BEREA – Heading into the preseason, the backup quarterback position was lukewarm at best. Heading into the final preseason game with the Bears, the battle between Derek Anderson and Ken Dorsey is red hot.
It appears Anderson has performed better than Dorsey thus far and he might be ready to handle the chores if Charlie Frye is injured during the season. If Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel think Dorsey and Anderson can handle the role, they might not bring in a veteran signal caller as most expected them to do.
"We feel pretty good about those guys," Crennel said on Monday. "However, no one has played well enough to rule out bringing anyone in."
Crennel said he will evaluate how the pair play against the Bears and add it into the equation.
"The quarterbacks have shown some flash and have at times have shown they might be able to handle the job," Crennel said.
Anderson had a very good game against the Bills in leading the Browns to a win in the final two minutes last Saturday. Through the first three preseason games, Anderson is 14-of-20 for 187 yards (70 pct.). He's thrown two touchdown passes with no interceptions and has a whopping 132.7 QB rating.
Anderson is happy with his progress.
"I just want to keep going out and doing what I've been doing," Anderson said. "I'm not going to change my approach."
Meanwhile, Dorsey is 19-of-32 for 157 yards (59.4 pct.) with no touchdowns and one interception. He has a QB rating of 59.0.
Neither quarterback had looked extremely sharp throughout training camp, but Anderson has stepped up in the last two preseason games, particularly in the two-minute drill at the end of the game.
"Our offense keeps building and is getting better every day," Anderson said. "I got the opportunity in the two minute offense and I just want to keep competing and move the ball."
A lot might be decided in the Bears game.
Dorsey came to the Browns in a trade with the 49ers that sent Trent Dilfer west He started three games last season with the 49ers and threw for 481 yards, including two touchdowns. His career record as a starter is 2-8. Dorsey is in his fourth season out of the University of Miami.
Anderson spent last season as the third quarterback for the Browns after joining the team for the final 14 games. He was originally drafted by the Ravens and spent his rookie season as the Ravens' third quarterback. He played his college ball at Oregon State.
"I just want to finish the preseason on a high note." Anderson said.
Battles: Beside the quarterback position, the other two position battles might go into the regular season according to Crennel.
At inside linebacker:
"Chaun Thompson went in and made plays and he didn't give up plays."
Injury Update: LB Clifton Smith (hamstring), LB Mason Unck (Knee). CB Daylon McCutcheon (knee) was on the bike and did some running. OL Isaac Sowells (ankle) was also back at practice. CB Gary Baxter said once again he'll be ready for the season opener on Sept. 10 against the Saints.
"After today's practice, I know I will be ready for the season," he said. "I've been able to rehab and without needing surgery, that's allowed me to get ready quicker."
"McCutcheon started doing a little bit of running today," Crennel said. "We'll see if it swells up this week."