Toward the end of minicamp Coach Romeo Crennel announced Derek Anderson was throwing the ball better than any other quarterback the Browns have. The declaration does not mean Anderson is the starter, but it acknowledges he is in the mix. That alone is enough to make Anderson smile.
It is easy to push Anderson aside as 'the other quarterback' after Charlie Frye, the incumbent, and Brady Quinn, the ballyhooed rookie from Notre Dame taken with the 22nd overall pick in the draft. Dismissing Anderson as just a training camp arm would also be a mistake.
Anderson finished the game against Kansas City last season when Frye suffered a wrist injury. The Browns won in overtime on the strength of an improbable 33-yard run by Anderson. It was the Browns longest run from scrimmage all season. Anderson started the next three games, and although the Browns lost them all, Anderson did enough to be part of the quarterback competition in training camp.
"I'd say my chances of starting are good," Anderson said at the conclusion of minicamp. "That's just my sense. I think they're going to give us an equal opportunity. Whoever performs well and moves the team the best is going to be that guy."
The quarterback running offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's scheme will have to make quick decisions and hit the receiver on timing routes. Both are strengths of Anderson.
The biggest negatives for Anderson in his brief time last year was he threw seven interceptions and, his long run notwithstanding, was not as mobile as he would like to be. He worked on agility drills in the offseason to avoid the pass rush better. If he is the starter it would follow that he would get more practice time, and that should cut down on the interceptions.
"With my limited mobility, throwing on time is obviously part of my thing," Anderson said. "Making those timing throws and getting the ball out on time helps the whole system. I think I do a pretty good job of that most of the time, and I'll keep working on it."
Anderson is in his third season with the Browns. The Ravens drafted him in the sixth round in 2005 and waived him Sept. 20 of his rookie year with the intent of putting him on their practice squad. The Browns claimed him on waivers.
--Ted Washington remains entrenched as the starting nose tackle, but Shaun Smith, acquired in free agency after three seasons with the Bengals, was impressive in the playing time he got. Improving the run defense is a major goal of training camp.
--Phil Dawson, the only kicker the Browns have had since their rebirth, is looking to rebound after missing eight of 29 attempts last season. Punter Dave Zastudil will be his holder for a second straight year. Dawson had to get used to a new holder every year from 2004-2006.
--One of the biggest changes on the Browns' coaching staff is the one that has Ted Daisher replacing Jerry Rosburg. Rosburg was the Browns special teams coordinator from 2001-2006. He left for more money and job security in Atlanta.
"We're getting used to a whole new terminology," Dawson said. "Some things are the same but some are different, so I think the guys have done a good job listening and adapting to the schemes and the new ideas. Special teams have always been a strong point of this team and we will expect that come the season."
--Former kicker Don Cockroft is among the finalists to be enshrined in the Browns Legends Club in 2007. Cockroft played for the Browns from 1968-80. He is second on the all-time scoring list with 1,080 points.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's frustrating because we're trying to be perfect. We're striving to make the right reads and make the right throws. Obviously it's great to make plays but we're also trying to minimize the mistakes." -- Quarterback Derek Anderson on throwing incomplete passes in practice.
Browns Wrap: Anderson In the Mix
The OBR Top Stories
OBR Membership: Now with Sports Illustrated!In addition to all the great premium content on Scout, ticket and gear discounts, and more, annual premium members will now receive a year of Sports Illustrated with their…
The OBR6:40 AM
Is signing Pryor the highest priority now?Terrelle Pryor is in the final year of his contract and the Browns need to try to sign him to a contract extension before he gets to free agency
The OBRWednesday at 5:45 PM
Extra Points: Pryor, Haden miss practiceFred Greetham recaps Wednesday's news from Berea.
The OBRWednesday at 12:34 PM
Kessler more focused on winning than statsRookie quarterback Cody Kessler is getting praise from his coaches and teammates, but he says unless the Browns win, it's of little merit to him
The OBRWednesday at 6:54 AM
Injuries in English: Joel BitonioIn our second edition of "Injuries in English", Brandon talks about Joel Bitonio's foot injury and what's next for the Browns standout guard.
The OBRWednesday at 6:12 AM