Thank You Brady Quinn

Today is a sad day. A day that has been coming since Brady Quinn was drafted to the Cleveland Browns. The Browns once again let me down, trading Brady Quinn to the Denver Broncos. Quinn is replaced by Jake Delhomme, and a few picks they received from Denver.

In a lot of ways this feels to me like history repeating itself. I remember that spring day in 2004 when the Browns signed Jeff Garcia and he was going to be the answer to all the problems at the QB position. They ousted Tim Couch in such a classless manner that he had a cause for lawsuit. The exile another guy who loved being a Brown and a guy who’s time ran out here far before it ever had the chance to see a return on all the hopes and dreams we had on fans. It’s extremely unfortunate, and it will not end as a good decision.

I wrote about Brady restoring dignity to this franchise and taking us to the promised land so many times. 2007 seems like so long ago. It’s never going to happen now, but it wasn’t for lack of effort on Quinn’s part. The guy was a class act until the end and I will miss him. More then anything, I wish he would have just had a real run here. Like so many things in sports and more markedly; Cleveland Browns history, it just wasn’t meant to be.

So long Brady. Thank you so much.

As the walls close in

Looks like we’re in the final hours of Brady Quinn being a Cleveland Brown. I can say this much: I’ll never, ever, come back as a fan of this franchise for as long as I live. Never.
I love the sport of the NFL. I love the orange helmet, the city by the lake, the colors, the whole underdog and heartbreak shit that Cleveland portrays in every vaudeville act. But I swear on my life the moment they trade Brady Quinn; I’m done with the Browns forever.

They mis-handled Tim Couch. And they’ve mis-handled this situation from almost day one. They cast Quinn off while the organization hangs onto guys like Eric Mangini and Brian Daboll? They don’t worship Christ, they reward the Devil in Cleveland’s front office.

Honestly, the fans deserve a winner. But that organization does not. Starting with that spineless, weird fuck Randy Lerner. Mike Holmgren, Eric Mangini, Daboll, Lerner, they can all piss up a rope. I’m done with this loser franchise that will never taste the oils of victory at the level they think they’re headed. It will always be a mirage, and always one too many bad decisions. They run their ‘company’ very poorly.
I can’t wait until Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets go into Cleveland Browns Stadium and take refuge of the fucking place like every other guest has the past decade.
Loser franchise, always has been and always will be. Brady, thanks for always being the good solider and giving it your all. You know as well as most do that you’re lucky to be getting out.

Christmas came early in Cleveland: Browns 13, Steelers 6

Finally, the streak has come to an end. The Browns hadn’t beaten the Steelers since 2003. The Browns played a more physical style of football then a team who has won championships and made their brand on doing exactly that.
Brady Quinn gets his first win as a starter in Cleveland Browns Stadium, against the arch rivals.

This was the coldest game in the history of the rivalry. Winds were reportedly at 29-45 MPH throughout the game, and the windchill took temperatures into the minus 15 range.

This was tough on the passing game, but Brady Quinn managed the game well and completed his fourth straight game without throwing an interception. He went only 6 for 19 for 90 yards, but made a few big throws on a night when it was just enough to get by Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

The Browns sacked Roethlisberger 8 times on the game, including two each from Corey Williams and Marcus Bernard. Chris Jennings and Joshua Cribbs were the guys who moved the football in a crucial field position game. Jennings had the game’s only touchdown, carrying the ball 20 times for 73 yards and the score.

Cribbs had a big night with 8 carries for 87 yards and a very big punt return that helped set up the game’s opening field goal from Phil Dawson. Dawson and Ryan Pontbriand are the last two guys that remain from the last time the Browns beat the Steelers.

A lot of fans were emotional after the game. It was the players gift to their die hard fan base. It wasn’t about fighting for Eric Mangini. It was for their teammates and their fans. It was old style physical December football. Let’s not forget that this team last year at this time closed out the season without an offensive touchdown (forget getting a win) and a 4th string QB.

Let the record show that no matter what goes down from here, the Browns knocked off the World Champions and Brady Quinn–a kid who was drafted to beat Pittsburgh–is 1-0 as a Cleveland Brown against them and Ben Roethlisberger. It’s hard to believe it actually happened when you say it; the Cleveland Browns ended the Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff hopes.

Quinn gets his first crack at Steelers

When Brady Quinn was drafted, a lot of people talked about the hope that he’d be the guy who went head to head with ben Roethlisberger and excercized the demons that face the Cleveland Browns in their ‘rivalry’. The Browns have lost 18 of their last 19 to Pittsburgh dating back to 2000. They’ve beaten the Steelers only three times since their return as a franchise, with Tim Couch being at the helm all three times (last in 2003).

