Oh Brady… Finally. A glimpse into what could be. Where was this 8 weeks ago? It looks like the fact that the Mangina had no confidence in you to begin with did hurt your performance at the start of the year, which in all actuality was not that bad. I’m sure that Mangina’s stupid decision to withhold who was starting until the start of the first week was a bad idea, because neither Brady or Derek Anderson knew and neither could grow comfortable in their role. Quinn was eventually named starter, and he didn’t respond as well as Browns nation hoped. Then week 3 roles around and Quinn throws, I think it was 9 passes, before being pulled and he had completed a majority of them. While the yardage and TD’s were not there he was at least able to find receivers.
But alas, Derek Anderson was returned to the QB spot, and responded with 3 2nd half interceptions against the Ravens. 3. Things did not get better for Anderson. Remember that game in Buffalo. 2 for 19 on the entire game! But I digress, Quinn showed his work ethic during his time holding the clipboard, worked his ass off day in and day out knowing that he would get a shot at the team I think, and many others think, he is destined to Quarterback for a long time. He learned the playbook inside and out, and re-learned what Mangina told him to, with all the added wrinkles and adjustments to try and get some offensive flare going.
Here we are, 2 games back into the Brady Quinn era, and he played solid against the Ravens in the first game, redemption some might say. But on Sunday, against the Lions. He was who we thought he was. Nailing open receivers with passes from his sculpted right arm. Effectively moving the team down field for most of the game and delivering good, crisp passes that led to scores. 4 to be exact. No interceptions. Derek Anderson never did that, when he threw 4 TD’s he would usually mix in 5 INT’s. But that is not the point. Quinn has finally found a confidence in himself that he had when he was at Notre Dame and at High School. He looked like himself for the first time in his NFL career. He gave us all a glimpse of what we can expect to see as time goes on, as he grows in this offense and with these young receivers, in spite of who is coaching the team.
Imagine with me, if you will. Mangini is fired in January after a 1-15 season, with Quinn playing impressively for the remainder of the season, but the team just unable to muster up enough to win ball games. Mike Holmgren comes in as the new Czar, GM/Coach hybrid. He works with a new coaching staff, guys who know what they are doing more often then not, and works with Quinn and the young offense. We see him draft a RB high in the draft for a consistent ground attack, and Quinn’s growth will continue. Next season starts, Massaquoi and Stuckey starting at WR, Quinn behind center, with Robiskie lined up in the slot and a offensive line that will no doubt, be reshaped once again with Mack and Thomas as cornerstones. With some protection, confidence in himself, a coach who has confidence in him, players who he has no built a raport with. The Browns offense looks good, the defense is serviceable enough to win games. What happens? The Browns win one. Then another, holy **** batman!
What I really saw in Sunday’s game was this team’s potential. If the team clicks on offense and defense in the same game we can win. I doubt it will happen this year, but if they keep playing together and learning, then maybe next year or the year after we could have a shot to contend. It is all ifs. But Sunday, despite the outcome, was something to look to as a sign that the team has made improvement and there is hope for the future.