Derek Anderson's Long Leash

Browns QB Derek Anderson

Despite changing quarterbacks, the Browns don't seem to be any more successful offensively. What's the logic behind switching?

Changing quarterbacks has not brought much life to the Browns offense -- or to the quarterback position itself.

Derek Anderson has been plagued by dropped passes, but he's also not played a whole lot better than the guy he replaced -- the benched Brady Quinn.

Anderson's stats are abysmal. His 41.7 passer rating is worst in the league, lower than that of the ever-struggling JaMarcus Russell of Oakland.

Anderson's average of 4.7 yards per attempt also ranks last in the league, and he's thrown just two touchdowns compared to six interceptions.

Coach Eric Mangini, though, shows no inclination to think about changing quarterbacks again. He blames Anderson's stats on the entire offense, saying the group around Anderson needs to get better.

"There are some positive things I've seen throughout the course of Derek working at quarterback that I think will get better," Mangini said.

That's a familiar refrain to Browns fans, who last season grew very weary of Anderson very quickly. This season, though, his leash seems infinitely longer than the one given Quinn.


PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--LB D'Qwell Jackson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh. Jackson, who led the league in tackles last year and led the Browns this year, might need surgery.

--QB Derek Anderson has thrown 30 incompletions the past two starts. Fifteen of those passes were dropped by his receivers. For whatever reason, Browns pass-catchers are finding his passes difficult to handle -- another reason for critics of Eric Mangini to carp that the preseason quarterback competition was not productive for anyone.

--RB Jamal Lewis continued his inconsistent season. He followed a good game against Buffalo with a dismal one against Pittsburgh -- 11 carries for 21 yards. The Browns' struggles seem to be wearing on Lewis, who is not nearly as accessible to the media as he was in previous years with the Browns.

--WR Mohamed Massaquoi rebounded from a tough start in Pittsburgh to play fairly well. Massaquoi dropped the first pass thrown to him, then missed another. In the second half, though, he caught several throws and finished with five receptions for 83 yards. At this point, Massaquoi is the closest thing the Browns have to a No. 1 receiver, such as he is.

--WR Brian Robiskie had his first NFL reception against Pittsburgh, but the Browns have not turned to him as the No. 2 wideout. Robiskie is one of several guys who play opposite Mohamed Massaquoi, meaning all their numbers will be low until one steps forward.

--TE Robert Royal had only one pass thrown to him against Pittsburgh. That is probably a result of the fact that Royal has had several dropped passes caused by a finger injury that does not allow him to straighten his ring finger. Royal is better than he's played, but he probably can't play a lot better until the injury heals or is repaired.

--KR Josh Cribbs had his eighth return for a touchdown when he brought a kickoff back 98 yards in Pittsburgh. Cribbs remains a threat to score every time he touches the ball, which is good. The bad? He's about the Browns' only threat to score.

--CB Brandon McDonald had a very difficult game in Pittsburgh, both covering and tackling. After the game, McDonald could barely raise his right arm to put on his shirt. It appeared at that moment that the Browns cornerback was trying to play injured, and that injury was affecting his play.

--LB Kamerion Wimbley is expected to return Sunday against Green Bay after missing the Pittsburgh loss with the flu. The Browns defense struggles enough with Wimbley, but when he's out, it means the team is without its best pass rusher.

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