Weird how 2009 started with an injury and how it ended with a different one? Now there’ll be further uncertainty next season who will be the QB. To me Brady’s ups and downs, is he or isn’t he, will he or won’t he is some disorientating Kafkaesque night terror. For the fans who simply want him to do well it has been infuriatingly senseless in its complexity. Regardless, I try to sort it out: 2009 in review.
Two major items this month: Brady had the two stainless steel pins removed from his broken right index finger and the Browns got their new coach, former Jets head coach, Eric Mangini. Who would have thought that the pins being removed would be the less painful of the two?
CHARITY WORK: Teamed up with Pedigree Dog Foods to feed hungry dogs. It’s the other Dawgs who are hungriest though.
Quiet month football-wise for Brady, but nevertheless, loathing physical inactivity, he’s found quite a lot of things to do. His physical therapy has his finger “almost there”, and he was found on the cover of a magazine in his hometown.
Brady also went with his brother-in-law, AJ Hawk, to see middleweight, Kelly Pavlik win in Youngstown, Ohio, but there would be another more important fight Brady will have to see through – the fight for the starting quarterback position. Now departed General manager, George Kokinis, said that the Cleveland Browns are in no hurry to get rid of Derek Andersonand were willing to let Anderson battle Brady Quinn for the starting quarterback job. So…
CHARITY WORK: Brady and several other Browns’ players honored some 800 special needs students from Cleveland schools in the training facility in Berea, OH.
For four days, Brady was back in the classroom, enrolled in theNFL Business Program, and whisperings [rumors?] begin of trade talks.
Mangini confirms that trades could happen and said to both remaining QBs, Derek and Brady,
“I talked to both of them about that and was very clear. I said if they have any questions they can come and see me. In terms of the competition and their opportunities. That’s what I told them. They understand that.”
The rumor mill certainly was busy churning trading dreams, scenarios, and allusions. Or should we say illusions? April Fools or not, many of us were with bated breath waiting for that Tweet or RSS feed to come through having Brady traded to the Jets, the Broncos, or anyone in need of a quarterback.
Brady enjoyed the Indianapolis 500 and went to theRhythm Fantasy 500 Celebrity Race Party where he told emcee, Scott Evans, he wanted Danica Patrick to win. (She came in third.) The Browns heldfour mini-camps, three of them in May. The first was for rookies only, and the next two werevoluntary for rookies and veterans. Of course, Brady was there. His status was still under the magnifying glass.
Brady took over K2’s old spot in the locker room and is no longer near the other roster quarterbacks. Still, the old locker photo on the left reminds us of what is still at stake: who is going to be named starting quarterback for the season?
CHARITY WORK: Brady participated in the 11th “For the Kidz” Golf Classic at Firestone Country Club in Akron, OH. This charity, sponsored by Sheetz, Inc. raises money for underprivileged children during Christmas. More than $350,000 was raised.
Someone is enjoying their summer, and most of it all centers around giving back. So all of this really is CHARITY WORK:
Brady went back to the Firestone Country Club to play in another golf classic; this one being the Cleveland Browns Foundation Golf Tournament. Wonder why this specific question was asked? Who is the better golfer, you or Derek Anderson? “Definitely him. Derek plays way more than me. I’m more of weight-room guy and he’s more of a golf guy.”
Next, Brady had a whole day named in honor of him at Cedar Point amusement park/resort in Sandusky, Ohio. Fans were able to get pictures and autographs and several lucky fans joined Quinn on Millennium Force for a couple rides on the roller coaster.
Brady headed up to St. Paul, MN to help out his former Notre Dame teammate, Ryan Harris, run a football camp. The Minnesota Pro Camp took place June 20th at St. Paul Central’s Griffin Field. Other ND teammates besides Brady enlisted to help were: John Sullivan, John Carlson, and Trevor Laws.
Another golf charity? You’d think with all of this golf playing he would be better at it. This time Brady helped teammate, Mike Furrey, with his foundation, a non-profit organization designed to improve the lives of those that are Hungry, Homeless, Hurting, and/or Hopeful. Mike just signed with the Browns as a free agent little more than a month ago and asked Brady, a fellow suburban Columbus native, to play.
Obviously after all of that playing, a man has got to rest. Rest and relaxation? Not for Brady who’s gearing up for Training Camp 2009, and the exertions that come with it. This month finds Brady doing what defines him best: hard work and commitment to being the best he can be.
