Last week at the NFP, I wrote my opinion on Browns head coach Eric Mangini making the call to go back to quarterback Brady Quinn. I explained that making the switch back to a guy who had already been benched once in the ’09 season would cancel out any hope for this club.
But, the overall response I got was that Quinn needed to play in order to be evaluated, because the Browns organization needed to see what they had in the former Notre Dame star and first-round pick in terms of the team’s future plans.
And I understand that—to an extent—but after watching what was one of the worst Monday night games in recent memory, I have to wonder how you evaluate a guy like Quinn, who looked bad for one of the worst teams in the league.
Quinn’s numbers were awful, as was his penalty from frustration when he went down low on Terrell Suggs after throwing one of his two interceptions (I will applaud and expect a fine to come from the league office).
But, he is still being evaluated, even after going out on a national stage—a place the Browns haven’t been this season—which exposed not only Quinn’s flaws but that of Mangini and the entire organization, something that our own Michael Lombardi commented on this morning.
We all know the Browns are bad, but are they so bad that we will give Quinn a pass when it comes to the evaluation process? He was a cool 13-for-31 on the night for 99 yards and two picks. The deep ball? Last night, he proved once again that he just can’t get it done, going 0-for-7 on passes of 10 yards or more. As a unit, the Browns’ offense combined to put up 160 yards on 61 offensive plays.
We know the new argument for the Quinn supporters will be that he doesn’t have the talent around him to produce points or to win games, right? Not really. This is pro football, and that argument could be given to Jason Campbell in Washington or JaMarcus Russell in Oakland—two QBs who have not produced this season playing for teams that struggle to win games.
And that is just it. NFL QBs are expected to produce, expected to score points—no matter what the situation. Jay Cutler in Chicago is playing behind a poor offensive line with little talent outside of Devin Hester at WR. Aaron Rodgers plays behind the worst offensive line in the NFL, eats the ball too often and is always under scrutiny from the national media and the fans. We never give those QBs the benefit of the doubt; instead, we attack them from every angle—exposing their games with a microscope.
Maybe I am wrong, and I am sure some of you will have no problem telling me so, but what is your argument? What can you say that is going to persuade me into thinking that Quinn is the future in Cleveland? He needs more time, right? Sure, as does JaMarcus, but this is a professional league, where opportunities are limited. You get that opportunity, then you have to play with some accountability—especially at the quarterback position.
So why should I, or anyone, give Quinn another pass? The facts are in the numbers, and until we see Quinn produce against quality competition—like the Ravens—I can’t buy the idea that he is the future for the Browns or any NFL franchise.
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