With Matt Cassel unlikely to play this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a concussion, Brady Quinn is expected to start Sunday for the Kansas City Chiefs, and has a chance to redeem himself by turning his career into the direction he aimed for when he first entered the league in 2007.
Cassel’s inability to protect the football has hurt the Chiefs in five games this season. Cassel turned the ball over 14 times in five games this year, averaging close to three giveaways per game.
But there is not a lot of optimism surrounding the former Notre Dame standout. He's labeled a first round bust by many critics.
After being with the Denver Broncos in 2010 and 2011, he saw no playing time. His game day experience with the Broncos consisted of him standing on the sidelines and watching Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow earn face time.
Fast forward to 2012. Quinn turned down more money with the Broncos to sign with the Chiefs as a backup. Cassel’s absence this Sunday gives Quinn the ultimate opportunity to rebound. He has a great shot at redemption because of the offensive talent the Chiefs have.
Quinn’s top receiver will be Dwayne Bowe, who has been Kansas City's top receiver since 2007. The Chiefs also have wide receiver Jon Baldwin and tight end Tony Moeaki, who have yet to live up to their potential. If Quinn can get into a rhythm with his new offense, he could help Baldwin and Moeaki live up to their potentials.
Quinn will also have an opportunity to throw to speedy backup receivers, Dexter McCluster and Steve Breaston.
The biggest perk Quinn will have with this offense is the running game. Jamaal Charles is leading the NFL in rushing with 551 yards. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has not been shy about handing the ball off to Shaun Draughn either, who has a 4.7 yard per carry average off 34 carries.
Quinn worked with limited talent in Cleveland. In Kansas City, he has a lot of tools and can use them to move the football and eventually score touchdowns. Those touchdowns will be beneficial for the Chiefs, who have yet to play with a lead this season in regulation.
He may look a little rusty early on, but not to where he will fumble at the one-yard line. He's committed 12 turnovers in 15 games in his career, whereas Cassel already has 14 in five games this season.
Don't let Quinn's playing time in Cleveland fool you. Judging Quinn on his three seasons with the Browns is an unfair move. Just look at their history of head coaches.
After Marty Schottenheimer left the Browns, their most successful head coach was Bill Belichick, who mustered a 36-44 record. As everyone knows, Belichick left the Browns and eventually won three Super Bowls.
Cleveland has gone through a myriad of quarterbacks and none of them receive much recognition.
In Kansas City, Quinn has a fair chance at finding success. If he finishes the season strong and puts the Chiefs in position to compete for a playoff spot in December, his value as an NFL quarterback will rise.
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