|All eyes on Brady at Browns mini-camp|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 04 May 2007 13:15|
The Cleveland Browns never had a rookie mini-camp look like this.
With Brady Quinn around, nothing may ever be the same again.
Wearing his familiar No. 10, and a shiny orange helmet he had dreamed of buckling on since he was a kid, Quinn practiced for the first time as a pro quarterback as the Browns began a three-day camp for their draft picks and free agents.
When the 1 1/2-hour workout ended, Quinn wanted more.
``I had too much fun out there,'' he said. ``I think the practice was too short for me. I've been waiting so long for this opportunity, and now it's come.''
Quinn, who wound up with the Browns after being passed over by several other teams in the first round of the NFL draft last Saturday, showed some offseason rust during passing drills. It was the first time he had worked out in a team environment since Notre Dame's appearance in the Sugar Bowl in January.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pounder made some crisp, short throws. He also had a few wobblers, one bad one that caught in the wind and flattened.
``It's been awhile,'' he said. ``There's always room for improvement.''
Quinn is also aware that every pass he throws from now until September will be dissected for its speed and precision. It's just part of the package when you're the golden-boy quarterback expected to turn around a once-proud franchise.
``That's fine,'' Quinn said of the added attention, ``and you have to realize that because now it is a job. I'm going to scrutinize my own passes. I'm the one who is going to be upset if it's a little behind or maybe a little too far out front.''
Last weekend in New York, Quinn's agonizing freefall through the first round was captured on national TV and has became a permanent part of draft lore. Expected to be taken no later than the top 10, he slid to No. 22, where he was grabbed by the Browns, who traded a second-round pick and a first-rounder in 2008 with Dallas to get him.
And while many viewed Quinn's drop a disaster, he sees it differently.
``Everybody keeps labeling it as a disappointment, but for me it worked out great,'' he said. ``I'm where I wanted to be and I wasn't disappointed at all. I was just happy to be blessed with the opportunity.
``We went to (New York's) Mt. Sinai Hospital and saw a bunch of kids who are never going to have the opportunity to do what we are doing. For me to have the opportunity to do it in the place that I wanted to, close to my home town, is a gift from God.''
Quinn spent the past few days in South Bend, Ind., reviewing his new playbook and relaxing. He also got his hair cut - at least one person thought he needed one.
Earlier this week, Joe Theismann, another former Fighting Irish QB, blasted Quinn in a radio interview, saying the 22-year-old looked ``unprofessional'' when he was on stage after being drafted. Theismann had a problem with Quinn's tie, his ``just showered'' hair and was bothered by him chewing gum.
Quinn took it all in stride, but acknowledged the comments stung.
``It's tough,'' he said. ``I apologize to anyone, obviously, who is a Notre Dame alum, or for those fans who thought I wasn't being very business like. I was there for awhile, and at that moment in time, when you finally get picked after waiting for 4 1/2 hours, the last thought in my head was spit out your gum, fix your hair or make sure your shirt and everything looked good.
``I was just trying to get on stage as fast as possible and get that Browns jersey in my hand.''
Quinn said Theismann's remarks were the only negatives ones he heard.
``I'm a big fan of his,'' Quinn said. ``I guess he's not a big fan of me. He's one of those guys - Joe Theismann, Joe Montana - they've been right there along the way, people who have kind of come back and helped out our program. And he has been one of those big influences, so I have a lot of respect for him.
``I think him making those comments only kind of makes you look at yourself in the mirror and say 'Well, hey, maybe you need to look at those sorts of things.' And obviously, there in case is the haircut.''
By the time he needs another one, Quinn could be the Browns' starting quarterback. But he's not taking anything for granted. If the draft taught him any lesson, it's that nothing is a given.
``We have three solid guys who are here in front of me,'' Quinn said. ``I've just got to come in and compete. And that's the opportunity I have been given, that's what I am looking forward to doing.''