Blog Entry

Derek Anderson

Posted on: October 28, 2008 3:10 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2008 3:15 pm

During the late Sunday night hours, a plane destined from Jacksonville made its way to Hopkins International Airport. On that plane, a 6 foot 6 quarterback from Scappoose Oregon rested easy – a small grin most likely hidden within his tired features. One hour and forty minutes later, the plane landed in Cleveland. It was at that moment Derek Anderson and the Cleveland Browns had both literally and figuratively arrived.

Hours ago, Derek Anderson and the Browns were entangled in a physical battle with the well-rested Jacksonville Jaguars. The two AFC teams clashed for the better part of 3 hours in the sweltering Florida heat. A few outstanding plays by Shaun Rogers and Brandon McDonald later, Cleveland emerged victorious – winning their 3rd game in 4 tries.

The leader of the Cleveland offense, which churned out 327 total yards in a season-saving victory, was the 6th round draft pick from Oregon State. This is the story of Derek Anderson’s return to Pro Bowl form. Anderson’s voyage to this point has been a turbulent one, filled with many ups and downs. In order to fully appreciate the Oregon native, it is crucial to understand just where he came from.

Derek Anderson delivers against the Jacksonville Jaguars
in a 23-17 Cleveland Browns victory.

Derek Anderson entered the league in 2005 as the 213th overall selection by the Baltimore Ravens. His physical gifts caught the eye of Browns general manager Phil Savage, who scouted Anderson during his time in Baltimore. Anderson was viewed as a developmental project – one the Ravens had little interest in. Derek Anderson was shortly released by Baltimore, and the Browns wasted little time in signing him to a contract.

Derek spent the better part of the next two seasons as a backup quarterback in Cleveland. As is the case with most backups, a key injury thrust him into the spotlight. Incumbent Charlie Frye sprained his wrist on a cold December meeting with Kansas City in ‘06, and Anderson was left to take over as the starting quarterback.

And he did not disappoint.

In his first NFL game, Derek Anderson marched the Browns down the field in a thrilling comeback victory against the Chiefs – 31-28. He went on to start the rest of the games that season – gaining valuable experience while learning the intricacies of the NFL.

With Derek Anderson still being an unknown commodity, the Browns invested a first round pick in Brady Quinn, the standout quarterback from Notre Dame. Contract disputes and salary negotiations kept Quinn off the field, which gave Anderson a chance to showcase his abilities.

In his first year with newly appointed offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, Derek Anderson took the NFL by storm. Anderson threw for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns en route to the first Pro Bowl appearance of his young career.

Despite Anderson’s stellar statistical season, his play at the end of the year left Browns fans skeptical. In a must-win week 16 match up against the Cincinnati Bengals, Anderson regressed – throwing 4 interceptions and effectively ending the Browns’ post season aspirations.

Heartbreak aside, Phil Savage and the Browns rewarded Derek Anderson with a three year contract extension at the end of the 2007 season. The new contract brought new expectations with it, and the Browns were ready to pick up right where they left off the previous year.

Key injuries coupled with a significantly tougher schedule lead to a 0-3 start for Anderson and the Browns. The once dynamic offense stood thoroughly crippled, and Derek Anderson bore most of the blame. After throwing three interceptions in a Week 3 loss to the Ravens, Cleveland fans and media called for the Dublin Ohio native – Brady Quinn.

The adversity propelled Derek to resume his play at a high level. Anderson and the Browns avenged their crushing loss in Cincinnati shortly thereafter. The victory against the Bengals in Week 4 proved to be a spark for the offense, as the Browns took the next two of three games from their opponents. Anderson has not thrown an interception since.

The upstart 3-4 Browns look to continue their winning ways this Sunday as they face off against Derek Anderson’s former team – the Baltimore Ravens. Anderson is a completely different quarterback than the one Baltimore cut in 2005, and this game is the perfect time for him to display that.

From Oregon to Ohio, Derek Anderson has traveled a long way to make it as a quarterback. His journey comes full circle on Sunday, when he faces the same Ravens team that drafted him nearly 4 years ago. If Anderson can rid himself of the baggage that plagued him then, he just might prove that Cleveland is his final destination.
Category: NFL

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2008 5:35 pm

Derek Anderson

Do you still agree with yourself?  He couldn't manage the game, he couldn't give the defense a rest.  Derek lacks endgame like in chess, he's brilliant in the opening but in the end, he falls apart.  Checkmate, tip your king Derek, it's Brady time.   Give the kid a chance, give him some exposure.  Let's start the "wait til next year" mantra right now and get this kid some experience.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2008 5:29 pm


Somebody tell me what just happened!

Help me understand what I just saw! 27-13 to 37-27?

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2008 3:02 pm

Derek Anderson

I am very concerned.  No controversy this week.  No Monday night.  1:00 pm start.  I am very worried this will be a normal game.  What is up with the 1 pm start?  Seriously, I would love to see some consistency from DA and the team in general.  They are starting to believe they can compete with anyone and it is up to them show it.  They have as good a talent as anyone, but the champions show the intagables that separate the champs from the chumps.  Win this one, get to 4-4 and then we can see how they play in the 2nd half of the season.  3 wins out of 4 sure changes thing, and they could have won that 4th game too.  Lets see what they are made of. 

