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News » With time, Quinn will be better

With time, Quinn will be better

With time, Quinn will be better

Whether the infatuation was deep, passing or only a scurrilous rumor, Jay Cutler is not a Browns quarterback now and won't be in the future.

The big personnel deal of the pre-draft season was interesting because Chicago is a famous franchise in NFL history, but one that has usually been forced to play without a competent quarterback. Now the Bears have one.

As for the Browns, also a famous franchise in NFL history, they have had the one-year comet that was Derek Anderson in 2007 and not much else since Bernie Kosar. Look up Vinny Testaverde's numbers if you think he was the reason behind the 1994 playoff berth.

The Browns are left to choose between Brady Quinn and Anderson. The question is whether anyone in the Browns' front office since the team's return could recognize an NFL quarterback, even if Peyton Manning's picture was on the side of every milk carton in Berea. Tim Couch, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Charlie Frye and Anderson were all either inconsistent, unprepared or overmatched.

Anderson won the job in the last training camp, then was victimized by Braylon Scissorhands. But Anderson got too many chances as the season nose-dived.

The deposed Romeo Crennel's loyalty to Anderson recalled Cavaliers coach Mike Brown's reliance on Sasha Pavlovic. In years past, in every fourth or fifth game, Pavlovic would have a big night, and it would be enough to dissuade Brown from making a lineup change. Pavlovic's strengths were size and good defense. Brown made the NBA Finals with the league's biggest team. He loves defense the way Crennel loved Anderson's rocket arm.

And so, long past the time a more rational man would have made a quarterback change, Crennel stayed the course.

Quinn is not the perfect package, other than in his personal background as a Browns fan and Notre Dame star. There are three passing levels - out of the backfield, across the middle and the deep outs, flies and posts. Quinn is thought to be suspect on the deep balls.

Anderson made his name with the long ball, which set up everything else in 2007. He did it against bad teams, mainly, but his numbers were impressive. On timing patterns, however, when receivers hit in stride can pop big gains, his ball was often outside, high or behind them.

But quarterbacking is more than that.

It is also more than the increased elusiveness Quinn would bring as a better athlete.

A commanding presence in the huddle is part of it. Kosar would not have hesitated to order Edwards to the bench when he got quarrelsome, or Kellen Winslow when he ran the wrong pattern. He was in charge. He had earned that respect.

Nobody enforced much of anything last season.

There is also the matter of poise. A quarterback can't seem flustered. He can't grab his helmet with his hands after interceptions and look distraught. He must radiate confidence. Quinn probably has more of that quality than Anderson.

There is a popular belief that reporters like to knock players off their pedestals. Actually, we like to see high expectations surpassed. Who hasn't enjoyed LeBron James or Tiger Woods?

What we ROOT for, in the abstract, is a great story. Quinn is the better story. Given his chance, I think he will be the better quarterback, too.

To reach Bill Livingston: blivingston@plaind.com, 216-999-4672

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 7, 2009

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Justin Sandy Name: Justin Sandy
Position: DB
Age: 26
Experience: 3 years
College: Northern Iowa
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