Tales from the Inbox: QB Edition

Rumors continue to circle the Cleveland Browns regarding their QB situation, despite Derek Anderson signing a new three-year contract and the team's protestations that he'll be their starter in 2008. Here are Lane's thoughts on the discussion that will not die...


Q: We keep hearing that Brady Quinn is going to be the QB at some point. If this organization is that high on him, what was the basis for him dropping to the 22nd pick last year? I have read where if he were in this draft, he would be nothing more than a second round draft selection, so why did the Browns made the deal to select him?

LA: Unless Derek Anderson is lights-out this year, I do believe without question Quinn will be the Browns QB no later than the 2009 season. When players and personnel people note to me that the young man has the goods, as they have with Quinn, I listen closely.

In 2007, there were issues with Quinn's mechanics and less than desirable workouts prior to the draft. The mechanical flaws created problems with his accuracy and the way in which the ball came out. We watched Quinn very closely from the beginning of the OTA's through training camp and there was an obvious and significant difference vs what I saw right after the draft.

QB coach Rip Scherer worked with Quinn throughout the year to change his hand positioning, arm slot and footwork so the young QB comes through the ball cleaner. The staff in Berea is quite happy with Quinn's development. There's confidence inside the organization is present that Quinn will be a player when the time comes for him to step on the field as a starter.

Equating Quinn to second-round talent is nonsense. He's not a second-round guy in the 2007 draft and certainly not in the 2008 draft. In many instances, those evaluating the QB's rate Quinn as the first or second best prospect at the position if he were in this year's draft.

Since Quinn slipped past many teams in the 2007 draft, that fact which will be used by those down on him until he steps onto the field. Many teams picking after the Dolphins chose Ginn over Quinn at the #9 spot last year attacked specific team needs - QB was not the priority for those teams. These teams may have liked Quinn as a player, but their needs were elsewhere.

The Browns liked Quinn and after the Dolphins selected WR Ted Ginn with the 9th pick, the Browns really began exploring the options and discussing trades with those teams until a deal went down at #22.

Q: Why would the Browns spend such a significant amount of salary cap dollars on Derek Anderson with Quinn already on the roster? As a first round pick, Quinn is in a position to play and should help immediately. With the other needs this team has, wouldn't it have been wiser to let Anderson walk for and first and third round draft selection and focus on building the deficient areas of the roster?

LA: The Browns are comfortable with both players on the roster, for the time being. Re-signing Anderson provides this team with greater stability, since they know they can win with Anderson and believe they can win with Quinn. Therein lies the difference, since the team is being put together to make a significant run in the 2008 season and beyond. I don't view Savage as being comfortable with the notion of having any vulnerability at the QB spot and he has no issue whatsoever with Quinn getting another season or partial season on the bench under his belt.

 There is nothing wrong with letting a young QB develop for a season on the bench, as has been the case with Quinn. While many teams feel the pressure to insert a high draft selection into the lineup immediately, the Browns have not been forced to get Quinn under center. Some of which is reflective of Anderson's play and the belief the team will win with him at the helm.

 Trading Anderson has been a topic of conversation for quite some time. While trading Anderson could provide the organization opportunities to draft players which could improve the team at some point, there is no sure thing involved. At this time, Anderson provides intangibles which another player coming in could not.

Anderson is still a player of interest to other NFL teams, if the Browns are open to dealing him.

Q: Let's say Derek Anderson plays in the 2008 season for the Browns and exceeds his 2007 performance; matches his 2007 performance; or plays as he did in the second half of the 2007 season, what would you expect to occur in each instance in regards to Brady Quinn?

LA: If Anderson exceeds his 2007 season, it would likely mean the Browns are headed to the playoffs. It would be difficult for Cleveland to entertain the option of trading a QB that played on such an exceptional level. His value would be monumental to the Browns and it would likely be that Brady Quinn would be headed to another team.

 If Anderson played at his 2007 level, he would remain a valuable commodity in the trading market and the evaluation of whether Brady Quinn is the better upside prospect would be the significant question. If the team sits 10-6 and a borderline playoff type team, I could see Cleveland trading the QB.

If Anderson's play deteriorates, the calls for Brady Quinn will be loud throughout the season.

This is a pressure filled, precarious situation for Anderson, as the backup quarterback is always a favorite when things are not going well. In all, if Anderson plays below expectations, expect to see Brady Quinn under center at some point during the campaign.




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