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Should Derek Anderson Really Start on Sunday?

Cameron MasonContributor ISeptember 30, 2009

The old sang “desperate time’s calls for desperate measures” is true as Coach Eric Mangini has announced Derek Anderson will be the starting quarterback for the Browns Sunday against the 2-1 Cincinnati Bengals.

Coach Mangini spent the entire off-season and training camp deciding on a concrete starter prior to finally anointing Quinn as number one on the depth chart a week before the season opener. However, after beginning the season with a 0-3 start and ranking almost dead last in every offensive passing category Mangini has decided to promote Anderson.

Coach Mangini believes Anderson will have more success at moving the offense down the field, especially on their troublesome third down conversions. Within Sunday’s game Anderson displayed he had more success moving the team down the field, but displayed poor decision making as he threw three interceptions in just the second half of play.

Anderson may have assisted the Browns in moving the ball down the field more efficiently and possesses a stronger arm, but his decision making skills and pocket awareness are serious red flags.

Standing in the pocket flat foot at 6-5 and 235 pounds with limited mobility behind an offensive line which has already given up 11 sacks, is like placing a statue in rush hour traffic.

Questions now arise on the future of Brady Quinn with the Browns, as he was deemed as the apparent franchise quarterback after the Browns traded up in the first round to select him in 2007 draft. Quinn has the physical structure and more athletic ability than Anderson, but he doesn’t have the arm strength to drive the ball down the field for the highlight plays.

Overall both quarterbacks have opposite strengths but the same weakness of not managing the offense to their own advantage. Anderson relies too much on his arm strength and takes too many risks down the field, while Quinn does not take risks and enjoys throwing the underneath passes which results in third downs not first downs.

The Browns have so many offensive problems it is wrong for Mangini to single out Quinn as the apparent setback. Could it be possible if Mangini did not take six months to solidify Quinn a starting quarterback he could have been acclimated to the offense and this situation would not have occurred?

This decision could have many different outcomes for all the parties involved. Mangini’s choice could result in Anderson returning to his 2007 Pro Bowl form and salvaging the season.

But the decision could back fire, which would cause further offensive woes and the losing streak would ultimately increase problems for Mangini. Possibly Mangini will finally realize the upside and investment which lies in Quinn and allow him to man the helm once again.

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