Brady Quinn's second chance off to slow start
By TOM WITHERS,
AP Sports Writer
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Brady Quinn's rebirth as Cleveland's starting quarterback is already deeply troubled.
After one game.
Quinn, who lost his job 10 quarters into the season and got it back five weeks later, inherited a historically bad offense with few playmakers and no direction or identity. In his return on Monday night, Quinn's seventh career start ended with his sixth loss, a defeat that left him visibly shaken afterward.
He wasn't upset about losing to Baltimore or his two interceptions, one of which was returned for a backbreaking touchdown. Quinn was distraught by his low hit on Terrell Suggs, a collision that injured the linebacker and led to accusations by Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis that he took a cheap shot.
That hurt Quinn. Still does.
"I'm not going to lie to you," he said Wednesday. "Definitely, seeing someone who I've known off the field happen like that to him, yeah, it affects you. I'm never out there to do that. It's tough to shake off, probably more than anything else in that game."
Quinn was fined an undisclosed sum by the NFL for the infraction, which resulted in a 15-yard penalty. He apologized to Suggs and the Ravens following the game and plans to reach out to them again.
"I wasn't trying to go for him," Quinn said. "I was trying to go for the ball carrier. Unfortunately, a thing like that can happen. I'm praying for him. Hopefully he'll be all right."
Quinn threw an interception - a pass that caromed off wide receiver Mike Furrey's hands - to Chris Carr, and while attempting to bring down Baltimore's cornerback, he dived at Suggs' legs. The Ravens' top pass rusher sprained his right knee and is expected to miss several weeks.
Quinn said he didn't see Suggs and insists he was just trying to stop Carr. However, he understands why the Ravens might be mad at him.
"I can see why they'd be upset," he said. "But again, he wasn't even in my vision. I was trying to get to the ball. He cut across my face as I was already trying to jump down for the tackle."
Quinn received a letter informing him of the fine. He would not divulge the penalty but said it was "a good amount."
Lewis has heard Quinn's explanation, and he's not buying it.
"Go back and look at it 15 times the way I have," he said. "You say you respect the game the way the game is played. I understand what Brady Quinn is saying after the fact, but you go dive at a man's knee that doesn't even have the football. You get penalized so much as a defensive player for going in and just doing your job, and then you see a person not doing his job and goes and spears a man in his knee.
"Now the man is out. It's not good football. It's not good when people do things like that and then apologize as if, 'Oh, OK, I didn't mean to do it.' That's whatever."
On the final play of the game, Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs was flattened by Ravens defensive end Dwan Edwards, who delivered a forearm blow under Cribbs' chin. Cribbs was carted off the field and spent several hours in the hospital undergoing tests.
Cribbs had pitched the ball when he was drilled by Edwards. The nasty shot led to speculation that it was done in retaliation for Quinn's hit on Suggs.
Cribbs, who did not practice on Wednesday because of a sore neck, said he spoke to Edwards and Lewis on Tuesday and they assured him there was no malice.
"They reached out to me and let me know that it wasn't on purpose," Cribbs said. "It happened all so quick and he (Edwards) thought I was trying to come block him after I pitched the ball. So they assured me they didn't mean nothing by it and it wasn't revenge. I'm sure he didn't mean to intentionally hurt me. Hopefully he didn't mean it."
Cribbs also said that the decision to lateral the ball and try to score despite being down 16-0 in the closing seconds was not part of the play sent in by Cleveland's coaches. Browns coach Eric Mangini was criticized for having his team run that play with the game out of reach.
"It was a call at the line," Cribbs said. "Brady had let us know to keep the ball alive, that he was going to throw the slant to me at the line and to keep the ball alive. He gave the signal to keep it alive, but it wasn't a call that came in from the sideline."
Cribbs said Mangini apologized to the team for calling a pass on the final play. Cribbs felt that was unnecessary and isn't upset about what happened.
"He told the whole team if he had to do it over again, he would've made a different decision," Cribbs said. "They put me in position to make plays and I wouldn't want to come out of the game. A lot of people say 'Why are you still out when you have no chance to win the game?' But I wanted to be out there, so I can't put no blame on anyone."
Quinn's only regret is that he couldn't jumpstart a Cleveland offense that needs a defibrillator.
The Browns are ranked last in total yards, last in points and last in passing yards. And, according to STATS LLC, the five touchdowns scored on offense by the Browns since Nov. 23, 2008, are the fewest in a 15-game span since at least 1950 - Cleveland's first year in the NFL.
Quinn effectively ran a no-huddle attack against the Ravens, but it didn't do much good as Cleveland never crossed Baltimore's 45. The Lions' defense is hardly ferocious. Detroit is giving up a league-high 29.3 points per game, so if the Browns are looking for a breakout, this is the week.
Quinn was only 13 of 31 for 99 yards against the Ravens and finished with a 23.5 rating, a number similar to the ones that got Derek Anderson benched. Quinn remains confident he can do the job and he's trying to keep his teammates pushing forward together.
"We're seeing improvements," he said. "They may be small. But we always have hope and faith that we'll get better."