With a couple of weeks of "voluntary" mini-camp in the books, we're beginning to get a sense of how the quarterbacks are doing, and how they'll fit into Brian Daboll's offensive scheme. Here are the early returns…
- The early portion of the mini-camp season does not provide much in the way of viable insight into which quarterback will emerge as the starter. Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson and Brett Ratliff all share reps with an ever-changing first-team offensive unit, with rips accounted for with computerized precision. In camp sessions, each QB has displayed an ability to make the proper reads, complete quality passes and move the offense. Both Quinn and Anderson had passes intercepted by a defense, but don't read too much into this. The defense is ahead of the offense at this point, a situation exacerbated by an influx of veteran talent and athleticism in the defensive backfield.
- From the sidelines, it is apparent Anderson and Ratliff have livelier arms in comparison to Quinn. Beyond this, getting a read on the QBs is tough due to the implementation of a new offensive scheme which in part relies on players understanding and engulfing the terminology. Installing the new scheme entails linemen, running back and receivers being in position. For his part, Quinn does appear to be the most prepared, as his demeanor expresses confidence and an ability to quickly process the play on the fly. This is an indicator the QB is progressing beyond the quick "check-down and dump" philosophy he utilized in a limited role during the 2008 season.
- Interestingly, each of the QB's has a different ceiling of skill-set. Whereas Quinn is cerebral and adequately athletic, Anderson remains the top-gun in arm strength, with the mentality to grasp the down-field schematics of the Cleveland offense. Ratliff is the most athletic overall of the quarterbacks. His athleticism shows in drills, as Ratliff is light on his toes and has pop in his arm.
- Throughout the off-season, Quinn has been a regular at the Browns training facility. Wasting little time in starting to work with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, the third-year QB has been quickly taking in the philosophy of the new OC and his offense. While there's been recognition Quinn's studiousness by head coach Eric Mangini, Derek Anderson has also been a regular in film sessions and is finding the offense to his liking.
- Part of the reason Anderson likes the new offense is due to the opportunities provided the QB in the scheme. The new Browns offense enables the QB to make quick reads off the base play. While the initial look of this offensive scheme provides less pre-snap movement than that of the past couple seasons in Cleveland, the personnel packages are geared to spread a defense, proving the QB an opportunity to recognize the match-ups which dictate the path of the play.