I look at the Quinn signing the same way I looked at the team picking up Barrett Ruud as a camp MLB last year - it's a position where the mental side of things is almost important as the physical side of things, so in case one of the young guys is overwhelmed & can't pick it up, you have a vet insurance policy on hand. Last year Wagner was a quick study and made Ruud expendable, so I have few doubts Johnson or Portis (or even Casey Brockman) couldn't do the same to Quinn this year if they prove worthy.
I think the main thing they'll be looking for out of the back-up is how he helps all the weekly prep & QB meetings function. That doesn't necessarily mean they're looking for a "mentor" to help teach Wilson things (that's what QB coaches and OC's are for) but rather how well that guy compliments things in the QB meeting room. How well does he understand things on film, how well does he break down D's, is he a good sounding board for Wilson to bounce things off of, does he ask good questions? And even more importantly, what type of tone does he set on the practice field? Is he a "gym rat", is he always at the VMAC, is he setting a positive example, and does he know/embrace his role?
I do think Quinn enters camp with a big advantage - by all accounts he's always been a hard worker & film room guy ever since he came into the NFL, and he has experience with Pro-Style O's & D's going back to his Freshman year at Notre Dame. But I definitely think Johnson's capable of it as well - he worked with a great Offensive coach in Mike Sherman and was a team leader. He also got a lot of praise for the way he handled his benching, staying positive & helping out Tannehill. Both Quinn & Johnson are motivated, but IMO Johnson may have more of an "edge" to him ... Quinn's possibly reached that point where he's realized he's a permanent back-up and figures he can collect a nice paycheck doing that for the next 10 years. Johnson has the added hunger of trying to prove he belongs in the NFL ... and maybe that gives him the motivation to out-work Quinn. If there's anything this Organization has shown, it's that they'll reward that hard work.
I'm sick of chasing after my dreams. I'm just going to find out where they're headed, and catch up with them later.
- Mitch Hedberg