Brady Quinn Headed to Denver

Former Notre Dame great Brady Quinn was traded to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. (Photo - IconSMI)
Former Notre Dame great Brady Quinn was traded to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. (Photo - IconSMI)

Former Notre Dame star Brady Quinn’s NFL career took it’s first major turn on Sunday when he was traded to the Denver Broncos after spending his first three NFL seasons with his home state Cleveland Browns.  Quinn, a former first round pick by Cleveland, was shipped to Denver in exchange to fullback Peyton Hillis and an conditional draft pick.

Quinn had a rocky career in Cleveland from the start with a brief holdout before his rookie season.  His up and down tenure in Cleveland comes to end just a day after the Browns signed former Carolina Panthers starting quarterback Jake Delhomme and less than a week after the traded for former Seattle Seahawk backup quarterback Seneca Wallace.

Originally drafted by the Browns in 2007 after a lengthy draft day tumble that saw Quinn walk onto the stage at Radio City Music Hall well after the rest of draft invitees, Quinn’s career never really got off the ground for his childhood favorite team.  After the brief holdout, Cleveland named Charlie Frye their starting quarterback only to trade him two weeks into the season.  Derek Anderson then stepped in and came out of nowhere to have a Pro Bowl season creating a quarterback controversy in Cleveland that never got settled.

Anderson struggled in 2008 allowing Quinn to briefly take over as the starter.  A broken finger ended up costing Quinn his sophomore season after just three games.  He entered 2009 as the starter for the Browns, but struggled early and lost his role to Anderson after another three starts.  When Anderson couldn’t solidify the position the Browns went back to Quinn, but injuries again cut his season short.

Once thought to be the quarterback of the future for the Browns, Quinn ended up throwing just 10 touchdowns in 14 games over three seasons.

The trade will give Quinn a fresh starter, but he steps into a situation where he will start out as the #2 quarterback behind incumbent Kyle Orton.  Orton, a former Purdue star, had a strong first season in Denver in 2009 with 21 touchdown passes and 3,802 yards. Orton, however, is currently a restricted free agent with the Broncos making him a first round tender offer.  It’s not likely anyone will give up a first round pick for Orton though so he will most likely be back in Denver in 2010.  The Brocnos now have a little more leverage in working out a deal with Orton though.

Should Quinn make it on the field and wrestle the starting job away from Orton, he will be in a much better situation with weapons like wide receiver Brandon Marshall (if the Bronocos keep their disgruntled star wide out) and sophomore running back Knowshon Moreno.

Working in Quinn’s favor will be a familar system.  Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels succeeded Charlie Weis in New England after working on the offensive staff with him from 2001-2004.

Unfortunately for Quinn, his familiar #10 is currently occupied by wide receiver Jabar Gaffney. Should Quinn ended up starting, something tells me he won’t have too hard a time getting it back.  Still, after wearing #10 in high school, college, and all three seasons of his NFL career, Quinn could be sporting a new number in 2010.

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32 Comments

  1. Steelfan,

    Thanks. Being someone who played QB it sucks when you spend most of your time worrying about getting crushed. I guess I am optomistic about the atheletes we have on the defensive side of the ball. I think that we had to many people last year thinking about assignments instead of reacting. CW should have never went from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and back to a 4-3. I thought Tenuta was a great hire at the time but I think there were to many cooks in the kitchen and the kids got confused easily. I don’t think we will have that problem with Kelly, but the defense needs to step up. I am going to list five players I think need to step their game up in order for the Irish to have a good defense:

    1. Ethan Johnson
    2. Steve Filer
    3. Darius Flemming
    4. Kerry Neal
    5. Darrin Walls

    We need a good d-end, OLB’s that are getting the job done and a shut down corner. I also think Teo needs to take over the defense and tell B. Smith to step a side.

  2. Jack,

    Well said. The pro and college game are very different. The idea seems right. Get speed and positional versality on the field. And, yes, smack the man with the ball, whether that’s the QB, RB, or WRs. Get them thinking, looking aroud for the closest defender, hearing footsteps. A 34 can allow a DC to do a lot of exotic blitzes, dogs, and stunts with his front 7 and DBs. I think if someone can create the D version of the spread offense, they can create havoc and it’ll take OCs a couple of seasons to adjust (but for the time being that D will dominate). Why can’t we be the innovators for a change (like ND was in its heyday!)?

