Breaking News: Browns QB Will be Brady Quinn…or Derek Anderson

Midwest Sports FansAnalyst IAugust 31, 2009

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 7:  Brady Quinn #10 of the Cleveland Browns talks to Derek Anderson #3 on the sideline against the New York Jets during a preseason NFL game at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 7, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

After his solid performance in the Browns’ third preseason game, a home victory over the Titans, many assumed that Brady Quinn had sewn up the starting job in Cleveland.

Quinn outplayed his rival for the starting gig, Derek Anderson, by going 11-15 with 128 yards and a TD to Braylon Edwards. Anderson was not bad, 7-11 for 77 yards, but could only muster a field goal drive.

However, it looks like this week will only bring disappointment for anyone hoping that head coach Eric Mangini will tip his hand and name a starter with just under two weeks left until the team laces it up for real.

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From our good friends at the OBR:

Eric Mangini said he still is not ready to name a starter at quarterback.

“No decision, yet,” Mangini said in is Monday morning press conference.

Mangini said he is committed to going through the whole process, even if that means Thursday’s preseason finale with the Bears.

As I see it, there are three probable explanations for why Mangini still refuses to name a starter, even when all of the signs point to Brady Quinn eventually getting the job:

  1. Derek Anderson has performed relatively well in the last two preseason games and is the only one of the two who has played a full season and made a Pro Bowl. Maybe Mangini really doesn’t know yet.
  2. The Browns would probably still like to trade one of them, thus reducing the possibility of a QB controversy that could hover over the team all season. As Barry McBride from the OBR pointed out to us this weekend, Mangini would not want to reduce the trade value of either by designating one a backup.
  3. Mangini is from the Bill Belichick school of hoarding information and giving out as little as possible. He no doubt wants to have an auspicious debut in front of the home fans in Week 1, and the less time Minnesota has to prepare for a particular QB, the better.

My gut tells me that Brady is the guy, and that the second and third reasons are the most probable explanations for why the “Brady or Derek” QB question will linger at least through this week. And honestly, it works for me.

Information = leverage and power in the NFL. If we have some irons in the fire for a potential trade of D.A. (and I have no knowledge that this is the case), why not see those discussions through without minimizing his value? And if the offense is progressing without one guy being the designated starter, as it seems to be based on the performance against the Titans, then why not make Minnesota play a guessing game for as long as possible?

We’ll get our answer regarding the Browns QB soon enough. In the meantime, we’ll have to keep guessing…but the advantage is that so will everyone else.


* – Brady Quinn / Derek Anderson photo credit: Getty via FanNation