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Too much criticism for Quinn

Dave Welch | Tuesday, October 14, 2003

You know, I’m getting really tired of the constant criticism Brady Quinn receives every weekend. Everyone seems to focus on what he’s doing wrong rather than everything he’s doing right.

Consider the first few games of the season. He was only put in to make an attempt at cleaning up our senior quarterback’s mess (meanwhile gaining some experience).

Take Michigan State, for example. Ty puts him in with five or six minutes left in the game, we need two touchdowns, and Quinn is in a no huddle offense. This is tremendous pressure for even a seasoned quarterback, let alone an 18-year-old freshman with virtually no college football experience. How does Quinn respond? He marches all the way down the field and scores. Yet no one gave him any credit. On the contrary, they just said how he didn’t do anything to help get the win.

Fast forward to Purdue, Brady’s first start and full game. Their line averaged 26 starts per player versus our four starts per player. The result? Brady gets the tar kicked out of him for the entire game. We had no running game at all, so he’s forced to throw 60 times, completing 30 for 300 yards. And he did this while getting hit something like 18 times, 14 of which were knockdowns (I don’t remember the exact stats), not to mention he was our leading rusher with almost 50 yards. One hell of a performance in my book and the stats book.

Nevertheless, the reporters and newspapers (including our own) all said the same thing: “Different quarterback, same results.” Granted, I was very disappointed in the loss, but I was also really excited about Brady Quinn’s performance, as well as the future of our young team.

Now go to last weekend. Jones’ running game kicks into high gear, taking a huge load off Quinn’s shoulders, we win, and everyone complains that Quinn didn’t throw enough and didn’t contribute to the win. It just so happens that our team was much more well-rounded than past games, so Quinn didn’t have to do everything like he did against Purdue. This is a good thing.

My God, people, just leave the kid alone. He’s done an extraordinary job so far. Sure, he makes some rookie mistakes, but we can’t expect him to come out of high school playing like Joe “The Comeback Kid” Montana. Besides, all those edges will be smoothed out soon enough. You know all the talk about the “West Coast offense” everyone is so sick of hearing? Well, Brady is the quintessential (no pun intended) West Coast quarterback that Coach Willingham has been waiting for.

Sure, give criticism where criticism is due, but it’s equally important to give credit where credit is due. So give the boy some credit.

Dave Welchsenioroff-campusOct. 13