Cleveland Browns' Derek Anderson: To Bench or Not to Bench-that is the Question.

Jim MontgomeryContributor IOctober 2, 2008

My, how one month changes everything. It was one month ago that the Browns were a competing team for the AFC North crown. One month ago, playoff football and late-January pro football seemed inevitable, and one month ago that Derek Anderson and the rest of the high-flying offense witnessed last year, were considered the saviors of Browns football.

Now, after four games of inconsistent and "pitiful" play Derek Anderson is considered a bum and now many fans and media are calling for his head. Is he really to blame though? I mean is he doing the blocking? Is he catching the balls? Does he have to give Kellen Winslow duct tape too, so when he gets popped he doesn't give up the ball?

Granted, Anderson hasn't been the best this season, but neither has Schaeffer, Hadnot, Edwards and a lot of offensive players which were integral to the success of the Browns last year.

Has Derek Anderson thrown bad interceptions this year? Yes, but are all of his seven interceptions his fault? No, and has Braylon Edwards played like he is capable of doing? Hell no. In the first three games this season the fourth year receiver had five catches and five drops along with other passes thrown his way which could have been caught if he had been more aggressive.

I would also like to know, how having Brady Quinn out there will make things 100 times better then the quarterback that lead us to 10 wins last year 2.5 times the amount of wins of the 2006 season. If Quinn were to be the starter he would go through the normal "rookie" syndrome of missing receivers and depending heavily on Kellen Winslow and other slot receivers.

Braylon Edwards would again be unhappy because he wouldn't be getting the amount of touches he was getting under the tutelage of Derek Anderson, who can make the deep throw.

Now, does Anderson need to get better in the pocket, on decision making, and shorter routes such as screens and dump offs? Of course, but he already has a big enough base to get the ball out there to the playmakers. When he has time, unlike when the O-line had injuries and he looked terrible in the Baltimore game, he is one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the game.

The Cincinnati game this week was really a turning point as D.A. got his confidence back in the second half. Sure, he only had about 150 yards and the game wasn't pretty, but every little step helps.

If every little bump in the world scared everyone in Professional football some of the NFL's greatest dynasty's would not have occurred like the '90s Cowboys and '60s Packers. Living in Cleveland, you should know that not everything is going to go your way all the time.

So, I really question the fandom of some who call for the head of a man that gave you so much joy as he beat the Seahawks last year, or the pain of losing to the Bengals, or gave you the knowledge that every game the Browns played in could be won last year.

I know that for me, Derek Anderson will never die in my mind for the year he had last year and even though he's had a few bumps he could bring it back to us if we give him the chance.

-Jordan Basenback