Brady Quinn had been waiting his whole life to be the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. It has always been his boyhood dream to be the quarterback of the Browns. After a stellar career at Notre Dame, he had to wait when he got to Cleveland. He did get a taste of action last year before getting hurt.
On Sunday, he got his first opportunity to start the season as the starting quarterback. As you might expect from a young quarterback, he definitely had his struggles. For much of the game he did look as though he was still getting a feel for the offense and still developing rhythm with the rest of the unit.
His day did get off to a promising start though. The offense did march down for a field goal on the opening drive. Then he had a touchdown on a deep out to Braylon Edwards reversed on a challenge. That was weird to me because the replay showed that Edwards was forced out then came back in. The rule seems strange, but that is how it is.
That put the ball at the 6 and then Eric Mangini really took the ball out of Quinn's hands and tried to get it in with Joshua Cribbs running the wildcat. They had to settle for three.
Then in the second half, Quinn did what young quarterbacks do. He turned the ball over twice. The first was on a long pass where he threw outside but Edwards went inside. It was obviously a miscommunication. That is totally on the quarterback, but that should get fixed once Quinn and Edwards become more familiar with each other.
The second turnover was a fumble in which he was scrambling and then tried to throw. That is something where he needs to learn to play it on another down. I mentioned the other day that Browns fans have to be patient. He will make mistakes. Whether or not he succeeds will depend on how much he learns from them.
Looking around the league, Matthew Stafford threw three interceptions and completed less than 50% of his passes. Mark Sanchez did have a pretty good day, but he has a defense and a running game. He will go through growing pains as well at some point this year.
Even Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco made these kind of errors last year. The difference is that they didn't stand out because the defenses bailed them out.
Unfortunately for Quinn, the Browns defense does still have a lot of holes as evident in the second half today. They did play inspired defense at first, but as the game wore on, it became apparent that the Browns defense doesn't match up to the top offenses. Therefore, when Quinn makes a mistake it will stick out like a sore thumb.
Although the day was pretty rough for Quinn, it did end on a positive note. Since this is clearly a rebuilding year, the Browns have to look for positives. Quinn put together a long drive that ended in a long touchdown pass to Robert Royal. Yes it was when the game was out of reach, but it was still something positive to build on.
FOX's Brian Billick was quick to point out that the touchdown was a big deal because they hadn't scored one in seven games. Billick reminded us that they went through four quarterbacks due to injury. I wanted to tap him on the shoulder and whisper in his ear that Quinn was the quarterback the last time they scored as well.
Billick's other point was that when you are trying to change a culture, there are walls you have to break down.
In conclusion, I think most will agree that Quinn did show some positive signs but has to learn from his mistakes. If I were giving him a grade, it would be a C-.