Contrary to numerous reports, Romeo Crennel told Cincinnati media this morning during a conference call that Derek Anderson would be the team's starting Quarterback Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Although I am a HUGE Bengal fan and wish them nothing but success, I sincerely believe that Romeo is making a HUGE mistake NOT starting Brady Quinn!
The Bengals have a way about making quarterbacks starting for the first time look like they are destined for Hall of Fame. In fact, this is probably a bigger decision than anyone realizes. The last thing any football coach wants is a quarterback controversy. If there isn't already a QB controversy in Cleveland, there most certainly would be if Quinn started against the Bengals.
I believe it was a huge mistake for the Browns to sign Anderson to an extension in the first place. Sure, every team would LOVE to have a adequate backup quarterback in case the starter goes down (see New England,) but Brady Quinn is not your typical backup quarterback.
In 2007 the Browns picked OT Joe Thomas with their first selection, but traded back up in the first round to select Notre Dame's star QB. Teams don't trade into the first round to pick projected backup or role players, they select first round picks to be the future of their respective franchise. The entire city of Cleveland knew this as did the entire Cleveland Browns organization. What they didn't know when they selected Quinn was the type of numbers Anderson would put up during the 2007 regular season, earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
Although Anderson was an extremely productive QB last season, the Browns front office knew Quinn was the future, but they signed Anderson to an extension anyway. Anderson's stock was, and never will be, as high as it was after the 2007 season. There were a number of teams that would have loved to sign a QB that had the type of numbers Anderson had last year(see Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota, Tennessee.) Now, Cleveland is stuck with two high paid QB's while Anderson's stock is falling....fast!
The problem was that Anderson wasn't under contract with the Browns for another season, so for the Browns to receive any real compensation for him they would need him under contract and pray he had another great year. Unfortunately, up to this point, that hasn't been the case.
The Browns need to start Brady Quinn on Sunday. It would give him the opportunity to start against a team with a young secondary and virtually no pass rush. What better team to get get your feet wet than the Cincinnati Bengals? Ask Brett Favre! Instead of letting Quinn go into Cincinnati as the starter, it looks as if the Browns are going to take a chance and give Derek Anderson the opportunity to increase his value with hopes of dealing him during the season or off season.
Regardless, Cleveland...meet Brady Quinn, the future of your franchise!