Here we go again. Brady Quinn is in as quarterback for the Browns, and Derek Anderson is back on the sideline. Coach Eric Mangini made it official in announcing Wednesday that Quinn will start when the Browns host the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night.
From the outside looking in, it has to look like chaos has taken over at the Browns' facility. On the inside it doesn't look much better. Many of the players - other than Quinn and Anderson - didn't know which player would start less than one hour before the start of practice.
"Who is it?" offensive tackle Joe Thomas asked. "I guess I should have been at the press conference."
Mangini benched Quinn at halftime of the first meeting between the teams, won by the Ravens, 34-3. Anderson finished up that game and started the next five before being benched late in the 30-6 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Mangini based his decision this time on how well Quinn performed in practices during the bye week.
"Throughout the course of the season guys continue to improve, and he's had more time in the system and he's done some good things in the role he was playing," Mangini said. "He's worked at the same level he worked out when he was the starter and prior to when he was the starter."
This could be Quinn's last chance to make a favorable impression with Mangini, who wouldn't make a commitment to Quinn for the remainder of the season. Then again, Mangini might not be here next season to make the call on the quarterback.
"That's not really my mindset," Quinn said. "I just want to go out there and play and do the best I can."
Getting the quarterback position settled is one part of an offensive puzzle that's fallen apart. The ground game continues to struggle and the receiving corps hasn't done much to support Quinn or Anderson.
"As a team we have to do a lot of things differently," Quinn said. "You can't turn the football over. You have to be more efficient in the red zone on third down. Across the board we can improve everything."
Two things that will be under the microscope regarding Quinn is his confidence level and ability (or lack of it) to get rid of the ball quickly. Quinn was the picture of dejection when he was pulled from the lineup Sept. 27 in Baltimore.
"He's been consistent throughout this whole period," Mangini said of Quinn's mindset. "That's what you want and expect. It doesn't always go the way you wanted, but you deal with the decisions and you work to improve. He's going to get another opportunity. When you get that opportunity, now you have the best chance to maximize that. He and I talked about that when we had our initial conversation. How important it was to not let the preparation drop off and let any of the things he had done to tail off, and he didn't."
Quinn needs to find a way to quicken his decision-making. He has a tendency to go through all his reads to avoid making a mistake, but the result is often a sack or a missed opportunity on his initial read.
The previous coaching regime tried to get Quinn to avoid costly check-down reads. Mangini is dealing with that now.
"Anybody who has a lot of decisions to make has to go through those quickly," Mangini said. "Brady approaches everything in a very serious and detailed way, and I think that's a great quality. When you get into the games, you've done the work and the prep. Now it's a function of going with what you see, sometimes right and sometimes wrong."
Quinn has seen enough ups and downs in less than three seasons to know that another change could happen.
"Why should I be concerned," he said. "I've been through it before. I understand the adversity that comes with that. It's not something I'm afraid of."
Quinn knows that nothing stays the same with the Browns.