Same Old Derek

As the Cleveland Browns get into their off-season workouts, their starting quarterback isn't letting his new-found success change him. Here's the latest about the much-discussed QB and some additional Browns notes.


Derek Anderson is not letting his new fame and fortune make him into a different person than he was when he blossomed into one of the biggest surprises of the 2007 season. Instead, he left his offseason home in Oregon and is hard at work in the Browns' offseason program at team headquarters in Berea, Ohio.

"It's good to know that the contract is taken care of and that I'm coming back," said Anderson, who was a restricted free agent for a few hours on the first day of free agency. "I talked to my agent and made it clear that this is where I wanted to be."

For some unexplainable reason, Anderson still has some doubters among fans and media following the Browns. The skeptics are siding with Brady Quinn, even though Anderson last year threw 29 touchdown passes - the most by any Browns quarterback since Brian Sipe threw 30 in 1980.

Anderson also threw 19 interceptions - four of them in a critical loss to the Bengals in the 15th game. His goal in the weeks heading into training camp is to work on ways to cut down the interceptions and to improve his touch on short passes. He has a strong arm but has to learn when to take something off his fastball.

Anderson also has to prove he was not a one-year wonder, or more specifically a half-year wonder. Statistically, he was not as successful the last half of the year as he was the first half. He threw nine of his touchdown passes over the last seven games compared to 10 interceptions over the same period. Put another way, he threw 31 percent of his touchdown passes while he was throwing 53 percent of his interceptions. But four of those interceptions were thrown in one game, and it is questionable whether all the interceptions were Anderson's fault or whether a receiver ran an incorrect route.

"We have two good quarterbacks," general manager Phil Savage said. "Actually, three, because a lot of fans said Ken Dorsey should have been the starter last summer. If that was the case, then we must have three good quarterbacks. I always say two and Ken Dorsey and I don't mean that as a slight toward him. He's a capable player and he's been extremely valuable to us behind the scenes."

Savage said Anderson is the starter by virtue of signing his three-year, $24 million contract with about $14 million guaranteed. Quinn might have something to say about that.

Quinn has no problem with Anderson being tabbed as the starter heading into the OTAs and training camp, based on what Anderson did last season, but he plans on taking the job from Anderson before the season begins.

BROWNS NOTES

--The Browns re-signed linebacker Kris Griffin to a one-year contract. Griffin was among the team leaders on special teams tackles until a knee injury cut his season short by four games. He still finished fifth with 14 special teams tackles.

--Former Browns running back William Green wants to return to the NFL. He was among the participants at the Boston College Pro Day workout. He ran a 4.65 40-yard dash.

--The Browns are eager to see the 2008 NFL schedule when it is released early next month. For nine straight years, ever since returning to the NFL, they have opened at home. They are 1-8 in season openers, and though they are riding a streak of seven straight home victories, opening on the road might be a good way to start the season.

--Andra Davis' tackle total dipped from 133 in 2006 to 104 in 2007. The 2002 fifth-round draft choice from Florida will be a free agent after next season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They (Detroit Lions) weren't happy with my services at the time and somebody welcomed with me with open arms. I'm just glad to be here." - Browns defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, commenting on the trade the Browns made to acquire him at the start of free agency.


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