And the QB is …

Published 1:28 am Thursday, September 10, 2009

BEREA — Derek Anderson stood in the middle of the media huddle in Cleveland’s locker room and then stepped aside for Brady Quinn.

Perhaps for good.

The mystery surrounding Browns coach Eric Mangini’s choice as his starting quarterback became somewhat clearer on Wednesday when Quinn and Anderson were forced to answer questions about their recently completed competition — a battle that carried through training camp and the exhibition season.

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Anderson was asked if it would be difficult to keep the starting QB a secret until Sunday’s kickoff of the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

‘‘No,’’ Anderson said, ‘‘because after this next two minutes are over I’m not going to be talking to you guys. It’s pretty easy. Obviously, the rest of us have to go about our regular preparations and continue to do what we always do and just not talk to our families.’’

By ‘‘the rest of us’’ Anderson seemed to mean the Browns backups, a group it looks as if he belongs to once again.

Mangini met with his quarterbacks on Tuesday night, told them who would start and explained the reasons for his decision. He said both handled the situation with class.

‘‘They both took it exactly the way I expected them to take it — as pros, as good teammates,’’ Mangini said. ‘‘It was really not surprising.’’

Quinn has been favored all along to win the starting job, and although it now appears to be his, the former first-round pick is playing along with Mangini’s wishes to guard his secret and keep the Vikings guessing.

Quinn confirmed that he and Anderson met with Mangini, but said they weren’t told who would take the season’s first snaps from center.