ESPN’s Trent Dilfer, who once played for the Browns during his NFL career, had some strong words for the team on Monday night, in the wake of the news that quarterback Derek Anderson has been benched in favor of 2007 first-rounder Brady Quinn.
“There are so many layers of dysfunction that this decision represents,” Dilfer said during the 6:00 p.m. EST SportsCenter.  “You never, ever bench a quarterback when you’re a bad football team.  You bench a quarterback when you’re a good football team and your quarterback is holding you back. . . .  It shows a total lack of discretion and wisdom at the very highest levels of the Cleveland Brown organization.”
Dilfer said that public opinion forced the decision.  “I have spoken to coaches [who] have said, “Hey, this is not Derek Anderson’s fault.’  In fact, at times he’s played far better than his stats show.  This is a function of the defense not being able to get off the football field [and] Braylon Edwards, a superstar receiver that’s supposed to make all the plays and make you better, having 14 drops at least. . . .
“This is an organization that I played for for a year,” Dilfer added, “and I saw very closely that the organization itself is highly dysfunctional and cannot make decisions that are good for the long-term growth of the organization.  Cleveland fans are frustrated.  They want a winner.  They want a consistent winner.  Well, these type of decisions are exactly why they’re not a winner now and they won’t be a winner in the future.”
Trent, don’t be so bashful to state your opinion.
Dilfer thinks that Quinn can do well.  But Dilfer thinks that Quinn should be nervous, because he’s now the guy who’s in the bull’s-eye once he throws a couple of picks.
The comments of Hall of Fame running back and Executive Advisor Jim Brown from a few weeks back suggest that Quinn could indeed be on a short leash.  Brown argued in September that it was time to see what Quinn could do, with the understanding that, if Quinn can’t do it, they could go back to Anderson.
We don’t have a superstar quarterback,” Brown said.  “We have two that have tremendous potential.  One has played a lot more than the other has, successfully, and also had some failure.  If we try Brady this week, it’s a change of pace.  Why not have a change of pace that might bring you a spark?  And if he doesn’t cut it, we can bring the other guy back, and we can bring Brady back.”


  1. hee hee hee hee
    Us Steeler fans just get the biggest kick out of the Brownies….
    What do you expect from an owner that prefers soccer.

  2. Wow, when it comes to analyzing the best way to utilize quarterbacks, Jim Brown makes a really good running back.

  3. Trent, if you would look at the game, maybe you would know why he was benched. They were down by 3 and near mid field when he threw an interception for a touchdown that a girl wouldn’t have thrown to go down by 10. Anderson has not performed to the level of deserving to start consistently.Romeo deserves to be fired if he is as dense as you seem to be.

  4. “You never bench a quarterback when your a bad football team”…that is backwards logic Dilfer. They have a first round pick who has shown promise in the pre-season, they have to see what he can do in a game when there is still hope in the season.
    I think Dilfer’s comments are influenced by the fact that he and Derek Anderson share the same agent (David Dunn/Athletes First).

  5. Nice sour grapes, Trent. It was no secret when Trent was here in Cleveland that he clashed with the coaching staff and didn’t feel like he got a fair shake. So now he’s using this as an opportunity to blast back a little bit.
    Not that the Browns aren’t dysfunctional. But I would say that this is the best decision they’ve made in a while. There’s nothing to lose in starting Quinn now. But of course, this sort of move would bother Dilfer since the same thing happened to him when he was playing mediocre football in Cleveland 3 years ago.

  6. We live in an age of oversensationalism. A Qb switch is treated as permanent and completely catastrophic to the QB who’s being benched. Why?
    It’s just like Jim Brown said – You stick the other guy in there and see how he does for a while. If he doesn’t cut it, then you put the other guy back in. That’s how it was done in the old days, and there was no need to fear that the QB’s fragile psyche would be forever damaged. They’re big boys. They can handle sitting on the bench for a while and then coming back in without suffering a nervous breakdown.
    But modern day sports “journalism” always blows stuff like this out of proportion and makes it seem like benching Derek Anderson now means that he will never again be fit to play another snap in the NFL.

  7. gametime, His point, as I read it, is that you don’t replace your QB when the entire team is bad, because you’re just setting up the younger, more impressionable QB to fail which can wreak havoc on their development. See: Tim Couch, Joey Harrington, David Carr, Ryan Leaf, etc.

  8. Jim Brown would go off on the watered down defenses of today for 2,000 yards year in and out…much like the Mick would hit 50 homers year in and out against the watered down pitchers in MLB.
    If the Browns had a Jim Brown in his prime…even Brad Johnson could QB the team to a SB.

  9. Well, well well…the Brownies are imploding again. So sorry Clevelanders…the mighty Steelers continue to roll!! With that mental midget Mike Brown running the show in Cincy and the fool Lerner in the s**t hole by the lake, the black and gold keep it all!
    Rooneys rule.

