Chiefs' Brady Quinn shines in time of trouble


Chiefs' Brady Quinn shines in time of trouble

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) This should have been a big week for Brady Quinn.

The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is coming off one of the best games of his career, helping his team win for only the second time this season. He's heading back to Cleveland, where he washed out as a first-round draft pick, brimming with confidence in his strong right arm.

But as with the rest of the Chiefs, everything in Quinn's world has been cast in shadow.

Rather than going to a postgame news conference and answering questions with pride, he stood before the bank of television cameras and talked about a tragedy. It had been barely 24 hours since linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself.

The way Quinn handled the situation was almost universally praised, and showed the kind of leadership ability that so far in his NFL career he's yet to truly replicate on the field.

``Well, Brady has been very level-headed all along,'' Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. ``He handles himself very well, and as a quarterback, he is somewhat a born leader, because you have to be a leader to be a quarterback. And he displayed that leadership last weekend.''

There were plenty of expectations placed on Quinn when he was drafted by the Browns out of Notre Dame. Perhaps the weight of them proved to be too much, because he never managed to lead a franchise that only now is coming out of a morass to much success.

He was eventually dealt to Denver, where he couldn't climb over Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow on the depth chart. So when free agency hit, Quinn packed his bags and headed for Kansas City, where he hoped the tenuous grasp that Matt Cassel had on the starting job would prove him an opportunity.

It didn't come until Cassel sustained a concussion, allowing Quinn to move into the lineup. He showed plenty of rust in a loss at Tampa Bay, and then sustained his own concussion the following week against Oakland, putting Cassel back under center.

But once Quinn was cleared to play, he was back leading the Chiefs.

On the field and, more importantly, away from it.

``I feel like I can do a decent job of adjusting to pretty much anything,'' Quinn said. ``I don't know. I think anytime you have an opportunity to play more and get more experience, you're going to continue to grow and improve as a player.''

The Chiefs weren't even certain they'd have a game Sunday until hours after Saturday morning's shootings, when team captains voted to play their game against the Carolina Panthers as scheduled.

The team arrived at Arrowhead Stadium long before kickoff, went through the same pre-game routine as usual - save for a moment of silence to remember victims of domestic violence. Then the game started, and for just a few hours on an unseasonably warm afternoon, things seemed normal.

The coaching staff relayed plays to Quinn, he crouched behind center and read the defense. He took the snap, dropped back and kept finding open receivers. Again and again, all day long.

He completed 19 of 23 passes for 201 yards, the best completion percentage of his career in a game he's started. Quinn threw touchdown passes to Jon Baldwin and Tony Moeaki without throwing an interception, the first scoring tosses he'd thrown since Dec. 6, 2009, when he was with the Browns. His quarterback rating of 132.1 was the second-best of his career.

``He had an outstanding game,'' said Browns coach Pat Shurmur.

It was after the game that he was truly outstanding, though.

The locker room was opened and players were forced to speak publicly for the first time about a pair of shootings that changed their lives. There were tears mixed with mud on many of their faces, but not the tears of joy over ending an eight-game losing streak.

As usual, the quarterback was summoned to the microphone in the auditorium just outside the locker room, and there Quinn was asked about the incident the previous day.

``I don't think anybody ever imagines waking up the day before a game and, you know, getting informed that a player, a leader on your team, has done something like that,'' he said.

Speaking from his heart, Quinn continued on.

``I think trying to understand the situation was tough, or getting a sense of what happened and who it will now affect,'' he said. ``In moments, tragedies like this, they can define you or redefine you, and I think this team took an event and allowed it to redefine us as a team. We were battling through a lot of emotions, a lot of difficulty on the field, and guys stepped up and played a heck of a game.''

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Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

During a conference call with 13 professional sports commissioners Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he believes the 2020 NFL season should start as scheduled in September despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski.

Trump also reportedly remarked that he would like to allow fans back into stadiums and arenas by August or September.

The president used the call as an opportunity to commend the commissioners for their response to the pandemic. On March 11, the NBA became the first American professional sports league to suspend play in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The NHL, which was less than a month out from the start of the playoffs, followed suit—as eventually did the MLS, ATP, WTA, PGA Tour, NASCAR and MLB spring training.

With the NFL still in the midst of its offseason, there remains hope that the 2020 season will begin on time. So far, the league has canceled its annual league meaning and delayed OTAs. The draft will be held as expected while teams make their selections remotely rather than in Las Vegas as originally planned. While many free-agent deals have yet to be finalized due to the inability for teams to conduct physicals, the NFL has yet to be affected as much as other major sports.

The season is set to begin Thursday, Sept. 10 with opening Sunday coming Sept. 13.


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Washington Capitals Tom Wilson sends Make-A-Wish kids heartfelt message and gifts

Washington Capitals Tom Wilson sends Make-A-Wish kids heartfelt message and gifts

Washington Capitals right-winger, Tom Wilson is utilizing his newfound free time by giving back to the children of Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.

Saturday, Wilson was featured on the charity's Instagram page delivering an uplifting message to the kids that are going through unforeseen changes due to quarantine. 

"I understand a lot of your wishes are on hold right now due to this very weird time in the world," Wilson said. "I just want to let you know I'm thinking of you."

"You guys are so strong, keep fighting and I'm looking forward to seeing you around."

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It’s FR🏒DAY! And what better way to start your weekend than hearing from our @capitals friend, @tomwilson! Just like all of us, Tom is thinking of our local wish kids whose wishes are currently indefinitely on hold and knows how strong and awesome each of you are. 💪 He's cheering on every one of our wish kids during this challenging time and can’t wait to see your wishes come true. Tom also went above and beyond and bought activities for us to send all our kids whose #WishesAreWaiting to pass the time at home or in hospital. Thanks for sharing your Message of Hope Tom, and for being a such a great champion for wishes and a winner on and off the ice! 💫💙🏆 @capitalspr

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Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic detailed that "Tom also went above and beyond and brought activities for us to send all our kids whose #WishesAreWaiting to pass time at home or in the hospital."

A class act gesture from an even classier man. 

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