Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Browns shouldn't reunite with Anderson
By Jamison Hensley
Former Browns quarterback Derek Anderson is lobbying to return and rejoin coach Rob Chudzinski in Cleveland. Chudzinski and the Browns need to politely (or not-so politely, some Browns fans might say) decline.
The hiring of Chudzinski is a new start for owner Jimmy Haslam and bringing back Anderson only revisits a muddled past. Anderson is the quarterback who had a Pro Bowl season in 2007 and led the Browns to 10 wins. He's also the same quarterback who blasted Cleveland fans for cheering him when he was injured, saying they "didn't deserve a winner" when he left after the 2009 season. Not exactly the most gracious exit ever.
There are some reasons to bring back Anderson. He knows Chudzinski's system, having played under him in Cleveland (2007 and 2008) as well as this past season in Carolina. He has a similar skill set as Brandon Weeden, so the offense would remain the same for both quarterbacks.
But Chudzinski can't bring back someone who insulted the fan base like Anderson did. It would be a public relations nightmare for Chudzinski, especially after he made his passion for the Browns the theme of his introductory news conference.
All of the talk about a reunion with Anderson has been stirred up by Anderson. He posted on his Facebook account Friday: "Looks like it is time to make a return to a familiar place for some unfinished business. I would be honored to return to Cleveland to play football if the fans would have me." If you listen closely, you'll soon hear a collective "No" from Northern Ohio.
Sources told a Cleveland news station (News Net 5) that Anderson says his chances of returning to Cleveland are about 80 percent. But a source told The Plain Dealer that it's doubtful that Anderson would be re-signed.
Anderson is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but teams can't talk to other teams' free agents until March.