Quinn Finding His Way Through Irish Offense

Brady Quinn had had a wild freshman season. The 6-4, 210-pound quarterback has gone from third string to starter in just a few short months. Quinn has always had a solid head on his shoulders and now appears to be grasping the Irish offense—only good things will happen for Notre Dame as Quinn matures. Quinn seems to be handling it all in stride.

Quinn says that the game has started to slow down for him now, and he's starting to feel a lot more comfortable in the pocket. "As you go out there, you see more things," said Quinn. "You see their tendencies and what their defensive scheme is trying to do. With every single snap, every series, you're learning more. It's been a big learning process so far."

Quinn's completion percentage so far hasn't been that impressive. He's completing just 43 percent of his passes so far, but his numbers have been improving, steadily. "If you not making completions, you're feeling that, you want to get things going. When it comes down to the end of the game, you always want to have a high completion percentage. That is something that's a must with this offense. Lately, it hasn't been like that. I need to pick that up, try to be more accurate, try to get the ball to my receivers. Not necessarily have to throw the ball away, maybe try to tuck it and run or maybe make better decisions."

Quinn was asked if he sees improvement in his play when watching film from the previous games. "Looking back at some past films, definitely, I've seen some improvement. I'm definitely not anywhere near where I want to be."

The Irish were able to move the ball in their first two series against USC. Quinn was asked if he was surprised by their early success. "That's just what we're capable of. Really, honestly, I was kind of more surprised we didn't continue that."

Quinn said the Irish had a good game plan against USC and everything started clicking on those first few drives. "It was a little bit of everything—executing, the right play call, people just making plays. It was a great two series and that was just a flash of what we're capable of doing. Hopefully we can make that more apparent throughout the game."

Quinn has played the better part of four games now. We asked Brady if his teammates are starting to look at him as their leader in the huddle. "Looking back to Michigan State, I think due to the situation, they had to adjust. They had to give me respect and had to realize that I'm the one in right now, that's just how things went. With every game, I think we've kind of grown a bond together and I think things are starting to come together better."

Leadership is something we noticed from Quinn's first playing experience. After the offense was unsuccessful on his first drive, Quinn was seen gathering the offensive lineman around to try to prepare for the next series—something rarely seen from freshman.

The Dublin, OH native says he loves the big guys. "I've always loved the big ol' lineman. They're the ones protecting my life. You've got to have love for them. They've got to be your best friends. Everything they do out there is sacrificing their bodies for me, the running backs and the wide receivers. They never really get the praise they deserve, but they will always get the hate if things aren't going well."

The Irish offense appears to be finding themselves and Quinn says the first two drives on the USC game is something they can hang their hat on. "You have to have success. You have to have a starting point. I think USC, at the beginning of the game, is a great starting point. We need to keep rolling from there. That's the kind of play we're capable of."

Another great quarterback and Irish legend was in town last week, Joe Montana. Quinn said he got the chance to speak with one of his childhood heroes—an experience he won't forget.

"I got a chance to Joe Montana on our walk-through," said Quinn. "I can't even describe what it was like talking to him. At first I was like, wow. I was kind of looking at him and he was talking. I was like ‘oh yeah, focus in, these are good words.' He had some great things to say. And honestly, I really did take that into the first two drives. He said ‘take what they give you. Don't try to play outside yourself. If they have that little 5-yard dump down to the back, do it. You've got to keep drives rolling.' I just tried to apply it to the game."

The Irish will take on Boston College this week in Boston. Quinn says the Eagles are a great team, and he know what to expect from Eagle fans at the game. "BC is a great rival, and we respect them. They've got a great team and a great program. It's going to be a nasty environment, from what I understand, I look forward to the trip."

Quinn also said he's gotten a lot of advice from his teammates on how to handle the BC crowd. "Keep your helmet on," said Quinn when asked what advice his teammates have given him. "You get a lot of stuff thrown at you and all kinds of things. I'll definitely be wearing my helmet at all times."

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