It's finally going to happen. Ladies and Gentlemen, coming to a television near you tonight at 8:00 PM, it's the premiere of the Brady Quinn era for the Cleveland Browns. Yes, that's right Browns fans, break out the No. 10 jerseys, because tonight your man will be the new signal caller for the Browns when they head out on to the field to take on the Denver Broncos in the first Thursday night game of the year.
Before we get to far ahead of ourselves and start comparing this to the 2001 season, when New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made (what then seemed to be) a very bold move by replacing veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe with Tom Brady. Let's keep some prospective.
1. This is not the 2001 New England Patriots. As a matter of fact, they're far from it. That team did not have the deficiencies that the Browns have this season. What happened that year was miraculous, and that's taking nothing away from Tom Brady for all you Patriots fans that may be reading this.
However, the difference is that while New England was, if memory serves me correct, 3-4 at that point, and the Patriots went on a run in which they would only lose one more game before becoming Super Bowl champions.
2. This team still has a huge uphill battle to fight; well, more like a war, with five games vs. teams who are or over .500: Buffalo, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. That's not a very encouraging sight.
Houston and Cincinnati will be tough enough to deal with; however, the other five games are not likely wins for this team at all. Simply put, the lack of execution, injuries, and untimely distractions have caught up with this team at the wrong times and that will be the demise of it.
And now for the good news, since most of you will want it.
A good game for Brady, and even a win for the Browns is not totally impossible. The Broncos bring one of the worst defenses in the league into this game, and while it looks like Champ Bailey will not play, it's a good time for Brady's first game.
I would expect that he would be able to have a good game with the offense that we have. I am very anxious to see if it gives anyone on the offense an extra boost.
Another bonus for Brady will be that the offensive line has played well. If he can make good reads and he can get players like Braylon Edwards to actually catch the ball when he throws it to them and does not have the jitter bugs, he should have a 100-plus-yard game.
One thing I noticed from attending the last preseason game when he started at quarterback was that the offense seems to move the ball better while he is on the field. They have more confidence, a sign that maybe he is ready to lead an offense at this level.
All in all, this was the right choice. The time for Derek Anderson to prove himself and the window he had to was significantly was starting to close at a rapid pace after the debacle in Washington three weeks ago. He just has not developed the type of consistency needed to help a struggling team win.
Will Quinn be able to be the consistent superstar this team needs that it has never had since it's rebirth? Hard to tell at this point. I would expect that he will for how high he was drafted. I think that if he is as good as his college play, and what little we have seen from him in the preseason with the Browns, that he will.
The simple truth of the matter is that we just do not know right now. I am just as excited as the next person to final see Brady get the shot he deserves; he has been through a lot so far in his young career, and we are just now seeing him pay the dividends owed to him. Let's enjoy this one. However, let's also keep our expectations for Brady and this team reasonable until after this game ends.
Brady Quinn is in a unique position. He could be either the Tom Brady or Bernie Kosar of this team, but then again, he could also be the next Tim Couch. How will it all shape up will begin to unfold tonight. Don't forget, 8:00 PM tonight on the NFL Network. See the Brady Quinn story start to unfold!