Blog Entry

Derek Anderson Should Start For The Browns

Posted on: June 9, 2009 1:24 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2009 5:39 pm
 

Admit it, you’re in love.

You just can’t stop thinking about him . You’ve seen his commercials, watched his press conferences, and even purchased some of his merchandise.

Like our King, he is one of Ohio’s native sons, with the dashing good looks and charisma to warrant coronation himself.

He descended from the holy grail of academic institutions, Notre Dame, and was even blessed with a recommendation from the esteemed offensive guru, Charlie Weis.

Admit it, you love Brady Quinn.

And I don’t blame you. His golden-boy image and persona represent everything good in the world of sports, and you can’t help but love him for that.

If left up to you, Brady Quinn would be named the starting quarterback for the Browns tomorrow, and all would be right in the dark, gloomy world of Cleveland sports. The crown prince would rightfully take his seat at the helm of this offense, and the Cleveland Browns would be a better team for it.

There’s only one thing standing between Quinn and his inevitable succession to the throne—a Scappoosian pocket passer named Derek Anderson.

Ah yes, Derek Anderson. You remember him, don’t you? He’s that clumsy 6'6" passer from Oregon State who started for the Browns in 2008. He’s the awkward quarterback with the goofy smile who seemingly wasn’t able to get the job done. With scruffy facial hair and a disheveled mop of brown hair, he’s the pauper attempting to steal the spotlight away from the publicly crowned prince Quinn.

Despite his outward appearance and statistical incompetence, Derek Anderson is in fact the right man for the job and should start for the Browns come opening day.

And you should love him too.


Before I get into why Anderson is the clear-cut choice for Cleveland this fall, there is a common misconception that must be cleared up immediately.

Read my words closely: Derek Anderson was not the reason for Cleveland’s anemic offensive production last season. Far from it. Injuries ravished the 2008 Browns like the plague—hitting virtually all facets of Cleveland’s seemingly explosive offense.

Preseason injuries limited wide receiver Braylon Edwards and scratched Donte' Stallworth from the season opener. Game-changing return specialist Josh Cribbs missed time with a bad ankle. A revolving door of offensive lineman created a mix-and-match group void of chemistry and lacking in talent.

Oh yeah, and Anderson began the season with a concussion.

All of these factors contributed to a Browns team that limped into their Week Four bye with a 1-3 record.

Once the rested Browns regained some of their key offensive personnel, they were fully able to compete with the best of the NFL. With Anderson under center, the Browns handed the 2007 World Champion New York Giants their worst loss of the season.

A three-point loss to Washington and a 14-point defensive meltdown against Baltimore dropped Cleveland to 3-5, costing Anderson his job and destroying what little hope the team had for rest of the season.

Had the circumstances been different, Derek Anderson never would have lost his job in the first place. A few timely touchdown passes (or receptions) against Pittsburgh, Washington, and Baltimore would have left Anderson, and the Browns would have been 6-2 through the halfway point of the season.

Now, I could sit here and pick at the schedule all day, but what’s done is done. The Browns win and lose games as a team, so it’s difficult to point toward one play as the decisive factor in a game.

It is difficult to make a case for what happened in the past, but it is much easier to look ahead to the future and see what needs to be done.



New head coach Eric Mangini must produce immediate results to ensure a successful stint in Cleveland. Browns owner Randy Lerner recently ended a turbulent three-year relationship with former GM Phil Savage and coach Romeo Crennel. The young, slightly naïve owner silently stood by with checkbook in hand as Savage spewed out more green than a Craftsman during summertime.

Unfortunately for Lerner, that spending never produced results, which undeniably cost both men their jobs.

Coming off the verge of a three-year relationship, it will be understandably hard for Randy Lerner to trust again so quickly. The easiest way for Mangini to make an impression upon a heartbroken owner is to win football games.

This is where Derek Anderson comes in.

Like any other position in football, real live experience is the best predictor of future success. Anderson has started 31 games compared to the four started by Brady Quinn. Anderson has thrown 43 touchdown passes in his NFL career—five fewer than the number of passes Quinn has completed to this point.

Although Anderson’s career completion percentage of 54.6 isn’t eye-popping, it looks much better against Quinn’s 49.5.

Whether you love him or hate him, Derek Anderson is a solid veteran quarterback who gives the Browns a chance to win on Sunday. Brady Quinn may be great one day—however, now is not the time to find out. Eric Mangini must show drastic improvement to win over the players and the fans, and that improvement starts with an experienced signal caller running the offense.

