With Anderson's status in doubt, will Quinn get to start for Browns?
That terse denial will ring all the way to the day Browns Head Coach Romeo Crennel makes it clear which quarterback he’ll send out Sept. 7 against the Cowboys.
“Nope” was all he said when asked if he can say Derek Anderson will be far enough beyond a concussion to handle the season opener.
Hope? How much of that is there in the alternative, Brady Quinn?
One veteran observer who spent years working with NFL quarterbacks said playing Anderson, if he’s ready, is a no-brainer.
“What I saw from Quinn at Detroit told me that,” the observer said. “But I liked the way he came back against the Bears. I wanted to see more.”
Insofar as a concussion is a brain trauma, it leaves Anderson’s status in doubt. Quinn seems raring to go. His mind set, barely more than a week before the opener?
“Just getting ready, trying to be the guy, be that starter,” he said after leading the Browns to 10 points on his only two series against the Bears. “Like I said all along, you have to go into each game being prepared as possible.
“I’ve watched Dallas over the summer and a few other teams. You kind of get some preparation ahead of time.”
How sure is he that he could help the Browns beat a glamor team coming off a 13-3 year?
“I’m always confident in my ability,” he said, “especially when you’ve got a great cast around you, a wide receiving corps, tight end, running backs ... I mean, we’ve got it all.”
Quinn got rushed hard and hurried himself out of kilter at Detroit. The line stabilized against Chicago.
“The line did a great job, run-blocking, screens, pass protection, everything. It was all there,” Quinn said.
For what it’s worth, Quinn posted an 84.6 passer rating in his four preseason outings. Anderson’s rating in the 2007 regular season was 82.5.
Quinn went out with a bang, conducting an 11-play, 72-yard touchdown drive on his last chance before Dallas. He wasn’t exactly a mad bomber on the drive, going 3-of-3 for 28 yards. The running game hummed. The only third down he faced was third-and-goal from the 1. After Jason Wright was stopped for no gain to make it fourth-and-1, Quinn pump faked right then flicked a deft pitch to Jerome Harrison for a touchdown.
It looked like a difficult pitch.
“It can be,” Quinn said, “but I ran a little option in high school.”
He flashed a grin and added, “I was kind of greedy (in high school). I’d usually fake it and keep it.”
Quinn’s first drive was similar but included more passing. As in the second drive, the Bears didn’t force a third down until Quinn had he Browns inside the 5. On third down from the 4, his inexperience showed. He badly missed Kellen Winslow Jr. in the back of the end zone.
“The coverage they ran was a little surprising,” Quinn said. “It kind of surprised both Kellen and me, with his route and how he was trying to run it. We need to make a better adjustment, both him and me, to make that score.”
Quinn moved slowly back to quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer as the field goal unit trotted out.
“It doesn’t really weigh on you,” Quinn said. “You just kind of stay hungry for that next drive. You know you’re right there, that close. You know you can go right back down there and hopefully get yourself another one.”