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Browns coach Mangini doesn't plan on benching QB Anderson

  • By Associated Press
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BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini has no plans to bench Derek Anderson, the NFL's lowest-rated quarterback, for Brady Quinn or anyone else.

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"No," Mangini said Monday, shaking his head, when asked if Anderson would sit.

Anderson was 12-of-29 passing for 99 yards in Sunday's 31-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers, whose veteran cornerbacks shut down Cleveland's wide receivers and forced the Browns' quarterback to throw to his running backs and tight ends. Anderson has completed just 23 of 70 passes in the past three games and now has an overall 40.6 rating -- nearly seven points behind the league's second-lowest ranked QB, Oakland's JaMarcus Russell.

Yet despite the atrocious stats, Mangini believes Anderson gives the Browns the best chance to win, and the coach will not switch back to Quinn, who began the season as Cleveland's starter but was replaced after just 10 quarters.

"I think he gives us the best chance right now to move the ball," Mangini said of Anderson. "I know his numbers have not been impressive, but he isn't alone in producing those numbers. There's been a significant amount of drops. There's been times where we had chances, and there's been some breakdowns in protection.

"I've also seen him complete some balls that were well thrown and well caught. I've seen him complete those plays not just in games, but also in practice."

Anderson is grateful for Mangini's support, but he knows he must improve or he will lose his job.

"I need to get better," Anderson said. "All of us have to look at what we can do to get better. We watch plays and we're just one guy off. I miss a throw by a yard. It was really close on a lot. We left a lot of offense out there yesterday. It's frustrating."

Imagine then how Quinn must feel. He won the starting job over Anderson following their drawn-out battle through training camp and the preseason, only to have it yanked away after only 2½ games.

Quinn insists he isn't perplexed about why he's not receiving another shot, and he says he's not dwelling on something he can't control. He hasn't been pushing Mangini or offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to put him in again -- that's not his style -- and said he has no personal problems with his coaches.

"There are a lot of things I can do to get better," said Quinn, who made three starts last season before he was sidelined by a finger injury. "We follow our head coach, and whatever our head coach says, we go with."

Mangini maintains that his decision to stick with Anderson isn't because the Browns are trying to avoid paying Quinn $11 million he would earn this season if he's in 70 percent of the team's offensive snaps.

"Nothing," Mangini said when asked if the money was a factor in Quinn being on the bench. "Zero. Nothing to do with it."

Quinn agrees.

"No," he said, "and I hope that's not the case. This is a game of football, and we're just trying to win out there."

It's not happening, and the losing is taking its toll on everyone in Cleveland. The Browns have lost 12 of 13 overall and eight in a row at home.

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On Sunday, a few fans in the Dawg Pound wore paper bags over their heads. Other fans vainly chanted for Quinn, who never received the emergency call from Mangini. Thousands more fled Cleveland's lakefront stadium at halftime, hoping to salvage part of a crisp autumn afternoon.

Mangini understands the fans' frustration and knows it's up to him and his players to do something about it.

"It's important for us to give them something to cheer about," he said. "That's what we have to do. It' a passionate group, and I respect that. We need to continue to move forward and make sure that nobody wants to leave the stadium."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press


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