The Steelers have found a guy with a mastery over the Cleveland Browns organization. Ben Roethlisberger has been dominant. In his six-year NFL career Ben Roethlisberger has never lost to the Browns. He’s 10-0 lifetime with a 97.1 rating against the men in the orange helmets, including several heroic and gut wrenching fourth quarter come from behind victories.

As the focus shifts in this post back to Quinn, consider how Cleveland-like it is that the kid has been in the league three years, and this is his first start against the hated division rivals. It just hasn’t worked out like you draw it up; and that leaves the organization and upper management to blame. There is no way that this kid’s first crack at the Steelers should come when we’re 1-11 in his third season with an inexperienced crew around him.

But who knows. The Michigan Wolverines had shifted the balance of power in their rivalry with the Ohio State Buckeyes until Jim Tressel arrived on campus. You never know what Quinn could do for the Browns against the Steelers. Some guys build a career out of beating certain teams. Tim Couch played pretty well against Pittsburgh. While I think it’s highly unlikely that Quinn open up his career against the Steelers with a win tomorrow night, there’s always that chance. That’s why they play the game.

Right now, the Steelers are 0-0 when the Browns start Brady Quinn at Quarterback. That record will sit undefined until tomorrow night, and then we’ll all learn something. While it’s probable that the Browns slide against the Steelers continues, we don’t know a thing until the final gun sounds.

We know what is at stake for both parties, and we’ll dig into that sometime before kickoff tomorrow night. But clearly Brady Quinn is trying to define himself as a leader for this young Browns team at a time when nothing else is defined for this organization. That’s why this is the most important game for the Browns all year. For Quinn, this is his Super Bowl. This is a big game. A win at home against the Steelers when they’re reeling in his first start against them; that’s how fans will remember Brady Quinn.

That’s why you hope that for one moment his star shine brightest right now. You never know what legacy this could be the beginning of.

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Yesterday’s game gives hope for Cleveland. “Plus, you can start tailoring the offensive players you do get in the draft/free agency to the strength of your QB. Everything feeds off of the QB and his skill set. Obviously San Francisco drafted a certain type of OL, WR, RB, etc for the West Coast Offense and Joe Montana than Dallas did for their deep run-oriented attack under Troy Aikman.” [Scout]

The Heart of a Champion Revealed: Chargers 30, Browns 23

This was probably the most fun I had all year on a Sunday. It was like the old days that I remember growing up watching Bernie Kosar and the Browns finish under the lights in their Seal Brown uniforms at Municipal Stadium. I liked the 4:00 start and the anticipation. The way the Browns competed also gave me an excuse to watch football from sun up to sunrise yesterday.

The Browns opened things up quickly with a nice drive to go up 7-0, introducing us to Evan Moore who made three catches on the drive in his NFL debut from the tight end position. Quinn was 6 for 6 on the drive for 61 yards. You could see from the onset it was one of those days where the QB was going to play with confidence and not make many mistakes. Quinn hit Mohammed Massaquoi with a great throw to the back of the end zone from 11 yards out for his first score of three on the day. He’d later add a great play under duress to Jerome Harrison for a touchdown and a shovel pass to Harrison, both from 8 yards out. He made 45 attempts on the day without throwing an interception (that’s 127 consecutive).

The Browns defense of course let them down. Without recapping everything, two garden variety passes were taken to the house by the Chrgers. One by Darren Sproles and one by a fullback. Philip Rivers threw for nearly 400 yards on the day. Antonio Gates had a career game. The Browns secondary desperately needs work. Abram Elam and Hank Poteat aren’t NFL players. The Browns got buried in a 27-7 hole that they couldn’t climb out of completely.

Quinn kept them battling until the end. He looked comfortable in the pocket, and as Solomon Wilcotts continually pointed out for us, it looked like Cleveland has found it’s QB. He trusted what his eyes saw and trusted his protection. He took a lot of inexperienced players and made them into a formidable offense for just a day. He hit 8 different receivers. Brian Robiskie made plays for us. Quinn showed us that given protection, he can put up numbers against a good team. San Diego hasn’t lost a game in December since 2005. They’re ranked 11th overall and 8th against the pass. But Quinn wouldn’t quit.

He had scoring drives ended by a missed Dawson field goal that would have tied the game at 10 in the first quarter and a fumble. All day long he made tight window throws and showed confidence to stretch the defense.

It might not ever turn out to be what I thought it was; the growth of a young franchise QB in Cleveland. But for one day, one evening, the Browns were fun to watch again. There’s also a lot of hope for the future, even if only for a few days.

There’s always something there that keeps bringing me back to the Browns:

There’s No Quit in Quinn

Full post of the game and recap to come later, but as a Browns fan and Brady Quinn fan I have to say I saw something in him today that is inspiring as a football fan and just in life. The guy never stopped playing. He just kept playing the hand he was dealt and had one of the best days of his career against a very good team.

Way to go Brady. Winners never quit. Quinn has proven he has what it takes to be the QB here in Cleveland.