There are times when I want to contact someone within the Arizona Cardinals organization and say, “Don’t fall into the trap! This is Derek Anderson we’re talking about here!” But that’s just because I like the Cardinals. Other times – which is most of the time – I’m perfectly willing to sit back and get ready for the implosion that will ensue.
Anderson was the starter in the Cardinals’ preseason game against the Chicago Bears last Saturday, which was a 14-9 win for the Cards. The former Browns quarterback completed 7 of 12 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, giving him a quarterback rating of 111.1. Anderson was given the starting role after Matt Leinart was underwhelming at the position, earning him a demotion and paving the way for Anderson to attempt to destroy the Arizona Cardinals.
Browns fans have seen this before from Anderson. He shows initial glimpses of promise, especially in situations with little to no pressure, and begins to endear himself to fans by providing a spark to an offense with his cannon arm. The spark, however, does not last. It is soon doused by poor decisions, which includes interceptions and an inability to put a soft touch on short passes.
Sure, Anderson was a Pro Bowler in 2007, but much of that success was achieved in the first half of that season. He rode that success through a disappointing second half that saw the Browns lose important games to the Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals that helped put an end to the team’s playoff chances. While no loss can be pinned on one player, the quarterback does inherit more criticism than most, and Anderson had plenty of issues.
Through three preseason games, the Browns are enjoying reliable play from the position in the form of Jake Delhomme. Should he falter during the regular season, it’s at least better than being strung along by Anderson. He could very well go on to do big things in Arizona, but Cardinals fans shouldn’t count on it. And for once, Cleveland fans will be the ones who can finally sit back and feel bad for another team.