Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Only the starter knows

Posted by: under AFC, NFC Updated: September 9, 2009 - 10:28 AM

Cleveland coach Eric Mangini told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he has told Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn who will start at quarterback Sunday against the Vikings. But so far he hasn't revealed that information to many others, including his players.

It won't take them long to figure it out. The Browns will begin practice at 10:30 this morning and at that point the players will know exactly who will start. Mangini, by the way, is doing a conference call with Twin Cities reporters and just declined to name the starter. You must give Mark Craig credit for trying. He's the one who asked the question.

"It will be one of those two guys," Mangini said in response to Craig's question about his starter. "They've been great throughout the process and been really impressed with the way that they've handled it. Their competitiveness, the intensity, the way that they've helped each other and supported each other throughout it and the way that they've helped them support the team throughout the process has been outstanding. I really have confidence in both guys."

Smart money says Quinn will start.

So what's the advantage to keeping this information guarded. "I'm not saying it's necessarily going to be the difference in the outcome but when you prepare you try to be as thorough as you possibly can," Mangini said.  "If you have two guys to get ready for and look at that adds some more time to the preparation. You're always working as hard as you can to give the guys the best plan based on the information that you have and that's what we all try to do. The better the information, the more pointed the research can be."

Mangini also declined to say if Pro Bowl nose tackle Shaun Rogers will play Sunday. "We're hoping," Mangini told reporters. Rogers has missed time because of an injury that the Browns have yet to identify. That will end today when teams must begin putting out injury reports after practice.

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