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Justice Is Served


November 29, 2009 5:02 PM

Just call Brady Quinn what he is: 'Pitiful'

3904625777_964c2e7f38_m.jpgJust call him "Mr. Pitiful," a nickname that fits Browns quarterback Brady Quinn like an iron straitjacket. For if any word describes his performance Sunday afternoon against the Bengals, the word "pitiful" comes to mind first.

Now, the nickname itself isn't slapped on Quinn for his pathetic play in this one game. How fair would that be to him? Besides, he isn't the lone Browns player whose performance in this 16-7 loss merits a similar monicker attached to it. Quinn earns his for the body of work he has produced since leaving the ivy-covered campus at Notre Dame.

To be blunt, the man has been downright, well, "pitiful." 

He might as well be the second coming of Joey Harrington or Ryan Leaf or Akili Smith, all disasters as NFL quarterbacks. 

In Quinn's case, he isn't even Tim Couch, a sorry indictment on his talent. His next completion of more than 10 yards will be his first. Quinn seems intent on becoming the grandmaster of the dump-off to a running back. He's got happy feet, darting and dancing around in the pocket as if he were on white-hot coals.  


Nervous feet have been typical of his play. He has no confidence in his O-line, his receivers and, seemingly, in himself. He had longed for coach Eric Mangini to anoint him as the team's quarterback of the future. But Quinn, a former No. 1 draft pick, has a future here not much longer than Mangini's, because he hasn't shown he deserves to start.

Once the new general manager/president fires Mangini -- surely whoever owner Randy Lerner hires for that position must rid the organization of Mangini -- he will be booting Quinn's butt out the front door with the inept coach. 

The sad part is that no QB on the current roster is better than Quinn, which shows the depth this franchise has sank to. In some ways, the organization is starting afresh; the next GM will need to rebuild the structure with stronger timber than balsam wood. 

His rebuilding has to start at coach. For in the NFL, teams don't win championships with a coach  like Mangini. Nor do they win with quarterbacks like Quinn, Harrington, Leaf or Smith, and quarterback has been a concern since the once-storied franchise returned. It has been unable to get anything right: from coach, to general manager to quarterback.

The problems in the latter category are the most visible. They display themselves publicly each Sunday -- game after game, against whatever team the Browns play. A quarterback can never hide his mistakes. The TV cameras won't let him.

So there "Mr. Pitiful" was Sunday, playing as he has always played: poorly. An overthrown pass here, a dink to a back there and mix-up with a wideout everywhere, Brady Quinn performed like Brady Quinn: 15-for-34, 100 yards

Here he and the Browns are, sitting at 1-10. And hope for this season was lost back in Week 4. Now, the story about the Browns doesn't center on next week's game; the story is what can be done to revive this terminally-mediocre organization. That can't happen this season -- perhaps not next season either.

Whenever it happens, it will have to happen with a capable hand on the sidelines and another one behind the center. Mangini isn't the man who can do the former; Quinn -- Mr. Pitiful -- can't be counted on to do the latter.

That's what makes watching this NFL team so depressing. It's given its followers nothing to look forward to. Then again, just maybe Browns fans have one thing to look forward to: a future without Mangini and Mr. Pitiful. 

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