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Gunslingers don't necessarily make great qb's


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"Goodnight, Sheppie, where ever you are" <_<


Gunslingers don't necessarily make great quarterbacks By Marla Ridenour

Beacon Journal sports writer


POSTED: 06:02 p.m. EDT, Oct 31, 2009


BEREA: Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be gunslingers.


But if they do, remember it takes more than a rocket arm and a childhood Punt, Pass and Kick trophy to become a franchise quarterback in the NFL.


Look no further than Derek Anderson and Jay Cutler, starting quarterbacks for the Browns and Chicago Bears, respectively, today at Soldier Field.


Anderson's throws can dislocate fingers — just ask tight end Robert Royal about that — but he wouldn't start for any other team in the league with his abysmal statistics.


According to Stats Inc., his 40.6 rating is the third-worst through the first seven weeks in this decade. He trails only Ryan Leaf's 34.5 for the San Diego Chargers in 2000 and Kerry Collins' 37.5 for the Tennessee Titans in 2006.


And there's more. Anderson's 32.9 completion percentage (23-of-70) in the past three games is the lowest by a quarterback with at least 70 attempts since the Oakland Raiders' Steve Beuerlein completed 31.9 percent (23-of-72) in 1988.


Asked about his numbers, Anderson said Wednesday, ''I honestly know they're garbage and I haven't looked at them since I started playing.''


Anderson is putting in the study time and staying late in Berea, impressing Browns coach Eric Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll with his work ethic.


''If he keeps his preparation up, I really believe good things are going to come,'' Daboll said Friday.


But clearly Anderson is not the Browns' quarterback of the future. Granted, he's hampered by an inexperienced receiving corps, problems on the right side of the offensive line, a rookie center, injuries at tight end and the lack of a running game. But even when Anderson had all the pieces in place in 2007, his inconsistency and penchant for throwing an interception at the worst possible time were maddening. The nicest comment Bears coach Lovie Smith could muster about Anderson last week was, ''Anderson is a good player, he can make all the throws.''


Daboll has increasingly put more and more blame on Anderson, saying Friday that the interception by the Green Bay Packers on a throw to rookie Brian Robiskie was Anderson's fault for letting the ball go too early.


Asked what Anderson needs to do better, Daboll said: ''Complete more passes. I'm being serious. There's some plays the last game that I know he feels he left out there, more so than the first couple games. We had some guys in good positions.''


When asked whether it was time to start someone else, Daboll said, ''I don't think we're at that point right now.''


That might give hope to fans of backup Brady Quinn, who won the job in training camp and was given only 10 quarters before being yanked.


Everything written about Anderson in Pro Football Weekly's 2005 Draft Preview has come to fruition.


''Struggles handling pressure and makes bad decisions,'' Nolan Nawrocki wrote. ''Has a difficult time reading coverages. Needs to improve accuracy. Looks like a different quarterback from week to week. Makes his receivers stop in stride and work for the ball. Lacks patience and has too many lapses in concentration. Throws off his back foot too much. Slow to set his feet. Not a great leader. Won't be able to adjust to the speed of the game for at least several years.''


Anderson's 14-17 record as a starter in four seasons with the Browns has proved that going 10-5 and throwing 29 touchdown passes during his Pro Bowl year in 2007 was an aberration against an easy schedule. Perhaps he'll go somewhere else and become Steve Young, but I wouldn't bet my Phil Simms' autographed mini-football helmet on it.


Cutler, meanwhile, was expected to put the Bears over the top when he arrived in an April 2 trade from the Denver Broncos. The price was steep for the disgruntled flamethrower who was the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft. After Cutler became upset when new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels floated his name in trade talks, the Bears gave up two first-round picks (in 2009 and 2010), a third-rounder in '09 and quarterback Kyle Orton for Cutler and the Broncos' fifth-rounder.


The Bears are 3-3 with Cutler; the Broncos, 6-0 with Orton. Cutler has thrown 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, but he's on pace to pass for a franchise record 3,872 yards.


Asked whether Cutler has been taking too many chances, Smith said: ''The mentality you try to score every play, we're not going to change that. Interceptions happen. We've had too many. We'll continue to do things to limit the amount of interceptions, but you still have to play the game.''


Cutler's 20-23 record as a starter did not deter the Bears from extending his contract on Oct. 20, locking him up through 2013. According to the Chicago Tribune, he's now scheduled to make $50 million in the next five years, with $20 million guaranteed.


Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan thinks Cutler was worth it.


''The guy can throw a strawberry through a battleship, I've always said that about him,'' Ryan said Friday. ''I really think he could and I've seen the [uSS] Missouri up close and I honestly think he'd find a fault in it. He's got a huge arm.


''Cutler's always been a great competitor. I like watching the kid play. He holds the ball down by his shoelaces because he thinks he's tougher than everybody. Then he'll throw it and he doesn't care where it's going. He's going to get it to his man.


''When we played him in the past in Oakland, we always had our guys tape their fingers because we're afraid to get 'em knocked off. You can be in the way of the ball, but the chances of you catching it aren't real good if you're not used to catching one out of a cannon.''


For the Broncos, Cutler was 13-1 when the defense held foes to 21 points or less. Perhaps he will succeed with a better defense. But it remains to be seen whether he's a leader. It remains to be seen whether he's as good as the NFL's reigning gunslingers — the Minnesota Vikings' Brett Favre (the poster boy of the genre, who won one Super Bowl with the Packers) and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger (who has two championships). The other big-armed quarterbacks aren't running away in their divisions. The Baltimore Ravens are 3-3 with Joe Flacco; the Packers, 4-2 with Aaron Rodgers. Others with less arm strength are faring just as well, like Drew Brees with the New Orleans Saints (6-0), Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts (6-0) and Tom Brady with the New England Patriots (5-2).


With neither Anderson nor Quinn appearing to be the answer, the Browns' search for a franchise quarterback might begin again in 2010, when they seem bound for a top-five pick.


They might be tempted by the University of Washington's Jake Locker if he forgoes his final year of eligibility. Locker is 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds with a big arm, but ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. believes he's a work in progress in terms of accuracy, decision making and balance.


If Locker comes out, he's expected to be one of the top two quarterbacks selected, especially after Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma underwent shoulder surgery. Locker also has been drafted by the Los Angeles Angels and Nawrocki said recently that baseball scouts believe Locker has a ''hall of fame arm.''


Burned by one gunslinger in Anderson, will the Browns go looking for another? Oh, Mama, that could be risky business, indeed.


Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read her Browns blog at http://www.ohiomm.com/blogs/browns/. Follow the Browns on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ABJ_Browns.





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DA is not a great QB because he succumbs to pressure very easily and is not a great decision maker. Also he has trouble throwing short passes accurately. His pocket presence is also suspect. So with all these "must fix" qualities in DA I don t think that it is his gunslinging ability that should be criticized. infact it is what gave him a job so far.



Cutler, does demonstrate better acumen than DA and is a gunslinger too. But again his first year in chicago so far has seen interceptions and touchdowns. But do remember that Chicago does not have any great WR's and their OLine is always suspect. Brees, Brady and Manning have a great O Line to protect them and a decent WR corps too. Plus they have a good football IQ and are in a good team. So they are in a process where they help the team and the team helps them.


It really has nothing to do with gun slinging and everything to do with football intelligence.

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And wideouts that can't catch ruin all your chances of getting a W. Our team sucks ass. If giving the chance why would Quinn even want to come back in and play for this team. Crap recivers horrible play calling, no run game no blocking nobody can hold on to the fukn ball. did I leave anything out?

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