Quinn: Accepting the Role

Quinn: Accepting the Role

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn is willing to cheer Derek Anderson from the sidelines. For now.

General manager Phil Savage and coach Romeo Crennel have made it clear Derek Anderson is the starting quarterback as opposed to last year when the job was a duel between Anderson and Charlie Frye - a duel Frye was winning until the middle of the second quarter of the first game. The way work was divided in the three-day minicamp that concluded Thursday left no doubt what the pecking order will be when camp starts on July 23.

Still, Brady Quinn, without rocking the boat, is not approaching training camp like a guy resigned to being second string. He says he is looking forward to competing with Anderson.

"That has to be my mindset going in regardless what people may say because if I'm not preparing that way I'm doing our team an injustice," Quinn said. "If he was to go down on the first play of the season, I have to be ready to take the reins and go from there."

Quinn threw the football much better in minicamp than he did a year ago. The entire offense looked better because it has been in the same scheme for more than a year, but Quinn particularly looks improved. He connected on a sideline throw to Travis Wilson and flicked a pass to Jerome Harrison that went for a touchdown on the final play of minicamp.

Anderson also threw the ball well. He looked more at ease than he did last spring. There is more structure to practice with him working as the starter and Quinn as the backup.

"I want what's best for this team," Quinn said. "I want to win a Super Bowl. If Derek is the guy leading us there, that's fine.

"Obviously I'd like to be that guy. Ken Dorsey would love to be that guy. Any quarterback would. In the position we're in now, we're going to push each other and compete. It will make us both better in the long run."

Quinn missed 11 days of training and 17 practices in a contract holdout last summer. The holdout took him out of contention for the starting job, and since Anderson won 10 games and threw 29 touchdown passes last season Crennel would look silly if he said there would be open competition this year.

With the order set, Anderson will get the majority of practice time in training camp. Quinn will have to make his mark in preseason games. However it shakes out, he says he is better than a year ago.

"Your first year, there are so many changes not only on the football field but in your life," said Quinn, a first-round draft choice from Notre Dame last year. "You're not able to simplify things. Now, a year later, football is your main focus and you're not worrying about other things. It's so hard to put into words, but it makes a world of difference."

Quinn did not play last season until the last series of the first half of the final game. He completed three of eight passes and led the Browns to a field goal.

NOTES, QUOTES

--In the past the Browns would always go to training camp with four quarterbacks, but this year they will head to camp with Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn and Ken Dorsey as the only quarterbacks on the roster. With a roster limit of 80 and no exemptions from NFL Europe, coach Romeo Crennel does not want to waste a roster spot on a quarterback with no chance to make the team. To prevent the top three quarterbacks from burning out their arms, the coaches will do some of the passing in drills.

--The search for depth at cornerback will not include Darnell Terrell. Terrell was one of the first undrafted rookies the Browns signed in late April, but he was waived after an unimpressive showing in the OTAs and minicamp.

--Training camp for the Browns will open July 23 and end a month later on Aug. 24. Ten two-a-day practices are scheduled.

The Browns hold training camp at their year-round complex in Berea, Ohio. A few years ago there was talk of holding camp at Ohio Northern in Ada, Ohio, but the Browns are content at their own facility.

--Coach Romeo Crennel said finding another tackle is a priority. The Browns are counting on Ryan Tucker to start at right guard, but he is recuperating from a fractured hip. He is supposed to be ready by August. If his rehab remains on schedule, he could back up right tackle Kevin Shaffer or left tackle Joe Thomas.

"If I've got Ryan Tucker and somebody goes down, now I can move him to tackle," Crennel said. "Now I don't have him, so if somebody goes down, now I have to decide who I'm going to move to tackle. Having a proven guy that you can move to tackle helps your depth and helps that position."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It never felt good in the back of our minds that people didn't take us seriously. Let's be real; people took us as a homecoming game. Now, for people to be leery of what we can do, it makes us feel good. It is going to make us prepare that much harder." - Braylon Edwards on the respect the Browns are getting after finishing 10-6 last year.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Browns added more depth to their offensive line by signing undrafted guard Derrick Morse. The 6-4, 320 pounder from Miami, was with the Browns as a tryout player in their rookie minicamp. Morse started 30 of 41 games for the Hurricanes.

Signing Morse does not mean right guard Ryan Tucker has had any setback rehabbing from a fractured hip. But since the Browns are thin at tackle, guard Isaac Sowells has been working as a swing tackle behind Joe Thomas and Kevin Shaffer. That left the Browns down two guards - Sowells and Tucker.

Rex Hadnot started at right guard in minicamp in place of Tucker.


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