Sunday, August 19, 2007

Stirring the pot.

I returned home yesterday from vacation, and after a thirteen-hour drive that was made brutal by the hilljacks in the Carolinas, I settled in to watch the Browns. Because I was ready for a relaxing evening at my shack, I made a mistake. I left the television volume on. That allowed Jim Donovan to spend the evening nattering in his impatient voice about the game because I wasn't going to get up again and my wife was in the other room. Maybe he was impatient with his colleague. Bernie Kosar sounded drunk or punch drunk, at least. As the game unfolded, I felt punch drunk too.

The quarterback play for three quarters was horrendous. If Charlie Frye gives the Browns the best chance to win, then the Browns have no chance. He's not too smart.

By the fourth quarter, the fans had had enough. Those who stayed began chanting for Brady Quinn. When he came in, he didn't disappoint. He moved the Browns up and down the field two times for touchdowns. I know that it was garbage time, that the defense was playing soft, and that it was a bunch of reserves, but Quinn didn't pick his opponents or the defensive scheme. He just exploited both of them.

He ended up 13 of 20 for 2 touchdowns and 155 yards in a little over 9 minutes. Of his seven incompletions, four of those were when he spiked the ball to stop the clock. So, that means he was 13 of 16 in those situations where he was trying to pass. He connected with Efrem Hill and Jerome Harrison for the two touchdowns. Neither of whom is likely to be a "go-to guy" in the red zone this season. So, Quinn put up pretty good numbers, using the Browns' second and third team players, against Detroit's second and third team players who were in soft coverage. That alone doesn't mean much. The positives from his performance were that he made good decisions---taking what the defense gave him, and that he executed well in the scenarios that he confronted.

Does last night mean that Quinn gets to be the starter? No. That's easy.

But, what it does is annoint him as the fans' favorite as long as he sits on the bench. It also forces Crennel to give him some snaps against first team defenses to find out what the kid can really do. Charlie Frye's still the guy for now, despite his continuous boneheaded decision making, but he just helped to dump an awful big load of added pressure on his shoulders. No one other than the most rabid Golden Domers and fanciful 14 year old girls would care about Brady Quinn if Charlie had done his job. He didn't. That means one of the worst teams in pro football now gets to have an honest to goodness quarterback controversy.

1 comment:

chocolate starfish said...

Yes, Brady feasted at garbage time, but I was impressed by his exceptional mobility, his strong arm and his execution of his goal ... however, what struck me most was his very obvious ability to LEAD, as franchise QBs do ... even those on the bench like Edwards seemed to recognize this guy as a leader. I'm glad we have two more preseason games to give him (and Dorsey, who looked better than a three man) more challenges -- and we can't get impatient and rush the guy -- but he clearly impressed as the first natural leader we have had behind center since #19.