Perhaps confronted with the reality that he's failing in his second -- and perhaps last -- chance as a starting quarterback, former Brown Derek Anderson let loose in a brief post-game press conference following a 27-6 loss to San Francisco Monday night.
Asked why he was laughing on the sideline with guard Deuce Lutui in the fourth quarter, a performance in which he completed 16 of 35 for 196 yards and an interception, Anderson launched into a profanity-laced tirade, then walked out.
"You think I was laughing about something? I take this serious! Real serious!'' Anderson said. "I put my heart and soul into this every single week! I don't go out there and laugh. It's not funny. Nothing's funny to me. I don't want go out there and get embarrassed on Monday Night Football in front of everybody."
Anderson didn't go crazy when the laugh with Lutui was first mentioned. He said Lutui was trying to lighten the mood and added that he hoped the offense could get on the same page. But when the reporter went back to the subject later, Anderson had had enough.
On the Internet, some former players have suggested that the reporter's questions were inappropriate. That is more laughable that what Anderson and Lutui were doing. While this isn't the first time players haven't seemed troubled by what's happening on the field, the fact that Anderson didn't handle the subject professionally is the real issue.
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt didn't want to comment until he saw the tape of the two. The Cardinals have lost six in a row.
A 2007 Pro Bowler in Cleveland whose contract was terminated by the Browns on March 9, Anderson beat out Matt Leinart in the Cardinals training camp, only to be replaced by rookie Max Hall in a rout against San Diego on Oct. 3. When Hall suffered a concussion Oct. 24 against Seattle, Anderson took over. Hall started the next week against Tampa Bay, but was yanked following two first-quarter interceptions.
Anderson's passer rating of 68.2 is higher than only two players on the NFL's list -- Oakland's Bruce Gradkowski (66.3) and Carolina rookie Jimmy Clausen (55.5).
Anderson has thrown for 1,972 yards with 7 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He's been sacked 24 times.
To his credit, Anderson was under siege in the second half Monday night, with ESPN announcers commenting on how the 49ers seemed to know the Cardinals' snap count. But he hasn't rid himself of his old demons from his Browns days. He threw into double coverage on his interception, never looking away from his intended receiver.
Some who knew Anderson in Cleveland believed he cared about his job, despite his happy-go-lucky personality. Anderson's rant was just another example of his lack of leadership skills. He should take the blame for not getting his offensive teammates organized on the field. But his Monday night meltdown was more likely due to worries about his future, in Arizona or elsewhere.
Whisenhunt announced Tuesday that Anderson will start Sunday at home against the St. Louis Rams.
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