Why did they sit him down in the first place?
Quinn did not play well when he opened the season as the starter, which is why Derek Anderson replaced him as starter in Week Four. The Browns had to know they had a lock-on, not-scan-the-field passer in Anderson.
Did they know what they had in Quinn? Do they now?
Quinn's strengths are seeing the field and understanding the passing game. He doesn't have a big arm, which Anderson does. Maybe the big arm seduced the Browns, but does it matter if he has no one who can get deep?
The thing that disappointed the Browns was that Quinn didn't make the right reads when he was starting. If he doesn't do that, his arm can't compensate. He's then just a guy, on his way to bust-ville.
There are some who will say Quinn was benched in large part so the Browns could avoid paying him bonus money. I don't buy that. This is a team that spent $40 million to jettison the last front office and coaching regime and to re-do the team's facility at coach Eric Mangini's request.
Sitting Quinn down was a football decision. A bad one.
Now they have to make it right. They have to spend the rest of this season finding out if Quinn can be their long-term passer. If not, they have to go into the draft next April and get one. Somehow you can see Mangini thinking Chad Pennington could be his guy. He's a free agent, but that's not a good fix. They need a franchise passer, not a lollypop-armed quarterback who can't get the ball down the field.
Next spring that could mean taking Oklahoma's Sam Bradford or Washington's Jake Locker in the first round, or somebody who can win in the passing game. So far, the Browns have been dreadful throwing the football.
It isn't all on the quarterbacks. They have few weapons outside and they haven't played well on the offensive line.
Cleveland is averaging 121.5 yards per game passing, last in the NFL. In this era of wide-open football, that's pathetic. The rules mandate you must throw it now to win. The Browns haven't -- or can't.
In Quinn's four games, including three starts, he completed 59.7-percent of his passes, but threw one touchdown and three interceptions. He didn't take many chances, instead taking safe, check-down throws. His average per attempt was 5.3, which pales in comparison to the top passers who are over 8.0.
Quinn has to show that he's willing to take shots. Playing safe doesn't win. If Quinn doesn't show more an inclination to take shots, the Browns will have a new quarterback next year and it won't be Anderson, who they've soured on.
Mangini is making the right decision going back to Quinn, but the wrong one was sitting him down in the first place.