Monday, September 7, 2009
Is QB mystery helping or hurting Browns?
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker
In an effort to create a competitive advantage, Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini isn’t revealing who his starting quarterback will be this week.
With two drop-back passers, I wonder if the Minnesota Vikings are really all that concerned.
Most people expect Brady Quinn to be the starter. And although the Vikings, who have a very good defense, will now spend a portion of practice preparing for Derek Anderson, an educated guess is they’re studying the same film everyone else saw when Quinn created separation in this quarterback derby during the preseason.
But with the regular season set to begin, here is the biggest question: At what point does Mangini’s ultra-secretive approach hurt the Browns more than the opponent?
It’s one thing for the media and fans not to know Cleveland’s starting quarterback. But as of Monday, neither does Quinn, Anderson or the rest of the players.
According to Mangini, he will tell Quinn or Anderson who starts in the “near future.” Cleveland takes the field in less than six days. The clock is ticking.
For a safe, conservative coach like Mangini, this is a very high-risk, high-reward move.
If the Browns beat Minnesota Sunday, Mangini will be praised. But if the Browns lay an egg and the starting quarterback struggles in their season debut, expect a lot of blame to rest on the way Mangini handled his quarterbacks in Week 1.