After a long, unremarkable four seasons since Romeo Crennel was fired as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Brady Quinn inked a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs to reunite with his former coach.
Since being taken 22nd overall in the 2007 NFL draft, Quinn has led an unimpressive campaign marred by inefficiency, missed opportunities and—perhaps the most frustrating of all—Tebowmania.
Throughout his career, Quinn has received little time to prove himself.
Quinn started just 12 games in three seasons with the Browns, getting yanked around like a rag doll as Crennel and former coach Eric Mangini struggled to decide on a starting quarterback—nothing new for the waffling head coach. The indecision stifled any opportunity for the quarterback to gain any sort of momentum, and he looked average at most times because of it.
Then he was traded to the Denver Broncos.
Promised an opportunity to fight for the starting quarterback job with Kyle Orton and newcomer Tim Tebow, Quinn never got his chance. Though he was named the backup during training camp of the 2011 season, Broncos head coach John Fox succumbed to the demand as his Orton-led team sat at the bottom of the division and named Tebow the starting quarterback.
As a result, Quinn never saw the field. It was the second consecutive season where he did not. And while it’s fair to say Quinn could have done more to earn his spot, Tebowmania was too big for someone like him to overcome.
When Tebow went 8-5, guiding the Broncos to a playoff win over the defending AFC champions, that became even more certain.
Quinn is returning to his NFL roots though, hoping a reunion with the man who drafted him may give him one last shot at being a starting quarterback in the NFL. And he will get his chance, certainly a much greater one than Quinn received in two seasons at Denver or with the impatient Browns front office that has yet to find a capable of quarterback.
The new Chiefs backup revealed a much more optimistic outlook after signing, telling The Kansas City Star:
For me, personally, I had to make the best decision I felt like for me. And Kansas City was the right choice.
With unstable quarterback Matt Cassel at the helm, Quinn may be right.
Cassel has been confirmed as the starter heading into the season by Crennel, but his 2011 campaign was marred by injuries and his tenure with the Chiefs has been very inconsistent.
A rough patch of games or another injury could put Quinn in the position he wants to be in—if he works hard enough for it. That’s something he will have to do for the first time in his NFL career because regardless of the circumstances fighting against him, Quinn has not done enough to earn a job as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
For Quinn, this will be his best opportunity to accomplish what he’s been striving for since being drafted in 2007. He just needs to put in the effort and have a little luck roll his way—for once.