BEREA - Coach Eric Mangini told Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson who his choice for quarterback would be for Sunday's season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
Both quarterbacks, however, still refused say who would start.
They didn't have to because the news eventually came out courtesy of the Buffalo Bills' Terrell Owens. The controvesial wide receiver sent Quinn a congratulatory tweet on his Twitter page: http://twitter.com/terrellowens.
However, even before Owens turned sports reporter and broke the story, if you read between the lines the picture cleared just a little bit. Quinn denied that Mangini told either player who the starters were as they continue to try to prepare for the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, getting caught in a teeny fib.
When asked how the team would manage to keep the secret of who the starter would be for the rest of the week, Anderson said that it would be simple because he doesn't have to speak with the media again. He added, however, that it's something that the team would handle.
''The rest of us have to go about our regular preparation and continue to do what we do and just not talk to our families,'' Anderson said.
Anderson compared the current situation to that of 2007 when he found himself backing up University of Akron alum Charlie Frye. Frye opened that season at the starting spot, but after an abysmal performance Frye was sent to Seattle and Anderson soon found himself thrust into the starting role going on to lead the team to a 10-6 record and to within a hair's breath of a playoff berth. During that time he continued to prepare, he said.
"However it goes, the guy who's not playing is going to be ready,'' Anderson said.
Much has been made about the fact that Mangini has elected to keep the name of his starter cloaked. The coach said that it offers his team a competitive advantage looking ahead to the Vikings. Minnesota Coach Brad Childress downplayed the fact.
"I think the big thing is that we're getting ready for a scheme. I can't imagine they're going to get rid of all their plays and their system. They're both bigger guys, taller in stature, one's a little faster than the other, one's got a little more experience than the other," he said. "I think it's basically getting ready for all those other people in the schemes and seeing what kind of individual skills those guys have."
Quinn said that he saw the logic in it.
''I think it's only going to make us better. We'll be able to adjust to adversity better and help prepare everyone on our team,'' Quinn said of the effect on the team. "I think anytime you make a team prepare for a couple of different scenarios you make it harder for them to prepare for a team."
Neither player is worried that a schism might develop in the lockerroom because of the protracted battle for the quarterback spot.
"No, I think guys respect both of us and we have a lot of friends on the team. I think guys want to win games and that's what it's about," Anderson said. "I don't think there will be guys in here fighting amongst one another; I know that's not going to happen."
"I don't think so. I hope not. I don't think that's in the spirit of our team, how we want to do things. We're going to be supportive of one another, whoever gets the job and continue to get better."