Despite the obvious pressure of performing in first-class fashion for the starting quarterback position, Brady and Derek hold no animosity towards each other. [Unlike us who, get a little impudent taunting Mr. Anderson; only because we want Brady to succeed. I once told Brady in a conversation to kick Derek's ass. He and his agent both snickered at that. So it's all in good jest.] Asked about the relationship he has with Derek…
Quinn: It’s definitely grown. When you first get here, we don’t really know each other as much. Obviously, you spend so much time together that you become like a family. We’ve been through a lot of adversity together. People always think that guys like that wouldn’t get along off the field together. But we’re both going through the same struggles and battles here and there. So we’ve been able to kind of share the experience and really be friends through it and enjoy different parts of the competition.
One thing dominates this month…
League analysts expected Brady would be the winner of the much touted and hyped quarterback competition. Naturally, Derek and Brady both took the high road and simply worked to the best of their ability. Mangini said his decision would be based on whoever gives the team the best chance to win. Nevertheless, it was a nail-biter this month. When Derek did well, our hearts sank. When Brady did well, our hearts soared. This happened every day the team held camp. When the first preseason game arrived pitting the Browns against the Packers, Brady started. But this meant nothing. As did that game. 0 to 17 Hopefully that would not be a harbinger of the season to come… hindsight is 20/20 (and it pretty much was.)
The second preseason game was at Cleveland where the Browns hosted the Detroit Lions. This game we won: 27 to 10, but with Derek starting and doing a tiny bit better than Brady, we reached for the Kaopectate.
Brady started the third preseason game, August 29th, when the Tennessee Titans lost to the Browns 17-23. This time Brady edged out in front of Derek. Is this anyway to treat professional football players?
Also, during the summer, Brady Quinn became Muscle and Fitness’s coverboy for their October issue. “The Hardest Working QB,” I’m not going to argue with that title – others can AFTER they compare what they do to what Brady does almost everyday.The weight room is a big part of Brady’s workout regime. His hard work and dedication in this area has brought unexpected, but deserved attention and respect. Why is the weight room so important to him?
Brady Quinn: Well, it’s a few things. Looking at my past, it was something that allowed me to propel to start when I was a freshman coming in at Notre Dame, as well as giving me an advantage in high school. Then as I’ve gotten to the NFL I noticed guys become limited by injuries, and a lot of injuries happen because guys don’t take care of their bodies. So I’ve always prided myself on hard work and that’s just extended into the weight room. It’s something where, not only do I enjoy it, but I feel like it gives me an advantage over everyone else, because I work so much harder there and do the little things.
Injuries? There’s an omen.
The last preseason game. Pretty much who ever starts here will be the starter. I mean the regular season starts on the 13th and this game against the Bears was on the 3rd. Who started? Brett Ratliff. So how did Brady and Derek do?
They didn’t play. At all.
Wow. I mean this Mangini really keeps things buttoned-up, tight-lipped, and close-mouthed. I had a gastroenterologist on speed dial up until September 9th when I received Terrell Owens tweet. We’ve been keeping track of this real close and Brady, obviously lying to the press, said he didn’t know. Foiling Mangini’s plans, I thank Mr. Owens. (Never thought I would say that.) That stubborn coach of theirs STILL did not show his hand hours until the first regulation game, at which time we learned officially that Brady would be the starting QB. Our celebration would be short lived.
The regular season started with the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland. The final score was 34-20, Browns lost with Brady’s uninspiring playing.
Surely this would be the game that would allow Brady to shine. Denver was the place less than a year ago where Brady took the starting QB reins from Derek and played a great 2008 debut game against the Broncos. The Broncos themselves entertained ideas of trading for Brady earlier this year, so how did we do? 6 to 27. Pitiful.
Surely it couldn’t get any worse; but it did. Head coach, Eric Mangini allowed Derek to play after yanking Brady’s leash and sitting him on the bench. You’d think moves like that (which are pretty harsh towards any quarterback) would change the play or the momentum of the game. It didn’t. The final was 3 to 34. I also find the benching unjustified. Brady, not playing well, threw an interception and only 34 yards, while Derek, on the one hand, did throw three times as many yards, he also three more interceptions. I don’t think Mangini would ever admit a mistake. So Brady sits, the Brady Bunch sulks, and the Browns continue to lose.
