Sometime down the road, Brady Quinn will have time to assess the events of the past few days and the impact theyve had on his life.
That time isnt at hand, not with the Chiefs preparing for Sundays game against the Browns in Cleveland.
Were still kind of in the midst of the storm right now, Quinn said. Youve got to try to be able to climb to a higher point to get a better vantage point, and I dont think Im going to be able to do that until we have some more time away from the situation.
Quinn, like his teammates and coaches, had a front-row seat for Saturdays tragic events involving linebacker Jovan Belcher. Quinn was so distraught after hearing that Belcher had fatally shot his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself that he wondered about his ability to play in a game the next day.
But Quinn started that game against Carolina at quarterback and had one of the best outings of his NFL career. For that, he was selected Wednesday as the AFCs offensive player of the week.
Quinn was widely lauded for his postgame comments, in which he urged people to get off their cell phones and social networks and connect with one another in person.
Together, the events of last weekend are enough to alter a career, if not a life. Perhaps they will for Quinn, who is trying to resurrect his career after 21/2 seasons as a backup.
For now, Quinn said hes having difficulty processing it all.
I dont know if there is a way to sum it up based on the way everything happened, Quinn said. My thoughts and concerns were just trying to focus and doing the best I could during the game when I was playing. Then, after that, just trying to do some soul searching and praying about the forgiveness for the families, and that people could find peace with the situation.
The emotions are still pretty raw. After the season, it might be something where youre able to kind of sit down and reflect on all of it. Right now, its kind of tough. There (was) a memorial service (Wednesday) for Jovan. Obviously, were preparing for Cleveland. Were just again trying to direct all of our focus to our preparation for the game, and afterwards, well be able to hopefully seek that peace that everyone is trying to find with the situation.
On Sunday, in a barely plausible coincidence at this particular juncture of his career, Quinn will face the team that drafted him out of Notre Dame. He was a first-round pick by the Browns in 2007, when they were coached by current Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel, and played three seasons for them before being traded to Denver after the 2009 season.
Quinn grew up in Ohio as a Browns fan, so getting the chance to play for them as a first-round pick fulfilled a childhood dream. Sundays game will heap even more on Quinns emotional plate.
I think Brady will handle himself well, Crennel said. He always does. Hes level-headed. I dont think he will let going home get him out of sorts.
Quinn started just 12 games in three seasons for the Browns, who gave up on him quickly after they fired Crennel. He lasted one season after Crennel was gone under the Browns next coach, Eric Mangini.
Mangini wasted no time after that season getting rid of Quinn.
You wish you would have a little more stability when youre in a situation regardless of what youre in, Quinn said of the change in Clevelands front office and coaching staff while he was there. I look (at the Browns) now, and there are maybe only six guys, seven guys that I was with three years ago on that team. Its just a tough scenario when youve got so many moving parts and everythings constantly changing when you cant get some stability.
Things never go the way you expect them to in life. My mind is not really on my career. If Ive learned anything in my career, its that you really cant take things past one day at a time. This league, its such a roller-coaster ride no matter who you are that youve just got to continue to try to get better every day and focus on the task at hand. Thats got to be where your focus is.