Trade clears way for Anderson
Zac Jackson, Staff Writer
It appears Sunday will bring Derek Anderson the chance he's been waiting for.
It's the same chance that's now closer to happening for Brady Quinn, too.
Tuesday's quarterback shuffle that saw Charlie Frye traded to Seattle and Ken Dorsey return to the Browns leaves Anderson as the likely starter for this week's game against the Bengals. Browns General Manager Phil Savage said it was his understanding that Anderson would start Sunday with Quinn, the third quarterback last week, serving as the primary backup.
"We've had those discussions upstairs," Savage said. "We've talked about it a lot.
"By making Brady the backup, it obviously ramps up his preparation in terms of reps and keeping him on course with a chance to play at some point later this year."
Savage said the team has looked at the quarterbacks as being on two tracks since the start of training camp. One track included getting Anderson and Frye ready to play early this season. The other centers around Quinn, specifically his long-term development. Savage has previously said once the Browns go to Quinn as their starter, there will be no turning back.
"The important thing in the big picture is that we develop Brady Quinn in the right way," Savage said.
Anderson started three games last year before a separated shoulder ended his season a week early. His only win came in relief duty against Kansas City in December, when he rallied the Browns from 14 down with two touchdown passes, then set up the game-winning overtime field goal with a 33-yard run.
Running, though, isn't Anderson's thing. Throwing is.
He's been regarded as the Browns' quarterback with the strongest arm, and Savage said the Browns coaches and scouts believe Anderson's ability to make every throw allows them to use the entire playbook.
"We have a guy (Anderson) who's started some games, who has a big arm, who showed some potential," Savage said. "I think Derek showed enough last year, and the new staff and new offensive coordinator felt like there was enough there to try to work with Derek."
Anderson started one game in the preseason and backed up Frye in the three others. He replaced Frye in the second quarter of last week's season-opening loss to the Steelers, completing 13-of-28 passes for 184 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
The Browns picked up Anderson, who's still just 24, two years ago this week when the Ravens put him on waivers, hoping to sign him to their practice squad. Savage said Anderson has played enough significant downs and been around his teammates long enough to earn their confidence as the on-field leader.
"They see the potential," Savage said. "They work with him every day in practice, They know the abilities he has.
"Our team is serious about winning. We are trying to win. Unfortunately things got derailed last Sunday before we ever even got started.
"I think we will play better (this week) and obviously we have to play better."