  10. Ya know the problem with JB’s belief is that you change too much and too often. There is a cost of changing QB’s

  11. dilfer is an idiot. you draft a QB in the first round a year before. you’re 3-5 and the QB that started the first 8 games of this season has a rating of 68 and is completing less than 50% of his passes. smart move in making the change.

  12. Dilfer is just pissed that he’s the only QB in NFL history bad enough to be benched in favor of Charlie Frye.

  13. There’s no hope left in the Clowns’ season. Their problems go much deeper than the QB position. You Clowns fans act like you’re the Cowboys and are about to get Romo back (as if it’ll help them either). DA doesn’t play defense. DA can’t run downfield to catch his own passes (because the recievers clearly can’t). Over-hyped, over-rated, and a total and complete waste of time for the NFL fanbase forced to watch the ridiculous amount of primetime games the Clowns got this year. At least the inept performances of the Raiders are entertaining in how utterly bad they are. The Clowns, on the other hand, are just a waste of time for all involved. The best present Art Modell gave the fans of this league was to take that pathetic franchise away so we didn’t have to be bothered by it. Now we’re forced to deal with an organization that’s putrid from the very top to the very bottom…..right on down to those atrocious looking colors and uniforms. It’s like watching 11 turds run around the field trying to play football.

  14. First of all, Dilfer is no idiot. He is incredibly bright and well-spoken. Obviously, the Browns are more dysfunctional than just at QB position. So what happens when they throw Quinn in there and still stink up the joint? What will it take then to show how deep the ineptitude of the organization is?
    Scapegoats everywhere. Good luck Brady. I’d love for you to prove me wrong.

  15. Since when is Trent Dilfer a great source of knowledge on the Browns? The guy only won a Super Bowl as a caretaker. ESPN has scrapped the bottom of the barrel for so-called experts.
    If I want to know the insights of good QB play I will listen to a good QB talk football.
    If I want to know how to underthrow WR’s and throw into triple coverage, I will listen to Trent Dilfer.

  16. Dilfer hasn’t watched a Browns game since he left apparantly. All he had to do is look at the Ravens game drive chart in the 4th quarter. This wasn’t about a defense that couldn’t get off the field. This was about an offense that couldn’t stay ON the field. The last SIX possesions by the Browns? 3-and-out, 3-and-out, 3-and-out, 3-and-out, 3-and-INT, turnover on downs.

  17. Dilfer is jaded as the Browns traded him for a bag of balls(which he could actually use). He has had a deep hatred for the Browns ever since we game him his shot to prove he was a horrible QB. I look for Brady to struggle the rest of the year, but the experience will help the Browns be more competitive going forward into next year.

  18. Hey Dilfer, dont be a cry baby because you couldnt produce one decent game in your washed up career with the Browns. Trent, the only reason your on tv is because ESPN needed to put a bigger idiot in Emmitt’s place so people would forget about him. I didn’t even know you were with the network until this article came out. You should probably try to read a stat line once in awhile, you might find that Anderson is last in the league as a QB. Hmmmm? Last in the league as a QB, how about leave him in and give him another 7 games to maybe get better. Man Trent, are you gonna go into coaching cause if Romeo gets fired us Browns fans want you. Maybe you can hire Tim Couch as your QB coach.

  19. “Dilfer hasn’t watched a Browns game since he left apparantly. All he had to do is look at the Ravens game drive chart in the 4th quarter. This wasn’t about a defense that couldn’t get off the field. This was about an offense that couldn’t stay ON the field. The last SIX possesions by the Browns? 3-and-out, 3-and-out, 3-and-out, 3-and-out, 3-and-INT, turnover on downs.
    Well in case you weren’t aware. Baltimore has one of the top defenses in the league, and your offense isn’t in any way a good matchup against it. You shouldn’t be surprised at those 4th quarter results. Over-matched at almost every position. Dilfer was an NFL QB who won a Super Bowl (and despite the bitter Clowns fans’ protests…..that’s not an easy thing to accomplish), and he knows FAR more than you not only about football in general but also about the NFL and talent evaluation. And since he’s actually been IN the Clowns organization, he’s more qualified to comment than all you Clowns fans put together. Your team blows, and likely will for a long time to come. The NFL should just kick you and the Bungles out of the division and send you to the NCAA or something. The Ravens and Steelers are the only teams that have been doing anything in that division for years (aside from the Bungles fluke year in 2005).
    Art Modell for President in 2008!!!!

  20. “GradyJacksonsBelly says:
    If I want to know the insights of good QB play I will listen to a good QB talk football.”
    That’s brilliant….and how many head coaches, currently in the NFL, were perennial all-pros? Jason Garrett, golden boy of the Cowboys, developer of Tony Romo, and head-coach-in-waiting….how many pro Bowls did he make as a QB, again? That was just an outright stupid comment.

