BEREA — This week’s matchup has a lot of subplots to it, but one of the more interesting is two of the Browns No. 1 draft choices in the last five years will face one another.
Brandon Weeden was selected with the Brown’s 22nd overall pick in 2012.
Brady Quinn was selected with the Browns’ 22nd overall pick in 2007.
Weeden has thrown more passes in his rookie season than Quinn did in his three years with the Browns. During his career in Cleveland, Quinn threw 353 passes with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The only year he played significantly was in 2009 when he was 136-of-256 for 1,339 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. His rating was 67.2. Quinn threw just eight passes his rookie year as Derek Anderson was having a Pro Bowl season and then was 45-of-89 for 518 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in 2008.
Contrast that to Weeden, who is 247-of-433 for 2,820 yards (57 pct.) with 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His rating is 72.3.
Quinn, who grew up in Columbus a Browns fan thought his dreams had come true when Phil Savage engineered a draft day trade to select Quinn with the team’s second first-round draft choice.
“Things never go how you expect them to go in life,” Quinn said. “I learned my NFL career can’t take more than one day at a time.”
Quinn, 28, is in his sixth NFL season. Weeden, 29, is in his first.
“In Cleveland, we had a couple of rough seasons,” he said. “It definitely feels likes it’s been a long time. You can look at it two ways. I feel blessed. I loved the guys there, the fans and had such a wonderful time, that’s why I was shocked when I got the call that I was traded.”
In one of the first moves when Mike Holmgren came in was to trade Quinn to the Broncos, ironically, for Peyton Hillis and draft choices.
Quinn was asked why he thought things didn’t work out with the Browns.
“That’s not for me to decide,” he said. “I wish there had been more stability when I was there. I look back and there are only six or seven (players) that were there then just three years ago.”
A holdout aborted his opportunity to play in 2007 as Anderson seized the opportunity and had a career year. Crennel was fired after the 2008 season and Eric Mangini became the coach.
“He came in and competed the first year for (the starting job) and then got hurt,” Crennel said. “He didn’t get much time as the quarterback and the next staff came in and moved him to Denver.”
After sitting for the majority of his two seasons in Denver behind Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow, Quinn re-united with Crennel as an unrestricted free agent in 2012. Quinn was the backup to Matt Cassel the first five games, but took over when Cassel suffered a concussion. He started two games and then suffered a concussion himself. After missing two games, Quinn returned and started the last two weeks.
Last week, against the Panthers Quinn was 19-of-23 (82.6 pct.) for 201 yards with two touchdowns. His rating was 132.1 and the completion percentage is the highest single game completion percentage in Chief’s history.
For the season, Quinn is 67-of-106 for 635 yards (63.2 pct.) with two touchdowns and four interceptions. His rating is 70.3.
Pat Shurmur was impressed with Quinn’s game against the Panthers.
“I think he had an outstanding game last week,” he said. “He lead his team to victory. He’s a big guy and he uses his legs. He played a good game last week.”
Crennel is getting what he was hoping to from Quinn.
“Brady has been very level-headed since I had him in Cleveland,” Crennel said. “He’s a born leader and has displayed that leadership.
“He did a nice job and has done a good job managing the game,” Crennel said. “We didn’t turn the ball over and we were able to put points on the board.”
Former Notre Dame coach and Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis lobbied for the Browns to draft Quinn.
“We’re looking for consistency and Charlie still feels that way (about him).”
Shurmur said it speaks to Quinn’s character that he has persevered through a rocky NFL career thus far.
“I think what happens comes from the individual to go and work and prepare yourself to play and when you get the opportunity to go play, you do well,” he said. “I think the player tends to motivate himself.”
Quinn is trying to seize the opportunity to be the long-term starter for the Chiefs.
“I look at the opportunity to start as an opportunity to start and I want to make the most of it.”
He said he’s learned from his experiences with the Browns, Broncos and now the Chiefs.
“Any time you have more experience and game experience you will be more comfortable,” he said. “I’ve been through some many systems, coaching changes and I think I’ve done a good job adjusting. Any time I did get to play, I got better.”
Browns fans wish Quinn success, but not Sunday.
Grieving Chiefs Prepare: The Chiefs won an emotional game last week over the Panthers just a day after LB Javon Belcher murdered his girlfriend and then shot himself in front of coach Romeo Crennel at the Chiefs practice facility.
Crennel was given a lot of credit for his calming influence in a tough situation.
“It was huge,” Quinn said. “He was the steady rock in the midst of everything. I think situations like this show why God puts people in (certain) places.”
Crennel admitted it has been very difficult for him personally.
“You can’t get away from it,” Crennel said. “But in the business that we’re in, you have to move on. That’s how life is and you have to deal with things.”
Quinn said the team went through an entire range of emotions.
“It was extremely difficult shocking at first and sadness for the entire situation,” he said. “As friends teammates, it puts things in perspective. I don’t know if there’s a way to sum it up, but there was a lot of soul-searching and praying.”
Quinn was asked how the team was able to go out and play.
“We just had to focus and do the best can in the game,” he said. “I think the team understands what it has to do and that’s to do our jobs.”
Shurmur was impressed with the way Crennel has handled the situation.
“I respect him a great deal and he has accomplished a great deal,” Shurmur said. “In situations like this your character gets revealed.
“A lot of what we do as coaches is to lead and inspire and lead guys through situations that are not always ideal. There are always tough days and how do you inspire your guys to push through tough days.”
Captain Mitchell: Rookie OL Mitchell Schwartz was selected to be the fourth captain for the week.
“He’s another good choice,” Shurmur said. “When you go through our starting lineup we have a lot of rookies and (the captains) chose wisely.”
Peyton’s Place: Former Browns RB Peyton Hillis signed with the Chiefs as an unrestricted free agent after having a less than stellar season in 2011 with the Browns. In 2010, Hillis rushed for over 1,000 yards for the Browns and landed on the cover of Madden.
In 2012, Hillis has 193 yards on the season with just one touchdown. He’s caught nine passes for 56 yards. His biggest game was 11 carries for 66 yards early in the season. He injured his ankle and missed three games.
Crennel was asked about Hillis.
“He’s been good, but was a little banged up and missed some time,” Crennel said. “Last week, he ran well, blocked well and was what we were expecting of him.”
Shurmur knows what Hillis can do and also RB Jamaal Charles.
“They’re one of the finer running teams in the league,” he said. “Jamaal Charles can score from anywhere. They spell him with Peyton Hillis, who got a touchdown last week.”
Besides Hillis and Quinn, there are connections between the Browns and GM Scott Pioli, Crennel and former Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
“I’m aware (of those),” Shurmur said. “Every game that’s played there is crossover almost every week. What’s important as we get ready to play is that it’s the Browns against the Chiefs. There’s always crossover and you always want to do well against someone you played or coached for.”
Travel Channel Show: Shurmur gave his take on the Travel Channel show that made its debut Tuesday night on “Browns: Road Tested”.
“I did get a chance to preview it and thought it was done pretty well,” he said. “I hope what people take away from this is there are a lot of talented people around here. There wasn’t a leaking of competitive information.”
Healthy Team: For the first time in a long, long time all 53 players were practicing during the time the media was able to watch. DB Usama Young (head) returned and DB Dimitri Patterson was practicing, as well.