Fred's Pre-Camp Look: Quarterbacks

Our Man in Berea examines the depth chart at quarterback.

(This is the first of a series previewing each position of the Browns as they enter training camp. We'll start with arguably the most important position of the team.)

No position on the Browns had as much of a turnover at the position than quarterback. Derek Anderson was let go and Brady Quinn was traded to the Broncos. Brett Ratliff is the one holdover from the 2009 season, but he never saw the light of day last season.  In fact, Josh Cribbs (5) and Phil Dawson (1)threw more passes than Ratliff did in 2009.

Jake Delhomme was signed as an unrestricted free agent and the Browns traded with the Seahawks for Seneca Wallace. The Browns drafted Colt McCoy in the third-round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Barring injury or Eric Mangini keeping four quarterbacks, there's a good chance this year's roster will have no quarterbacks left from last year's team.

Anderson and Quinn combined for just 49 percent of their passes. They threw 11 touchdown passes, while having 17 intercepted.

Enter Delhomme and Wallace.

Delhomme is coming off of his worst season in his 12 year NFL career. In 2009, Delhomme completed 178-of-321 passes (55.5 pct.) for 2,015 yards. He threw eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions. His QB rating was 59.4.

The good news is that even in the worst year of his career, Delhomme had a higher completion percentage than the 2009 Browns contingent.

His career QB rating is 82.1. In fact, the only season that his rating was worse than last year was 2003 when he had an 80.6 rating.

Mike Holmgren and Mangini have insisted since his signing that they looked at Delhomme's entire body of work and not just last season. They think 2009 was an aberration and have staked a good deal of their hope for the 2010 season on Delhomme rebounding.

But just to hedge their bets they brought in Wallace.

Wallace has completed 333-of-556 passes (59.9 pct.) for 3,547 yards with 25 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His career QB rating is 83.1.

The Browns have said during OTAs and minicamps that Wallace will be used along with Delhomme and Cribbs in various formations. Mangini has not declared Delhomme the starting quarterback but the $7 million salary points strongly in that direction.

However, if Delhomme reverts to the 2009 form, Wallace is a viable alternative to step in and steer the ship. Wallace has been a career backup, but is a solid veteran presence that can be used in more ways than just as a quarterback.

Ratliff is a favorite of Mangini's, but roster spots are pretty valuable to any team, but the Browns can ill afford to keep four quarterbacks. Ratliff was the third quarterback for the first 14 games of the 2009 season and was the backup to Anderson for the final two games, but did not see any action.

McCoy was drafted to be the quarterback of the future. Holmgren said that McCoy will not see action this season, but Mangini left the door open that McCoy could see some action depending on circumstances.

McCoy has an impressive pedigree in leading the Texas Longhorns to more wins than any other college quarterback. He appears to have all the intangibles, but being available in the third-round says there is question about his arm strength and his height (6-1).

Holmgren was convinced that neither Anderson nor Quinn was the answer and thus turned to two quarterbacks who have combined for 20 years in the NFL. The third has no NFL experience.

Only time will tell if they made the right move.

(Next: The running backs)


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