Remember Brady Quinn? Sure you do – he was one of the many quarterbacks who have come through Cleveland since 1999, only to flame out for a myriad of reasons and attempt to fix their careers in other cities.
Quinn was dealt to the Denver Broncos in March of 2010 in what has been one of the best trades in Cleveland Browns history, as the team received running back Peyton Hillis in return. Denver surely thought they could be getting something out of Quinn, but decided to draft Tim Tebow instead. With Kyle Orton on the roster as well, that pushed Quinn all the way down the depth chart where he found himself as the forgotten third quarterback.
Now, with a new coach in place, Quinn feels rejuvenated as he fights for the backup job behind Orton. Despite the love affair for Tebow, the prevailing thought is that Quinn has a real opportunity to be the No. 2, though, in actual reality, that almost seems implausible. It just doesn’t seem likely that fans – or the Broncos front office – will let Tebow be the No. 3 without raising a fairly significant fit about it.
And that’s where Quinn finds himself, in a competition with a fan favorite to simply be the backup of a mediocre team. You could say it’s surprising, but that might only be the consequence of attaching expectations to him that, by no fault of his own, he could never truly achieve.
It also brings to light the idea of placing a player on an immeasurably high pedestal simply because he is on a team that you root for. No matter what we want to believe, subjectivity is often lost among the evaluation process of players we like. We want so badly for our team to win that we sometimes gloss over the deficiencies of players in the hope that they can simply help our team win.
Is that what Cleveland did with Brady Quinn? Is that what the fans are doing to Colt McCoy right now? Hopefully not, but it’s a thought worth having in the back of your mind as you watch him embark on the journey that is his first full season as a starting quarterback for the Browns.
Hopefully Brady Quinn can win the backup job in Denver. He was given a raw deal much of the time in Cleveland and if he was given an actual opportunity with a decent team, one wonders if he could become a reliable quarterback. At this point, though, he’s simply trying to avoid quarterback obscurity. If he can do that, perhaps he can then take the next step of finding a starting job somewhere.