Browns fans lament, but wonder if Quinn could pull off a miracle

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

A few long passes from where the NFL champion Canton Bulldogs once played, Cleveland Browns talk ricocheted around the CYC workout room.

Many CYC regulars follow the Browns. Some are young. A few were born not long after the Bulldogs left town.

None has lived to see the Browns as fragile as they appeared in Sunday’s 34-7 home loss to Pittsburgh.

Guys named Emil, Chris, Bob and Frank basically said the same thing: Even for the post-1995 Browns, that was bad.

Chris said he was tied up at a picnic, but slipped away to catch some of the game. Within five minutes, he saw an interception and a fumble and lost his appetite for this team.

The potato salad was good, though.

On the ride from Canton to Berea, talk radio spewed wave after wave of dismay.

In the team complex, Romeo Crennel fumbled through the obligatory post-mortem with the press.

The game film, the head coach said, didn’t reveal much he hadn’t seen while the ship was waxing Titanic.

“I can’t go back and change it now,” he said. “I have to get my players and coaches ready to play the next game.”

There was news Monday. Dave Zastudil said he believes he will face the Bengals on Sunday after Paul Ernster had to take his place against Pittsburgh.

Getting the old punter back won’t save the mood. Brady Quinn might.

The rookie from Notre Dame looked good in the preseason, and was supposed to be NFL-ready when the Browns jumped through hoops to draft him in Round 1.

Charlie Frye was rough enough to get benched, and his Sunday replacement, Derek Anderson, is a former late-round pick with an 0-3 record as an NFL starter.

One wise-cracker said, “The only man in America who wouldn’t start Quinn against the Bengals is Marvin Lewis.”

Lewis is Cincinnati’s head coach. Cleveland’s refused to say whether Quinn will go from No. 3 quarterback to No. 1 after Charlie Frye had a bad day and Anderson was so-so.

Pressed on the issue, Crennel said, “I really love you guys ... I said I’m not making any personnel decisions today.”

The handful of players in the locker room Monday gave professional, stand-offish answers to the quarterback question.

Tight end Steve Heiden, a co-captain who came to the team in 2001, let out the most provocative player observation of the Monday after.

Asked if he thinks Quinn is ready to start, Heiden said: “You’d have to ask Brady that, but from what I’ve seen, I think he is.’ ”