On Wednesday, the Kansas City Chiefs announced that Brady Quinn will be the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Broncos. It will be Quinn’s third start of the season — his first in Kansas City — after spending the prior two years with the Broncos and not appearing in a game.
“I like his leadership qualities,” Chiefs Head Coach Romeo Crennel said. “He has experience with a couple different teams and he’s seen a couple different things. I think that will bode well for him.”
Shortly after Crennel made the decision public, quarterback Brady Quinn spoke with Denver media on a conference call.
“Anytime you get the opportunity to start in the National Football League, you’re very blessed,” said Quinn, who has started 14 games since coming into the league in 2007 as the 22nd overall pick. “I haven’t had as many opportunities in six seasons as some guys get in one season. Any opportunity for me to play is good. I’m always learning, always trying to get better.”
Quinn added that both the live reps that he has gotten and the time he has spent watching from the sideline have helped him acquire a greater understanding of the game.
“As you grow older and more mature in this league, you understand what you need to get accomplished in each game plan,” he said. “When you’re younger, you have an idea of what’s going on, but sometimes it takes a little more reps and playing in a game to actually get an understanding of that.”
One thing that will help Quinn as he faces a stingy Denver defense on Sunday is establishing a ground game. The Chiefs are running for 145.4 yards per game — the fourth-best average in the league — thanks in large part to running back Jamaal Charles. The fifth-year back has totaled 821 yards on the ground this year, and Quinn called him “a great leader” for the Chiefs.
While Charles has gained 87 and 100 yards rushing in the last two games, the team hasn’t been as dominant on the ground as it was in other points of the season. Quinn hopes that will change on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
“That’s one thing that we actually feel like we need to get back to,” Quinn said. “Over the beginning of the season I think we did a good job of it, and we haven’t been as successful of late. I think we have to do a better job as players to step up and do a better job blocking the scheme and making the right calls up front from the QB, and making things happen. It’s hard to play being a one-dimensional football team. You have to be able to run the football.”
Through the air, Quinn said it will be a goal of his to get wideout Dwayne Bowe as involved as possible — easier said than done with the attention he tends to draw from opposing defenses. Quinn knows that there is a good chance cornerback Champ Bailey will line up across from Bowe, but the wideout still must be targeted.
“You’ve got to try to get him the ball,” Quinn said. “That’s one thing that sometimes is a tough task. We know teams are going to be gunning for him. They know how talented he is and how special he is. You usually get guys like Champ Bailey trying to match up with him, or guys trying to roll coverage to him, which is expected. We just try to our best we can to get him the ball.”
Whether it’s through Bowe, Charles or a combination of the two, the priority for the Chiefs on Sunday is to find a way to keep quarterback Peyton Manning and the Denver offense off the field by possessing the ball.
“I know that if Peyton is on the sideline and not on the field, then I have a better chance,” Crennel said.