BEREA -- The Browns will open the regular season a month from today against the Minnesota Vikings.
You'd think by then that coach Eric Mangini will have named a starting quarterback. As of now - and as it's seemingly been since 1999 - it's still an open competition.
Will it be Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson? Brett Ratliff is supposed to be the third man in the race, but what if he impresses in the preseason games? Heck, why not give Michael Vick a chance.
There's been no separation between Quinn and Anderson almost two weeks into training camp. Both have been inconsistent on the practice field, although Quinn might have taken a slight edge after a better showing in a scrimmage last Sunday.
Anderson might dispute that assessment based on his comment that Quinn gave the first-team defense, which Anderson faced, a lesson on hand signals. The story has made the rounds nationally, which posed the theory that Quinn might have resorted to questionable tactics in his desire to win the job.
"We were having a good time, and everyone was doing what they could to win," said Anderson, trying to diffuse the story. "They scripted some fun plays and things we normally don't do. Obviously, I have to be careful with what I say."
Quinn would like to put that story to rest. He pointed out that the defense knew the hand signals before the scrimmage.
"I didn't realize it got blown out of proportion that bad," Quinn said.
With that fire put out, the two can gear up for the preseason opener Saturday in Green Bay. Mangini will wait until later in the week to name a starter. The one that doesn't start will likely start the home preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
Both quarterbacks are anxious to go against a defense wearing enemy colors.
"It will be good," Anderson said. "Obviously, the defense gets used to what we're doing, and we get used to what they're doing. We're playing them (the Packers) in the regular season, so it will probably be pretty plain, but it will be good to go against somebody other than our guys."
Quinn has made a couple statements about his ability to throw the deep ball. He connected on a pass of a little more than 50 yards to Lance Leggett in practice, and the two connected on a perfectly-thrown pass for a 51-yard touchdown in the scrimmage.
Now Quinn needs to show that he can be more consistent on short and mid-range throws. He also needs to release the ball quicker instead of going through every progression.
"I feel comfortable with everything in our offense right now," Quinn said. "I don't want to say we're doing a ton more things, but we want to be flexible as an offense and do a bunch of things that put stress on the defense."
The mission for Anderson never changes, only his attitude. He ended the 2008 season on a sour note when he reacted angrily to fans that cheered when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in a home game against Indianapolis. His approach to training camp is to be his carefree self and have fun.
A different attitude doesn't conceal the fact that he needs to improve his consistency. His career completion percentage is 54.6 percent with a high of 56.5 in 2007.
Anderson does seem a bit sharper on his short passes, but it hasn't been enough for Mangini to declare him the starter.
"I'm trying to have better location with it," Anderson said. "I'm not thinking about just getting it there. Make sure it's in the right spot where guys can get their hands on it and make the quick gains."
One of the two better step up soon. If not, Vick is still available.