BEREA — Brady Quinn waited hours to be drafted and weeks to sign a contract.
He’s finally settling in with the Browns, but the fans are still waiting — to see him on the field.
Quinn, who signed a five-year deal Tuesday night, was supposed to practice in front of fans for the first time Thursday afternoon, but rain forced coach Romeo Crennel to move the session inside. A big turnout was expected and many fans showed up despite the rain hoping to get a glimpse of No. 10.
They were turned away.
“I feel bad the fans couldn’t come out and watch us,” Quinn said. “Any chance they get to come out and watch this team is fun for them and I would’ve loved to see the fans.”
Quinn’s first practice Wednesday was closed and there’s no practice today. So the fans’ first look will come Saturday night in the preseason opener vs. the Chiefs. But Quinn won’t play until the fourth quarter, and probably only for a couple of plays. The next chance to see the Notre Dame quarterback practice will be Monday from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Here’s what the fans missed Thursday.
Quinn spent much of the afternoon running the Chiefs’ plays with the scout team, which allowed him to go against the first-team defense. His best throw of the day was a touchdown pass to fifth-team tight end Buck Ortega in the back corner of the end zone behind rookie cornerback Eric Wright.
He also had a pass batted down by Andra Davis, a pass broken up by Leigh Bodden, a pass nearly intercepted by Daven Holly and a miscommunication with fullback Charles Ali. Overall, he didn’t look out of place and showed good zip on the ball — too much on a couple of passes that were way too high and sailed out of the end zone.
“I’ve never felt stronger, or better, coming into something,” he said. “Everything feels alive. I can’t tell you how excited I am.”
Coach Romeo Crennel said Quinn was the first player on the field Wednesday.
“He was like a young colt that had been tied up for a while,” Crennel said. “He was excited and frisky to be out there running around.”
Quinn started Thursday working on the center-quarterback exchange in a drill with the other three quarterbacks. On one snap, he was the only quarterback who ran the right play, sneaking behind the center instead of rolling out. He spent one-on-one time with quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer during a break and chatted with former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar.
When practice was over, he worked with rookie free-agent receiver Mike Mason and starter Braylon Edwards. Quinn finished the day by catching a long pass from Edwards, who then put on Quinn’s jersey and mocked his running style.
“Everyone’s busting my chops, I’m a rookie,” he said. “It’s coming from all angles.”
The ribbing peaked when he was forced to sing in front of the team.
“I have a horrible singing voice,” he said. “The first song was booed. It was ‘Walking in Memphis.’”
The song was written and recorded by Clevelander Marc Cohn. And because rookie hazing is commonplace, Quinn was prepared — sort of.
“I happened to listen to it and I thought this might be easy to memorize because there are not that many words, it is kind of slow, it’s a little country song,” he said. “I couldn’t memorize it so I just kind of read it off and that got booed.”
Then came the Notre Dame fight song.
“We obviously have a few haters in there — some USC guys, some Michigan guys,” Quinn said. “That didn’t go over well.”
Quinn’s presence may have been just a coincidence, but Thursday was the best quarterbacks Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson have looked during training camp.
Frye was asked about the Quinn effect.
“It hasn’t changed a lot,” he said. “It’s just another arm in there, having three quarterbacks, all getting a lot of work. It’s good that Brady’s here, helping with individual drills.”
Quinn said he spends his nights at the team hotel catching up on film from the 11 days and 16 practices he missed. He’s up to Aug. 2 and calls veteran backup Ken Dorsey anytime he’s got a question.
Quinn’s arrival was a relief to the all-time greatest Brown.
“It’s highly important,” Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown said. “The fans were excited about the draft and we did not want to lose that excitement.
“This kid is the future and needs the work. I think he’s gonna be great for the city.”
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.