The national press has been pretty tough on coach Mangini because he did not name a quarterback until late in the year. Until now, I thought this was an over-reaction as a lot of the reasoning was based upon reps in practice or pre-season. Those reps are not a big deal in my opinion except in the "fine-tuning" between quarterback and receiver which can be done in other ways (see Peyton Manning throwing pass after pass each pre-game).
But if you want to install a certain type of offense and structure the team in the best way possible to maximize the effectiveness of said offense, knowing your quarterback early on is of prime importance. In this case it is even more important due to the fact that the competing quarterbacks are cut from two different types of cloth. Quinn, as much as we've seen of him, seems to be more of a mobile, dink-and-dunk kind of player. DA is the consummate gunslinger who will either kill you or save you with the big play. Both can be successful with the right players and system around them and there are numerous examples of this.
So let's take the Wayback Machine back to the beginning of the Mangini era. To before the draft. At this point we had seen both quarterbacks in game situtations. Both had shown strengths and weaknesses, true--but also the tendencies to indicate in what type of offense they might be successful. At this point coach Mangini should have had an idea of what kind of offense he wanted to run. Given that input, he should have been able to pick a quarterback. If he had, he then could have structured the draft and offseason pickups to get the right players to complement both quarterback and offensive strategy. For example:
Had He Picked Quinn and a Shorter-pass/Mobile Scheme
1. Retain K2
2. Draft/Pickup WRs that are better accelerators and good route runners accross the middle
3. Draft/Pickup running backs with good hands so they can catch passes out of the backfield
Had He Picked Anderson and a Long-Pass/Control Scheme
1. Letting go of K2 in this scenario is OK.
2. Draft/Pickup a legitimate running back to develop the running game.
3. Draft/Pickup deep threat WRs (Crabtree, Massaquoi)
I know these are somewhat simplistic but the point I'm trying to make is that it seems like the Browns built the team more for Anderson and then selected Quinn as the quarterback. This ended up making Quinn look flawed and the whole team look terrible. I think it is pretty obvious that Quinn likes to throw to his tight ends and swapping K2 for Royal is a mind bender. Anderson has the deep threat but there is no running game to bring the defense in and cause the necessary dilemma for the opposing team.
So what now? I think the only thing to do is to stick with DA. The team is more built for his style of play. For an example of how this can work, look at Tony Romo. He has the same "gunslinger" style as Anderson and he is prone to throw interceptions. Case in point, the Cowboys vs Giants. But there is a way to harness that ability and make it work for you as in Cowboys vs Panthers last night. Feature the run and be patient for the big pass play opportunity. Unfortunately the Browns have the huge flaw in that they do not have a credible running back/game to feature. This was not addressed in the pre-season and it is a glaring issue right now.
So coach Mangini has created a situation in which neither quarterback can play to his strengths and the situation is completely of his making. Many on this board have said that the Browns are not this bad and I think that is the case. We have 2 halfs of a good offense but the problem is that they are not a matching pair and so the Browns seem to be playing with two left feet.
I'm interested in the opinions of the board on this. Is the team misconfigured for Quinn? Did coach Mangini even have an offensive strategy early on? If so, why the schizophrenic draft? Can coach Mangini coach himself out of this? What moves should he make?