|Quinn wants to be the man|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 27 April 2007 21:41|
That Quinn happens to be that guy might make him seem boastful, even arrogant. That perception would be unfair, dead wrong.
Quinn is accurate in his assessment of, well, Quinn.
He spent nearly four full years leading the most storied college football program in America. Quinn dealt with the glaring spotlight and pressure well enough to lead the Fighting Irish to two BCS bowl games - even with little help from a porous defense.
He was coached the last two years by Charlie Weis, who merely helped turn Tom Brady into a Super Bowl MVP with New England. And Weis sees some elements of Brady in Quinn.
Such as the accuracy and the strong arm. The willingness to get after his teammates when he doesn't like what he sees. The understanding of offenses and defenses.
``He coached me tough,'' Quinn said. ``Coach Weis made me get prepared regardless of what was going on. He wanted me to set an example for the team: 'The team depends on you.'
``That toughness helps prepare you for the worst. I know he toughened me up.''
So did attending a difficult school and carrying two majors. Quinn believes the discipline he learned while at Notre Dame will be critical in his development as a pro quarterback, regardless of where it is.
``I look at the time management skills and discipline I needed to get my football work and my school work done,'' he said. ``They do a great job helping you stay disciplined. There are no celebrities walking around on campus. And they push you to do well.''
The knocks on Quinn have been his inability to win big games. The Irish lost key games against Southern California, Michigan, Ohio State and LSU, the last two in bowls to finish off his seasons. He didn't stand out in most of those games, but neither did his teammates, particularly on defense.
Still, Quinn knows why the arrows of criticism were shot at him. He just finds them way off-base.
``I wonder if the people who say and write those things have watched much tape,'' he said. ``If they watched the tape of games, they'd see what I've done.
``I can really handle constructive criticism. That's no problem and it helps you get better.''
Quinn generally was rated the top quarterback in the draft until LSU's JaMarcus Russell had a big junior year, capped by the Tigers' romp over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. Although many scouts rated Russell over Quinn in the last few weeks, Quinn still was considered the only other quarterback worth taking in the first round.
Quinn hoped to go to an offense where he eventually would have the freedom to audible, make line calls and fit into an offense similar to what Weis brought to South Bend.
``I want to be a leader,'' Quinn said, ``the captain of the offense.''
But he also emphasized that unlike the recruiting process when a player is looking for a college, the draft is entirely different.
``You visit and work out for teams and talk to them,'' he said with a smile, ``and at the end of the day they don't let you forget they are in control. It's their decision. They're the ones who say, `We'll be getting back to you.' ``