Quinn figures to make his NFL presence felt sooner than Russell
Although QB JaMarcus Russell clearly was the top dog on Draft Day over Brady Quinn, having been selected by the Raiders 21 picks ahead of the Notre Dame quarterback, we hear that Quinn is more likely to make an immediate impact with the Browns.
In the case of Russell, it?s always difficult to accurately predict what the Raiders? plans are in any situation. However, our sources tell us that, while the future clearly belongs to the first player selected in the draft, the Silver and Black would prefer the 2007 ship to be steered by newcomer Josh McCown.
The early word is that, unless Russell absolutely wows the Raiders in training camp, McCown will take the majority of meaningful snaps this season. With only one year remaining on his current contract, McCown figures to serve as a bridge of sorts to Russell, who, despite having all the physical tools to compete right away, will need some seasoning, especially in terms of reading NFL defenses and digesting complex game plans.
Despite the fact Russell played in a pro-style offense at LSU, sources say the learning curve could be a bit longer than usual for Russell, and the Raiders won?t be too eager to put him back in the pocket until they get their blocking issues sorted out (72 sacks allowed in 2006), which won?t happen overnight.
New head coach Lane Kiffin has indicated that every position is up for grabs this summer, and he worked all three of Oakland?s QBs ? McCown, Russell and Andrew Walter ? equally during the team?s first complete minicamp in early May. McCown, acquired from Detroit along with WR Mike Williams on Draft Day, clearly looked the most comfortable in the new system.
Russell, meanwhile, was up and down. His arm, size and athleticism were the subject of much conversation among teammates, but he was erratic and surprisingly underthrew several deep passes. Walter, who had struggled sensing pressure in place of the injured Aaron Brooks last year, didn?t look sharp.
As for Quinn, it appears he has a legitimate shot at pushing QB Charlie Frye out of a starting job.
When asked about the subject on Draft Day, Browns general manager Phil Savage wouldn?t tip his hand, but he wouldn?t close the door on the prospect of Quinn starting in Week One.
?If it?s the best thing for the Browns to (have him) be the starter on opening day, I?m all for it,? Savage said. ?I?m happy if he?s the starter at the beginning of the 2008 season, too. I know that our position has been upgraded. I don?t know if you can read into anything that I?m saying. I just know what we are (planning) on doing.?
Quinn, who blossomed under the tutelage of former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, could be tough to keep out of the lineup if he?s a quick study in Rod Chudzinski?s offense.
However, Frye will not go quietly. He has the respect of his teammates, who know he has taken a beating in two seasons as the starter.
But Frye will be under pressure to take his game to another level after making too many mistakes for the Browns? liking in 2006. Even if Frye were to win the position coming out of camp, he wouldn?t be operating with much job security.