Quinn’s TD pass keys scrimmage
CLEVELAND — Looking to take the lead in the quarterback competition, Brady Quinn threw a 51-yard touchdown pass on his first play in the Cleveland Browns scrimmage Sunday.
Quinn made a play-action fake, then threw a long arcing pass to Lance Leggett, who beat two defenders to run under the ball a couple of steps into the end zone at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Quinn and Derek Anderson are in a heated competition to become the Browns’ starting quarterback. First-year coach Eric Mangini has yet to select a favorite and has said throughout training camp that he has no timetable for choosing his starter. The Browns play their first preseason game Saturday in Green Bay. Mangini hasn’t made a decision on the starter for that game.
‘‘We’ll look at it this week and decide a little bit later in the week,’’ he said.
The decision on who will start the season opener against Minnesota could go down to the end of camp.
Anderson’s brown team defeated Quinn’s white team, 17-14. The brown team was comprised mostly of first-team offensive players, including wide receiver Braylon Edwards and running back Jamal Lewis and the starting offensive line.
The quarterbacks were relatively even statistically. Anderson, who ran for a six-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, was 12-for-21 for 107 yards and an interception. Quinn was 11-for-19 for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
‘‘I thought both guys had their moments on the plus side and on the side that we need to continue to work on,’’ Mangini said. ‘‘I’m sure (Anderson) would want that interception back that he had. Brady’s interception there set up points. They moved the team at different times with different levels of effectiveness.’’
Quinn’s long pass to Leggett was the highlight of the day for the 14,314 fans who watched the scrimmage despite temperatures that soared above 90 degrees.
‘‘Lance is a fast guy,’’ Quinn said. ‘‘We wanted to get some play action and pull the safeties and get behind the coverage. He ran a great route and the offensive line did a great job.’’
While Anderson gets credit for having a stronger arm, Quinn showed an ability to throw the deep ball.
‘‘On a throw like that when the guy beats them, you never want to overthrow them,’’ Quinn said. ‘‘You don’t want to underthrow it either. You try to put it on the money if you can.’’
Anderson led a long drive later in the first quarter, but was intercepted at the goal line by linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. Anderson’s pass was intended for tight end Robert Royal, who appeared to be open. But Jackson dropped back in coverage, picked off the pass and returned it 40 yards.
‘‘I saw him running to it,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘I should have moved it to the left. I ran the wrong play from what was called. I’m glad it was a scrimmage and not versus the Vikings.’’
Overall, Anderson was happy with his performance.
‘‘It was all right,’’ he said. ‘‘I thought I moved the ball pretty well. We didn’t panic. It was about winning the scrimmage.’’
Quinn threw an interception in the fourth quarter when his pass went through Leggett’s hands and was picked off by defensive back Mike Adams. That set up the 28-yard game-winning field goal by Phil Dawson, who kicked for both teams.
‘‘I think it went well,’’ Quinn said. ‘‘I think it went how camp goes. You’re going to have good days and bad days. The key for me mentally is not to get down after you’ve had a bad day.’’
Anderson was also upbeat.
‘‘I thought I had a great week, grasping things and getting guys in right situations, command of the offense,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve been throwing the ball really well. I think camp has been pretty good for me.’’
While there was no tackling in the scrimmage, which was officiated by NFL referees, it was ruled that Anderson was sacked twice. He was called for unsportsmanlike conduct when the official ruled he threw the ball at defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, who did a dance after one sack.
‘‘No big deal,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘He said it hit (Rogers). I was like, ’You gotta be kidding me.’ ‘‘ Mangini spoke with Anderson when the quarterback came to the sidelines.
‘‘It’s important that you focus on the task at hand,’’ Mangini said. ‘‘The officials are not going to change their mind on any amount of lobbying, any amount of discussion. It doesn’t happen. It’s not a debate. Their rule is final.’’
Running back Noah Herren ran for a 39-yard score for the white team while Brett Ratliff hit receiver David Patten for a 71-yard score for the brown team.