A new regime. A new mindset. No ties to the past. Welcome to the new Cleveland Browns.
Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert are leaving little doubt they are going to change the complexion of the squad they inherited this year. With that decision comes moves that are questioned and departures which are unexpected.
The events of the past weekend are an indicator the Cleveland Browns no longer are resting on their minimal laurels. Trading fan favorite QB Brady Quinn to Denver comes as no surprise. While Holmgren said all the right things in front of the media, his actions tell a different tale.
Quinn, a first round selection of the Browns in 2007 never lived up to the hometown expectations. Injuries derailed a couple starting opportunities for the Ohio native, but it was what little he did with the opportunities he had that secured his fate with the organization.
Despite having the measurables of an NFL QB, the Browns brain trust was not satisfied with aspects of Quinn's game. The organization did not like the lack of accuracy in all ranges of the field Quinn displayed, nor were they enthused about the manner which the QB delivered the football.
As reports were circulating that the Browns were open to Quinn being the starter heading into the 2010 season, the team was looking long and hard to revamp the QB position.
Holmgren was honest when he stated a QB needed more than twelve games in a system to determine whether the player can be effective. What Holmgren never said was that Quinn would get that opportunity in Cleveland.
Neither Browns QB at the time, Quinn or Derek Anderson had been receiving the dreaded vote of confidence, much less any consistent communication with the organization as to their status, other than being under contract. Promises that couldn't be kept weren't made to the quarterbacks.
Early in the off-season, the front office and coaching staff conducted an entire evaluation of the team roster. It was during this evaluation process that the determination was made that the QB's were too average, too inconsistent and too different.
Neither Browns QB stood out to the evaluators. Neither QB grasped and ran with the ball, and development was difficult to see. Often the scheme of the offense was derailed due to the inability to develop consistency throwing the ball.
In the end, the same questions that created Quinn's unexpected fall on Draft Day 2007 reared their heads once more. Inaccuracy riddled Quinn's early career, or what there was of an early career. That inconsistency and inability to grasp the starting role effectively led to his departure from Cleveland.
In light of his trade to Denver, in which the Browns received RB/FB Peyton Hillis and two draft selections, Quinn walks into an opportunity where he just may have a fighting chance to compete and win a starting job.
And, unlike in Cleveland, it is not likely his career will be ruined by his new organization -- the one thing the Cleveland Browns have excelled at since 1999.