Browns’ quarterbacks unhappy with sabotage rumor

Published 2:45 am Thursday, August 13, 2009

BEREA — Brady Quinn says he’s not a cheater. Derek Anderson is upset that a playful comment was twisted into a tale of sabotage.

Stay tuned: The closely watched Cleveland Browns quarterback competition continues Saturday night in Green Bay.

Maybe some people are paying too much attention.

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The radio transmitter inside Anderson’s helmet wasn’t working in a scrimmage on Sunday, so he used hand signals to relay plays. Anderson joked after the scrimmage that Quinn told the defense what all the signals meant.

Reporters at the scrimmage saw Anderson laughing while making the comment, but that didn’t head off several online reports suggesting Quinn was using underhanded tactics to win the starting job.

‘‘I think everyone blew that out of proportion a little bit,’’ Quinn said Wednesday. ‘‘No one was stealing hand signals. Our defense knows most of our hand signals at this point, anyways.’’

Added Anderson: ‘‘We were having a good time. Everyone was doing everything they could to win. Obviously they had incentive to win. It was all in fun. Whoever took it and ran with it … Obviously I have to be careful of what I say.’’

Anderson’s team won the scrimmage, 17-14.

Browns coach Eric Mangini said nothing sinister occurred.

‘‘Those guys are competitive and they’re friends,’’ Mangini said of his quarterbacks. ‘‘The group is friendly and the game was competitive by nature … All I see them doing is supporting each other, helping each other and working to help move the team forward.’’

Mangini has not announced which quarterback will start in the Browns’ first preseason game against the Packers, but is adamant that there is no significance to the decision. Anderson and Quinn are both listed as starters, separated with a slash on the depth chart released for Saturday night’s game.

Mangini dismissed another report that Pro Bowl defensive tackle Shaun Rogers wants to return to Detroit.

Defensive lineman Shaun Smith, cut by Mangini on Saturday, signed with the Lions on Tuesday. In his first remarks to Detroit reporters, Smith said Rogers wants to return to the Lions, where he spent his first seven seasons before being traded to the Browns last year.

Rogers reportedly clashed with Mangini shortly after the new coach was hired, prompting Rogers to request a trade. Those demands subsided when Rogers reported for the team’s voluntary workout program during the offseason.

‘‘I couldn’t be happier with Shaun,’’ Mangini said. ‘‘He’s fun to watch if you watch him from the defensive side. He’s not so fun to watch for those offensive coaches who sit back and try to figure out how you’re going to block him.’’

Mangini said he stresses the importance of communication to his players, and encourages all of them to seek him out ‘‘to not ever let little things become big things.’’

He said Rogers has not approached him about being upset.

‘‘Things have been great,’’ Mangini said. ‘‘We’re all happy.’’

NOTES: Receiver Braylon Edwards walked off the practice field Wednesday after appearing to catch his foot in the turf during one-on-one drills. He spent the rest of the practice on a stationary bike … Saturday’s game against the Packers will reunite Quinn with his brother-in-law, Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk. The last time the two met in a game was the 2006 Fiesta Bowl between Ohio State and Notre Dame, when Hawk was playing for the Buckeyes and dating Laura, Brady’s sister, who Hawk has since married. Laura stole the spotlight when she showed up to the Fiesta Bowl wearing a specially made jersey that was half Ohio State, half Notre Dame. ‘‘There’s going to be no half-jersey,’’ Brady joked. ‘‘They’re married. Let’s hope she’s rooting for her husband and let’s leave it at that. Hopefully she’s sitting inside in a box and not out in the stands. She had more air time than we did and we played in it.’’