Brady Quinn will make his third start of the season and just the sixth of his career Sunday when the Browns play their first division game of 2009 against the Ravens in Baltimore.
So far his reign as starter after beating out Derek Anderson in a summer-long battle has been anything but dominant. He passed for only 60 yards through three quarters against the Vikings in a 34-20 loss before padding those statistics in the fourth quarter to finish with 205 yards passing and a touchdown. He followed that up by running an offense that failed to score a touchdown in a 27-6 loss to the Broncos.
And now he has to go up against Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and the vaunted Ravens defense.
Part of the problem is Quinn and Braylon Edwards are still developing the chemistry Anderson and Edwards had in 2007 when they hooked up for 16 touchdown passes. Anderson and Edwards had it last year, too; Edwards just kept dropping the ball. Quinn and Edwards hooked up for six completions for 92 yards against the Broncos.
"This offense is still young," Quinn said. "I don't think you necessarily put a label on a young infant when it's first starting out. We're still growing, still getting better and better."
This is the tradeoff in choosing Quinn over Anderson to be the starting quarterback. Anderson is going to throw more interceptions, but he is going to throw more touchdown passes, too, because he is a better downfield passer.
Time will tell whether the offense can consistently cobble together 80-yard drives. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll on Sunday will be calling plays for just third time in his career in the regular season. So like Quinn, Daboll is learning on the job.
"We're an offense that's going to try to push the ball downfield in a methodical way, whether it be through making smart decisions, checks, things to that nature or running the football," Quinn said. "Obviously, taking what the defense gives us, we're not going to try to force something if we don't have to. We're going to play smart football."
Quinn is not using his splitting time with Anderson in training camp as an excuse, but he said now that he's getting about 80 percent of the snaps his development will accelerate.
"Not only are you getting actual reps and not just mental reps of each play," Quinn said. "It's a huge benefit to your timing and things of that nature, whatever you're working on, that chemistry with your wide receivers. Overall it's being able to take those reps and see the different looks that you're trying to prepare for going into the game week. That's huge."
TRENDING: Brady Quinn has been sacked nine times already. In 12 games last year Quinn and Derek Anderson were sacked a total of 15 times.
LINEUP WATCH: Right guard Floyd Womack left the Denver game with an ankle injury and did not return. Hank Fraley replaced him. Womack's status is unknown.