Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Brady Quinn Conundrum

The Cleveland Browns disappointing 2008 got even more disappointing with the news that quarterback Brady Quinn would be placed on Injured Reserve with a damaged tendon in the index finger on his throwing hand. Currently, there is no decision on whether or not Quinn will require surgery to repair the finger.

Quinn originally injured the finger in the Week 11 Monday night tilt against the Buffalo Bills. It was in that game where he fractured the tip of his right, index finger. He was cleared to play in this past Sunday's game against the Houston Texans where he was pulled by head coach Romeo Crennel in favor of deposed starter Derek Anderson.

You have to give credit to Quinn for playing through the injury, but in hindsight the decision turned out to be poor. It now leaves the Browns in a pickle when it comes to their quarterback situation in 2009.

Quinn only was able to muster three starts. He had a great statistical debut, but a loss, in Week 10 versus the Denver Broncos when he benefitted from a porous Broncos defense and solid game plan.

He followed that up with a below average game against Buffalo where he was not great statistically but was able to make plays when he needed to in leading the Browns to a victory. Sunday, against Houston, he had a very poor game before being benched in favor of Anderson.

The remainder of 2008 was mostly about developing Brady Quinn to see if he could be the man for 2009. Now that evaluation process is put on hold. The problem that presents the Browns is that they are going to have to make a decision on Quinn with very little data to analyze.

The Browns pretty much know what they have in Anderson. A tall, strong armed quarterback who can make all the throws but struggles mightily with consistency and decision making. When the pressure is off Anderson is at his best. When the pressure is on Anderson is at his worst.

The Browns have had 11 starting quarterbacks in the ten years since their reincarnation and desperately needs to stabilize the position. Losing the time to evaluate Quinn hurts in that endeavour.

Do they commit to him with only three pro starts under his belt? Do they try and have he and Anderson coexist for another season? Do they have an open competition next year in Trainign Camp?

It all leads to a giant conundrum for the Cleveland Browns.

For now they can only hope that Quinn heals up and is 100% for OTAs in the spring and that Anderson can play well enough in the last five games of the season to increase his trade value if they decide to go that route. But for now, all that Cleveland is left with is another disappointment.

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