ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – When the Broncos defenders look across the line of scrimmage on Sunday, they will see a familiar face under center for the Chiefs.
Kansas City Head Coach Romeo Crennel announced that Brady Quinn will start for the Chiefs against the Broncos, a team on which Quinn spent the 2010 and '11 seasons.
"I thought he did a great job for us," Head Coach John Fox said of Quinn. "He didn't get a lot of opportunity in the regular season a year ago, but I watched him a lot of times in practice and he's definitely very capable."
Quinn did not appear in a regular-season game for the Broncos during his two years with the team. He has started two games this season for the Chiefs, and has completed 35-of-58 passes for 308 yards with three interceptions this season.
He entered Kansas City's Week 11 game against Cincinnati in the second half and went 9-of-13 for 95 yards and a passer rating of 83.9.
"We have a lot of respect for him," safety Rahim Moore said. "He was once our teammate. He's like every other quarterback. You go out there and try to be your best, and just play fast."
Although Quinn spent two seasons on the Broncos, Denver's defense isn't counting on familiarity helping them on Sunday.
Even though they practiced opposite the signal caller, many times Quinn was quarterbacking the scout team, so he was mimicking that week's opposing quarterback – not himself.
"There isn't much familiarity," Moore said. "I went against him, but it's different in game mode. He's had another offseason, no question he is juiced to start. It's a time for him to showcase his talents. At the same time, you go out there and just play."
Safety Mike Adams was not on the Broncos last season, but he is the Bronco that has spent the longest amount of time as Quinn's teammate. They both joined the Browns in 2007 and played three seasons together.
Prior to this season, Quinn hadn't started a game since 2009, when he opened nine contests for the Browns. Adams also started nine games that season for Cleveland.
"(I'm) just looking forward to the challenge and forward to seeing him," Adams said. "I'm happy that he finally got his shot playing. I'm just looking forward to the game."
Even though the Chiefs announced that Quinn would open Sunday's contest, the Broncos defense is preparing for both Quinn and fellow quarterback Matt Cassel just in case the latter makes an appearance as well.
Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio has a challenge on his hands trying to prepare for Quinn, since there is not much recent film of the former first-round draft pick.
While Quinn has started two games this year, he has only thrown 58 passes in the last three years – not the typical sample size available on each of the previous 10 quarterbacks that the Broncos have faced this year, all of which have been Pro Bowlers.
After going 22-of-38 in his first start this season, Quinn opened the Chiefs' next game but was injured and left the game with a concussion after throwing just four passes.
"(We are) trying to get as much tape as we can on him," Del Rio said. "Obviously, (we are) preparing for both guys because both guys played last week. You have to prepare for that. Brady's a guy that I studied coming out of Notre Dame years ago and obviously he was here (in Denver) so I know there are people that have a reference point. From my standpoint, we want to make sure we do the things we can to slow them down, get the ball back for our offense and do our thing defensively that way as a team."