Q&A: Quincy Morgan

Quincy Morgan was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2001 and was traded to the Dallas Cowboys, for Antonio Bryant, in the middle of the 2004 season. The Cowboys released him and he was signed by the Steelers, where he's found a niche as a kickoff returner (32.5 avg.) and No. 4 receiver (5-77). This Sunday will be his first game against the Browns. As the interview went on, his feelings about the Browns emerged.

QUINCY MORGAN

Is this a big week for you?
Not really. Everybody says it's a big week, but I could care less about playing the Browns. It's just another game to me. It's another game I have to prepare for and be ready. There's no animosity.

What precipitated the trade? Were their problems?
That was Butch Davis, man. His whole staff, they had to point the finger at somebody. We were losing as a team; we'd been losing for years. That's all I can say. Me and him had a run-in and two weeks later I was traded. Simple as that.

You'd like to get some revenge, wouldn't you?
Definitely. I definitely want to win this game. I want to win this game and I want to beat them bad. That's with any team: I want to beat them bad. But this is the Browns, the team I used to play for. That's how it is.

How are things coming for you here?
It's evolving good. Right now in the four wides they've put in plays for me. It's just a matter of calling them in the game, but everything's going good. I'm catching a lot of balls in practice and that's the first thing. That's something that really hadn't happened in the last few years, being in practice and having a rapport with the quarterback and catching a lot of passes in practice. I hadn't even been doing that in the last few years, so that's definitely a difference.

Did you know you were such a good kick returner?
No, not really. Those guys up front do a great job, so definitely it's been fun.

You hit the hole aggressively.
I know from the past, hearing guys who returned kickoffs, that's what coaches are looking for. Right now, that's my main job, kick returns, so I know if I tip-toe they're going to fire my a--, so I have to hit the hole.

Any Browns secondary guy you're looking to beat?
I had a good relationship with those guys. We were all a big family, so I have no animosity with any player whatsoever. Now the Browns, beating the Browns and the Browns fans, that's one thing, but those guys on that team we were all close. I love them all. But I want to beat them all. A lot of guys I don't really know. There's only a few left over there.

How big is this game for you?
Like I said earlier, this is a game that we have to win to get to first place in the division. We want to win the Super Bowl. I know in Cleveland them fans, those guys, they're pumped up right now. They're pumped up like it's the Super Bowl or a playoff game. Over here we're pumped up, we know it's a game, we know what type of players Cleveland has – dangerous players who will show up and play hard – and they can win. They put their pants on just like we do. We're not taking them lightly. It's another game for us.

Why haven't they been able to win?
I really don't know. My second season, when we went to the playoffs and came here, we had a great team. Coach Davis totally dismantled our team. That's the truth. Anybody will tell you that. And from there on it all fell apart with the quarterback controversy. But the team we had in 2002, if we'd have kept that team and come back in '03, we had a chance to do something. That's the way it was.

Why did he do that?
I don't know. I guess you can't blame him because he felt the linebackers and corners that we had were kind of old and he had some good young guys, and he went with that. He'd rather go with the young guys, so you can't blame him. It was a gamble. It could've worked. It didn't work, but it could've worked out for the better. But right now, those guys, those same young guys he plugged in, are playing good football right now, like Andra Davis, Chaun Thompson, the cornerbacks, Leigh Bodden, all those guys are playing great football right now and those are the guys he chose to go with.

What's it like playing with Hines Ward?
It's been fun. He's totally different than I thought he was. He's a down-to-earth humble guy. He helps you all the time. That's unlike all the superstars that I've been around. In Dallas, those guys showed up and practiced on their own. They never really helped the young guys, but Hines is always talking to the younger guys, even me, just letting me get acclimated to what's going on on the practice field and in this system. He's been a great help. He's welcomed me with open arms and I can't ask for any more.

What did you expect him to be like?
I didn't know what type of guy he was, but being that type of superstar status you'd think he'd be a guy who would hang to himself and you know, well, you know the word I can't say on camera, but he's a cool guy. He's legit. He's a great guy.

Did you hear bad reports about Ward from the Cleveland DBs?
Nah. Everybody in this league, DBs and coaches and everybody, respects Hines Ward for what he does. A lot of guys out there catch 100 balls a year. He'll catch his 100 and block for you in the run game, too, so everybody respects Hines Ward.

Would this game mean more if Butch was still coaching?
Maybe so. Maybe so. But like I said, it's not even a situation like Coach Davis got rid of me. I was unhappy in my situation and I wanted to go, too, and that's why it happened. We had a meeting two weeks before the trade and I told him I did not want to play for him anymore. I didn't want to be there anymore. I was unhappy and I guess he was unhappy with me. There's no animosity with Coach Davis because he sent me to Dallas. He let me go to Dallas and that's my hometown, so he helped me out in a way so there's no animosity to Coach Davis. He drafted me. He was the reason I'm living the lifestyle I'm living now, so I can't possibly say I have animosity for him because he helped me and my family.

How do you feel about being on a 6-2 team and making plays?
It's fun. It's unlike anything I could've imagined, coming over here and playing with guys who are so much like family. I've been in different places and they think they're family, think they're close, but this is close. The way the guys are here? The way the coaches are here? This is close. And this is fun football. You just show up, practice and go home. There's not a lot of bickering and cussing about a lot of little things, it's just ‘let's get it done, let's practice, let's go home.' It's been great. This is one of the things here that makes guys successful. You look forward to coming in and practicing. It's fun. In meetings, coaches know how far to take it. You can laugh, joke and have fun. It's laid back, but once you hit that field it's a hard-nosed practice. Once we're off the field, you watch film and it's a fun environment. Listen to that? Do you hear that? It's after practice. Do you hear what you're hearing right now? [Laughter] It's after practice and guys aren't laying around mad and tired. He don't beat our bodies up. I mean, it's a great place to be.

What would it be like in Cleveland?
Guys be laying around, feet hanging off the chairs, just dead tired, mad about something the coach said to him. That's the way it was, but still the guys in that locker room in Cleveland were all family. We were close. We tried. We went out every Sunday and played our hearts out. You go back and look at those games, nobody beat us 48-7. It was always close. We had what it took. We just couldn't get it done.


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