Quinn makes NFL debut with Browns

Steve Doerschuk

Sixty-one quarters later, Brady Quinn dropped back to pass.

It wasn’t quite like riding a bike.

“It’s tough to get loose coming off the bench like that,” the Browns’ rookie quarterback said. “You can throw all you want on the sidelines, but ... “

Charlie Frye threw the Browns’ first 10 passes of the 2007 season. Derek Anderson threw the next 514.

Quinn sat and sat, and finally, with 3:11 left in Sunday’s first half against San Francisco, made his NFL debut. His first play was a deflected incompletion toward fullback Laurence Vickers.


“On a couple of those passes,” Quinn said, “it was like, ‘Man, my feet are in cement right now.’

“I felt like picking them up and moving them to the right direction.”

Quinn’s second pass was another dink incompletion toward Vickers.

“Eventually,” he said, “I got warm. I got in a groove. It kind of worked out all right.”

The veterans made sure Quinn stayed loose. They told him he’s a pretty boy.

“Every time fans were chanting ‘Brady,’” ornery wideout Joe Jurevicius said, “(Steve) Heiden and I would chime in with a ‘sucks.’”

The pretty boy’s play was OK. He went 3-of-8 for 45 yards while setting up a field goal in his only series of the day.

“He’s gonna be a heckuva quarterback,” Jurevicius said. “I think the organization and Browns fans should be very happy to have somebody like him.”

In the next breath, Jurevicius praised Anderson.

There will be plenty of careful talking about Browns quarterbacks in coming months.

Meanwhile, on his third attempt, Quinn whistled a second-and-10 bullet to Heiden for a 15-yard gain.

“It actually was a misread on the way they rotated the coverage,” the rookie Round 1 pick said. “I tried to stick with the progression. They doubled down on Kellen (Winslow).

“I came across to Steve because he was wide open.”

At the time, the Browns led just 14-7 inside the two-minute warming of the first half. Quinn’s fourth pass was a 12-yard dowfield strike to Jurevicius.

“I worked through a first and second read,” Quinn said. “Joe was the third. He spotted up.”

Quinn then led Kellen Winslow Jr. down the right sideline for 18 yards.

“He was more or less my second read,” Quinn said. “I tried to lead him outside.”

It was first and goal from the 6, but it ended there.

Quinn hit Braylon Edwards on the hands in the back of the end zone; Quinn wanted an interference call. On third down, Quinn threw low to Winslow in the end zone. The tight end couldn’t hang on.

“Brady stepped up like he was always in there,” Winslow said. “He took control of the huddle.”

Quinn entered the game after 49ers safety Michael Lewis smashed into Anderson’s hand on a blitz.

X-Rays on Anderson’s hand turned up nothing. Anderson returned and played the entire second half.

Many fans, though, clearly wanted to see more of Quinn.

Afterward, a reporter phrased a question to Quinn as follows: “Does this open the door now for fans, the door that no team really wants, where you have two guys fans may be calling for?”

Quinn’s response: “I don’t know. That’s a quite profound question and one that I’m really not gonna take the time to answer, but I appreciate you throwing that out there.”

Reach Repository sports writer Steve Doerschuk at (330) 580-8347 or e-mail steve.doerschuk@cantonrep.com.