After an 11-day holdout that cost him 16 training camp practices and, perhaps, the Browns' starting quarterback job, Brady Quinn sounded humble and contrite Wednesday.
The 22nd overall pick in the draft met the media about 12 hours after signing a five-year contract worth a reported $20.2-million if he hits playing-time incentives and has $7.75-million guaranteed. The Notre Dame star hopes fans who think that he let them down will focus on their common goal - winning.
"I think you let people down if you lose," Quinn said. "We haven't lost a game, yet, and we still have high hopes. I think the biggest concentration shouldn't be the holdout, it should be on our season. We have a preseason game this weekend and the focus should be on the team, not what's been going on."
The Browns host the Chiefs on Saturday, and coach Romeo Crennel said Quinn might get in on some simple plays.
Quinn said he had been living out of his suitcases for two weeks while working out in Phoenix, so he would be ready to go when his agent, Tom Condon, told him the deal was done. When that call came about 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, and Condon asked if he could make a noon flight, Quinn hustled to the airport in time. He arrived in Berea about 7 p.m.
"This was a long and enduring process that I never imagined going through nor wanted to," Quinn said. "It was tough seeing how everything went on in camp and not being part of it. But this is a process. My agent has been doing this year after year, having a first-round quarterback and getting them in, and you try to remove yourself from the situation and try and let him get it done."
ROETHLISBERGER LIMPING: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was limping toward the end of practice after a teammate stepped on his left foot, but coach Mike Tomlin didn't seem worried.
"I'm sure he's fine," Tomlin said.
The Steelers didn't offer more information, and they didn't appear concerned that Roethlisberger would be limited during practice or might not play in Saturday's preseason game against Green Bay. Roethlisberger usually ends practice by signing autographs and chatting with fans, but he left immediately in a cart.
Also, Chukky Okobi, competing at center with former Bucs lineman Sean Mahan, fell in pain with an apparent back injury. The team did not say if Okobi was injured.
CHIEFS: Left offensive tackle Damion McIntosh will miss four to six weeks with a sprained right knee, possibly returning in time for the Sept. 9 opener at Houston. While McIntosh recovers, third-year pro Will Svitek, a former sixth-round pick and converted defensive lineman, will start.
GIANTS: Receiver Amani Toomer got a surprise from coach Tom Coughlin - he's not playing in Saturday's preseason opener against the Panthers. "I really don't know how to take it because, in a sense, I am trying to get ready for the season," said Toomer, who had knee surgery in November. "I thought I would play in the preseason games and get my reps in and knock off some of the rust." Coming off the injury that sidelined him for the second half of last season, Toomer has been limited to one practice a day, and Coughlin doesn't want to push him yet.
COLTS-COWBOYS: Wade Phillips makes his coaching debut for Dallas and receiver Terrell Owens expects to play in tonight's preseason game (8, Ch. 13). Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy plans to pull most starters after 10 to 15 snaps. Exceptions may include top pick Anthony Gonzalez at receiver and second-rounder Tony Ugoh, the front-runner to start at left tackle. "You do like to go down there and play well and try to put on a good performance," Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said. "But, ultimately, it's about doing what you have to do to get ready for the regular season."