Brady Quinn ready for NFL starting debut

Brady QuinnTonight marks the much-anticipated NFL debut of Brady Quinn as the second-year quarterback will make his first career NFL start when his Cleveland Browns host the Denver Broncos on the NFL Network at 8:15 PM ET.

Quinn has been given a fantastic opportunity to succeed tonight. Not only does he make his first start in the comforts of the Dawg Pound, but he’s also facing a Broncos’ defense that has been shredded by air, ground and sea this year, and will also be without cornerback Champ Bailey, who continues to nurse a torn groin muscle.

Some feel that starting Quinn is a final desperation move by Romeo Crennel to save his job. That might be, but former starter Derek Anderson didn’t give him a lot of choice either. He was plagued by dropped passes (see Edwards, Braylon) and injuries (see Winslow, Kellen), but outside of a great game against the Giants and a decent first half against the Ravens, DA flat out hasn’t made as many plays as he did last year.

Quinn is going to be fine…at least tonight. The Browns have done a nice job building a solid offensive line and if they can get the running game going with Jamal Lewis, it’ll allow Quinn to take what the Broncos give him (which should be a lot) in the passing game. As long as offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski doesn’t ask him to do too much, Quinn shouldn’t have any problem moving the ball.

Looking ahead, Quinn has both favorable and nasty defensive matchups. Buffalo will be a decent test next week, but after that he faces two mediocre defenses in Houston and Indianapolis before getting his first huge challenge in Tennessee. He’ll also face Jim Johnson’s blitz-happy Philadelphia defense, as well as the Steelers at the end of the year so we’ll see what kind of mettle the young man has over the next two months.

But the thing to remember over the final eight weeks is that Quinn is still a pup. The torch has been passed, but everyone should give him time to develop. He might have a dazzling performance tonight, but fizzle next week; that’s just what you get from young quarterbacks. Regardless, the Browns have presented a great opportunity for him to succeed tonight. Let’s hope for Quinn’s sake that the offensive line opens holes for Lewis and the onus can be off of their young quarterback. As long as he doesn’t turn the ball over, he should be fine.

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