Finally, a Reason to Love Brady Quinn

Quinn's chicanery should be applauded

In a dispatch from Browns training camp, John Clayton of ESPN passed along an interesting tidbit about the quarterback competition that's captured Cuyahoga County.

Derek Anderson said the radio receiver in his helmet wasn't working Sunday, so he had to work with hand signals. Anderson said Brady Quinn, who was quarterbacking the White team, schooled White defenders on those hand signals, which made it harder for Anderson to work a drive filled with short passes.

There's no comment from either Quinn or coach Eric Mangini in Clayton's piece, but it's easy to imagine people clucking that Quinn was being unethical or unsporting by messing with Anderson's chance to be successful during the scrimmage. Perhaps, but there's an easier way to explain his actions. He was playing to win.

That's what one tries to do when they're in a competition, no matter how much you'd like to think highly paid professional athletes with pride would be just fine with being a backup. If Quinn wants to look better than Anderson, he should absolutely do anything he can to make sure he looks better without hurting the team.

It's not like Anderson is some babe in the woods, either. He knew Quinn knew the signals and must have realized that the offense wasn't working, yet he didn't do anything to improve his own lot. That's the kind of quick thinking you want under center? No, it isn't so, if anything, Quinn taught his teammate a valuable lesson in recognizing your surroundings.

It's kinda nice to get a reason to root for Quinn, who hasn't exactly found many supporters since he was surrounded by Fighting Irish partisans. All of the hype that comes with being Notre Dame's quarterback caused resentment, which turned into gleeful taunts when he lost big game after big game in college and, especially, when he plummeted in the draft. When he refused to sign a contract equal to his lower-than-expected draft position, Quinn came off like a spoiled teen who thought he was entitled to a car on his sixteenth birthday, so it's good to see him finally fighting for something that he wants in life.

It's funny the way the media and public treats quarterbacks. We want them to be the kind of strong leaders who will lead teams to victories, but then criticize them when they actually act like they want to be in that role. It's happened with the Jets, now it's happening with the Browns and it's ridiculous in both cases. Quinn did the right thing, and that should be a lesson to every quarterback, every person really, fighting for a job,

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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