Has Brady Quinn Been Given a Fair Chance to Succeed in Cleveland?

Scott LContributor IJanuary 2, 2010

I don't think Quinn has been given a fair chance to become the Cleveland Browns QB and DA has proved himself unworthy.  Let's review the facts, if you please:  (and I promised myself I wasn't going to get into another BQ v DA discussion!)

In 2007, while BQ a rookie, DA and Frye were involved in a QB competition.  RAC declared Frye the winner and he started game one.  After only a half a game, he was pulled for DA and banished to the Great Northwest Woods.  Under Rob Chudzinski's system and tutoring (a competent OC, by most accounts.)  the Browns went 10-6.  Looking back at that year now, it is clear that the cries of "Super Bowl, Super Bowl" during the next training camp were based on false hopes.  DA only beat one playoff team (or was it one team with a winning record?), Seattle that year.  And, frankly, IIRC, I don't remember any blow-outs by the Browns.  Cleveland went 10-6 against a weak division like the AFC East as well as playing against San Francisco, Houston, Oakland and St. Louis.  When the season was on the line, DA threw 3 INT's against the Bengals, -- the Bengals, for Gawd's Sake!  And it was "Wait til next year".

BQ languished on the bench all year, except for one series that almost ended up with a TD.  If only KW2 had held on to the ball.  DAM.  (Remember, RAC simply refused to play rookies, period, especially those drafted by Savage, but I digress, -- perhaps for another time, . . . or perhaps the time has passed.)

In 2008, DA was the obvious choice for the starting QB position.  There was simply no one else to turn to.  DA's highlight was the 5th game of the season, against the NY Giants, the defending Super Bowl Champ, on Monday night, where the Browns won 35-14.  DA threw for 310 yards and 2 TD's, and surprisingly, 0 INT's.  That game brought the Browns to only 2-3.

After the 9th game of the season and the Browns were 2-7.  DA's suckitude stank up CBS and he was replaced by BQ in the 10th game of the season against Denver on a Thursday night, after only 3 days to prepare.  The final score was 34-30.  A rookie QB (and he was essentially a rookie as this was his first start) leading the team to 30 points.  Everyone saw the promise in the young ND starter.

Quinn injured his finger on an opposing rushing DL's helmet during the next game and he was benched during the 3rd game and IR'd.  The rest of the season is one for the record books. (Including DA's contribution.)  Does anyone remember Ken Dorsey and Brad Gradkowski under the Browns' professional tutoring?  (Except for the ultimate suckitude.  No Runs, No Hits, and a ton of Errors.  At least Gradkowski  and Frye stayed in the NFL with the Raiders, -- not a HOF gold star in my book.)

In 2009, after a farce of a QB competition, where neither QB had a chance to get Daboll’s system down, develop chemistry with the WRs, or become comfortable with the rest of the rest of the players on offense throughout training camp, Mangini, after all the subterfuge and “competitive advantage, named Brady Quinn the starter.

In the first two games of the season, Quinn looked tentative and “risk adverse”.  With the combination of a rookie OC , a HC micromanaging the offensive play-calling and this being Quinn’s first opportunity in the NFL, in the 3rd game of Quinn's development as a NFL QB, he was pulled at halftime after throwing a interception, intended to Braylon Edwards, to the left flat.  The CB on the play said later that BE rarely ran out his routes with authority and he was going to jump on any short routes.  He was sure he could pick up an interception.  This was exactly what happened.  Quinn was pulled at halftime.  ( I can't help mention, here, about Mangini's Dawghouse for questioning him in a meeting, his contract escalation for 70% of the snaps for the year, and the rumors of Quinn and Ratliff essentially coaching each other for the first half of the season because Daboll and Mangini wouldn't speak to both of them for the first half of the season.) 

DA threw 3 INT's in the second half and still earned the start in the next game.  (Give me a break!!)

After 2-3 INTs per game , 1-2 fumbles per game, and historic QB ratings by DA, he was replaced by BQ after the bye.  Finally, BQ was given a chance to develop into an NFL QB and he was thrown into the NFL fray.  But one thing stood in his way -- a rookie, incompetent OC by the name of Daboll and a HC by the name of Mangini.  (Remember the Dawghouse and Mangini being from the defensive side of the ball?)  And at this point, Mangini could not go back to DA (and keep his job)

Mangini, in his national tour of interviews, has pointed out the obvious improvement of the Browns since the BYE, since BQ has started as QB.  His campaign, nay, his future in the NFL, is resting on Quinn’s shoulders.   

Since the BYE, Quinn has shown more  promise than we could expect from any 1st round draft pick that the Browns could expect to get next year.  This is taking into account the "Rebuilding" (read Devastation) that Mangini did to the roster this year, the head scratching and incredible incompetence of the OC, and the injuries on defense and subsequent points given up. 

Even by the Kansas City game, when Daboll figured he should call some running plays with Harrison, instead of Lewis up the middle or unsuccessful after unsuccessful bubble screens, there was Quinn throwing for only 88 yards, (sacrificing his stats for the good of the team) and reading the defense, calling the appropriate play and setting up the blocking to spring Harrison for 286 yards, -- a rushing record that stood since the 60’s.  That should count in the scheme of things.  They do in my book.

As far as Derek Anderson is concerned, he had one year where he threw for 29 TD’s, probably got Braylon Edwards that big second contract and nearly got the Browns into the playoffs.  As has been said, there are damn facts, damn lies, and statistics.  In retrospect, it was a folly of a season -- simply false promise.  The next year, until he was relieved by Quinn and the for the games after Quinn and before the BYE this year, Derek Anderson has proven himself unworthy of the QB position and certainly his $7 million next year.  He should be waived as soon as possible.  (No one would trade him and pick up his salary for next year.)

Let’s hope with Holmgren’s experience with quarterbacks, he will give Brady Quinn a reasonable chance to show his stuff next year.  He certainly has not been given a chance up until now.  With MH’s skill and Brady’s smarts, who knows, maybe, there’s hope for the future.

If you’re a true Browns fan, there’s always hope for the future, and, IMO, there’s more so for next year.