|Last chance: Will Browns put Brady Quinn in for finale?|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 26 December 2007 13:22|
How often was that, Brady Quinn?
``Every time,'' he said Wednesday. ``I'm a quarterback.''
A high-profile, high-paid, high-ceilinged backup quarterback to be precise. And Quinn is still waiting.
Because of the unusual circumstances surrounding Cleveland's home finale on Sunday against San Francisco, it is possible Quinn could make his NFL debut.
By squandering a chance to control their playoff destiny with a 19-14 loss last Sunday in Cincinnati, the Browns have rendered their matchup with the 49ers almost meaningless. Even with a win, Cleveland can only make the AFC playoffs if Tennessee (9-6) loses at Indianapolis (13-2) later that night.
Not that long ago, the idea of Quinn sitting behind Derek Anderson wasn't very likely. This season, however, the only national exposure for the former Notre Dame star has been as a pitchman for Subway sandwiches. Meanwhile, Anderson has started 14 games with No. 15 on Sunday highly likely.
``We're going to play to win and try to win,'' Crennel said. ``Whoever gives us the best chance to win, that's who we're going to play. Quinn has been one play away all year. He's still one play away.
``If he has to play, he'll go in and represent himself well and he'll represent the Browns well.''
The closest Quinn came to playing was on Oct. 7 at New England, when Anderson landed on his right shoulder and looked as if he was headed to the bench. Quinn stripped off his jacket and quickly began warming up, but before he made it to the huddle, Anderson regrouped and has stayed under center ever since.
Browns fans, who chanted ``Bra-dy, Bra-dy'' during the preseason, have been subdued all year in their desire to see Quinn because of the emergence of Anderson, who has thrown for 3,635 yards, 28 touchdowns and is perhaps the biggest reason Cleveland hasn't faded from the playoff picture.
However, Anderson's four interceptions against the Bengals has stirred up the idea of seeing what Quinn can do.
Barring an injury to Anderson, any decision to insert Quinn on Sunday could have greater consequences for the Browns.
Anderson will become a restricted free agent following the season and general manager Phil Savage has said the team expects to offer the 24-year-old, who was voted a Pro Bowl alternate, the highest one-year tender.
The only way another team could sign Anderson is if it gives up a first- and third-round draft pick in 2008 to Cleveland, a steep price for a QB with only one year's experience and one who already lost a big December game.
Quinn was believed to be the Browns' quarterback of the future, but that plan may have been altered by Anderson's surprising success. There's also the possibility the team could ride out another season with both players.
As for this week, Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards said that while there may be a curiosity factor attached to seeing Quinn, he doubts Crennel would do anything differently than in the first 15 games.
``I can't see him (playing Quinn) this late in the season and causing any controversy or anything like that with how we played all year,'' he said. ``There have been some chances for Quinn to get in. If that was going to be the case, he didn't take them then and I don't see him taking them now.''
Anderson, who has been reluctant to address any questions about his future, was asked about the potential of Quinn getting some time. Would he mind?
``You want to finish this game and finish the 16 games of this season,'' he said. ``I think we've stuck together through everything thick and thin through the whole season and I don't see why things would change.''
Quinn has remained patient while waiting for a chance to quarterback the team he grew up cheering.
``Every game I would love to get on the field, and this game is no different from any other,'' he said.
But it's the last one.
``This is true,'' he said. ``But I don't think it's the last one of my career. If I don't get in this game, hopefully we make the playoffs and if I don't get in there, it goes on and on and on.
``I'll just keep staying optimistic about everything.''
Notes: Crennel dismissed a report that Bill Parcells, his former boss and good friend who recently took over as Miami's vice president of football operations, has identified him as the first choice to become the Dolphins next coach. ``I haven't heard anything about that,'' Crennel said. ``I've got a contract with the Browns and over my tenure in the NFL, I've always honored my contract.'' Crennel has two years left on a five-year deal with Cleveland.