Thursday, September 1, 2011

Denver Broncos Preseason: Backup Brady Quinn Takes a Huge Step Backwards

Brady Quinn was believed to be the undisputed backup quarterback to Kyle Orton for the Denver Broncos this season. That was before he stepped onto the field for his final preseason game.

It wasn't until his third drive of the day that Quinn moved the Broncos with a pass to Matthew Willis for 13 yards. The pass was Quinn's longest pass of the first half.

In the second quarter, Quinn went on a streak of seven straight incomplete passes. His only completion in the second quarter came right before the two-minute warning. He hit Dandre Goodwin for 10 yards. He followed up his only successful play of the second quarter by abruptly passing the ball to Stewart Bradley, which set up the Arizona Cardinals for an easy field goal.

After leaving the game at halftime, Quinn left the Broncos in a huge hole. The Broncos had no points and were down by 20 points.

Quinn's stat line for the night: 4-12, for 26 yards passing, and one interception. His quarterback rating was a minuscule 7.6 percent. The offense put together zero points.

Quinn did enough on his own to relinquish the backup quarterback position. His utter futility to move the ball, put together any semblance of an offense and fail to do anything positive should earn him the No.3 spot in the quarterback rotation.

Quinn's performance set him back to the days when he quarterbacked the Cleveland Browns. He last two starts in Cleveland he had passer ratings of 27.7 percent against the Kansas City Chiefs and 48.1 percent against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The majority of the work Quinn was called upon to do was hand the ball off to his running backs.

Those weak performances prompted the Browns to complete a trade with the Broncos for Peyton Hillis. One of the biggest blunders by the Broncos in a long time.

All of that talk about who will clinch the backup spot for the Broncos is over.

Quinn is not the guy.

The guy who should be the backup: Tim Tebow.

Tebow had a 43-yard touchdown pass to Eron Riley. The pass was a perfectly lofted deep ball into the end zone, right in Riley's arms. Tebow's stat line was 7-11 for 116 yards and a touchdown. He showed that he could stand in the pocket, take the pressure and make the passes. The only scoring drive for the Broncos started back at the Broncos six-yard line, where they went 94 yards in 1:36.

Tebow's performance silenced his critics, while Quinn's performance may have stirred up new ones.

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