Anderson Tirade Shows How Much A Year Can Change

By: T.J. Zuppe

Being a year removed from last year’s Cleveland Browns, brings a complete change in the quarterback position in this city.

Through all of the controversies, high-ankle sprains and quarterback of the future talk, the one thing that we can all agree on is just how much better the signal-callers are this year, as opposed to last.

The reason why this is relevant talk, at this point of the season, centers around the football game that took place in Arizona, on Monday night. The quarterback in question is former Browns slinger Derek Anderson, now the starter for the Cardinals.

During the game, the Monday night crew for ESPN caught Anderson laughing on the sideline, when his team was down by 18 points late in the game. This did not sit well with certain members of the media covering the team, in particular Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.

During Anderson’s postgame press conference, the following took place:

From there, we received yet another famous post-game explosion that will be replayed for years to come. Instead of simply owning the fact that he got caught, Anderson denied, denied and then denied some more, which only caused the climate to get more dangerous from there, before reaching the final breaking point.

Regardless if you believed Anderson was in the wrong or right, it does not change what the bigger picture in this situation is.

Former Browns Quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn

Last season, the Browns stable of quarterbacks included Anderson and now Broncos third-stringer, Brady Quinn. During the time in which both were under center in Cleveland, neither took a liking to one another, which caused dissention between themselves and the locker room.

Instead of playing the role of a good backup quarterback, pointing out parts of defenses and giving necessary input on the sideline, it was more about seeing just how far they could stay apart, while still looking like a member of the team.

This element of immaturity further rocked an already fragile offense that somehow, with the use of smoke and mirrors, was able to win four football games down the stretch – with no true help from the quarterback, the most important position on the field.

Instead of providing the team with the necessary leadership, while instilling confidence, it looked more like a fight between 14-year old girls.

Enter the 2010 off-season, where team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert addressed the position, bringing in new, more savvy veterans. Shipped off were Anderson and Quinn.

They were someone else’s problem now.

And despite what could be said for quarterback Jake Delhomme’s propensity to turn the ball over, Seneca Wallace’s career as a backup or Colt McCoy’s rookie status, the entire position is better tenfold.

What is the reason? A big reason lies in the character of all three.

You learn so much about a person during competition and adversity. And through everything that has taken place this season, all three have rallied around the others, saying nothing but positive things and being completely supportive.

This has had Cleveland fans confused all year-long.

So, you are saying these three have the team’s best interest in mind, not themselves? That seems like a novel idea.

It has been widely publicized just how much work Delhomme has put in with McCoy, showing him the ropes of the National Football League. The two have become so close, that they carpool to the team’s facility together.

And even when the team’s starter was up in the air, Wallace made it clear he would back the decision of the coaching staff, stating the only thing that was important was simply going with one guy, making it clear it was such.

All three have earned the respect of their teammates and it shows on the field, on Sundays.

Meanwhile, there is Anderson going nuclear in the post game press conference, throwing a temper tantrum, providing the landscape of the NFL with plenty of comedic fodder for weeks to come. It seems he has yet to grow up.

That sits fine with the Browns, who are very happy with the changes they have made.

Follow T.J. Zuppe on Twitter @TJZuppe

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