  3. Nepa,

    We have enought talent in the front seven to run a 3-4 defense. We may not be able to run it like the Steelers or Ravens. The Cowboys Nose is Ratlif and he is tall and weighs about 290 but he is a monster. The DE’s are also not that big, but the OLB’s are monsters in Ware and Spencer. It will be interesting to see if Flemming and Filer can possibly fit the bill or who will step up on the OLB or DE. The offenses in the college game are also alot different than the pros. They spread you out so you can’t have a big slow front seven because most teams don’t run the power eye but the spread. I think what most college football d-coordinators are missing about the spread is smacking these QB’s around. Get in their face quick and hit them every play. Play bump and run on the receivers and stop the timing and cut down on the time the QB has to throw the ball. If the QB runs treat it like and option and smack the QB every play. Last year the Defense could not get pressure on QB’s in the gun and that hurt.

  4. nepa,

    Like C-Dog says, there are different ways to run a 34 D. Your overall analysis is correct. The 34 run by the Ravens and Steelers (and most teams in the NFL who run it today) depends on a huge NT (see Casey Hampton)and bigger, pass rushing OLBs (see LaMarr Woodley), usually tweener DE/LB types. Your DEs in a 34 are built like DTs in a 43 D (290-300 lbs. in the pros). The zone blitz package in the 34 masterminded by (now Hall of Famer) Dick LeBeau moves the front 7 around so you never get a read on who’s coming and who’s dropping into coverage (could even be the NT dropping into a zone area). Like I said, I don’t know if we have the personnel to run a true pro-style 34 D. But we certainly have enough talent to run some kind of version of it and improve over the course of the season (and from season to season).

    The Steelers have given me 2 SBs in 4 seasons. Now it’s time for ND to match the Stillers as the team with the most titles in their respective sport. GO IRISH!!!

  5. I see where Junior day kicks off this weekend. The list of players set to visit was pretty impressive. The only thing that bothered me was that only one defensive tackle was on the list. With a new coaching staff I’m willing to go on faith and believe that they have a plan and know what they are doing. I hope it pans out.
    I also see where ND is going to play Michigan in a night game at the Big House. I think it’s the first night game ever at Michigan Stadium. Some years back we played the wolverines in a night game here ant ND. The place was electric and really rockin. ND vs Michigan in prime time. Now that’s what college football is all about!

    1. coach kelly said defensive end was the priority this year and he does have alot of those coming. correct me if i am wrong, but in a 3-4 d tackles are really the nose tackle(ian williams, louis nix III). i also believe big(tall), athletic(lighter,quicker) d ends are the key along with great linebackers. steelfanrob should know more about this, he is a steeler fan(booo!!).

      1. Nepachris,
        In the old 3-4 that Barry Alvaresz ran for Holtz, defensive tackles were not nose tackles. Your nose could be shorter, like chris zorich, but your tackles on both sides were taller, Alm and Boo Williams ( is my memory correct? ). Your ends are linebackers who can move. The key is both strength and quickness. Those 7 guys, linemen and linebackers need to be able to move quickly. The read/react time must be instantaneous. what Alvarez did was have the defense let the first series progress. They’d read and pick out tendencies. Then maybe allow a field goal. After that it was let it rip. The linemen assignment is easy. The linebackers are the ones who need to have a sixth sense for the play before it starts.
        Teo may be there this year. Just like Stonebreaker.

        They have everything they need. It all depends on the strength, conditioning and agility program. Better footwork will turn this defense into something to fear. Both offensive and defensive lines totally lacked good footwork under Weis. That should change. We’ll see in September.

  6. C-Dog,

    I too, wish Brady well, it’s unfortunate Cleveland was his favorite NFL team growing up. As always there are big disappointments in life, however, I’ll take Brady’s character over many in the NFL because he will be successful in life with or without the NFL. He is a fine person and a leader of young men. Hope all is well with you and your family.

  7. JC,
    Not from the West Coast although I lived there for a year, in the LA area. Those people care about picking someone else’s pockets host ey can support that epxensive cost of living. They live to get fun out of life and nothing else matters. Didn’t meet many people of character, just pleasure seekers. I guess if you are an atheist who believes we’re animals, it makes sense. But a those of us who believe in the God worshipped at Notre Dame and around the world, were taught differently.

    Would love to bash USC, but want to wait for the NCAA. Not hopeful, but will wait.

    As for Quinn, this could be interesting. I think Denver could trade him. But I also think Denver is not sold on Orton. What will help him is the system. Better developmental mentoring. And if he is traded again, I could see Weis picking him up at KC. Weis is going to have Quinn or Clausen on his offense within the next 3 to 5 years. I like that Quinn has kept his mouth shut and just worked until his time comes. It’s amazing that he gets such a raw deal when you see guys like Steve Young who waited so long and then stepped out and were great. Quinn still has 2 years before he needs to worry about ever starting. Wierd things happen in the NFL. Cleveland is a bigger mess than the QB and they need to overhaul that team from top to bottom before worrying who the QB is. Denver is a much better place for Quinn. So would almost any place he might be traded to.

