Trent Dilfer Is Not On Board The Brady Quinn Train, And Neither Am I
It's quite rare to see any announcer just completely go after a team on ESPN, but it definitely happened yesterday when Trent Dilfer absolutely ripped the hell out of the Browns for deciding to bench Derek Anderson and name Brady Quinn the starter.
Even more impressive, Dilfer went right after Browns fans, saying that they're the reason why the Browns continue to make stupid moves as an organization.
Dilfer of course has a history with the Browns, having played for them back in 2005. Some people might say he's a little bitter towards his old team, other people might say he knows exactly what he's talking about.
I think many of you know where I stand on this issue, which is 100% in Dilfer's camp. As Dilfer makes clear, Anderson hasn't had nearly as bad a year as people like to think he has. Anderson's had to deal with a disgruntled Kellen Winslow who's having a personal battle with the organization, a star receiver in Braylon Edwards who couldn't catch a football drenched in super glue right now (14 drops on the season so far), and a horrible defense. Plus, let's be honest as well, if Edwards catches that perfect bomb that Anderson threw to him on Sunday against the Ravens in the 4th quarter, we might not even be having this discussion.
What has happened in Cleveland is that Anderson has become the scapegoat for what is essentially an entire team's bad season.
More specifically, this is my problem. Anderson was basically a rookie last year. He had an exceptional year. This year, mostly because of his team, he's had a less than stellar season. Considering many scouts, and as Dilfer alluded to, many coaches, believe Anderson is a solid player, why should you nix this process at a year and a half? After the Browns beat the Giants several weeks ago, Steve Young was effusive in his praise for Anderson, not just for that game, but in what he believes Anderson can become over time.
And let's face it, not every quarterback in NFL history has always had a smooth road to success. It's not absurd to think a guy may go through a bit of a sophomore slump, especially considering his overall team is having a bad season.
I mean, look at Eli Manning for God's sake. It took him nearly 4 years before he hit his stride. Now he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
The point is that while some people will call Anderson's 2007 season a fluke, I see it as proof that he can actually get it done in the NFL, but needs more time to become a very good quarterback. This is how it works for quarterbacks, rarely do you ever get the Tom Brady who instantly produces at an exceptional level.
It also just seems to be a bad move on the Browns part. You spend a year and a half on a guy who's shown quite a lot of promise, and now you decide to start all over with another guy who you have no clue what you're going to get from him.
I realize this is mostly about the fact that Quinn was a first round draft pick and the Browns need to test him out at some point, but now isn't that time.
Many people like instant gratification, but the truth is that in the NFL, appealing to that desire often gets you in serious trouble. Development is a key part of the game, and sometimes that means dealing with a rocky a season or two. Anyway, if the Browns are lucky, Quinn will be what they hope he is. But if he's not, they'll likely be asking themselves why they didn't try and develop Anderson for a longer period of time. And they'll probably be thinking that while Anderson is playing for another team and sending Cleveland to yet another loss.