Throughout training camp, the QB competition between Quinn and Anderson was a back-and-forth affair. Rarely was there a clear leader and we are seeing some of the fallout from the competition today.
While Brady Quinn did appear to be the sharper of the two players in camp and into the pre-season games, there was no denying that the Browns offense would churn in a different manner with Quinn under center.
Quinn is much more like the singles/doubles hitter. He is going to make contact, but the WOW factor is relatively small. Whereas Derek Anderson is the slugger, he is going to hit the home run, while striking out often.
Through two games, this Browns offense misses that home run potential.
Beside the protection issues on the right side of the line, the inability to threaten or strike downfield is causing significant problems for the Browns offense. Without a running game to depend on to force the opposing defense to play straight-up, the pressure lands squarely on the passing game.
As an advocate to see Quinn get the starting nod due to his camp and pre-season work, I am concerned about his troubles going downfield as well as the return of accuracy issues which the QB seemingly had largely conquered in training camp. The issues do not appear to be timing-related, though the poor throws have left much to be desired.
Playing safe, playing not to make mistakes, playing not to lose only leads to losses.
While this Browns offense lacks identity, imagination and play-makers, the play at the QB position has prohibited this offense from gaining whatever consistency they could otherwise manage.
Either Quinn is not seeing the play develop or has been restricted on what he can do on game-day.
Quinn doesn't appear to be seeing plays develop downfield. Yesterday, receivers were coming open downfield. But the QB either did not see the play developing, reacted too late, threw the ball inaccurately or simply checked to a safer route.
Whether this is due to not having confidence in his protection, the scheme or in his game is the question.
If the gameplan is what is limiting the offense from making changes, then the blame for this offensive offense lies in the hands of Mangini and Daboll. If it's Quinn's decision-marking to avoid going downfield, it lies with him.
Something tells me its a little of both.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has to find the means to make his QB comfortable in the scheme -- or put the player in a position to excel. I openly question whether an experienced offensive coordinator would provide the insight and calming effect to the Browns offensive issues.
On the day, the Browns ran 55 offensive plays - of which 21 were rushes, 31 pass attempts and four sacks. The Browns ran ten times on 1st down, passed or sacked 13 times. On second down, the Browns rushed the ball seven times while passed or sacked 12 times.
Third down, though, is where one saw the largest disparity and is a telling sign: the Browns rushed the ball one time while passing or being sacked 12 times.
The QB has to find it within himself to take charge and make plays.
Nobody expects Quinn to be the savior, but he is expected to move the chains and make solid decisions.