Who knows what Man-Derson have cooked up. So many illogical things in Cleveland that again we couldn’t relax until after the trade deadline. Whew. No one was traded. That NFL Business course must have shed some light on Brady selling his Avon Lakes residence. But it was not trade speculative, “…just downsizing.” We predict he’ll be spending more time in his new Ft. Lauderdale home during the off-season anyway.
Let’s get back to the not-so exciting start to the Browns Football season.
The Browns, with Derek at the helm of this sinking ship, lost to the Bengals [23-20]. Using my crystal ball which predicts the present, we find that the Bengals will win the division, so it wasn’t too bad of a game considering it went into overtime. Derek isn’t inspiring anyone to make www.derek-anderson.org or anything but I do have to say (and I defer this to people who are much better at analyzing the outcomes of games) I don’t see how terribly he played, aside from the fact it wasn’t Brady out there. Derek and Carson Palmer’s stats for this game were pretty much even, except that Carson had one extra touchdown pass. That got me thinking that maybe there were problems other than who throws the ball? Hmm…
Without a doubt the worst game this year and too bad that the Browns had to win it. But as Brady says, “Scores are the only stat that matter.” The final being 6 to 3. I disagree. There are other stats that can tell you how miserable this game was to watch. Trent Edwards attempted 31 throws and 16 were completed. Derek attempted 17 throws and 2 were completed. Both had no TD passes and one interception each. The stat that really stands out: QB rating for Trent, 52.1. Rating for Derek, 15.1. And again, we won.
The Pittsburgh Steelers. Our nemesis. Think we are going to beat them when we haven’tsince October 5th, 2003!? Of course not. That QB switcheroo Eric Man-Genius made a couple weeks back has yet to pay off and it is really making him look incompetent. Derek’s interception, with only 4:21 remaining was the nail the closed the coffin, when it was picked off at the 1 yard line by the Steelers, Ryan Clark. Final: 27-14.
Remember that horrible game 2 weeks ago in Buffalo? Don’t blame you if you forgot already. This game, with a final score of 3 to 31 against Green Bay, was a close second. We would have won if it weren’t for the stylings of Aaron Rodgers that day. Aaron’s three TDs and 246 yards really humbles Derek’s one interception and 99 yards. The key stat, according to NFL.com, are the yards, 460 gained by Green Bay with 139 gained by Cleveland. Lopsided indeed.
Surely a new month will change things. When you’re already on the bottom, there’s only one way to go right? To remind you, the only game we won so far this year was that very forgettable one week 5 against the Bills.
Same formulaic retelling here: Browns lost to Chicago, 30 – 6. What was memorable for us BQ fans was that Eric Mangini FINALLY did say, “You know. I made a mistake in taking Brady out after only playing 2 ½ games. I should not have put Derek Anderson in at all. I should’ve had more faith in my starting quarterback.” Uhm,… no he did not say that, but he did say it symbolically when he benched Derek after he threw his 11th interception and Brady came back in the fourth quarter.
Week 9: Was a Bye week. Players and coaches alike, took this time to pick out which color velvet lining they wanted in their caskets.
Wish I could be rub it in all gloating-like about how great Brady did returning, but I can’t. I’d like to say Brady scared these Ravens off the field in retribution resulting from the last time they met, but he didn’t. No one did. Final was Browns 0, zip, nada, niente, zilch. However you say it, the Baltimore Ravens beat the Browns by 16.
Brady incurred a $10,000 fine for hitting a player below the knees. The way the Ravens tell it, Brady had a chainsaw out on the field mowing them down. In actuality, the hit was completely unintentional and the player was not in his field of vision. Terrell Thugs, sorry, I meant Suggs, (I get mixed up when I read the things Terrell has done off the field, like hitting a woman last month,) was out a few games and Brady apologized more than once.
We won? No, but it was a good game. And I don’t care if it was with the Detroit Lions or my local Pee Wee football team sponsored by the Kiwanis, it was a good game and instilled in us fans a tiny bit of hope, at least for the remaining positive ones. Many fans said they were going to boycott games or the remaining season, but that really was just talk. (Although it did get press and the threat did go all the way up to the highest office. Kudos to grassroots.) Brady did a great job with 4 TDs, 304 yards, a rating of 133.1, but the game ball really should go to Matthew Stafford who had 5 TDs, and threw 422 yards. Yeah he also threw two interceptions which should have made the Browns win [Final 38-37], but for a rookie QB, my hat’s off to you. Brady was nominated for Player of the Week as was Stafford. Favre won. Again.
