever trust Quinn according to them. Let's take a look at his coaches.
Romeo Crennel hated Quinn so much that he was part of the group that traded up to draft him in the first round. Crennel also hated him so much that he traded away Charlie Frye after one game. Derek Anderson was only supposed to keep it warm for Quinn and was not expected to have the fluke season he did. Crennel then hated Quinn so much that he started him halfway through Quinn's second year.
Quinn actually looked pretty good in his first two starts before he broke the finger. Still, Crennel continued to hate him enough to name him the starter for the next season. Unfortunately for Quinn, Crennel was fired from Cleveland. Now all these years later, Crennel still hates him so much that he actually signs Brady Quinn to his new team.
The next coach was Eric Mangini. I do believe that Quinn was not Mangini's first choice. However, Mangini had a record with the Jets of being indecisive when it came to quarterbacks. Mangini is now an analyst. Although Mangini disliked Quinn, Brian Daboll was the offensive coordinator. He had to have some input in bringing in Quinn, so he must not have disliked him too much.
Quinn's next coach was Josh McDaniels in Denver. It is no secret that McDaniels was in way over his head; he clearly was not ready to be a head coach. Therefore, it is hard to really evaluate much from that year.
The next coach was John Fox. Fox inherited Quinn, along with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow. Fox saw Orton as the only established veteran and therefore named him the starter to begin the year. However, he hated Quinn so much that he let him compete with fan favorite Tebow for the backup spot. Then he hated Quinn so much more that he began the year with him and not Tebow backing up Orton.
After a 1-4 start, Fox knew he had to play Tebow because the fans were demanding it. I believe his plan was to give him a few games to satisfy the fans and then give Quinn a look. Unfortunately for Quinn, Tebow (to his credit) did lead the Broncos to the playoffs last season. But still, Fox did prefer Quinn over Tebow. That is why Quinn started that last preseason game.
Quinn has waited a long time to get a real chance in the NFL. He has been a professional about it in spite of all his frustrations. Kansas City may finally be his chance. Unfortunately, that once again is dependent on the guy in front of him failing. That has been the story of Quinn's career, and so far it has not worked out.
I am not rooting against Cassel by any means, but I do believe Quinn deserves a fair chance.