  8. Hey C-Dog,

    How’s everything on the west coast? I have not heard one of your patented updates on USC lately. How about it? A fresh dialectic discussion in order? Will we have a level playing field this year?

  9. Hopefully the guys on the team will get at least have as fired up about the football program and the up coming season as some of us fans.
    We’er hungery and they should be too. We got the coaching, the leadership,
    the talent, and hopefully the atitude to bring us back to where we belong.

    Happy St.Patrick’s Day to all you crazy Irishmen out there!

  10. OK Jack holier than thou,

    Thank you, mother hen of the blog site, this is america? Furthermore, I could careless about what you care about. So let’s get off the Jack EGO. I will engage with Shazamrock anytime when we share similar USC interests. So direct your worthless negativity somewhere there’s an audience. Jeleous? Try spelling it right. Finally, Jealousy? You need only to look in the mirror Pal.

    1. JC,

      I just think all this SC crying makes ND fans look bad. When you make these statements it just shows jelousy and wishing your program was SC. GET OFF SC and worry about ND. As far as my ego, stick to the facts and not character attacks. I don’t have an ego, I just don’t like Whiners and when we focus on SC that is what it makes us look like. Let it go, they cheat we know.

      1. Jack,

        Undeniably, you have a severe case of acatalepsia. If you think your whining opinion is a new form of law; your moronic position speaks for itself.

        By the way, I don’t need your permission to discuss USC or any other topic.

      2. JC,

        I am not saying you can not whine about USC getting all the breaks. I am just pointing out a perception from the outside that you are whining and to get over it. Too many excuses under the coaches after Holtz on why you can’t win. There is no reason this program shouldn’t be working towards a NC every year. I am sick of excuses and want results, period. I don’t give a shit about USC. I care about ND and what they are going to do to win. In the real world of college football you are measured by wins and losses and National Campionships. If I rate this program on that alone it would get an F by ND standards.

      3. Hey Jack,

        You “get over it”…with your dictatorial approach. You love hearing yourself over meaningless commentary obviously. Direct your anger towards the mirror so you won’t be clueless on what the “real world” problem is. I am sure ESPN is standing by to offer you a six figure salary to use you and your ultra-sophisticated college football rating system. Oh, let’s not forget your overall personal assessment of ND football, I am sure you have enlighten all. Maybe ND will offer you a job based on your superior to all others approach? I am sure they are impressed with your diagnostic skills pertaining to college football.

        Finally, profanity is typical with your skill set, do you kick you dog also when you don’t get your way? Then again, with your skill set you would fit right in as a USC fan…consider it.

  11. jack,

    Who cares about SC? Are they not our biggest rivals? I’m not jealous of USC. I’m sure that JC and Shaz aren’t either. But we should care what goes on there. We haven’t beaten these guys in almost a decade! That doesn’t eat at you?! Sure, I want us to beat SC the right way. But that won’t be easy to do if the NCAA continues to overlook the institutional corruption at that school. I sure hope you’re right and we beat SC anyway. But your overall point is well-taken and we don’t need to beat this dead horse any further.

  12. Lets get off of USC. Who cares. We have a new coach and bright future. I don’t care about SC they are irrelevant to me. When you start measuring your favorite program against another it sounds like your jeleous. I want to see ND beat them as much as the next fan. I would rather this University do things right and beat SC than cheat. Who cares if SC cheats ND should win anyway.

  13. Shazamrock,

    You hit the nail on the head “Kiffin is perfect for SC.” Kiffin is so blinded by his ultra-narcissism he really believes they hired him for his undiscovered talent. USC KNOWS a high quality proven coach will not come to USC under the current circumstances that Carroll and Kiffin created. However, Kiffin and his mega-ego returning to USC is a stroke of genious by USC needing a fall-guy. Kiffin the “perfect fit” is so eager to rearrange the chairs on the titanic. Maybe Kiffin in the end will get a chance to work with Bob Davie?

  14. Shaz,

    That’s why I didn’t know if you were joking around or not in that first post. Would you put anything past these characters?! There may well come a time when ND has to decide whether it can compete under these circumstances without selling its soul. Lane Kiffin is perfect for SC. How I’d love to see both go down… and hard!!!

