Sooner or later the Browns are going to have to address the issue of finding a quarterback to play behind starter Charlie Frye.
Ken Dorsey has not looked good in training camp. The same problems he had in minicamp continue to haunt him. Rarely does a day go by when he does not throw at least one interception. During an intrasquad scrimmage at Cleveland Browns Stadium August 4 he threw two picks.
Coach Romeo Crennel has not written Dorsey off yet. He tries to defend him by saying Dorsey makes good decisions on where to throw the ball. The problem is more mechanical for Dorsey.
Derek Anderson started training camp as the third quarterback. He has his own problems with accuracy, but he has been more consistent than Dorsey.
Anderson's passes are crisper, more accurate and have more velocity. He is throwing better than he did seven weeks ago in minicamp. Meanwhile, Dorsey's passes are slow as ever.
Of course, there is more to being a quarterback than throwing a football. In that regard, Anderson is still learning.
"Derek is better than he was last year," Crennel said. "His feet are better. He lost some weight. He moves better. He has a tremendous arm as it is. He's commanding the offense better. He's competing now for the No. 2 spot."
Anderson has the more basic problem of not getting the snap cleanly. He has a tendency to bobble the ball as he is stepping back from center. That has to be addressed before Anderson could be considered seriously as Frye's backup. Anderson was acquired on waivers from Baltimore last season. He spent 2005 as the third quarterback behind Frye and Trent Dilfer.
As Dorsey continues to struggle and Anderson continues to learn, Vinny Testaverde, 42, remains a viable option.
Dilfer was traded to the 49ers on May 4 for Dorsey and a seventh-round draft choice. At that time, Crennel said Testaverde "is in the back of my mind."
If the Browns do go after Testaverde it would be more toward the end of camp. Crennel is not concerned with Testaverde learning the system because it is the same one he used with the Jets.
"He could come in on Friday and be ready to go on Sunday," Crennel said.
Quarterback has less depth than any other position on the roster. The last time a Browns quarterback started 16 games was in 2001 when Tim Couch did it. Last year Crennel wanted to use Frye as a starter somewhere along the line, but in the end the decision was taken out of his hands because Dilfer was injured in the 11th game against Minnesota.
Frye is more mobile than any quarterback the Browns have had since returning in 1999, but still Crennel cannot expect him to play 16 games behind a patched offensive line. LeCharles Bentley, the Pro Bowl center signed in free agency, is lost for the season with a torn patellar tendon.
Testaverde is not the only option. The Browns will be eyeing the waiver wire, but they might have to wait until final cuts on Sept. 2 to find a quarterback that will help them if Testaverde decides to retire to play somewhere else.