That moment was a day of hope for the Browns, Quinn, and Notre Dame fans everywhere. Of course, we all remember the wait Quinn endured as he kept falling in the draft.
Even after sliding in the draft, Quinn seemed to get a fairy tale ending being able to play for the team he grew up rooting for. Then came Quinn's biggest mistake, which is still haunting him today. That is the holdout as a rookie. He never made it to camp until right before the first preseason game. Since then, he has been unable to catch a break.
He didn't play until the second game. Although Quinn performed quite well in the preseason, then Head Coach Romeo Crennel felt Quinn wasn't ready to start opening day. So Charlie Frye got the starting nod, and it was so bad that he was traded the next day.
Then Crennel decided that Derek Anderson would play for a few weeks until he felt Quinn was ready to play. Unfortunately, Anderson came out smoking hot and Quinn only saw the field for one series in the final game. In that series, both Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards dropped sure touchdown passes.
That offseason the Browns opted to keep both Anderson and Quinn. Anderson faded a bit down the stretch and really killed his teams playoff chances with a four interception performance against the Cincinnati Bengals. Therefore, the team had enough doubt not to trade away Quinn. So he appeared stuck on the bench.
Then came the next season, and Anderson was a disaster with the exception of one Monday Night game. It appeared as though Quinn was finally going to get his chance to establish himself as the starter. He started his first game on a Thursday night against the Denver Broncos and was very impressive in a loss.
Then he started a Monday Night game against the Buffalo Bills. In this game, the team won on a last second field goal when Quinn led the team down the field. The only problem was that Quinn broke his finger. He was done for the year.
Crennel got fired and Eric Mangini took over the team. Not exactly known for being a quarterback guru, Mangini was unsure of whether he wanted Quinn or Anderson. Then came one of the most uncomfortable situations for both of them. Neither was really given a fair chance and the rest is history.
Now comes this offseason and we all know the story. Quinn gets traded to the Denver Broncos and it appears as though he will get another chance, even though Kyle Orton will be the starter going into training camp. It appeared that Quinn had finally had a break to go his way.
The only problem is, "With the 25th pick in the NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select from the University of Florida, Tim Tebow." Now once again, Quinn appears to be going upstream without a paddle. Orton is the quarterback for the present and Tebow is the future. That is the plan.
So where does that leave Quinn?
Nobody knows for sure, other than Josh McDaniels.
What is the best thing Quinn can do?
That is a much easier question to answer. Although the Tebow pick was another break that didn't go his way, it could be a blessing in disguise for Quinn. Ever since Quinn was the starter at Notre Dame, he always has had the spotlight on him. It continued in Cleveland even before he ever started a game.
It appeared as though there would be more of the same in Denver prior to the Tebow pick. Quinn was once again the high profile backup who would eventually take over. Now all that attention will shift to Tebow, and for the first time since his freshman year in South Bend, the spotlight will not be on Quinn.
That simply means that the best thing Quinn can do is just focus on football. Although he is known for a strong work ethic, it should be easier for him to just focus on football without all of his usual distractions. Quinn can go into mini camp and just focus on getting better.
Then once the preseason gets here, he needs to forget about everything and just play good football. Quinn knows about as much of the rest of us do about what the Broncos plans for him are. He also doesn't know when he will get into the games in the preseason. Those are things he has no control over.
The one thing he can control, is how he performs once he is in the game. That is what he needs to focus on. Even if Quinn isn't in the long term plans of the Broncos, he can change those plans or increase his trade value with a solid preseason.