Some might suggest that Sunday's home game against Miami would be the perfect time for the debut of Browns' first-round pick Brady Quinn -- in a substitute role. The Dolphins are 0-5. The Browns have a bye the following weekend, which would be the perfect time for them to correct the rookie quarterback's errors. Cleveland should be able to run the ball against a defense ranked 31st against the run, which would put less pressure on Quinn to do it all. And the stretch of imposing defenses early in the year is now past.
In 2005, Cleveland let Charlie Frye see action as a rookie and he was a third-round pick. Frye first got in on Nov. 20 and played in seven games, starting the final five.
But with a chance for the Browns to go 3-3 at the bye with a victory over the Dolphins, that makes the odds of seeing Quinn this week slimmer. Why would coach Romeo Crennel risk putting Quinn in and him throwing an interception to jeopardize the game? Once on the hotseat, Crennel now has the Browns poised to contend for the playoffs. As long as that's the case, Quinn may have to learn from the sideline or in mop-up duty (if there ever is any).
Whenever the quarterback question comes up, Crennel still practically rolls his eyes.
''I'm just trying to win this Miami game and we're going to do whatever we can do to win the Miami game,'' Crennel said Wednesday. ''Whoever gives us the best chance to win that game, that's what we're going to do. When Quinn's time comes, it'll come. Like I told him, he is one play away. He almost got in during the game the other day. That's what it is.''
Whenver his time comes, Quinn said the experience of nearly being pressed into emergency service near the end of the first half at New England when Derek Anderson suffered a shoulder stinger will help him. Quinn said he didn't know what to do to prepare since center Hank Fraley was still on the field. After he located his helmet, Quinn said he learned that backup lineman Lennie Friedman would be there to give him some snaps.