Brady Quinn is starring down the barrel of what could possibly be the signature win that officially begins his era as quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. The energy is high after his performance against the Chargers and now a reeling Steelers team looms. This story, the one about a Cleveland team staying the course through the most turbulent season in its history, where an egomaniacal coach preaches patience and trust in the system may find that moment in time where it all comes together.
Quinn needs a signature win. He needs to do what so many others have done when their backs were against the wall with no visible way out; find a way to win. There is no better time than Thursday night. The Steelers are in disarray with injuries and infighting preventing them from focusing. Cleveland won’t have that problem.
No other game means more to Browns fans than this one. You could even argue that for many diehards, having the team go 2-16 would be totally acceptable as long as those wins came against Pittsburgh. There is that much hatred there. But that hatred and rivalry only go so far, eventually winning has to become a part of this organizations culture.
That is why this game is so special and provides Brady Quinn with an opportunity many quarterbacks in the league never have. One game and one opportunity to wipe away all the frustration and failures of the past. The chance to fill a year’s worth of conversation and provide a year’s worth of bragging rights all in one fell swoop. A signature win for a hopeful franchise quarterback on a team that desperately needs the validation that what they are doing day in and day out is working.
This is not a miracle being asked for here. The Chargers game proved that. Despite the breakdowns on defense there was enough continuity on both sides of the ball to realize that this group of players can do it. Sure, overall the talent level on this team is not as high as the majority of teams in the league or specifically the group of Steelers they will play. But, chemistry, fundamentals and a few balls bouncing in the right direction could be all that’s needed to make winning a reality.
Beyond Thursday’s game are beatable opponents. The season in many ways is lost. But a win against Pittsburgh would go along way to turning this franchise around. Brady Quinn is ready and his confidence level should be high. In many respects he’s just a rookie, and every rookie needs a game that they can hang their hat on to prove they belong in this league. This is that game for Brady Quinn. This is his time. He just has to go out and do it.