  21. While everything that’s gone wrong this season isn’t DA’s fault, his completion percentage ranks at the bottom of the league…and that would be the case even if Braylon Edward Scissorhands hadn’t dropped a dozen balls in 8 games. DA seems to suffer from Steve Blass disease…at least its not staph. I suspect this was in the works before the Baltimore game. Seems odd to start a rookie on a short week but it does give Denver less time to prepare. On the bright side, looks like the Browns are a lock for a top 12 pick in 2009.

  22. Huge Browns fan. I will be the 1st person to say Dilfer was right on the money with every comment he made. The Browns fan base acts like a bunch of whiny little kids, well now you get what you were crying for. I’ll put the over under that you start chanting “we want dorsey” @ 6 games

  23. I’m cool with trying out Quinn, I think it was going to be necessary at some time anyhow. That being said, the way the Browns went about this is completely thoughtless and classless. For starters, why would the owner and GM allow their coach to hold a press conference to say that there would be no change this week at the quarterback position, and then two hours later, pull down his pants in front of everyone and announce that Quinn will be starting? If they are going to make Romeo look like an idiot, why don’t they just fire him and bring in a new coach? The problem with this team runs much deeper than the quarterback. The whole organization is dysfunctional and disconnected. They can’t even control the way private information is handled within the franchise. If you look at the front office it is chock full of people that know nothing about actual football. And the folks that supposedly do know about football apparently don’t know anything about keeping their mouth shut to the media and keeping things in house. The bottom line is that you have a coach, a GM, and a team President that all came in at different times and with different ties and don’t have anything in common. They clearly don’t get along and don’t work well together. We need to clean house and start over from the top so that everyone is on the same page. Right now we should be thanking God for creating the Detroit Lions so that we aren’t the worst organization in the NFL.
    The second thing that baffles me is throwing a quarterback into his first start after only 2 days of preparation. Then again, after watching this offense all season, it really doesn’t look like they prepare much anyhow. As a side note, if Braylon doesn’t have two drops, Anderson stat line changes grossly. He would have had 3 TD’s and over 300 yards passing and with a bigger lead he probably wouldn’t have thrown his only pick becasue they would have been running the ball to take time off of the clock. He can’t be blamed for everything. By the way has anyone seen Kamerion Wimbley? If you do see him, could you tell him that he stinks?

  24. “callmecougar says:
    November 3rd, 2008 at 8:49 pm
    Right now we should be thanking God for creating the Detroit Lions so that we aren’t the worst organization in the NFL.”
    Ah, wise of you to not include the Raiders in your rankings for two reasons….for some reason, there seem to be a lot of nutso Raider fans on here who would go mental…..and secondly, by the time someone finishes reading your comment, there’s a very good chance the Raiders would have been annexed by the AFL.

  25. And, for the record, I think Dilfer may know a little bit about this subject, not just because of the season he spent with the Browns, but because of how he was treated in Tampa. Say what you want about his abilities, he was, at the very least, a serviceable QB….despite the fact that the team didn’t even try to acquire a legitimate wide receiver (and by that, I mean any type of wide receiver….not a specific type, i.e. possession, deep threat….just ANY wide receiver with NFL abilities) until after Dilfer was forced out the door….Look at the leading WRs for his years in Tampa: Karl Williams, Reidel Anthony, Jacquez Green….if there’s any guy who is fit to comment on problems being unfairly laid at a QB’s feet, it’s probably Trent.

  26. Dilfer is entitled to his opinion but just because he sucked at QB doesnt’ mean he knows what he is talking about.
    Please, just shut up when you don’t know what you are talking about.

  27. Dilfer’s right about the entire organization being a mess. Phil Savage is among the most inept GMs in the league. The city is apparently a cesspool of staph bacteria. And they gave a big pile of money to a QB who had one good (not great) season the same year they drafted their QB of the future in the first round.
    I don’t know whether a QB change is going to make any difference. It certainly can’t hurt at this point. The Browns are horrid. They have to try something.

  28. You Clown fans make me laugh. You whined about losing your team. Got a gift in getting it back complete with extra draft picks, have sucked since returning, and have consistently whined about your team since your re-birth. Florio for some reason has a soft spot in his heart for Cleveland thinking that you “deserve” a winner. Guess what – you don’t. Your fans are major league fair weather and you booed your QB in the 4th quarter of a game that he got you up by 2 TD’s. Your defense let you down in the last game. The interception sealed the deal, but it was your defense that wet the bed. Bring in Brady. It won’t matter. The fish stinks from the head down and Lerner doesn’t give a crap about you our the team. Phil Savage was not the brains behind the Wizard of Oz, he was carrying Ozzie’s water bucket. We jobbed you by stealing Haloti Ngata, you picked up our sloppy seconds with Gary Baxter, DA, Trent Dilfer, Jamal etc. Your team frankly sucks and that is a generous statement. Have a great year. We’ll be thinking about you watching our franchise QB Joe “Cool” Flacco. Meanwhile Brady will be choking like he did at Notre Dame.

