QB Decision: Why, When, and What Next

In an era when T.O. tweeting passes for journalism, leave it to Lane Adkins and John Taylor to give you the whole story. Here's the real scoop on the QB decision,the reason why Quinn edged DA, and what may happen next...

So, a Tweeter twit from Pulitzer Prize winner T.O. and a story from a Northeast Ohio newspaper are proclaiming that Brady Quinn has indeed won the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback job over Derek Anderson.

Shocking, I tell you.  Shocking.

Of course, that's simply facetious.

Anyone with a half a brain and an OBR subscription knew how this competition was likely to play out -- for weeks, if not months -- and nothing that happened this afternoon with the "breaking" news alert has changed that.

Except for the fact that we have gotten even stronger indications from our vast array of sources that Quinn indeed is the man.

According to three organizational sources, Quinn took the majority of the reps with the first-team offense this afternoon.  As noted on previous occasions, today was a crucial day for determining who had edged ahead of the other in the QB competition as it's the day that the full implementation of the offense for the season opener began in earnest.

Additionally, we've gotten a second confirmation from a source close to the presumptive starter that someone in the organization informed both Quinn and Anderson over the weekend that the job had gone to Quinn.  There is still no indication as to whether that person was a member of the coaching staff or the front office.

No less than six sources have told the OBR over the last 18 or so hours that, to paraphrase the group: "The job is Quinn's."  For obvious reasons, no one has been willing to even remotely go on the record with their information.

One source told the OBR this afternoon that it's "uncertain how (Mangini) will allow this to play out now that it's semi-officially out there", meaning there's a possibility that the head coach could change his tack and announce the starter well ahead of the opener.

However, it remains to be seen if Mangini publicly reacts to this latest development the next time he meets with the media.  Privately, though, we're told that Mangini is not exactly happy at the warp-speed revelation.

"He anticipated the news coming out, but not this quickly," one source said.

Now, as to the reasons why Mangini would opt for Quinn over Anderson?  First and foremost, Quinn outplayed Anderson in the totality of their snaps -- from the minicamps through training camp and into the preseason -- in the eyes of the decision makers in the organization.  It was won, by and large, based on what transpired on the football field.

While some would like to think that the job was preordained for Quinn by Mangini, that's simply not the case.  Upon coming aboard, Mangini looked at the two QBs with both a leery, skeptical eye and, most importantly, a clean slate.  However, Quinn's play, preparation and work ethic (more on the latter two in a second) as compared to that of Anderson's has led to the decision Mangini reached over the weekend.

Simply put, this was a QB competition in the purest sense of the words.  Each was given an equal opportunity to grab the job and run with it.  That didn't happen in the remotest sense of the word on the field.

Much to the chagrin of the head coach.

"If (Mangini) had a preference in this whole situation," a source said, it would've been that "one of the two, either of the two, had just ran away with it.  It didn't, and here we are."

While it's not the overriding reason, another factor comes down to the work both players put in.  Simply put, Quinn worked harder -- in the film room, in the weight room, extra work with the offensive coaches, etc. -- than did DA. 

This is not to say that Anderson is sitting at home on his couch eating Ring Dings and watching soaps; rather, it's an indication, a source said, "that Quinn will do whatever is necessary to give himself and his team an edge."

It was, however, a substantial data point in the decision-making process Mangini and his staff -- and his staff -- undertook.

The end of the QB journey Mangini & Company embarked upon eight months is in sight, and nearly every single mile marker along the way points to the trek ending with Quinn.

Could Mangini, with the off-ramp rapidly approaching, veer off his personal GPS as the miles tick down?  Certainly.

But we wouldn't bet on anything other than Mangini maintaining the current course.

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