BEREA—Eric Mangini is convinced that Derek Anderson provides the best opportunity for the Browns to turn their ailing fortunes around.
In the last game before the bye, Mangini said Anderson will remain the starter against the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago.
When asked if he will make a change at quarterback for this week’s road game, Mangini resoundingly said, “No.”
A follow up question was ‘So you’re going to stick with DA’ and Mangini nodded his head in the affirmative.
Mangini said after the game on Sunday that he hadn’t thought about making a change at quarterback during the game, but didn’t rule it out for the next game.
Against the Packers, Anderson was 12-of-29 for 99 yards with an interception and a 36.4 B rating. On the season, Anderson is 60-of-137 (43.8 percent) for 605 yards with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. His QB rating is 40.6.
“I think (Anderson) gives us the best chance to move the ball,” Mangini said. “He’s had a significant number of drops. I’ve seen him do some good things.”
It appears after winning the preseason quarterback battle, that Brady Quinn has not become an option to provide a spark.
“The conversation I had with Brady is that you have to keep working,” Mangini said. “Because you never know when you’re opportunity is going to come. It can change quickly and you want to be able to maximize your opportunity.”
Quinn had a 60.8 completion percentage in his 2 ½ games with a QB rating of 62.9.
Quinn spoke very diplomatically in the time on Monday during the open locker room.
“I’m in a similar role that I’ve been in (as a backup) for the last couple of years,” Quinn said. “I do more film study and as much preparation as I can.”
Quinn said he was not down or distraught about his status with the Browns.
“Really, I’ve learned to not live that way,” he said. “I feel that I am extremely blessed.”
Quinn said he has not had a falling out with Mangini or offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
“There’s no truth to that whatsoever, even though my role has changed.”
Quinn said during a game he doesn’t look at how he would approach things differently than the starter.
“That’s not how the backup approaches it,” he said. “You look at the game plan specifically and how the opponent is defending it.”
Quinn is very quickly losing out on the opportunity to collect an escalator clause in his contract that would give him multiple millions if he were to play 70 percent of the plays this season.
Mangini said there was ‘zero’ chance that the bonus has played into the decision to not play Quinn.
Quinn said he didn’t think that was a reason, as well.
Anderson had little to say about the team’s play, other than the missed opportunities the offense had on Sunday.
“We left a lot on the field,” Anderson said. “We are 1-6. The amount of effort that we put into each week, we figure we have everything covered going into the game. For some reason, we just can’t carry it over to Sunday.
“It’s very frustrating, nobody likes to lose,” he said. “We have been bad before, but we aren’t a terrible football team.”
Looking for Progress: Mangini said despite the Browns are nearing the midpoint of the season, he’s looking for progress.
“I don’t think anyone is pleased where we are right now,” he said. “We’re going to work at it as diligently as we can. Mistakes are going to be addressed and analyzed. It’s not a sense that things are ok, but it has to be a consistent process of trying to get better.”
Mangini said he doesn’t know how long it will take to turn things around.
“I don’t have a timetable set up, but what we’re looking for is improved progress,” he said. “What do we have to do to get better every day.
“Any time you take over a new situation, it’s a process,” he said. “We have made a lot of progress in the way we want to play. We have to learn to be a consistent player, a consistent team. We have to make good choices every day.”
Mangini said the Browns can win with the players they have now.
“I think we can improve a lot better with the group we have,” he said. “We have shown we can improve better with the group collectively that we have.”
Mangini said he sympathizes with Browns fans not having much to cheer about.
“It’s important for us to give the fans something to cheer about,” he said. “I think we are right where we’ve played ourselves and our record indicates that. The record is what it is and that’s a reflection on what we’ve done to this point. Do I think we’ve made some strides, yes, but we have a long way to go.”
No Tackling: What Mangini mentioned first as the biggest problem was the team’s poor tackling.
“There are plenty of things from an execution point that we could’ve done much better, but what I really want to see is when things don’t go our way is tackling and when a play should go 10 yards it goes much further,” he said. “We talk about it and we practice about it.”
The Browns practice live tackling more than most teams, but Mangini said they will continue to work at it.
“It doesn’t just happen,” he said. “It’s a fundamental skill.”
What Happened to the Wildcat: After running the ‘Wildcat’ offense against the Steelers effectively, the Browns reverted to not using it against the Packers. Josh Cribbs took one snap and gained just one yard
“We could’ve probably used it a lot more than we did I thought the look they gave us was a good answer but there were some other things we could’ve tried,” Mangini said.
Mangini said he considered using it during the game, but it didn’t play out that way.
“Usually, it’s during the game and it makes sense to the situation you’re in. “