What a good game giveth, a bad game taketh away. Brady Quinn didn’t turn the ball over to lose the game, but he also didn’t throw the ball either. What are the coaches telling him to do or not do – as the case may be? The Bengals won 16 to 7. Again Carson Palmer and the Browns QB were not so distant from each other stat-wise (like when Derek played Palmer) and again it seems the problem lies else-where. The Bengals gathered up 210 yards which, added with an incomplete pass to Mohamed Massaquoi, allowed the Bengals to win.
Browns lost to San Diego. 30-23. Only highlight for me was in first quarter where POW POW POW Brady had a great play keeping the ball moving down field, and a new tight end that can catch the ball. I’m not going to gush all over Evan Moore again, but this game had promise. Hope we can build on, maybe?
Augh. The Steelers again, and it was a short week coming from that close but failed win against the Chargers. Every time since October 5th, 2003 we have lost to Pittsburgh. That’s a 12 game in a row losing streak. Our other losing streak is a bit more important – we haven’t won a game since week 5.Wouldn’t it just be great to beat the World Champions at a home game nullifying both losing streaks, and with Brady leading the way? Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. We did just that and on nationally televised Thursday Night football to boot.
Ah, doesn’t everyone feel good after a long rest? The Browns think so with a 41 to 34 win against the Kansas City Chiefs. Brady wasn’t the star at this game and he’d be the first to tell you that. Excellent play work by Jerome Harrison who rushed for 286 yards breaking Jim Brown’s single-game rushing record. And then there’s the ubiquitous Josh Cribbs setting the bar a little higher for the most kickoff returns ever in the NFL with eight. Great job men.
Sadly, Brady sprained his right foot towards the end of the game. Was this play worth the win; which it ultimately did do? No. No one should get hurt for any reason, but this is a very physical game and a cold 15 mph wind making it feel below freezing didn’t help. As Brady told us earlier, he prides himself on working out because he’s seen many men get injured because “guys don’t take care of their bodies.” He NEVER missed a start due to injury at Notre Dame, but the pros are certainly a step up. This sprain ends Brady’s playing for the 2009 season and once again Derek and Brady do a do-si-do off and on the bench.
Coming off the bench, Derek didn’t do too badly. I think once again though other key players coming into their element like Jerome Harrison are doing a fine job giving promise to 2010. Third straight win in a row constitutes a “streak” and we’ll take it. Browns beat the Raiders 23-9. It really was any one’s guess with these two teams. Browns are looking good and the Raiders took down the Steelers and the Bengals. Who knew? The faithful did that’s who.
CHARITY WORK: It’s difficult to do goodwill during the football season, but nevertheless,Brady and the Browns sent the Shaker Heights Jr. Pee Wee football team, the Fire Raiders, on their way in style to the Pop Warner National Championships.
That wraps up 2009. There is still one more game January 3rd of which I will report on in great detail. I’ve reclaimed my front row seats and come hell or high-water (or should I say snow or 3° wind chills) will keep me away. I’m taking the owner of the BQ fansite with me as a birthday present. It’s Evan Moore’s birthday too, and we already have the sign made.
This marks the 3rd year for the site and it’s accompanying message board. We’ve seen over 200,000 people log in and hundreds come daily for accurate (albeit slightly biased) information. We have our own Twitter account @bradyquinn and have full transparency to give it to Brady when he and his camp asks for it. We’ve personally shut down two fake Brady Quinn Twitter accounts of which thousands were conned into believing was Mr. Quinn himself. My special thanks go to the members of Brady’s Bunch for their insightful and droll irreverence; the ladies in head office of the Cleveland Browns in Berea; Ms. Franklin for giving me room to grow; Terry Pluto, The Orange Brown Report, and the Bleacher Report for their support, and finally; to Brady Quinn himself for reminding us not to take the best things in life for granted and that with hard work, determination, and a reverence to a higher power you can succeed in life. We’ll save you a seat at your favorite restaurant after the game Brady.