With two preseason games in the bag, Browns coach Eric Mangini is no closer to picking a starting quarterback.
That’s because Mangini sees the competition as “very close.”
And so the battle between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn will continue into the third preseason game, in which starters typically play through halftime, sometimes into the third quarter.
Mangini hasn’t determined who’ll play with the starters for Saturday’s game against the Titans. Or perhaps he has and he simply refuses to say who the starting quarterback for Saturday night will be.
Regardless, it’ll be fair to infer that the guy who gets the first crack in the third preseason game has the inside track to winning the job.
“If it’s close [at the end], then I’ll make the decision and that will be the decision based on what I feel gives us the best chance to win,” Mangini said. “Everybody will have a different opinion. But that’s what makes it so great, so much interest in the game, so much excitement.”
If it’s truly close after the final preseason game, financial considerations could come into play. By participating in 70 percent of the offensive snaps this year, Quinn will trigger a $5 million salary escalator for 2010. By taking 45 percent of the snaps, Quinn will earn a $1.32 million playing-time incentive.
Hell, if it’s truly a toss-up, the dollars and cents should be enough to tilt the competition in Anderson’s favor, and to keep him in the job for at least the first 31 percent of the season.