  29. If I’m wrong, let me know, but wasn’t there a story that Brady Quinn would get a bonus if he played 55% of the snaps in 2008? Guess what? They waited until the bonus could no longer be paid.

  30. Trent Dilfer has officially become the defender and champion of should-be clipboard-toting QBs in the NFL. With all of the injuries to QBs and parity in this league, crappy QBs need someone to stand up and represent them. U DA MAN TRENT! I can’t believe the Browns only got a career 3rd string QB(Ken Dorsey) from the 49ers for you. What a steal the 49ers got with all that you gave them!
    The Braylon Edward Scissorhands comment made me LOL IRL!

  31. New headcoach; new defense and offense co-ordinators; new assistant coaches. And please, new people at the skill positions: a new QB, and get rid of Edwards and Winslow. But above all, get rid of Savage and his boss, Randy Lerner, who is the patron saint of the simple-minded.

  32. I am BLAMING Edwards and the run defense for this QB switch. DA is not the problem!
    Browns suck a$$….chalk up another year!!

  33. Look, it’s no secret the Browns are a mess. But Trent is just being a crybaby. He was a crybaby when in Cleveland and he played mediocre football.
    Bottom line is that Anderson is just too inconsistent. Did he lose the game for Cleveland? A case could be made, but no more than Braylon and his drops lost it for us, as well. The problem here is that Anderson can perform up to potential on one series, and turn around and play as though it is his first NFL game the very next. But he was like that in college as well, and it is well documented. That being said…nobody seems to understand that is the problem. The Browns had several 3 and outs at the end of the game. At one point, Anderson through a pass he should NOT have thrown, and if it wasn’t for Winslow causing offensive pass interference to interrupt the coverage, it would have been picked off. All for naught, because shortly after, he did throw a pick (for a return td, no less). That pass was ANOTHER pass he had no business in throwing.
    During one of the 3 and outs, one of the announcers commented about the lack of short passing plays, to pick up yards, stay on the field, and keep the D off the field for a longer rest. Bottom line is that he can’t make consistently accurate short passes. Quinn can, and has done so in college. As for pressure, he came up as one of the best QB’s around, and being at Notre Dame allowed him to handle the spotlight.

  34. Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
    We use words like honor, code, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use ’em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!

  35. In response to volsense: did you watch the play on the INT for a TD? They had a screen set up and the defender was able to get to Anderson even faster than you are supposed to on a screen (not Anderson’s fault) and the running back he threw the screen to wasn’t even looking for the ball, he was still blocking and then looked behind him cluelessly (not Anderson’s fault). Dilfer is completely right here. The Browns are not playing consistently well in any phase of the game. Changing QBs right now is not going to change that. It might for a game or two, but not the whole season. And Jim Brown thinking you can just go back and forth between QBs like you can RBs and WRs shows why he should be enjoying retirement rather than advising a NFL team.

  36. Dilfer could not be more wrong in his assesment, allow me 2 points:
    1. Why would Lerner make “knee jerk” reactions to fill seats when the Brown’s sellout string begins with their return in 1999 and every game is already sold out?
    2. The team is faced with a Quinn or Anderson choice at the end of the year, shouldn’t they give Quinn more then 8 attempts before make that choice? Consider they traded quite a bit to move up for him in the draft.
    Being all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, how long do you stick with DA at QB (who is rated lowest among all league starters)?

  37. That was Trent Dilfer? I thought it was Gary Sinise. Interesting. Well, at least Sinise can father healthy children.

  38. Dilfer is a MORON and anybody on this page who think DA is a good quarterback is also a MORON. Dilfer states the defense can not get off of the field. Everyone commenting on this page knows that the comment is about is inaccurate as a Trent dilfer pass.
    We all watch the Cleveland games, our Defense gave us a win in Jacksonville. Our defense gave us a chance to tie Washington when the game should have been not even that close.
    DILFER has a complex with QBs that get benched because they suck.
    Derek Anderson’s stats at Oregon:
    1. Sophmore year: 13 picks
    2. Junior year: 24 picks
    3. Senior year: 10 picks
    Anderson should not even be allowed to go to game let alone start in one. Enough Said. Why don’t these so called “analyist” back up their comments with facts and do some homework.

  39. How is that this guy’s opinion still carry’s any weight. He’s been a joke everywhere he’s been. They probably had to shut the camera’s off before the tears started to come and he started saying in a shaky voice, “They benched man… they benched ME!

  40. dilfer is a fool, so by his logic, a team should keep
    their starting QB and go 0-16, dude needs to get
    hair club for men and some common sense on the side.

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