ALAMEDA The Raiders thought enough of Brady Quinn to bring him in for a visit when they owned the top pick in the 2007 NFL draft.
The Raiders were coming off a 2-14 season under Art Shell, and owner Al Davis was looking for a quarterback for new coach Lane Kiffin. Davis was partial to JaMarcus Russell, whose LSU Tigers destroyed Quinn's Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Sugar Bowl.
Greg Knapp, the Raiders' offensive coordinator in 2007 who returned this season, and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo supervised the visit with Quinn.
"John put him through a pretty rigorous interview process," Knapp said. "He was extremely bright, understood football, and based on what (his) coaches had told us, he really seemed to love football. Was always around it, wanted to do the extra stuff before and after practice. I was very impressed with him."
The Raiders, of course, took Russell No. 1. Cleveland also was looking for a quarterback at No. 3 but opted for Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas. Surprised that Quinn was still around at No. 22, Cleveland traded its second-round pick in 2008 to move up and get its quarterback of the future.
Russell is out of football, and Quinn, 28, is still hanging on, getting a chance to jump-start his career and a 1-5 team today when he leads the Kansas City Chiefs against the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.
Current Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel was Quinn's first coach in Cleveland. Quinn was 3-9 as a Browns starter, phased out and traded to Denver by coach Eric Mangini and new president Mike Holmgren.
Quinn spent last season watching the Tim Tebow drama as the third-team quarterback; his primary job was to get defensive coordinator Dennis Allen's defense prepared each week.
Allen, in his first year as the Raiders' coach, thinks he'll get Quinn's best shot.
"He's a pro in every sense of the word," Allen said. "He comes to work every day and works the right way. I know he'll be prepared and ready to go and face us."
Quinn, talking to the Kansas City (Mo.) Star, invoked names such as Rich Gannon and Kurt Warner as examples of patience being a virtue. Neither quarterback got an opportunity until later in his career, and each became league MVP.
Yet his focus isn't on what happened to Gannon or whatever transpired in Cleveland or Denver.
"I think one of your focuses has to be focused on each day," Quinn told Bay Area reporters in a teleconference. "I think when you start to look too far back behind you, too far ahead of yourself, you kind of lose the opportunity to get better each day. If there's anything I've learned in the NFL, it's that it's a week-to-week business."
Routt cashes in The Chiefs aimed to step up their man-to-man coverage with the addition of cornerback Stanford Routt, released by the Raiders as one of general manager Reggie McKenzie's first moves this past offseason.
But Routt had a difficult pre-bye game in a 38-10 loss at Tampa Bay on Oct. 14.
"He was in a position to make plays, and we didn't make them," Crennel said. "The opponent made them."
Routt reportedly collected $20 million in guaranteed money from the Raiders, who released him before a $5 million bonus was due on a contract that had a maximum nonguaranteed value of $54.5 million. He then signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs that could pay him $19.6 million.
"Stan said something to me that's hilarious," Raiders safety Mike Mitchell said. "He told me, 'I'm not mad, I'm getting paid by half the AFC West.' "
Routt was not available for comment last week. Mitchell, whose locker was next to Routt's, couldn't resist applying the needle from long distance.
"I wish we would run at him every play and throw at him every play, just so he has to work for that money," Mitchell said.