Since: Jun 30, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2008 8:46 pm

Derek Anderson

With good protection and knowledge of scheme comes comfort - and DA is on his way to becoming comfortable in this offense.

Someone on the Browns message boards pointed out something Steve Young (or Troy Aikman?) said after the Browns beat the Giants:

"If quarterbacks in my day were scrutinized as much as they are today, I would not have a starting job.
I'm glad people have left Anderson alone (for the moment) and let the guy play some football. I just hope he can take the next step in development and show some consistency from week to week.

Since: Jun 30, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2008 8:42 pm

Derek Anderson

Thank you all for the comments.

I really do believe Derek Anderson is on the verge of turning the corner and becoming a more consistent quarterback. Over the last three games, he has demonstrated the capacity to do a little bit of everything: he can accurately hit the short routes, intermediate routes, long routes, he has shown discretion, accuracy, and pocket awareness.

All that's left for him to do is put it all together - which should come VERY soon. Don't be surprised if DA lights the Ravens up for a huge statistical game.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2008 7:57 pm

Derek Anderson

I was listening to NFL radio this morning and Peter King and Randy Cross were talking about the Browns.  Their point was is that the Browns are representative of the NFL right now.  Week to week you are not going to know what you are going to get.  The defense is getting better but the offense, particularily their "star" receiver and QB are very inconsistent (Good DA/Bad DA)... An that is true, you just don't know what you are gonna get, and that keeps the hope alive, even in this season starting 0-3 when it appeared all hope was lost. 

Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2008 7:01 pm

Derek Anderson

Is Derek Anderson realy back to form? Do you think he can be started this week I have both Payton Manning and Derek and I'm not happy with Payton and his lack of consistancy since you never know when he plays the Patriot's?

Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2008 4:49 pm

Derek Anderson

It should be said that Derek Anderson is playing this week to be able to start next week on a regular basis. Even if  he wins against the Ravens that only makes the Browns a 4-4 team, If you ask me thats not a winning record. He would still have to show up 4 days after that and perform against the Broncos, a team that always give us problems, even before the drive and the fumble. Thatwould give us our first winning record of the season.

Shortly there after we will have to play a good Buffalo team on a Monday night at Ralph Wilson, which was the site of the difficult Monday night game for the Cowboys to overcome last year when Romo threw for 5 picks and a fumble. Not an easy game for a much superior Cowboys teamat the time.

I guess what I am trying to say is that this love hate relationship that we all have with DA will not stop because the Browns have dug themselves such a hole. One win next week doesnt give him the rope back all it does is allow him to start the next week, and we have a tumultuous few weeks ahead of us. The only way that DA doesnt have to deal with this anymore is to get to the playoffs and win a game. Then next year he wont have to worry if he is going to be able to start the next game or not going in the week before. We truely have to go 7-2 in out last 9 games and have to win out our division if that is going to happen, So as an avid Browns fan I say "Good luck D.A. your gonna need all you can get to survive this town."

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2008 1:53 pm

Derek Anderson

Good piece cheeks (as always),

Wahoo - I know what you're talkig about. I'm not a season ticket holder (and with PSL's that dream is gone forever), I can't tell you how many QB's I watched play at the Meadowlnds. In the late 70's early 80's it was Jim Hart, Jim Plunkett, Ron Jaworski... I was a kid then so I couldn't appreciate them as much. In the late 80's and 90's I remember seeing Jim McMahon, Troy Aikman (before he became Troy Aikman ), Jim Everett, Mark Rypien, Scott Mitchell, Jeff Blake, etc...

I've always been a huge Phil Simms fan, but there's only two QB's I've watched live that made my jaw drop.

Tom Brady in that final regular season game last year. Of course he's Tom Brady, but everytime The Pats took the field I couldn't take my eyes off him - I couldn't believe how absolutely comfortable he was. I've never seen a cooler cat in my life. The other was back in '97 - Jake "the Snake" Plummer's first year with Arizona (before they shuffled the divisions around). That guy threw on a frozen rope all day, even though NY won the game he picked us apart up and down the field. I just looked it up; he was 22-33 for 350 yards.

Here's to Derek  Anderson being more like Tom Brady than Jake Plummer.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2008 7:48 pm

Derek Anderson

Gentle...I was at that Kansas City game and the Browns were 14 down in the 2nd half (could have been the 4Q) when Derek came in.  We were in the upper part of the lower dawg pound and boy did that place explode with excitment that afternoon.  You know how some guys just seem to have it?  Derek seemed to have it and that afternoon the Cinderella story started.  I thought Derek had a great 1st half Sunday but regressed in the 2nd half and the 2nd half could have been awful blowing a 10 point lead if it were not for the one pass threaded to Steptoe (and that was into double coverage).  What were the Jags doing double covering Steptoe anyway? Trying to bait Derek into throwing to him?  Anyway, Derek lives to play again this week and lets hope Good DA shows up and the Browns move to 4-4.  I won't be there this Sunday as I have a committment at church, but gentleone, bring home a winner! - Jake...

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