Commentary: Of Cribbs and Quinn

OBR beat reporter Fred Greetham offers his thoughts on two players heavily mentioned in trade rumors. Get the take from a man who has been covering the Browns for nearly three decades...

On the eve of the trading deadline I'm going to go out on a limb and say … the Browns are not going to trade Josh Cribbs. I get a huge kick out of the reports that 4 or possibly 5 teams are interested in acquiring the kick return ace.


I think it's more of a story that only four or five teams would be interested in Cribbs. I would say all 32 NFL teams could use the best return man, special teams player, jack-of-all trades player. Throw in his contract is so team friendly that any team would want a player of his ability for a million or so a year.

Who wouldn't?

I think most of the hype has come from Cribbs' agent's camp trying to force the Browns to give him a new deal right now. Since the agent who represented Cribbs when he signed the original 6-year deal was let go by Cribbs. The current agent, J.R. Rickert, won't get paid until Cribbs gets a new contract.

Mark my word. The Browns will take care of Cribbs---after the season.

Cribbs still has 3 ½ years remaining on his deal. It will be much easier to do and quieter in the off-season.

Relax Browns fans.

Josh Cribbs isn't going anywhere.

I don't understand what's going on with the quarterback position.

According to Eric Mangini, the position was evaluated from the first off-season workouts back in March. After nearly six months, Mangini said the competition was so close that he couldn't name a clear-cut winner until a week before the season opener.

With that being said, regardless of who he named as the starter, the non-winner should be like the relief pitcher in baseball, who is ready to come in if the starter is off on a particular day.

We all know that Brady Quinn was declared the starter. He was given 2 ½ games to be the starter. Sure, he didn't light it up. His statistics were 45-of-74 for 400 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. His QB rating was 62.9.

However, Quinn faced the Vikings, the Broncos and the Ravens—three of the most formidable defenses this year in the NFL. The Browns had no 100-yard rushers in any of the games he was the quarterback. In fact, they had no running game, period.

Derek Anderson has played 3 ½ games and is 48-of-108 for 506 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions. His QB rating is 41.7.

Granted, Anderson has been the victim of double-digit dropped passes in the past two games, but Jerome Harrison and Jamal Lewis rushed for over 100 yards in games that he was the quarterback. Other than the Bengals game, I would say that Quinn played better than Anderson has in his appearances.

However, Mangini said again today that Anderson is his quarterback. I don't understand the loyalty unless he preferred Anderson all along, but started Quinn at the beginning of the season because Quinn was the fan favorite—or a better marketing figure.

I don't think anyone would believe that with Mangini's MO.

The fans know pretty much what you have in Anderson is what you see. He teases you with the big strikes and stretching the defense, but when the chips are down and you need a play, he often turns the ball over. Besides the interceptions, Anderson fumbled the ball to the Steelers twice on Sunday.

My point is if the two were that close, then if one is off the other one should be put in until one of them takes the reins and runs with it. To use the reason Mangini cited when he replaced Quinn, "provide a spark" for the offense. Goodness knows, the Browns offense has needed a spark, especially the last two weeks.

I remember when the Browns had Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb and the following year brought in Jeff Garcia . It's hard for me to see Anderson being the long-term answer, but if Quinn doesn't play again, it's hard for me to believe that his fate has been determined in just 2 ½ games.

I don't know if either of these quarterbacks will be on the team next year, but before the Browns give up on Quinn, I think they should evaluate the total body of work and play him the rest of the season.


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