August 19, 2008

Brady Strikes Back

Can I take back what I said about Derek Anderson in my last post about the Browns?? He looked awful last night, and resembled the Derek Anderson who looked really shaky down the stretch last season. Throwing behind receivers, melting down under pressure, no confidence, and bad body language. Now, he's got a concussion and a bruised hand. Spark up that QB controversy!! In contrast, Brady Quinn looked better last night than he did in the opener. He was getting the ball down the field a lot more frequently, making good decisions, and he had some nice escapes under pressure.

Derek Anderson is starting to emerge as a big time Jekyll & Hyde type QB. He looks good in certain situations, but also looks awful whenever he's not in his comfort zone. Unless he's in a groove or an ideal situation (at home, ball in opposing territory), he has issues. I watched most of his games last year, and he only seemed to lead the Browns to scoring drives when they had the ball in great field position. If you put him in a pressure situation or a tough road environment, he collapsed. Last night, Anderson was up against it in a hostile environment, and he completely fell apart. Not a good sign. His performance against the Jets in the preseason opener was an indication that he might have turned the corner, but yesterday confirms that Anderson is probably still the same streaky player that he was last year.

Just checking the Cleveland Plain Dealer website, the comments on the Browns game last night seem to indicate that the fans are ready to see what Brady Quinn can do in these next two preseason games. I agree. I think Brady should get an opportunity to start the game on Saturday in Detroit and play with the starting o-line and skill guys. It's tough to tell how well he is playing when he is going against 2nd and 3rd teamers, so why not give him a shot at starting while Anderson recuperates from the concussion?? Give Brady a chance to play behind Joe Thomas and Steinbach and throw to guys like Stallworth and The Soldier and Braylon (if healthy). If he goes up to Detroit and performs well, I think the fans are going to start calling for Brady to get another start in the final game against the Bears.

The Browns have all the weapons to be a great offensive team, but they need to get consistent play at the QB position. I think the jury is out on whether Anderson can be that guy. You can win games with Derek Anderson, but I wouldn't trust him in a big game or in a tough pressure situation. The Browns drafted Brady Quinn for a reason. He was supposed to be the franchise guy, and I still don't think that has changed. Anderson could be a very good backup QB, but I don't see him as a legitimate franchise QB. Considering that the Browns maybe could have received a 1st round pick for him in the offseason, there might be some serious regrets in the front office if Anderson turns out to be a bust.

As Cosmo Kramer would say, "Poise counts!!" Anderson struggles in the pocket under pressure and Brady Quinn doesn't. Anyone who watched Brady Quinn in college remembers a guy who always had a knack for avoiding pressure or staying in the pocket and making a tough throw under pressure. Pocket awareness is a gift. You can either do it or you can't. It's not something you can work on. Brady has it.

The question is whether Romeo Crennel has the guts to pull the trigger if it becomes clear that Anderson is not the answer and Brady is. Romeo has been really loyal to Anderson so far, so I feel like he will probably let Anderson completely tank before making any type of change. Perhaps Romeo should think to his New England days about another young QB who was clearly better than a veteran guy ahead of him on the depth chart.

1 comment:

k said...

The problem with the Browns is they pushed all of their chips into the middle this season. If Anderson turns out to be mediocre (as I believe he will be) the Browns season turns to garbage pretty quickly. Everyone was touting Savage's decisions at the draft but I thought they were short-sighted and unrealistic with their roster. He was acting like they had just lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship last year. They didn't even make the playoffs! So if Anderson goes in the tank and they have to make the call to Brady, the Browns suddenly have no prospects in their system and Quinn is surrounded with a bunch of older free agents. Not a good long term strategy in the NFL. I think the Browns might make the playoffs this season but they have severely handicapped themselves for the following years. You can't overreact just because you showed a little promise last year.