Time To Stop Pandering To Quarterbacks and Suspend Brady Quinn
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn showed a lot of who he really is during the Browns 16-0 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens. The word flop is perhaps one word that may be too early to be used, but it certainly can be considered a logical assumption.
What Quinn really showed on national television is that he is a pathetically immature loser who lacks leadership and any form of respect. I'm not talking about his unpleasant showing of 13 completions on 31 attempts, which produced an impotent 99 yards. Most NFL fans have long speculated that Quinn is unwilling or unable to throw a pass more than three yards down the field.
What was mostly witnessed in this game was a petulant child who has been pandered to most of his life, nearly costing two players their health and playing careers. This move of frustration by Quinn went virtually unnoticed by the three member announcers team covering the game, because the media is jaded and programmed to dote most of their love and attention on the quarterbacks of the NFL.
If this move was perpetrated on Quinn, the television stations across America would have run the highlight on a continuous loop. Quinn has already been anointed a media favorite from his days of playing college football for the University of Notre Dame, a program rich with history and nostalgia in media lore.
This affiliation allowed for the cameras to be held inches from his face in the 2007 NFL Draft when his hype had him being called a top-10 draft pick. As he slipped to the 22nd pick of the draft, viewers were treated by the media's insipid insistence to keep the camera on him the whole time as they tried to predict his emotions as his dreams and wallet got lighter by the moment.
The Browns bailed him out of his misery by trading up with the Dallas Cowboys to gamble that Quinn would be the future of the franchise at the position. It helped that Quinn was photogenic and had grown up in Ohio as well. The Browns organization figured Quinn would help fill seats by his mere presence on the roster and attendance did increase initially.
While some call his rookie season a failure, due to Derek Anderson winning the starter's job and responding with a Pro Bowl season, most were pleased that Quinn could sit on the bench and develop as he learned the nuances of the game. It now seems neither event has happened.
Quinn was handed the starting job entering 2009, mainly from an edict of the ownership of the Browns. The team won just four games the year before and headed into the season with new coaches and not much prospects of immediate improvement.
After a dismal showing the first two games where Quinn failed to complete a pass over 26 yards, he was pulled from the lineup midway through the third game. Anderson replaced him, but did not fare much better, though he did lead the team to their only win of the season thus far.
With the teams record standing at an inept 1-7, Quinn was inserted back into the starting lineup. He responded poorly, which was not a surprise, but the one moment he had on the field should immediately be reprimanded by league commissioner Roger Goodell soon. If the Browns had any spine, they would beat Goodell to the punch and punish Quinn themselves.
Quinn had an interception returned for a touchdown by the Ravens Dawan Landry on the team's second series in the second half. The next time Cleveland got the ball, Quinn threw another interception. As the ball was being returned by Baltimore's Chris Carr, Quinn displayed his true character in front of America.
The Ravens' Terrell Suggs was engaged in blocking a Browns lineman for Carr during the return. It was away from the ball, but that did not stop Quinn. He barreled into Suggs knees at full speed, which befell Baltimore's star defensive end. Though Quinn was penalized 15 yards for an illegal chop block, Suggs limped off the field in pain and will not play football for at least a month.
He contributed just one tackle the entire game, but Brady Quinn almost cost Suggs a football career.
This was not lost on the Ravens defense. As the game was winding down to a close, Quinn tossed a short pass to Joshua Cribbs. Cribbs is Cleveland's best player and one of the most liked in the community. Many may know how he showed up unannounced recently at a high school homecoming football game to support the son of a deceased college football coach.
Cribbs quickly lateraled the ball to tight end Robert Royal, who was soon tackled himself, but the Browns wide receiver did not see Ravens defensive end Dwan Edwards. Edwards happens to be Suggs's backup, as Cribbs turned, Edwards leveled him with a clean shot. The hit knocked Cribbs out and left him motionless.
He was taken off the field on a stretcher straight to the hospital. He was reported to have not lost any feeling nor movement in his body.
The question has to be asked if this moment would have happened for Cribbs if Quinn had not pulled off such a cheap shot earlier. Perhaps Edwards would not have hit Cribbs if his teammate and linemate hadn't almost had his career ended by Quinn.
The quarterback is already no longer a football player in the NFL; they cannot be hit too high, too low, nor too hard. Fines and penalties follow anyone who mistakes these golden boys as football players. Most quarterbacks are amongst the highest paid players in the league and many are by far the highest paid on their respective teams.
To allow them to pull off stunts like Quinn cannot go without penalties. It sets a bad precedent of double standards. The message would clearly state that players must go on protecting the quarterback, face reprimands if they do not, yet understand they are fair game at the quarterbacks discretion. This has already been brought into question last year, when Brett Favre pulled a similar stunt while playing for the New York Jets.
If Roger Goodell and the NFL Rules Committee are going to allow quarterbacks to vent their frustrations out circa cheap shots on other players, then they cannot logically ask the rest of the players to do the same.
Players who play a much more physically demanding positions where frustration is a factor on each play that transpires. The league also cannot allow a player who is obviously dissatisfied with his career cost other players their careers.
The right message would be to suspend Brady Quinn at least one game, as well as pile on a heavy fine that can go to a league sponsored charity. Let Derek Anderson pilot the team next week at Detroit in a battle now labeled as the "Last Chance For A Win In 2009 Bowl."
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