Just like the final score of Sunday's Brown and White Scrimmage on Family Day at Cleveland Browns Stadium, there wasn't much separation between Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, the two players vying for the starting quarterback job.
Quinn, playing for the White team, and Anderson, on the Brown squad, were up and down with their performances in a 17-14 Brown victory before 14,314 fans who got in free and then sat in sweltering 90 degree-plus heat. So the open competition is still pretty much even.
Anderson, playing with the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense, was 12-of-21 passing for 107 yards, no touchdowns and one interception – by inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson -- at the 2-yard line that ruined a golden scoring opportunity for his team.
In addition, he also scrambled for a six-yard TD run and got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for tossing the ball at Shaun Rogers after the nose tackle sacked him. Not only was it very un-quarterback like for him to do that because it took the team back to its own 8, but it was also not very smart. Rogers is 350 pounds – or thereabouts. If you had a dollar for every time in training camp that a media member has referred to him as "a beast," then you and a friend could go out and have a nice dinner. Why would you want to rattle his cage?
Quinn, working with the No. 2 offense against the No. 2 defense, was 11-of-19 for 121 yards with one TD – a 51-yarder to wide receiver Lance Leggett on his team's first offensive play of the day – and an interception (that went off Leggett's hands).
"Both guys had their moments on the plus side, and also with the ones we still need to work on," Browns head coach Eric Mangini said when asked to assess the quarterbacks' play. "They moved the team at times with a different degree of effectiveness."
In other words, Mangini was not impressed, nor should he have been. But he wasn't overly disappointed, either.
However, if the Browns are to improve offensively, which would help them greatly to improve overall, then one of these quarterbacks is going to have take charge and run away with the job. So far, that hasn't come close to happening.
Anderson has the big arm, but he did a lot of dinking and dunking.
"Because we gashed them in practice yesterday with some long passes to Braylon (Edwards), they weren't going to let him get open today," Anderson said. "They game-planned against that."
Quinn is not supposed to have the big arm, but he threw the ball a long way – and right on target – to Leggett on that first play.
"It's you guys (the media) who say I don't throw the deep pass, but I've never shied away from throwing it," he said. "Lance is a truly fast guy. We thought if we ran play-action, we'd pull up their safeties and get behind the coverage, and we did."
But there wasn't enough of that – by either player. It would make sense that with Anderson getting the "start" in the scrimmage, Quinn will get to work with the first-teamers against Green Bay's first-team defense when the Browns play the Packers on Saturday night at Lambeau Field in the preseason opener.
"I would hope that would happen, but I'll play with whoever is out there with me," Quinn said.
Said Mangini, "We'll look at things and make that determination later in the week."
The real determination will come when Mangini picks a winner in this quarterback derby, but if things continue like this, it will be hard to do so and it will take a long time. For an offense that needs all the time it can get for its first-teamers, the quarterback included, to play together and begin gelling as a unit, that would not be a good thing.