At the press conference to introduce Brady Quinn to Denver, all the talk was about competition. But if you ask the Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla, Josh McDaniels sees a winner in Quinn.
In his final three years at Notre Dame, Quinn won 25-of-37 games for what recently has become the funniest program on NBC this side of “30 Rock.”
In the three years since Quinn has been gone, the Fighting Irish have gone 16-21, despite the presence of quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who, for reasons understood only by Mel Kiper, is somehow projected as a top-10 pick in the NFL draft.
As an 18-year-old, Quinn made his first start for the Irish at Purdue, where the nationally ranked Boilermakers were led by Orton. That was way back in 2003. But the personalities and styles of the two quarterbacks haven’t changed much.
Quinn chucked the football 59 times for 297 yards and four interceptions. Orton was a young game-manager in training, passing for 127 yards on 12 attempts in a Purdue victory.
Seven years later, Quinn should beat Orton when the stakes are much higher: Two quarterbacks. One NFL starting job.
It is true that Quinn has not done anything worth talking about in the NFL.
When did he get the chance, though? If the Browns weren’t letting Quinn rot on the bench, they used him primarily as a scapegoat, whereas a smart franchise might have concentrated on the development of a first-round draft choice.
I asked Quinn what he has learned in three years of hard knocks as a pro.
“You’ve got to be flexible,” he replied. “You’ve got to be a jack of all trades and not just a one-trick pony.”
Quinn won’t make anybody forget John Elway.
But the new quarterback in town gives McDaniels the chance to think forward instead of run from the past.
Rather than being known as the impetuous coach who threw Cutler to the curb, McDaniels now can become the miracle worker who rescued Quinn from the dumpster.
There’s no denying that the Broncos brought in a QB with plenty of talent, but do they have the right coach to bring that talent out? Quinn never had a chance in Cleveland and while there might be a “competition”, this job will end up with the former Notre Dame signal caller the same way Cassel was always going to be the starter in Kansas City.
Kyle Orton has done nothing but win football games as a starter (29-18) but he lacks that “star factor”, something Quinn has always possessed. The one thing Quinn brings to Denver is name recognition and a top notch pedigree.
Will that lead to the Broncos finally uncovering their long term answer at quarterback? We should know the answer to that question by the middle of the 2010 season.