If the team remains healthy and Anderson plays within himself, the Browns will surely surprise some people.

They will win football games—and that’s something that everybody will love.


 





Comments

Since: May 12, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2009 8:22 pm
 

Derek Anderson Should Start For The Browns

I must say that I agree with very little of your feelings about Derek Anderson. This is mostly due to the fact that I picked him up in fantasy last week for a bye week spot start at QB and the guy got me -2. By far the worse move I have ever  made in fantasy football. So there is some clear anger and bias in stating I disagree. However, a good read and well thought out. The problem is that Anderson didn't complete the passes and throw the TD's. Thats why Cleveland was not 6-2 at that particular midway point you discuss. Your article is infact based in fantasy itself. I was psyched to see the guy play well week 4 myself and I am no Browns fan. I just liked the guy and wished him the best. But after week 5 I can not blame the Browns for trying in another direction. If Quinn isn't the answer, they better find one quick. Because I don't think Anderson can take you very far. With so few weapons in Cleveland, I don't know who could. But good effort and a good read. I am just sorry you got stuck with Mangina as your head coach! BLAH!Yell



Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2009 10:15 am
 

Derek Anderson Should Start For The Browns


(sorry for that last post - don't know what happened. This should make more sense).

Cheeks. Cheeks. Cheeks.

Just when I thought you were finally coming around on this.

A three-point loss to Washington and a 14-point defensive meltdown against Baltimore dropped Cleveland to 3-5, costing Anderson his job and destroying what little hope the team had for rest of the season.

You conveniently leave out that Derek Anderson's inability to complete short passes led to the three-point loss to Washington. And the Baltimore game - ummm. That interception alone should have cost him the starting job.


Had the circumstances been different, Derek Anderson never would have lost his job in the first place.

Now that's the truth. Had Derek Anderson completed a few more passes and threw fewer interceptions, maybe things would have been different.

Oh yeah, and Anderson began the season with a concussion.

If his health was an issue, he shouldn't have been playing. If his timing wasn't an issue, he shouldn't have been playing. Brady Quinn had Braylon dropping passes and KW2 being called for pass interference and fumbling the ball and - I'll come back to my thesis (which has nothing to do with how Brady looks) - the offense averaged 30 points a game. That's not special teams or defensive scores - that's the offense moving the ball. And yes, it was Denver and Buffalo. But that's like saying the Phillies shouldn't count their wins against the Nationals. Good team do what they're supposed to do. Of course it can't be proven, but I doube that we score that many points with DA.

Also, the offense with Quinn had virtually no (I don't have the stats in front of me) false starts or delay-of-game penalties. We actually looked like we knew where we were supposed to line up.

I'm a Browns fan. I love results and wins - not who has a better smile.




Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2009 10:06 am
 

Derek Anderson Should Start For The Browns

A three-point loss to Washington and a 14-point defensive meltdown against Baltimore dropped Cleveland to 3-5, costing Anderson his job and destroying what little hope the team had for rest of the season.

 

Oh yeah, and Anderson began the season with a concussion.

If his health was an issue, he shouldn't have been playing. If his timing was an issue, he shouldn't have been playing. Brady Quinn had Braylon dropping passes and KW2 being called for pass interference and fumbling the ball and - I'll come back to my thesis (which has nothing to do with how Brady looks) - the offense averaged 30 points a game. That's not special teams or defensive scores - that's the offense moving the ball. And yes, it was Denver and Buffalo. But that's like saying the Phillies shouldn't count wins against the Nationals. Good teams do what they're supposed to do. Of course it can't be proven, but I doubt that we would have scored that many points against Denver or Buffalo with DA.

Also, the offense with Quinn had virtually no (I don't have the stats in front of me) false starts or delay of game penalties. We actually looked like we knew where we were supposed to line up.

I'm a Browns fan. I love results and wins - not who has a better smile.

Cheeks. Cheeks. Cheeks.

Just when I thought you were finally coming around on this.

You conveniently leave out that Derek Anderson's inability to complete short passes led to the three-point loss to Washington. And the Baltimore game - ummm. That interception alone should have cost him the starting job.

Had the circumstances been different, Derek Anderson never would have lost his job in the first place. A few timely touchdown passes Now that's the truth. Had Derek Anderson completed a few more passes and threw fewer interceptions, maybe things would have been different.



Since: Apr 25, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2009 9:31 am
 

Derek Anderson Should Start For The Browns

The only game that mattered:
12/23/2007 @ the 5-9 Cincinnati Bengals:  29/48 248 2 TD 4 INT

Derek Anderson = John McCain. 
Brady Quinn = Barack Obama.

