Hanford: About These Quarterbacks

The Top Dawg covers all the bases, from the Michael Vick fiasco to the brewing storm in Cleveland. Quarterbacks are on Hanford's mind, as he sets to pick off the competition in Cleveland.

Hey, dawgs. Today, it's going to be the tale of two quarterbacks. One is clearly on the rise. The other is clearly in a lot of trouble.


I'm talking about Brady Quinn and Michael Vick. First, Michael Vick, who agreed Monday to enter a guilty plea to federal dog-fighting conspiracy charges.


What a waste of talent. Here's a first-round draft pick, a guy with tremendous talent, on his way to being a great, great quarterback in the National Football League and now that's going to be interrupted with jail time.


I think it's a shame because I love dogs and I hate to see dogs or anybody get hurt. I think Michael Vick is guilty of letting all this go on under his watch because he did own the property and those guys were his friends. And as a result, he did not have a choice. All those guys rolled over on him.


I think he should have gone in, before this stuff got out of hand, and said, "Look, I'm guilty. Let's go ahead and let's try to work out a deal. Let me make a contribution to the main society."


But he waited until the other three guys went in and entered a plea. He could not take a chance to go to trial and wait this thing out. He probably would be looking at five or six years in jail. Hopefully, he learned from this mistake and can move on with his life.


Does this tarnish his image? I think to a certain extent it has been tarnished, but I can't see Michael Vick, even though they say he did, I can't see him showing up at dog fights and doing the things these guys did.


Let's look at it this way: These guys are trying to save their own butts and they're going to say whatever they need to say in order to protect themselves. And if Michael Vick did it – I know he pleaded guilty, but I think there's something to that – but if he actually did this with those dogs, there's no excuse for this. I don't want to see any animals hurt. I don't want to see any humans hurt.


In my heart, I don't want to believe he actually went to a dog fight and witnessed dogs getting hurt and executing dogs with electrocution and hangings and drownings. I just can't see him doing that.


Now a lot of you probably wonder if Vick will be the same player after he serves his time. It's like you're hurt and you're out for a year. It's hard for those guys coming back. You never know what's going to happen to him mentally. He's going to prison. You don't know what kind of environment he's going to be in. It's going to be really, really tough for him to come back and be the quarterback he was before he left.


Speaking of quarterbacks, we all saw how well Brady Quinn performed against Detroit in that preseason game last Saturday night.


I just want to say whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, fans. Everybody hold on. I mean everybody wants to anoint Brady Quinn as the savior right now. I still think we need to hold on. I mean let's face the facts here.


Sure, Brady Quinn came into the game and did a good job. But you've got to look and see who he's going against. A lot of those passes were dump-off passes to backs. A lot of that yardage was backs breaking a tackle here and there and getting those yards. I could throw those passes to those guys.


I'm not knocking what Brady did. I think the kid came in and did what he was supposed to do. I thought he played well, but right now, let's not throw him in there and make him the quarterback.


I know you guys will think I'm crazy, but I get upset listening and reading what everybody is saying about Derek Anderson. I do not think he had a bad game against the Lions. People are talking about him mismanaging the clock; he had a turnover.


When you look at what happened in that first series, Kevin Shaffer got beat bad by the left end and as a result, Anderson did not see him coming. He had no choice. The guy knocked the ball out of his hands. That's the first turnover.


Now, when you look at him again, he was a victim of some dropped passes. He hit Travis Wilson right in the hands on a third and 7 and he drops the ball. You have a couple of occasions where the plays were late coming from the sideline. The coaches want the players to be ready to play. I wonder if the coaches are ready to coach.


And then on one particular play, when they finally got the play in, Kellen Winslow was supposed to be on the field and he wasn't.


Back down off Derek Anderson. I thought he played well. I thought he had some good drives.


Now I think Brady Quinn is going to be a good quarterback in this league. But I'm not ready to turn these reins over to him right now.


So is there a quarterback controversy? Absolutely not because when you look at it, Brady has not proven anything. Charlie Frye, for whatever reason, just doesn't see like he's ready to take over this team. I think the No., 1 guy right now has got to be Anderson.


The lost guy in this whole thing is Ken Dorsey. I thought he played well against the Lions. I thought he had a good drive


The Browns have to make a decision in the next two weeks. I think it's going to be Anderson who will be named the starter. Now where that leaves Charlie Frye I don't know. But one thing we know for sure: All these quarterbacks can't stay here.


All the players want is the best guy to play. They don't care if that's Brady Quinn, they don't care if that's Derek Anderson, Charlie Frye or Ken Dorsey. The players just want the best guy that's going help this football team win.


I don't think players take sides. You have your friends on the team. I know we all did it. I know I had my friends, but still, that doesn't change the fact. The facts are we're here to win football games and we're here to win the division, possibly get into the playoffs and then go to the Super Bowl.


You can't do that if you want one of your friends to play, especially if one of your friends is not as good as the guy who is his competition. And that's why I say that competition brings out the best in everybody. And the best guy should get the job regardless of who he is. It's not a popularity contest and that's what they're making it with Brady Quinn right now.


On Sept. 9, I'm predicting the starting quarterback is going to be . . . Derek Anderson. He is going to start for this football team because even though he hasn't won a game in the National Football League, he is a little more poised and should get significant playing time this weekend in Denver to get ready to start the season.


Sure, I want to see more of Brady. I would love to see him play against the Broncos' No. 1 defense. The only problem now is he's going to be a victim of holding out of camp. Going into the third preseason game, whoever's going to start for this team has to get a lot of work this week because you can't afford to get anybody hurt in the last preseason game.


Depending on what these guys do down the line during the season, and then we'll know whether Brady Quinn is going to get his shot. But right now, I think its Derek Anderson's team.


Talk to ya next week, dawgs.

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