President Mike Holmgren deemed the chances the Browns will keep both quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson this year ''a longshot.''
But Holmgren said they would probably go up to the March 19 deadline to pay Anderson a $2 million roster bonus before deciding what will happen.
''That will be a midnight (decision),'' Holmgren said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Anderson also carries a $7.45 million salary for 2010.
Asked about both returning, Holmgren said, ''I think it's a longshot, but never say never. I've gone on the record saying no quarterback competition. They did that last year. It didn't work all that great I don't think. Now let's try to fix it.''
Holmgren said he believes Quinn, a first-round pick in 2007, needs more than 12 starts to prove himself. He said Anderson also hasn't seen all that much time, especially with how they shared the job in 2009.
''They haven't played a lot of football,'' Holmgren said. ''And in this business, unless you have a dominating defense like the Jets -- the Jets have a team and they insert a rookie quarterback and ask him to play the game a certain way -- you can pull that one off. Not everyone can do that. Not everyone has that type of team. It takes some time at the position. We're not sending men to the moon, but it takes some time.
''Not only that, whoever's playing has to believe you have his back. So that confidence level, even though you make a mistake, 'I'm still OK. I'm going to get better.' He's got to feel that. It's all part of coaching that position.''
But Holmgren also said the Browns can't wait ''too much longer'' with Quinn.
''I want to turn the team around very quickly,'' he said. ''I think the last four games of last year was a good start. Players and coaches and fans should come back this season and feel very, very good about how they finished last year, 1-11 and then winning the last four, that's really something. So there's something there that allowed those players and those guys to persevere and do that.
''Now we build on that and get some more players in here, and the quarterback situation, the thing is you certainly have to play another season. Someone's got to play a full season. Not two games here, off two games, three games, off two, that doesn't work. Because whoever's playing, the first interception, everybody in the stands yells for the other guy. And then you switch them. It doesn't work. So pick one, commit, coach them up, build confidence, make them better and go. and surround them with good people.''