On Thursday, all eyes were focused in the direction of Browns rookie quarterback Brady Quinn, as he took the field for the first time in front of the media. Looking to be in great physical condition, Quinn appeared ready to put this extended contract holdout behind him and begin life with his teammates.
Quinn was just about the first player to take the field at the Browns indoor training field. Upon getting into action, an obviously excited Quinn seemed a little too jacked up about getting on the field and making an impression. The energy showed up as velocity - Quinn was throwing the ball extremely hard, which created problems at times for the receivers.
What we saw was what you could expect of a rookie quarterback getting his first reps with the team. He was somewhat inconsistent and his timing was off, but he appeared to understand the terminology and scope of the offense, and he looked comfortable. During the session, Quinn received jabs from teammates about his holdout, about not getting his backside into camp, and about his arm strength. If there ever were questions regarding his arm, they could have been easily answered on Thursday.
During the practice session, Quinn displayed glimpses of why the Browns were dealt a second round draft selection in this past draft, as well as a first round draft in the upcoming 2008 draft. Gone were the attempts to change pass trajectory and fluttering passes from the off-season training activities and mini-camp. What Quinn displayed yesterday was a hard-throwing, tight-spiraling ball.
This is exactly what Quinn told the Orange and Brown Report he was capable of throwing.
"When I have the time or get into the proper positioning, I can throw it (ball) tight. I heard the questions and comments about my arm strength and consistency prior to the draft, I don't believe they are an issue, but I am going to keep working hard to improve," Quinn told the Orange and Brown Report during mini-camp.
While Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson continue to battle for the opening day starting job for the Browns, the entrance of Quinn into the equation could make the competition more intense in the weeks leading up to the season. On Quinn's second day with the team, both Frye and Anderson threw the ball better than we've seen in recent weeks. Whether this was due to the indoor conditions or the arrival of Quinn on the scene, both players appeared ready, at least for a day, to take their game to another level to win the starting job.
Running the scout team, Quinn was quick in making decisions and would have fared much better if not for numerous laser shots he threw off the hands of receivers. The promising note is that Quinn knew where to go with the ball. He took shots against the defense, and look fairly seasoned in what could be deemed his first real practice session as a member of the Browns.
As one member of the team noted, "He (Quinn) is trying to make an impression and he is. Now he's here and needs to work to improve... he has a lot of talent, but is a little too excited."
The Browns need to tell Quinn just come in and practice hard. Don't try to do too much too soon.