By Wednesday, word leaked Brady Quinn won the job, though the Browns did not confirm it.
Mangini told Derek Anderson and Quinn of his decision independently Tuesday night. He plans to stick with his choice of the starter through thick and thin, barring injury.
But Mangini is a very "for the moment" type of coach. He is not projecting how his selection will hold up for 16 games. Even though word did get out, Mangini's secrecy forced the Vikings to plan for both quarterbacks in meetings on Tuesday.
"I understand the excitement, but that will be something kept internal," Mangini said. "Being on the other side of it as a defensive coordinator, it is more difficult to prep for two than to prep for one. I'm not saying that will be the difference or not be the difference, but I know time is allotted to that and you can't put the same amount of time into focusing on one player."
In Minnesota, Vikings coach Brad Childress tried to remove the intrigue when he said knowing who would quarterback the Browns would not affect the Vikings' game plan. Rather than concentrate on each quarterback, Childress said his coordinators are concentrating more on the formations the Browns use and studying the 2008 Jets, where Mangini was the head coach and Brian Daboll the quarterbacks coach the last two seasons.
"It doesn't (affect the Vikings' defensive game plan)," Childress said. "Just schematically, you're going to go back and look at Jets tape and see what you've seen. And then I know, as do our guys, that there will be unscouted looks.
"They certainly haven't showed their whole hand, offensively and defensively. So you're just going back and look at formation-wise where they're putting people and what kind of players they are. It will be more about us deploying to what they do."
Neither Browns quarterback tore up the preseason. Quinn was 21 of 31 for 225 yards and one touchdown. He also threw one interception and had a passer rating of 86.1. Anderson was 15 of 26 for 207 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating was 51.3. Neither quarterback played in the final preseason game.
Last year Quinn was 1-2 as a starter. He did not start as a rookie in 2007.
Anderson was 3-6 last season. He was 10-5 in 2007 and rode that incredible season to a three-year, $24 million contract.
Cleveland players are being careful not to take sides. And since Mangini makes a player run a lap for putting the ball on the ground or committing a penalty in practice, the punishment for leaking his quarterback plans could be much more severe, especially with a name attached to the leak.
"When the coach is ready to announce that decision, he'll do it," wide receiver Braylon Edwards said. "I've played with both of them. Both have started with me in the lineup. I know both quarterbacks. Whoever he chooses, I have chemistry with and I'll be ready to play."
SERIES HISTORY: 13th regular-season meeting. Vikings lead series 9-3. The Browns haven't beaten the Vikings since a 23-17 overtime win at home in 1989. This is only the second meeting with Vikings in the Browns' new era. The Browns lost 24-12 in Minnesota in 2005.
BY THE NUMBERS: 23 - Twenty-three players are new to the Browns roster, a turnover of 43.4 percent.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I never go into a situation thinking, OK, how am I going to change the situation? I go into the situation thinking, what's the best way to be successful. That's not really on my radar screen." — Browns coach Eric Mangini on the possibility of changing quarterbacks.