This controversy is a lot like the 2008 election.  The masses love sexy, but untested vs. More of the same.



Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2009 11:03 am
 

Derek Anderson Should Start For The Browns

Since the Browns had one or two of their final games on Network TV last year, I had the chance to watch Quinn play. No, he wasn't stellar, but I saw a kid with great pocket awareness and "mobility" - meaning he could feel pressure that wasn't in his line of sight. On a couple of occasions, I saw him take one or two steps to the side or up in the pocket to avoid a blindside hit - that was what impressed me most about him.

I can only compare him to my boy, Eli Manning - it took Eli a long time to get comfortable, and the only thing that allows a QB to do that is playing week after week. And like Eli's first season or two, there are distractions Quinn dealt with at the end of last season; a stud receiver who couldn't hold onto the ball, an aging RB who only gave you 2 yards and a cloud of dust, the Winslow garbage and all the buzz surrounding Romeo's job security.

I think DA has talent, but talent alone does not make him the right fit. Every since Quinn was drafted, DA was behind the 8-ball and unfortunately - more often than not -  did not rise to the occasion. His opportunity in Cleveland has passed and it's time to bite the bullet and let Quinn show you what he's capable of.  



Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2009 2:20 am
 

Derek Anderson Should Start For The Browns

Not only should DA not be the starter, he should be shipped out as soon as humanly possible.  I think you wrote a great piece, but I could not disagree with you more.   Anderson is basically Tim Couch, thats a fair comparison.  Couch had no one, and I mean no one surrounding him when he was in Cleveland.  Anderson had a much better surrounding cast.  

As far as Quinn is concerned, he may or may not be the guy.  But, the franchise traded up to get him and to make him the franchise.  Cleveland needs to start him and let him ride the roller coaster for atleast a full season, maybe even 2.  Peyton Manning took his lumps early on, and while I do not feel BQ will ever be that good, I think you get my point.  

Let Quinn start, let him play without looking over his shoulder, the Browns owe him that much. 



Since: Nov 29, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2009 3:02 pm
 

Derek Anderson Should Start For The Browns

Cheeks,  you are a talented writer, no doubt.  You are knowledgable about the Browns, and your written words reflect just how passionate you are about this team.  As an alum from Ohio University (within the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism), I also love how you are a fan of the Bobcats. 

But, all that being said, you are wrong on this subject, and your reasoning has some holes.

Out of the entire story you wrote, you only spend two paragraphs talking about why DA should be the starter.  I don't blame you, because there isn't much evidence to back him.  (And please don't shout about the 2007 Pro Bowl.  He was an alternate, and if Tom Brady never gets hurt, he doesn't go.  End of that story)

Please stop comparing statistics with DA and Quinn.  That is absurd.  As you mentioned, DA started 30+ games.  Quinn has only started 3.  If anything, your comparison of the completion percentages of the two QBs, holds more weight for Anderson than it does Brady. 

54.6% in 30+ games < 49.5% in 3 games. 

In other words, Anderson has had an abundance of opportunities to improve on those numbers, while Quinn has not. 

Go check out Anderson's stats from college and you will see the same thing.  Big arm, but low completion numbers.  In fact, he left Oregon State as 2nd All-time in INT's thrown in the Pac 10.  And while I will be the first to admit that college numbers don't equate to NFL success or failure, it does reiterate the point that "he is what he is." 

Again, love your writing style.  You certainly know your way around a keyboard, but you are simply a tad bit off on this story. 

Most importantly, keep writing, and Go Browns.



Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: June 9, 2009 2:06 pm
 

Derek Anderson Should Start For The Browns

Cheeks -- Very well-written piece, even though I don't agree with it.  It was a good read and flowed well.

Like any other position in football, real live experience is the best predictor of future success. Derek Anderson has started 31 games compared to the four started by Brady Quinn.

By this logic, can a younger QB ever gain the starting spot?  Does he have to wait until every veteran on the roster has retired?

In the first four games of his career in 2006, Derek Anderson completed 56.4% of his passes, threw 5 TDs and 8 INTs, and had a QB rating of 63.1.  If you had been around the CBS boards back in the summer of 2007, you'd be arguing that Derek Anderson should remain on the bench (in favor of Charlie Frye, or Stoney Case...whoever was the starter back then), and the Browns would have missed out on his "Pro Bowl" season in 2007.

Lastly, if you value experience so much, why not just bring back Vinny Testaverde?


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