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Transcript from conference call with Chiefs QB Brady Quinn

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 5, 2012

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn discussed his team’s effort to cope with the recent murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher during a conference call this morning with local media. The Chiefs (2-10) will visit the Browns (4-8) on Sunday. Here is a transcript from the conference call with Quinn, a first-round draft pick of the Browns in 2007:

How are you?: “Hanging in there.”

How difficult was past week?: “It was extremely difficult. Really shocking at first, then there’s a lot of sadness for the entire situation. We lost a friend, a teammate, a family member to us. There was a tragedy that takes place where a mother is gone now and there’s a little girl who’s without two parents. When you in some way try to put it in perspective, it’s hard to really get a grasp of the gravity of the situation.”

What has coach Romeo Crennel’s leadership meant?: “It was huge. He was that steady rock in the midst of everything. He was witnessing it, so he knew he had to put it on himself to be the guy to mentally communicate what had happened to us, but also at the same time lead us because there was going be so many emotions involved and a lot of guys searching and looking around to see how they should respond.”

Did you see him waver at all?: “After the incident he was emotional, a lot of people were emotional and rightfully so. That’s something I don’t think anyone would ever want to witness or have play out at any part in their life. That was probably the only time. But after that he was able to continue to be that steady force on this team.”

Was that your finest moment in the NFL Sunday, during the game and after?: “I don’t know if there is really a way to sum it up. Based on everything that’s happened, my thoughts and concerns were just trying to focus and do the best I can during the game while I was playing. Then after that trying to do some soul searching and praying about forgiveness for the families, etc. and that people can find peace with the situation.”

What you said about people not talking, had that been building?: “I don’t know. I really just felt at the moment when I got asked the question, it’s kind of just how I feel. I think you see it more and more nowdays. From my experience in Denver, I worked with a couple Christian youth groups. One of the things they would speak about, there was actually a high suicide rate for teens the closer you got to the Rocky Mountains, both in Utah and Colorado and they couldn’t really explain it. It was something from my experience of growing up in an age when you didn’t even have a cell phone when you were in junior high and now it’s like every kid’s got a cell phone and every kid’s on the Internet. The relationships you have with people face-to-face on a daily basis kind of gets brushed aside for everything else that’s out there. A lot of times people hide their issues, their problems, they don’t talk to anyone until it’s too late.”

Have you had a chance to process what’s happened or are things pretty raw?: “Honestly I feel like the emotions are still pretty raw. After the season it might be something where you can sit down and reflect on all of it. Right now it’s pretty tough. There’s a memorial service today for Javon. We’re preparing for Cleveland. We’re trying to direct all our focus to our preparation for the game, then afterwards we’ll be able to hopefully seek that peace that everyone’s trying to find with the whole situation.”

Your career, 2007 first-round pick, didn’t expect this?: “Things never go the way you expect them to in life. My mind’s not really on my career. If I’ve learned anything in my career, it’s that you really can’t take things past one day at a time. This league, it’s such a rollercoaster ride no matter who you are that you’ve just got to continue to try to get better every day and focus on the task at hand. That’s got to be where your focus is.”

Events of past week, are they life-changing or career-changing?: “Again, I don’t know. We’re still kind of in the midst of the storm right now. You’ve got to try to be able to climb to a higher point to get a better vantage point and I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that until we have some more time away from the situation.”

Running back Peyton Hillis talked to team, surprise you the group of ex-Browns stepped up as leaders?: “I don’t know. In Cleveland we had a couple rough seasons, we had a solid season where we didn’t make the playoffs. There was more adversity and trials than anything else. I think a lot of times when guys come from those sorts of scenarios, they can either use those moments to help them learn lessons and try to provide guidance to others, especially in the midst of these sorts of adversities. That’s maybe what you’ve seen is some guys who have been through some things before who are trying to lead others who are maybe searching in these moments.”

What is the mental state of the team?: “Um, I think everyone understands what their job is on a day-to-day basis. It’s a solid locker room of guys who love to play the game and are dedicated to their sport. There’s definitely some people who are still hurting inside. They may not be showing it, but you can tell. I think it’s still in the back of our minds. But it’s something we have to not focus on until the proper moment.”

Will going on the road be therapeutic?: “I don’t know. Maybe. Again our focus is trying to focus on the things in front of us right now. We’re trying to do the best we can with the install and everything we’ve gotten today just preparing for Cleveland.”

Can you compare yourself as a QB now to when you were in Cleveland?: “Well, I mean I think anytime you have more experience in playing the game and more game experience, you’re going to continue to grow and become more comfortable. I mean also I’ve been through so many different offenses and coaching changes and scenarios that at this point, I feel like I can do a decent job of adjusting to pretty much anything, regardless of the system that I’m put in or that sort of thing. So I don’t know. I think anytime you have an opportunity to play more and get more experience, you’re going to continue to grow and improve as a player.”

How disappointed are you it didn’t work out with Browns because you grew up rooting for them?: “Yeah, it definitely feels like it’s been a long time, and I think looking back on it again, you can either look at it one of two ways. And I try to look at it as I felt very blessed and I was thankful for the opportunity from the Browns when it was Mr. Lerner at the time and Phil Savage and obviously RAC as the coach. I loved the guys on the team, my teammates. The fans there were amazing. I had such a wonderful time. That’s why I think when I got the coach that I was being traded, I was just kind of shocked to be honest with you. But that’s part of life, right? You’re going to get thrown curve balls here and there and you’ve got to adjust and move onto the next thing.”

Feel you were given fair shot in Cleveland?: “You know I don’t know. That’s not for me to decide ‘cause again really in the end, it doesn’t matter. You wish you would have a little more stability when you’re in a situation regardless of what you’re in. I think when you, I look back on the team now and there’s maybe only six guys, seven guys that I was with three years ago on that team. It’s just a tough scenario when you’ve got so many moving parts and everything’s constantly changing when you can’t get some stability.”

How can QB succeed when you’re both being jerked in and out of lineup?: “I think our team understands that regardless of who’s in the game, we know we’re going to do our best to execute the job and that’s what it comes down to.”

How bizarre was it in Denver with Tim Tebow’s rise?: “Well, you know we had some success last season going to the playoffs and all that, and I think that experience in itself was awesome. It was my first time getting to experience being a part of a team that went that far and obviously got even a win in the playoffs. That whole experience was fun and exciting. It’s an electric feeling. It’s something that I think every player aspires to experience in his career. Hopefully the ultimate thing is eventually to go to a Super Bowl.”

Do you look at this opportunity to become long-term starter?: “I look at this opportunity to start as an opportunity to start this week, and I just want to try to continue to get better, try to lead my team and these men the best way possible.”

Do you respect Crennel more now than last week?: “My respect has always been extremely high for him. I think the way he battled through and led us through that situation, yeah, I you gain more respect. But it’s always been extremely high. I mean that’s why I wanted to come here and play for him.”

Does it almost seem like he was put in Kansas City for a reason?: “Yeah, I think there’s a lot of times when you look at situations like this and then you see why maybe God puts people in certain places.”


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