Monday, December 21, 2009

Even in Browns win, Quinn provides little help

Not sure what to make of the Browns these days. Now, I can't see this team as among the league's elites, regardless of how many games it runs off as this season of disappointment staggers to a conclusion.


But these Browns are showing life, a pulse that belies their 3-10 record. They haven't quit on their embattled coach, whose tenure at the team's helm might be a new general manager away from its end.

The hand coach Eric Mangini was dealt might not be one any coach should have been told to play. Mangini was brought in to put together a puzzle that had pieces missing. He inherited a football team with little talent, and he had a quarterback controversy that never did sort itself out.

Mangini didn't help matters with his waffling on Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, a strategy that didn't engender confidence in either man. Both have played like quarterbacks with no belief in themselves.

The job is now in Quinn's hands -- again. But what Quinn has shown in his last three games, two of which were wins -- suggests he holds a loose grip on it. He has played like a quarterback with no feel for the position and no confidence.

Look at his latest performance. In a 41-34 win Sunday, Quinn was -- how to put it kindly -- a caretaker. His contribution to the win was a 24-yard bootleg that kept alive a fourth-quarter drive which led to the winning touchdown.

Take away that run, and the Browns would have been better off sticking Josh Cribbs behind center. Quinn completed 10 passes, a measly total in a game that saw the Browns score 41 points. His quarterback rating was 27.7. His passing yards came to 66. That's no misprint: 66 yards.

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