EXCLUSIVE: Behind The Switch

Lane Adkins and John Taylor join forces to bring you the exclusive scoop about how the QB switch went down. Was Crennel's hand forced? How did Anderson and Quinn react? Did the team let this leak? Get the info no one else has!

Based on conversations with personnel and players in the Cleveland Browns organization:

-- Early in the afternoon, The Orange and Brown Report learned that various staff members within the Browns organization were meeting, and that a couple of issues on the agenda were the offense and inconsistency at the quarterback position. Later in the afternoon, there was a buzz within the organization that Brady Quinn would replace Derek Anderson as the starter for the Browns upcoming game against the Denver Broncos.

-- In those organizational meetings, which occurred both last night and today, head coach Romeo Crennel "was strongly urged" by those above him in the structure to make the switch from Anderson to Quinn. After initially resisting the "strong suggestions" – as he has for the better part of the season – the coach finally relented.

-- When asked if this was a Maurice Carthon-type situation – where the head coach was told either make the change or be fired – none of the sources would offer anything more than a cursory "no comment".

-- Sources tell The OBR that Anderson was informed of the decision late in the afternoon, as was Quinn. According to the source, Anderson was not pleased with the decision, but did accept responsibility for his errors and continued inconsistency. Another source tells The OBR that Quinn was "even-keeled, but obviously looking forward to the opportunity" when told of the switch.

-- Two Browns sources wanted to put this to rest, so we'll place this near the top: the "Brady, Brady, Brady" chants had little or no part in the decision to move from Anderson to Quinn. Yes, the owner and upper management were very aware of the discontent among the fan base at the last home game, but this was a football decision and not one with an eye on the pocketbook or appeasing a certain percentage of the fan base.

-- As has been repeatedly reported in these spaces, the decision to switch QBs has been a month or more in the making. Once again, the decision to stick with Anderson rests almost solely at Crennel's feet. Finally, though, the head coach's hand was forced. Left to his own volition without extraneous forces intervening, the head coach "would not have made this move at this time" a source said.

-- The benching of Anderson doesn't come as a surprise, as the team has continued to struggle offensively. Though putting up respectable numbers recently, Anderson's inconsistency and inability to make plays ultimately led to this decision – a decision which did not come easy for the head coach

-- The team does not feel it is throwing in the towel on the season with this move. The organization still feels there's a flicker of playoff hope and that Quinn can provide a spark for the entire club. Despite losing on Sunday to the Baltimore Ravens, the Browns organization is not of the belief the playoffs are out of reach due to what has become a logjam in the AFC.

-- The club also doesn't necessarily view Quinn as the "savior"; rather, they see him as a fresh set of eyes on the field and someone who has the potential to bring some consistency to the huddle and the play on the field.

-- This was not a kneejerk reaction to the pick for a touchdown by Anderson yesterday; rather, it was a decision based on the totality of DA's play, with heavy weight being given to his uneven and inconsistent play this year.

-- Much like this was not a kneejerk decision, sources said, it was also not a complete indictment of DA either. The club is fully aware that Anderson was not the sole reason for the offensive struggles. However, his inconsistency played a large role in the up-and-down struggles of the offense.

-- There was very little concern on the part of most of the coaching staff and Browns upper management in deciding to do this on a short week; part of Crennel's hesitation, though, was that very fact. The Browns are confident in Quinn and feel that the playbook will not have to be scaled-back much if at all. In a lot of ways, a source said, the offense could actually be enhanced and opened-up with Quinn under center. They feel that he is mentally tough, and will have no problem being placed on the national stage for his first regular-season NFL start.

-- With an eye on competitive advantages, the Browns did not want this move to Quinn out there today; the leak has some within the organization highly upset and extremely agitated. Especially given the person – Trent Dilfer – who initially broke the story. They were hoping to be able to get through at least part of the day tomorrow without news of this getting to the Broncos.

-- Though Quinn is going to start against Denver, word is creeping out of the locker room that all the QBs on the roster are going to be discussed this week and a change in strategy and personnel may be in the offing.

-- While most players were not overly surprised that a change has taken place, at least one was caught off guard at the timing. "I'm kind of surprised this didn't happen sooner" one anonymous player said in a text message to The OBR.

-- Another anonymous player told The OBR this evening, "Brady was eventually going to be the guy, we all knew that. Not taking anything away from DA and all he has done here, but this is the move many of us (players) anticipated happening a few weeks ago. Brady is a player, he'll do fine."



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