By Brady Henderson
The Seahawks would prefer that Brady Quinn – or whatever quarterback ends up as their backup – never has to see the field save for the preseason and mop-up duty at the end of a blowout win.
Good backup quarterbacks, however, have value aside from the insurance they provide against an injury to the starter. With that in mind, one quote stood out among others when Jim Zorn joined 710 ESPN Seattle to share his insight on Quinn, who agreed to terms on a contract with the Seahawks Tuesday.
Zorn, the Chiefs quarterbacks coach, worked with Quinn in 2012, Quinn's lone season in Kansas City. Zorn lauded Quinn's intelligence, attitude and work ethic before mentioning something else that must have appealed to the Seahawks.
"With Brady coming into a situation that's already solid, he's going to add to it because of who he is and the way he works," Zorn told Brock Huard and Chris Egan. "He won't try to disrupt anything, he's just going to enhance everything."
Translation: Quinn knows his role as a backup and will harbor no illusion that he – not Russell Wilson – should be the Seahawks' starter.
Things weren't as clear-cut last season after Wilson beat out Matt Flynn, who had signed with the Seahawks thinking he was finally getting his chance to be a starter. According to Huard, Flynn's disappointment in losing out to Wilson affected the level to which he was engaged as the backup.
Flynn "was not a guy that helped Russell. He was not a guy that was into those Tuesday meetings. And rightfully so, he wanted that job very badly," Huard said in February.
As Huard recently suggested, perhaps that was a consideration for the Seahawks when they traded Flynn – whom they considered a starting-caliber quarterback – for a pair of late-round draft picks. Had they not traded Flynn, would some lingering bitterness on his part have continued to make him reluctant to help Wilson or in some other way have a negative affect on the quarterback room?
Based on Zorn's assertion, the Seahawks won't have to worry about any such issues now that Quinn is their backup.
As for Quinn's skillset, Zorn described him as more of a traditional drop-back passer who doesn't pose the running threat of someone like Wilson. While Quinn might lack the mobility to effectively run the read-option, Zorn said one of his strengths is play-action, which is another staple of the Seahawks offense.
Another strength, according to Zorn, is Quinn's ability to diagnose defenses and change protections at the line of scrimmage when necessary.
"So where you may lose a type of play, there's still things that Brady can do to help this team win if called upon," Zorn said.