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Helmets Off: Richard Quinn

Posted Dec 2, 2010

Richard Quinn chats with DenverBroncos.com about his second year as a pro in the latest edition of 'Helmets Off.'



ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On the last day of October, Richard Quinn notched his first NFL start when the Broncos opened their game in London with a three-tight-end formation. Since then, Head Coach Josh McDaniels has been vocal about the sophomore's evolution as a pro.

"I think that Richard is just taking his normal course," McDaniels said. "He played some last year for us and he's playing more and more now because I think he's more ready to play, mentally. Physically, he's always been capable as a blocker, but I think mentally now, the game has slowed down for him. He's able to see things differently and I think that's a credit to him and Daniel (Graham)."

Learning the position with Graham provides Quinn a valuable resource at practice. Not only is Graham a football encyclopedia for Quinn, but the veteran tight end allows the second-year man more practice time when the coaches lighten his load during the week.

McDaniels said Quinn has exploited his practice reps and proved he can execute the scheme on game days. The head coach praised his young tight end's selfless attitude in the kicking game and on offense.

The 2009 second-round pick played in 15 games, had two special teams tackles and deflected a pass on a fake punt attempt as a rookie. He has one special teams stop this year.

How do you think you've progressed in your second year as a professional?

"I feel like I'm progressing pretty well. I'm trying to do the best I can each week just to be more involved helping my team, just do whatever I can to contribute and make any plays on offense or special teams, whatever I can."

Coach McDaniels said you've always had the physical capabilities, and now it looks like things are slowing down for you mentally. Do you feel that way?

"Yeah. Also, there's a lot going on each week in preparation for each team. There are a lot of things that are involved, so I try to do the best I can to make sure that I have every note down and watch plenty of film. I try to make sure that I'm ready for each game on Sunday."

How has working with Tight Ends Coach Bob Ligashesky helped you in that type of preparation?

"He's been a big help. He does the best he can to make sure we get all the information we need each week to prepare for each team. He's done a good job. We go out early before practice starts to always review on our assignments to keep us sharp on top of our game, so he's done well with that."

What do you feel that you've done well on the practice field that carries over to game day?

"Blocking, and as far as the passing game, whenever I have a chance to participate, I'm there. Other than that, whenever they need me in the run game, I'm trying to do whatever I can to help the run game out."

What's the key to blocking well against an NFL defensive end?

"Every defensive end in this league is big, so you've got to make sure that you have your right steps, use good technique and finish your blocks."

What challenges are unique to the tight end position?

"In the passing game, you've just got to be able to get open. In the blocking game, you've just got to have an attitude. To be able to block, I feel like you just have to have a great attitude, just have a want for it. If you go out there and you don't have that type of edge, you won't be able to get it done."

What have you learned from Daniel Graham?

"I learned a lot. I learned everything, the flow of the game, the way the game works, just everything about being a true tight end. He's helped me a lot and given me a lot of tips and advice to help me stay on top of my game."

You've called him the guru. Why is that?

"I call him the guru because he's always telling me, 'I've been doing this for nine years, and you have to respect that.' It's funny, he always throws up the nine with his hands like, 'You know I've been doing this for a long time.' It's just something that we always joke around with when I see him. He's a good veteran of the game, and I learn a lot just being able to play with him."

As the son of a military man, you went to high school in two different states. How did that affect the type of person you are today?

"Growing up, I've been all over the country. I had an opportunity to meet a lot of people from different states growing up. I would live in a state no longer than four or five years, and then I was moving. My dad retired when I was maybe 16, so in those 16 years I've been all over the place. It's been a great experience to help me develop into the person I am today."

You went to the University of North Carolina. What was it like to play football at such a predominant basketball school?

"Football is on the rise. I love the school, I had a great college career, and if I had a chance to do it again, I definitely would. I don't regret anything."

You played basketball in high school. Was football always your first love or did you have hoop dreams as well?

"Actually, basketball was my first love. I was good at football as well, and when I was little, I had the power of both sports, so I was like, 'Let's see where this can take me.' I always wanted to be good at both, and I just let it progress through middle school and high school and had to make a choice."

What made you choose football?

"At my high school, at Maple (Heights High School), we had a good football program, and a lot of kids were getting looks through football. So that was the route that I chose. I was thinking, 'Okay, I might have the opportunity to do some things with football.'"

You were an Exercise and Sport Science Major. Does that affect how you take care of your body or how you look at injuries?

"Having that type of background, I'm always conscious about the things that I do, exercise, eating, I think that's beneficial to me."

How important is it to you to be a good father for your toddler?

"Very important. This world is not easy, and I want to be there for my daughter, just be there to show here the right things and prepare her for when she gets older and reality starts to set in in a little bit. I want her to not be overwhelmed. I want to be there to show her the ropes, show her the right steps."

