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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
It's true: Cleveland isn't QB friendly

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Free-agent quarterback Derek Anderson lashed out at Cleveland Browns fans after he was released by the team Tuesday.

Derek Anderson
Derek Anderson's best season in Cleveland was in 2007, when he threw for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Anderson later apologized for his comments. But don't think for one second the former Pro Bowl quarterback didn't mean what he said.

Frustration had been mounting with Anderson ever since the end of the 2007 season. He had the finest year of his career, which included 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns, but it never seemed to matter. It is a fact that he was cheered by Browns fans while injured, and things only got worse when his level of play dropped.

Living in Ohio for the past seven years, I will offer you two truths about Browns fans: First, it is an extremely frustrated group. Second, the backup quarterback usually is the most popular player in town.

Browns fans have an odd infatuation with players holding a clipboard. Somehow, standing on the sideline long enough creates legendary status in Cleveland.

It happened to Kelly Holcomb. It happened to Charlie Frye. And in Anderson's case, it most recently happened to Brady Quinn. All of these former backups were fan favorites until they also faltered, leaving Browns fans to seamlessly move on to the next target.

Should Anderson have made those comments publicly? No, especially since it was a parting shot on his way out the door.

But it's true that Cleveland is not a quarterback-friendly city, and perhaps Anderson's comments will provide Browns fans a chance to re-examine how they treat the NFL's most important position.