Browns QB Quinn takes practice field with starters

Brady Quinn always seems to be playing the waiting game.

That was certainly the case at the 2007 NFL draft in New York, where Quinn's tumble through the first round as he nervously waited for a team to select him was captured by TV cameras. Only when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asked the former Notre Dame star quarterback to watch from a side room did Quinn escape the embarrassment of being snubbed.

As a rookie, Quinn waited as Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson played in front of him.

He sat around again last season before taking over for Anderson in Week 9, only to be sidelined after three games by a broken finger.

This summer, Quinn was forced to endure a lengthy competition with Anderson for the starter's job.

It appears Quinn's waiting days finally are done.

Citing a league source, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Wednesday that Browns coach Eric Mangini chose Quinn to be his starting quarterback. NFL Network's Jason La Canfora confirmed the report.

Saying he wanted to keep a competitive advantage, Browns coach Eric Mangini this week refused to publicly announce his starting quarterback for Sunday's opener. However, Quinn will be under center when Cleveland hosts the Minnesota Vikings.

Quinn took snaps with the starting offense during the 30 minutes of practice open to the media on Friday, another sign that No. 10 is No. 1.

His teammates are happy for Quinn.

"It would mean everything for him," said Pro Bowl offensive tackle Joe Thomas. "He's a guy who works harder than anybody in this locker room and he's a guy who as soon as he got drafted here just couldn't wait for the opportunity to be a starter."

Quinn's time has come.

In a quarterback-driven league, the Browns have had nothing but problems at the vital, high-profile position.

Quinn will be the eighth different QB to open a season for the Browns since 1999, a span during which they've lost posted seven seasons of at least 10 losses.

Cleveland's hopes of ending a decade of dysfunction and becoming a successful franchise could hinge on Quinn's right arm. While he has attempted only 97 passes in three seasons, Quinn has shown the necessary intangibles -- poise, huddle presence, demeanor -- to show he can be successful.

Mangini, who informed Quinn and Anderson of his decision on a starter Tuesday, has been careful not to distinguish the QBs while discussing their differing qualities and styles this week. Mangini did praise Quinn for his work in learning a new offensive system.

"Brady's done a good job with improving in terms of understanding, not only what we're doing, but also understanding what the opponent's doing, understanding the different tools as well," he said.

Quinn was a leader in college, where he set 36 school records in four years as a starter for the Fighting Irish.

He made his college teammates better. Can he do the same at the next level?

For all his fans, and Quinn has legions of them in Cleveland, there are those who wonder if he's got the makings of an NFL star. His arm strength has been questioned, leaving some to wonder if he can stretch defenses.

For the Browns, it's time to find out.

Quinn played along with Mangini's secretive tactics this week by avoiding questions about his status like they were oncoming blitzers. He did address the possibility of making his start against Brett Favre, who makes his debut with the Vikings on Sunday.

"A legendary quarterback like that, that would be awesome," Quinn said. "He is someone as a kid you watched, growing up, playing in the backyard, trying to emulate, so it will be fun. He's an unbelievable quarterback. It will be fun to go up against him, if indeed that is the case."

While there may not have been a decisive winner in the Quinn-Anderson derby, the fact that Mangini has chosen a starter is a big step for the Browns. It means they have identified their future.

"For the team, it means we've got the guy now," wide receiver Braylon Edwards said. "We've just got a guy who's going to be the guy."

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.

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