A look at Notre Dame, Navy

Updated: September 1, 2004, 12:02 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | Special To ESPN.com
Brady Quinn emerged from a team meeting room, hung a left at Touchdown Jesus and walked slowly, musingly, toward the quads. His thumbs grasped the straps of his backpack and his eyes looked down. Notre Dame's practice had long been over, but the thoughts still raced through Quinn's head.

It was September of 2003 and Notre Dame's starting QB job lingered in limbo. Quinn, a true freshman, would eventually take the job from Carlyle Holiday in Week 4. Placed on a grossly accelerated learning curve, Quinn spent the fall taking a crash course in college quarterbacking. He struggled with his accuracy (47.3 percent completions) and made his share of mistakes (15 interceptions), but he won three of his last four starts.

More important, Quinn finished the season stronger in mind and in body. He looked good in his first spring go-round, packed on 10 pounds and appears more at ease in his role at the helm of Notre Dame's offense.