Only in Cleveland is 12 career starts enough to determine whether or not a quarterback can be great or not. Why is this not the case in other cities?
It is not that way in Detroit.
Matthew Stafford: 10 GS, 13 TD, 20 INT, 61.0 RAT
It is not that way in Tampa Bay.
Josh Freeman: 9 GS, 10 TD, 18 INT, 59.9 RAT
They are not giving up in Kansas City.
Matt Cassel: (2009) 15 GS, 16 TD, 16 INT, 69.9 RAT
And Jets fans in New York are hailing a future Pro Bowler.
Mark Sanchez: 15 GS, 12 TD, 20 INT, 63.0 RAT
None of these quarterbacks are in any danger of losing their starting jobs, let alone getting shipped off to another team for the "next" great thing. Even the Raiders have not completely given up on JaMarcus Russell—his stats did not need to be included because everyone already knows how bad they are.
Why then is everyone in Cleveland so ready jump off the Brady Quinn train after only one partial season as a starter? His numbers are comparable to better than the other young QB's in the league.
12 GS, 10 TD, 9 INT, 66.8 RAT
I will be the first to admit that Quinn has not shined as bright as all of us Browns fans would like. But there have been glimpses of potential greatness. There have also been plenty of moments that left viewers scratching their heads and wondering if this was really a first round choice.
But not every great quarterback exploded on the league and was an instant success in his first couple years. Just ask 2010 Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. After spending his first year on the bench—like Quinn—he struggled when given the reigns to the team his next couple seasons.
(Year 2, 2002) 16 GS, 17 TD, 16 INT, 76.9 RAT
(Year 3, 2003) 11 GS, 11 TD, 15 INT, 67.5 RAT
Yet in Brees fourth season he had a Pro Bowl year.
(Year 4, 2004) 15 GS, 27 TD, 7 INT, 104.8 RAT
Will this happen to Brady Quinn in 2010? No one knows. But I believe it is worth finding out.
The talent level on the offense needs a serious upgrade. The O-Line played well for the final four games but struggled severely for the majority of the season. They were not the whole problem. Quinn does take too many sacks. But so does Aaron Rodgers and he's one of the best QB's in the NFL. That is a problem can be easily fixed.
The receivers were non-existent this past season. Dropped passes and poorly run or simply wrong routes could have doomed any passer.
Quinn has also never had a training camp to solely work with the first team. This may be the biggest point of all. Sanchez and Stafford were named starters at the start of training camp—not three days before the start of the regular season. Continuity on offense will go a long way in bringing out improvement.
Ultimately the decision on Quinn rests with Mike Holmgren, Tom Heckert, and Eric Mangini. Trading him would be tough since his stock is probably not very high right now. And trading for another QB might be even harder since the Browns only trade assets are draft picks and Shaun Rogers.
All things considered I do not think it is time to give up on Brady Quinn just yet. Give him another year and the chance to spend training camp free from competition and working with the first team. If significant improvement is not made then I will be content to move on in another direction.
But not just yet.