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Around the NFL: Anderson should know, patience pays off for QBs


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Around the NFL: Anderson should know, patience pays off for QBs




By Steve Doerschuk

CantonRep.com staff report

Posted May 23, 2009 @ 06:48 PM


It was rough out there for Browns quarterback Derek Anderson.


His 2007 dream season dissolved into a 2008 nightmare.


It got bad when the Browns started 0-3. It bottomed out when the beer started talking in the grandstand, and a certain percentage of fans seemed to cheer with glee as Anderson lay injured in Cleveland Browns Stadium.


Mind you, his share of a


4-12 season was only 3-6 as the starting QB, but it felt like 90 percent of the weight was on him. He couldn’t get out of town fast enough and back home to Scappoose, Ore.


“It was nice to go home and relax and see my family ... my dog’s getting big,” Anderson said. “My golf game got better. I went to the Masters. It was good.”


The money is good in the NFL. For starting NFL quarterbacks, it’s borderline ridiculous. After one good year, 2007, Anderson signed a three-year deal with $10 million guaranteed.


If you’re keeping score at home, you would need to earn $40,000 a year for 250 years to sock away a cool 10 mil.


Money can’t buy you love. Asked how it felt to get jeered at home after getting hurt, Anderson coyly reverted to a previous theme.


“My dog’s getting huge ... 55 pounds ... she lost the ball in the park the other day.”


He’s over it — or, at least, dealing with it. He’s taking it one rep at a time as he competes with Brady Quinn under the mysterious eyes of a new Browns regime.


He’s not an Eric Mangini mind-reader. How is he supposed to know how exactly a coach who tends to apply psychological pressure thinks of him?


“There’s always gonna be competition,” he said. “Take every other quarterback in the league. Maybe two guys in the league ... their jobs are secure every year coming in.


“Manning and Brady ... obviously, those guys are pretty well entrenched. But the guys competing with them are trying to get their jobs every time they go into camp, too. Is it realistic? Probably not. But they’re gonna compete.”


Was Anderson exaggerating? Probably. The list of secure quarterbacks certainly includes two Mannings, Ben Roethlisberger, Phllip Rivers and Drew Brees. For most of the decade, it has included Donovan McNabb and Brett Favre.


The exaggeration doesn’t change this point: In Anderson’s line of work, patience can pay — in the multimillions. As the career paths of NFL quarterbacks go, unpredictability is the most predictable trait.


In Anderson’s predicament — “the other guy” on a team where Quinn is “the people’s choice” — the greatest comfort might not come from living in the playbook. It is in the history book.


Anderson is only 25. He’ll be eligible for free agency at 27. As long as he keeps his rocket arm and has his head on straight, he can be encouraged that jobs are always coming open.




The career paths of this decade’s starting QBs have been all over the place. A smattering of samples:



* The 2008 Titans wanted someone who had been there. Former No. 3 draft pick Vince Young had to sit.


* Kordell Stewart was 29 when he went to a Pro Bowl in 2001, but was never a full-time starting QB again.


* Jake Plummer was 31 when he got benched by the Broncos after 11 starts in 2006. He was out of the league a year later.


* Daunte Culpepper looked like a future Hall of Famer as a Viking in 2000. He hasn’t been a full-time starter since he was 27, five years ago.


* Former No. 1 overall pick Tim Couch was 26 when he took his last snap in 2003.


* Former No. 1 pick David Carr was 27 when his time ran out with the 2006 Texans.


* Former first-round pick Byron Leftwich last started a majority of his team’s games in 2005, when he was 25.


Then there are the stories of guys who didn’t kick it in until later in life.


* Rich Gannon started out as a fourth-round pick, basically sat for eight of his first 11 pro years, then took off. He was 37 in 2002 when he was an NFL MVP with the Raiders.


* Tommy Maddox was 30 and a year removed from the XFL when he began a nice run with the Steelers.




* Trent Green was 28 when he got his shot in his fifth year with the Chiefs.


* Undrafted in 1997, Jake Delhomme knocked around for five years with the Saints before jumping to the Panthers and becoming a starter at 28.


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Patience doesn't pay off as much as hard work. while Anderson spent most of the winter playing golf in Pro-Ams and going to Augusta for the Masters, Quinn was in Berea working with the new coaches and learning the play book. also showing his teammates that he can be this teams leader.


Any wonder why Mangini said Quinn is ahead at this point because of his hard work this offseason and is working with the 1st team.

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