Quinn a quick study of Broncos’ intricate offense
AP Sports Writer
Vail, CO Colorado
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Long after his teammates headed inside for lunch, the Denver Broncos’ new quarterback stayed on the field, taking extra snaps, practicing his footwork, working on his reads.
Not Tim Tebow.
He’s the other new quarterback in town, the one whose jersey doesn’t top the NFL sales charts, whose every move isn’t chronicled by a phalanx of photographers, a regiment of reporters.
Yet, Quinn could very well be the one under center for Denver in 2010, provided he beats out incumbent Kyle Orton, who has been running coach Josh McDaniels’ system for a year now.
“He knows the offense pretty well,” Quinn said during the Broncos’ passing camp this week. “This is an offense that I’m familiar with. I feel pretty comfortable being in there as well.”
The Broncos acquired Quinn from the Cleveland Browns in the offseason, supplying Orton with some better competition.
Quinn is no stranger to quarterback competitions, having gone through that in Cleveland with Derek Anderson since being selected in the first round of the 2007 draft out of Notre Dame.
But this competition is a little different. This one has turned into a three-ring circus.
Tebowmania has set in.
Since the Broncos drafted Florida’s former Heisman Trophy winner, two-time national champion and work-in-progress quarterback in the first round last month, Tebow has been the talk of the town, the star of the show.
That’s before even seeing his first snap, no less.
Not that Quinn minds. It simply allows him to fly under the radar, as much as he can at least, playing the position he does.
“Quarterback is one of those positions everyone wants to talk about all the time. Selfishly, rightfully so,” Quinn said. “We’re a bunch of good guys.”
And that extends to helping each other out.
Despite being new, Quinn feels like he has a pretty good grasp of McDaniels’ intricate offense. Quinn’s familiarity stems from playing for Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, and Weis having once worked with McDaniels in New England.
So, ask away, Tim. Don’t be bashful.
Quinn will be more than willing to help, even if it costs him either the starting job or the backup spot.
“I’m not some vindictive jerk like that. I try to bring guys along,” Quinn said. “I’m going to do what’s best for our team, and help whoever is on the team.
“I think people get the wrong misconception of how guys are. Outside of here, guys are close.”
Even the new guy, the rookie with all the attention, all the publicity, has been quickly accepted. Sure, Tebow may have to carry Orton’s helmet, Quinn’s as well, but that’s just good, old-fashioned rookie ribbing.
“Those guys have been great. It’s a great friendship,” Tebow said. “Those guys, they do it right. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
With all the attention and fanfare, Tebow has been receiving a small taste of what it was like for John Elway all those years ago, when the Hall of Famer was a rookie in 1983.
Next come the comparisons.
That’s the plight of playing in the Mile High City – every quarterback is compared to No. 7, who led the Broncos to two Super Bowl titles.
Pressure? Not for Quinn, who proudly admits he lived in the shadow of Bernie Kosar while in Cleveland.
“Don’t discredit Bernie now,” Quinn said, smiling. “Bernie had a pretty good career.”
Quinn’s hoping he does, too. First, though, he has to get on the field – and stay healthy. He’s had a recent rash of injuries that have cut his seasons short.
In 2008, he broke a finger on his right hand and was placed on injured reserve in late November.
Last season, he sustained a severe Lisfranc sprain in his left foot on Dec. 20 against Kansas City.
Healthy again, he’s looking to supplant Orton.
“Everyone wants to play,” Quinn said. “If you don’t have that attitude, you shouldn’t be playing.”
To quell any thoughts of a quarterback controversy, McDaniels quickly backed Orton as his guy soon after the acquisition of Quinn.
Come training camp, though, the situation could change. Nothing is etched in stone, even if Orton has a huge head start on Quinn, Tebow and second-year signal caller Tom Brandstater.
“We’re really eager to see how that plays out,” McDaniels said.