Mangini Drops QB Hints

In Berea today, Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini outlined the time frame and key decision factors at quarterback. Steve King was there... what does this portend for Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson?

It will apparently be a long time before the Browns settle on a starting quarterback between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.

It won't happen until at some point in the preseason, according to head coach Eric Mangini.

But on Thursday morning, Mangini revealed what the main criteria will be in ultimately making that decision.

"It will be huddle presence and the ability to run the offense," he said before another OTA practice.

"For instance, if the other team is blitzing, do they run the right play? When they have two plays at their disposal, do they choose the one that has the better chance of success aga inst that particular defense?"

Anderson and Quinn are in a tight battle, so much so, in fact, that they have been rotating on a practice-by-practice basis running the No. 1 offense. Mangini plans to continue that for the rest of the OTAs, which will end with sessions next Monday and Tuesday, and also through the three-day minicamp that will run next Thursday-Saturday and serve as the final tune-up before training camp.

Both have struggled some in the practices that have been open to the media. But it would be foolish to put the brunt of the responsibility for that solely on their shoulders since receivers making the right read on the defense and then running the proper routes, obviously also factor in heavily as well.

When a play blew up last week, causing Anderson to awkwardly throw the ball away, he came off the field, angrily unbuckled his chin strap and then screamed at offensive coordinator Brian Daboll while pointing to an unspecified wide receiver, "He doesn't know what he's doing!"

Mangini said there will be plenty of aspects of the two quarterbacks' play – both in practice and in preseason games – that wuill be taken into consideration before a decision is made.

"The preseason games will be the last phase of the process, but it will be an important phase," he said.

Mangini also said it's unlikely the Browns would still rotate Quinn and Anderson in the regular season.

"I anticipate having a starter by the beginning of the season and moving forward with that player," he said, "but I wouldn't rule out anything."

One thing to keep in the back of your mind as the situation unfolds over the next three months is something a few of the receivers said privately about the quarterbacks last season. They raved about Quinn's "huddle presence" and said that when he briefly took over as the starter before suffering a season-ending finger injury, it was not a coincidence that the ongoing problems on offense – players lining up in the wrong spot, players not in the game when they should be, or in the game when they shouldn't have been, false-start penalities and missed assignments – seemed to almost completely disappear.

Were they right in that assessment? And if so, then can Quinn carry that over into this season?

Or will Anderson's arm-strength advantage be the key? And can he recapture the magic he had in 2007 when he became the first Browns quarterback in 20 years to make the Pro Bowl?

Stay tuned.     


The OBR Top Stories