|Browns fans still waiting for Brady Quinn as practice moved indoors by rain|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 09 August 2007 13:53|
Quinn's first night at an NFL training camp was spent enduring some good-natured hazing as his Cleveland teammates made the rookie quarterback pay for missing 12 days in a contract holdout while they sweated through two-a-days.
At a team meeting on Wednesday night, Quinn was forced to stand in the cafeteria and belt out a song of his choice. Let's just say his scribbled-down version of ``Walking in Memphis'' was no hit.
``I have a horrible singing voice,'' Quinn said. ``I couldn't memorize it so I just kind of read it off and that got booed.''
He tried a more familiar hymn, Notre Dame's famous fight song. The Fighting Irish got booed, too.
``We have a few haters in there,'' Quinn said smiling. ``Some USC guys, some Michigan guys, so that didn't go over well.''
Quinn's first two practices have been more pleasing.
On Thursday, Quinn worked primarily with the scout team in his second practice with the Browns since signing a five-year, $20.2 million contract that can balloon to $30 million if the first-round pick hits playing incentives.
Listed fourth on Cleveland's depth chart, Quinn made a few nice throws during the two-hour practice that had to be moved into the Browns' indoor fieldhouse because of heavy storms that rumbled through the area.
Hundreds of Browns fans, many eager to finally see Quinn at work, were turned away at the gates as thunder boomed and lightning streaked across the suburban sky.
They missed seeing Quinn zip a touchdown pass into the right corner against Cleveland's first-team defense to backup tight end Buck Ortega, who got past rookie cornerback Eric Wright. Later, Quinn overthrew wide-open receiver Mike Mason on a deep route.
All in all, Quinn was pleased with his throwing.
``I've never felt stronger, or better, coming into something,'' said Quinn, who worked out in Arizona while negotiations between his agent and the Browns sputtered. ``Everything feels alive. I can't tell you how excited I am just to get in.''
Browns coach Romeo Crennel described Quinn as a ``young colt that has been tied up in the barn for a while'' when he took the field for his first official practice Wednesday, a session closed to fans and media.
``He was excited and frisky to be out there running around,'' Crennel said. ``He was the first guy out to practice. We didn't give him much offense, but we let him run the show team a couple of plays and he did OK with those. We'll let him do a little bit more as he learns the offense.''
Quinn was expected to compete with Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson for Cleveland's starting job, but his holdout all but guaranteed he will begin the season as the Browns' No. 2 or No. 3 QB.
During his holdout, the Browns installed several phases of the new offense they'll run under first-year coordinator Rob Chudzinski. So Quinn has a lot of catching up to do.
He's spending extra time on the field following practice, and for now, there will be late nights studying the playbook and watching film.
With the battle between Frye and Anderson too close to call, Crennel said he'll flip a coin before kickoff to decide the starter for Saturday's exhibition opener against Kansas City.
``I think that is the fairest way to those guys, because no one knows who is going to start ahead of time,'' Crennel said. ``We'll flip the coin and then they'll play a half in total. Both of them will play the first half and we'll alternate them and see how they do. We'll give them the chance to move the team and see how efficient they are.''
Ken Dorsey, who has been helping Quinn learn the offense, will also play in the second half.
As for Quinn, Crennel said he ``might give Brady a couple of plays'' late in the game.
It was the first time Crennel had called Quinn by his first name since his holdout began. Crennel could be calling Quinn his starter before too long.
The Browns are in no hurry to rush the 22-year-old Quinn into the lineup, but they may have to if Frye or Anderson flames out. Ideally, Quinn will sit on the sideline to absorb all he can before starting.
However, ideally is a foreign concept to the Browns, who have had just one winning season since their expansion return in 1999.
But Quinn has Cleveland fans thinking positive for a change.
``People are excited because this kid is the future and he's finally in camp,'' said Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who watched Quinn intently along with former Browns QB Bernie Kosar. ``I think it's going to be great for the city because fans were very happy about the draft this year.''
Some fans, though, weren't so thrilled with Quinn's holdout.
``I was a little upset with his agent trying to figure out what level of millionaire he (Quinn) wants to be,'' said Bob Cook, who brought his son, Andrew, wife, Lesley, and daughter, Hailey, to camp. ``I think Brady was getting frustrated, too. It hurt him. He had a chance to start.''