BEREA - How can a guy who threw just eight passes in his rookie year as a quarterback get better?
For Brady Quinn, the answer is simple.
“Being in the system for a year really allows you to develop confidence,” he said. “It allows you to minimize thinking and to be clearer in what you’re doing.”
After missing a good portion of training camp last year, Quinn didn’t get much time even during preseason games, and even less in the regular season. He played one series in the final game against the 49ers and was 3-of-8 for 45 yards in leading the Browns to a field goal.
“The more reps I get in practice and in the preseason allows me to develop in this offense,” he said. “I’m looking forward to whatever reps I can get.”
Derek Anderson had a break out season last year with 29 touchdowns—second best in team history—yet many are still calling for Quinn to be the quarterback.
“People can say what they want,” he said. “The fact is (Derek) deserves to be the starter coming in based on what he did last year.”
Quinn said he can handle the role—at least for now.
“I’m a team player and want what is best for the team,” he said. “I’d like to be the guy, but I’m sure Ken Dorsey would like to be the guy too.”
Quinn says his mindset heading into training camp is to be the starter, even though the starter is already set.
“It has to be my mindset,” Quinn said. “If I don’t prepare that way, then I am doing the team an injustice. I have to be ready at any time to come in and perform.
“It’s every backup quarterback’s job to be ready,” he said. “A lot of it is mental and you have to take advantage of your reps when you get them.”
Quinn said it’s nice to not be going through contract negotiations and everything else involved in transitioning from the college level to the NFL.
“The first year there were so many changes in life, not just in football,” he said. “Now, I can pretty much just focus on football.”
After not playing in 2007 and the prospect of possibly not playing a lot again in 2008, some suggest he might get rusty, rather than better.
“It’s not like I’m just sitting on the couch,” he said. “I’m out here every day practicing and trying to get better.”
Many have said this year will be the year the Browns will have to make a decision on who their long-term quarterback will be—Anderson or Quinn.
When asked how that might shake out, Quinn said.
“I think something is going to shake out for Cleveland,” he said. “This could be a huge year.”
And what about the next year?
“It’s in God’s hands.”
Camp Concludes: The Browns concluded their three day mini camp and are now off until training camp begins on July 23. Romeo Crennel is pleased with the team’s progress.
“We had a good spring, meaning OTAs and mini camp,” he said. “We accomplished a lot and have more to do. The coaches will all take time to re-charge our batteries.”
Crennel feels the team is ahead of where it was at this point last year.
“Knowledge-wise, we’re ahead of last year,” he said. “But, once we put the pads on will tell us where we really are.”
Crennel mentioned depth at cornerback and at offensive tackle as the two areas he’s most concerned about heading into training camp.
“With (Ryan) Tucker banged up, we don’t have a lot of proven depth behind (Joe Thomas and Kevin Shaffer),” he said.
Wilson, Harrison Move Up: Third year players WR Travis Wilson and RB Jerome Harrison had good spring practices and should be in the mix going to camp.
“Travis had a good spring,” Crennel said. “He had more opportunities. He seems well versed in the system and it’s time for him to step forward and show what he can do.”
“I had to look myself in the mirror and become the player I need to be,” he said. “I’ve tried to do everything I can to take advantage of the opportunity to get on the field on Sundays.”
On Harrison: “He has a unique set of skills,” Crennel said. “I talked to him about getting on the field by improving his special team skills.
“Last year, he didn’t get a lot of opportunities and this year he’ll have a better chance.”
Donte’s Return: WR Donte Stallworth returned for Thursday’s practice after attending a family funeral.
“We expected him back,” Crennel said. “He got the red eye from California and got in at 6:30 this morning.”
CB Brandon McDonald was still absent from practice.