  15. Not making this up.
    USC Head Football Coach, Lame Kiffin, is entered… and is in the lead, in a “sexiest woman alive” contest that is sponcered by Esquire magazine.
    (insert your own joke here)

  16. Shaz,

    Thought so. What’s sad is that it’s totally believable that that those scumbags Kiffin and Garrett would do something like. The joke is on us. Until the NCAA mans up and slaps these criminals with major sanctions will continue at a competitive disadvantage. USC – NCAA: birds of a feather flock together!

    1. SFR,
      It really frosts my a$$ with what they get away with.
      ND tries to teach it’s student athletes about doing things the right way. Like playing with class and exhibiting sportsmenship. Hard work, sacrifice, dedication, team work, honesty and pride, just name a few.
      What’s the message you get from the USC administration these days?
      Lie, cheat, steal, cover up, cut corners? Anything for a win?
      You got it right when you say:
      “USC-NCAA: birds of a feather flock together!”(But you left off the second part)
      “as do pigs and swine!”
      LOL

  17. Shaz,

    Where are you getting this from? I mean, I hate SC as much as the next ND fan, but making stuff up isn’t becoming of us.

    Send me the link where you got this info from on Henderson. If it’s true, then perhaps we shouldn’t be worrying so much about whether or not to join a conference. Instead, we should be thinking about whether or not a Catholic school like ND should have anything to do with the crooks who run the NCAA and turn a blind eye to every SC act of corruption!

    1. Just a joke man. Just a joke.
      Relax, have a laugh.
      If you can’t make fun of USC, who can you make fun of?
      What USC does and gets away with is a JOKE.
      Which is exactly my point here.

  18. New Hummer H3 with spinner rims parked in the Henderson’s driveway.
    Seantrell exspected to sign with USC on Friday.
    Dad shopping for a condo with wall to wall shag in Malibu.
    “It’s Great to be a Trojan”!

  19. Brady hardly got a chance to do anything in Cleveland. It bothers me that people are saying he’s a bust and he shouldn’t be an NFL QB and never should’ve been drafted, blah, blah, blah. The truth is no one knows because Mangini and the Browns restricted him so much that you have nothing to go by to say whether he is good, great, or otherwise. I’m happy for BQ and I hope he actually gets a fair shot in Denver with a decent team, as opposed to the 2 games he got this year with the lowly Browns. The Browns just never gave him time to get comfortable. I guess the Browns thought he would come out of the gates firing. Just like Peyton Manning, right? I’m not saying BQ is anywhere in the same league as Peyton, BUT Peyton started his career 3-13. Playing a FULL season really helped Peyton and if the Browns gave 2 shits about getting better they would’ve given Brady a chance. It’s not like they had anything to lose. I think they’re worse off now, but I like Brady’s opportunity in Denver. Let’s see what he makes of it.

    1. I just cannot get over the fact that Mangini/Holmgren favor Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme over Quinn. I can’t wait to see how this turns out for them.

      1. I’m with you Bill, I don’t see it. Granted, neither of us are at the practices, but they can’t possibly think Quinn is so terrible, that having Wallace and Delhomme is better?!?! I mean Quinn must have very poor showings in practice to not even be given a chance over those 2. Although, I heard the Browns dropped Anderson and Quinn to get a “young” QB. I guess because Brady was so old and they never gave him a chance they should ship him off. I just hope thye don’t move things around and draft Clausen. I’m not sure what Holmgren is doing but I don’t want to see another ND QB go to that franchise. People will say the same thing if JC goes there and doesn’t produce. Meanwhile, the mainstay and problem in Cleveland has nothing to do with Notre Dame or the QB. It has everything to do with the rest of the talent on the field. When your best player is a kick returner (Josh Cribbs) you have bigger problems than finding an All-Pro QB. Good Luck Cleveland.

      2. After reading a bit on the situation, I’m guessing they’re going to go after McCoy In the second round. He was very accurate in College, I’m just guessing they’ve locked in on him.

      3. Being from North Carolina I saw many a Panthers games. Ever since Jake had “Tommy John” surgery on his throwing shoulder he hasn’t been the same. He is in the same mold as Brett Farve as a gun slinger type. Except now he lost a lot of zip on his passes and struggles with the deep ball now.
        He had the best rushing game in the NFL. It’s not like he was asked to carry the offense with his arm. He can’t make the throws that he used to, but that doesn’t stop him from forcing it.
        When coach John Fox finally benched him and went with the young kid Matt Moore, all he asked of the kid was to just manage the game. Moore went 4 and 1 to finnish out the season.

  20. If Edwards would have caught 1/2 the balls Brady threw him, things would be different. A lot of dropped passes during Quinns tenure in Cleveland. The defense especially in 08 gave up a lot of wins otherwise. Too bad for Brady but he better grab the bull by the horns first chance he gets or his stock will really drop like AIG.

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