Browns Keeping Identity of Ineffective Starter a Secret

The Browns were predictably slaughtered on the road in Baltimore yesterday. The offense is anemic even when running on all cylinders, evidenced by the fact that the team now has only one offensive score in its last nine games. Brady Quinn was yanked at halftime of the 34-3 Ravens beatdown, with Derek Anderson having only marginally more success in the second half (hey, he did lead them on a 66-yard scoring drive, which resulted in a field goal, of course) but then he also threw three interceptions to Brady Quinn's one. Kind of a wash, if you ask me. ↵

↵So what's a head coach to do when the starter can't produce any points and the backup can only gin up one measly field goal? It's obvious - be purposefully vague about what form of mediocrity you're unleashing on the competition next week. And that's just what Eric Mangini is doing. The Browns coach said he'll keep his decision about who will start Sunday's game against the resurgent Bengals close to the vest until the middle of the week. Naturally, there's a slightly different approach for preparing for either Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn. One will deposit passes into the awaiting hands of corners while the other will simply drop the ball on the ground while flushing out to his right. ↵

↵

↵Meanwhile, Mangini has other frustrating personnel matters apart from the embarrassments on the field. No, not just Coye Francies punching teammates for indulging in minor pranks. That would be too easy. There's a report that the coach is facing up to five grievances filed against him with the league by his own players, at least one stemming from the well-known (but disputed by CBS' Charlie Casserly) $1,701 fine of a player for not paying for a $3 water bottle. ↵

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↵But at least he didn't lose to the Lions. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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