Broncos Get Brady Quinn from Browns: Does Josh McDaniels Have His Man?

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Broncos Get Brady Quinn from Browns: Does Josh McDaniels Have His Man?
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

A year after stirring the pot by attempting to land Matt Cassel in a trade with New England, Josh McDaniels has opened up the same can of worms that alienated Denver's star quarterback from the front office.

Except this time McDaniels got his man.

The question is, for the second year in a row, was the idea of making a trade at quarterback really the right move?

Last season, McDaniels wasn't satisfied with Jay Cutler, a Pro Bowl-level quarterback, and tried to go for a quarterback in "his image" in Cassel, a guy he built up in his own system with the Patriots.

The trade talks blew up in his face, Cutler was spurned, and a trade for draft picks and the Broncos' current starter, Kyle Orton, followed.

Of course, now the same story (only different characters) is being told again, after McDaniels sent the little-used Peyton Hillis (along with conditional draft picks) to the Cleveland Browns for their disgruntled young quarterback, Brady Quinn.

After another 8-8 season, the Broncos are still where they started when McDaniels took over, except now they are facing even more questions at quarterback, as they have a young quarterback who fizzled in Cleveland, and enjoys the weight room more than, well, just about anything else.

As for Orton, he still appears to have the starting job, is still a restricted free agent, and appeared to do enough in 2009 to keep the confidence that McDaniels instilled in him in the preseason last year.

The issue here is, for the fans (and for the team), if Brady Quinn is a guy McDaniels feels can step up and be a good NFL passer, then the switch needs to be made this week.

This can't be a full-blown competition. If Quinn is "the guy" then he has to be standing in first place from day one. Orton can't have this false hope of keeping the job. Chris Simms and Tom Brandstater can't begin to create thoughts in their heads that they can win the job.

The questions needs to stop. The rumors needs to stop here and continue on with Brandon Marshall.

The quarterback position, one that was as concrete as can possibly be two years ago, needs to be back at that stage again.

Perhaps Quinn isn't an ideal transition piece at the position right away. Maybe trading for him or starting him means the Broncos have to experience another sub-par season.

But whatever it does mean, we have to find out now. This can't drag out into training camp, and into preseason, or mess with whatever kind of success the Broncos have in 2010.

This writer actually believes Brady Quinn has something to give to the NFL, and in particular, he can thrive in an offense like McDaniels has the ability to create and run.

Quinn is a former first-round pick. He was the golden boy of a dead franchise. He's had his confidence shaken in every way possible in Cleveland, and amidst all the turmoil, competition, injuries, losses, and letdowns, he's actually only played in 14 games.

That's not enough to tell you that he can't be successful in this league. But somehow, McDaniels believes it's almost enough to prove that he can .

Whether that ends up being correct or not, is not the immediate concern. Josh McDaniels and the Denver Broncos confidently heading into one direction and staying the course, however, is.

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