What is it like to deal with a two-year old? Is it the terrible twos like people say?

"Maybe with her mother, but not with me. When I have her, she's an angel. We have great times whenever I have the chance to see her. She's very smart and growing fast. It's kind of unbelievable. I'm having a good time."

<p>How do you think you've progressed in your second year as a professional?</p>

<p>I feel like I'm progressing pretty well. I'm just trying to do the best I can each week just to be more involved helping my team, just do whatever I can to contribute and make any plays on offense or special teams, whatever I can.</p>

<p>Coach McDaniels said you've always had the physical capabilities, and now it looks like things are slowing down for you mentally. Do you feel that way?</p>

<p>Yeah. Also, there's a lot going on each week in preparation for each team. There are a lot of things that are involved, so I try to do the best I can to make sure that I have every note down and watch plenty of film. I try to make sure that I'm ready for each game on Sunday.</p>

<p>How has working with Tight Ends Coach Bob Ligashesky helped you in that type of preparation?</p>

<p>He's been a big help. He does the best we can to make sure we get all the information we need each week to prepare for each team. He's done a good job. We go out early before practice starts to always review on our assignments to keep us sharp on top of our game, so he's done well with that.</p>

<p>What do you feel that you've done well on the practice field that carries over to game day?</p>

<p>Blocking, and as far as the passing game, whenever I have a chance to participate, I'm there. Other than that, whenever they need me in the run game, I'm trying to do whatever I can to help the run game out.</p>

<p>What's the key to blocking well against an NFL defense end?</p>

<p>You just have to have great technique, take the proper steps and have good leverage. Every defensive end in this league is big, so you've got to make sure that you have your right steps, use good technique and finish your blocks.</p>

<p>What challenges are unique to the tight end position?</p>

<p>In the passing game, you've just got to be able to get open. In the blocking game, you've just got to have an attitude. To be able to block, I feel like you just have to have a great attitude, just have a want for it. If you go out there and you don't have that type of edge, you won't be able to get it done. You have to have some type of attitude out there when you're blocking on the line.</p>

<p>What have you learned from Daniel Graham?</p>

<p>I learned a lot. I learned everything, the flow of the game, the way the game works, just everything about being a true tight end. He's helped me a lot and given me a lot of tips and advice to help me stay on top of my game.</p>

<p>You've called him the guru. Why is that?</p>

<p>I call him the guru because he's always telling me, 'I've been doing this for nine years, and you have to respect that.' It's funny, he always throws up the nine with his hands like, 'You know I've been doing this for a long time.' It's just something that we always joke around with when I see him. He's a good veteran of the game, and I learn a lot just being able to play with him.</p>

<p>As the son of a military man, you went to high school in two different states. How did that affect the type of person you are today?</p>

<p>Growing up, I've been all over the country. I had an opportunity to meet a lot of peopel from different states growing up. I would live in a state no longer than four or five years, and then I was moving. My dad retired when I was maybe 16, so those 16 years I've been all over the place. It's been a great experience to help me develop into the person I am today.</p>

<p>You went to the University of North Carolina. What was it like to play football at such a predominant basketball school?</p>

<p>Football is on the rise. I love the school, I had a great college career, and if I had a chance to do it again, I definitely would. I don't regret anything.</p>

<p>You played basketball in high school. Was football always your first love or did you have hoop dreams as well?</p>

<p>Actually, basketball was my first love. I was good at football as well, and when I was little, I had the power of both sports, so I was like, 'Let's see where this can take me.' I always wanted to be good at both, and I just let it progress through middle school and high school and had to make a choice.</p>

<p>What made you choose football?</p>

<p>At my high school, at Maple, we had a good football program, and a lot of kids were getting looks through football. So that was the route that I chose. I was thinking, 'Okay, I might have the opportunity to do some things with football.'</p>

<p>You were an Exercise and Sport Science Major. Does that affect how you take care of your body or how you look at injuries?</p>

<p>Yeah, everything, exercise and proper diet. Having that type of background, I'm always conscious about the things that I do, exercise, eating, I think that's beneficial to me.</p>

<p>How important is it to you to be a good father?
Very important. This world is not easy, and I just want to be there for my daughter, just be there to show here the right things and prepare her for when she gets older and reality starts to set in in a little bit. I want her to not be overwhelmed. I want to be there to show her the ropes, show her the right steps.</p>

<p>What is it like to deal with a two-year old? Is it the terrible twos like people say?
Maybe with her mother, but not with me. When I have her, she's an angel. We have great times whenever I have the chance to see her. She's very smart and growing fast. It's kind of unbelievable. I'm having a good time. </p>

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