ShareThis Page

Browns QB Quinn set for shot at Steelers

| Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009

BEREA, Ohio — Like so many Ohio kids raised on football, Brady Quinn developed a strong distaste for everything Steelers.

Growing up a die-hard Browns fan, Cleveland's quarterback learned from an early age that those neighbors from Pennsylvania wearing black and gold were the enemy, Iron City villains to be despised and beaten whenever possible. Quinn's heroes wore brown and orange.

So, which of the Steelers did he hate most• Jerome Bettis• Rod Woodson• Greg Lloyd• Bill Cowher?

"I don't know," Quinn said Tuesday. "I wasn't really fond of any of them. That's usually how it works."

Quinn, who has been showing signs he could blossom into a solid NFL starter, will face Cleveland's bitter rival for the first time as a pro when the Browns (1-11) host the Steelers (6-6) on Thursday night.

When the teams met Oct. 18 at Heinz Field, Quinn watched from the sideline as the Steelers won their 12th straight over the Browns, 27-14. He had lost his starting job to Derek Anderson a few weeks earlier, benched after two starts by coach Eric Mangini.

Quinn has been back under center for five starts, and it's his turn to try and end the Steelers' dominance over the Browns — 18 wins in 19 games since 2000. Cleveland hasn't beaten the Steelers since Oct. 5, 2003, when Tim Couch directed the Browns to a 33-13 win.

Since then, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Anderson and Bruce Gradkowski — who directed Oakland to a comeback win over the Steelers last week — all have failed to knock off the Steelers.

Quinn's up. But is he up to it?

He's coming off a three-touchdown, 271-yard performance against San Diego, Quinn's second impressive outing in his last three games. After throwing one TD pass and five interceptions in his first three starts, he has seven TDs and not a single pick in his past three.

Quinn has thrown 126 consecutive passes without an interception, the second-longest active streak in the league.

"I'm just trying to make good decisions, trying to take care of the football," he said. "It always gives us a chance to win. The only statistic that really matters is wins and losses. We're still searching for that win."

Quinn is 0-7 as a starter this season and 1-9 in his stop-and-start pro career. He says he feels more comfortable than at any time in three years and believes he can develop into the quarterback Cleveland banked on getting when they selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft.

"I hope so," he said. "That's the intent. I've always felt that was my ability and everything. I just have to continue to grow and mature and learn and get better."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.