Forecasting the Browns' starting quarterback

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

On Friday the AFC North blog opened the hottest football debate currently going in Cleveland this summer.

Who should be the starting quarterback of the Browns: Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn?

Cleveland's fan base has argued about this for nearly two years. But in the end, new coach Eric Mangini will make the final decision before the Browns take the field against the Minnesota Vikings in the season opener Sept. 13.

For more on Cleveland's quarterback dilemma, we recruited Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson to take an in-depth look at each quarterback along with a final say on the topic:

Derek Anderson

Scouts Inc.'s analysis: Anderson is a very impressive thrower. He's a big body in the pocket and he can see the whole field. He has a big, big arm and can make all the tough throws, even in bad weather. Anderson is built to do that. But my problem with him is he has no feet. He's a statue, and he can't improvise. If everything is perfect, I think he can be deadly. But in this league, rarely is everything perfect. If the pocket breaks down, you need to move left or right and he can't do that. He can't tuck the ball and run, and I'm not sure how much he can deal with the spotlight and pressure. When he took over and did well in 2007, he had zero expectations. But when he had to take over with expectations [the following year], he didn't do as well. But Anderson can throw it. When everything is right, he's the quarterback you want. -- Matt Williamson

Reader's take: Big Al from New Jersey writes: I pick Anderson. He is a great QB and was let down by his team dropping balls and lack of protection ... And Derek didn't get [29 TDs] the year before because he gets rattled in the pocket. He has a great arm, is very intelligent, and is an all-around better QB than Quinn. Being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan I hope they start Quinn over Anderson.

Brady Quinn

Scouts Inc.'s analysis: He's a strong kid and he has a great body. He's athletic, far more athletic than Anderson. He's not a liability at all to tuck the ball and get eight yards if everybody is playing off in zone coverage. His pocket awareness still needs work. But I think he's going to be fine in that regard, because he's a student of the game, he's light on his feet and can move within the pocket. I think his arm is average. But the thing that bugs me about him -- and I'm not sure if it was the coaches telling him to do this -- is he is conservative to a fault. He would never let the deep ball go. I don't know if he has the confidence to do that. I don't know why he doesn't throw it deep, but he hasn't. Now Mangini comes to town, who is even more conservative, so I think their vertical game could be nonexistent with Quinn. -- Matt Williamson

Reader's take: Josh Curtis from Idaho Falls, Idaho, writes: Having been raised a Dallas Cowboys fan, I judge every QB to what Troy Aikman was able to do. He may not have won many games for the Boys, but he didn't lose any either. He's the ultimate game manager. Between Quinn and Anderson, I think that Quinn fits that mold better. He is mobile, accurate and he puts in the necessary time to be great. Mangini already has experienced what happens when your QB has a huge arm but is inaccurate (see Brett Favre the second half of last season). Quinn fits Mangini's expectations, and he will be the starter.

AFC North final say

James Walker: When the Browns take the field against Minnesota on Sept. 13, Brady Quinn will be the quarterback under center. After watching minicamp practices and organized team activities this offseason, I'm convinced the safe, efficient offense Eric Mangini wants to run in Cleveland this year plays well to Quinn's strengths while highlighting many of Anderson's weaknesses. It doesn't mean one quarterback is better than the other. That's really hard to determine at this point, because Quinn hasn't played enough NFL games and both quarterbacks have vastly different skills. But for Cleveland's ball-control system, Quinn seems the more natural fit, and that will play a huge role in the former Notre Dame quarterback winning the starting job this year.

Feel free to leave your thoughts on this topic in the division mailbag or in the comments section below. Also, the AFC North blog will have an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Quinn on his thoughts about the upcoming season Wednesday.