In his own hard-to-read way, Derek Anderson seems intent on making it hard for the Browns to move him out of the No. 1 quarterbacking job. He’s comically relieved to be a year past last year’s camp competition, when at one point a coin flip was used to determine Charlie Frye would start a preseason game.

What Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson said Wednesday didn’t dispel the notion the former takes work more seriously than the latter.

On the other hand, Anderson checked into the first day of Browns training camp showing signs he’s getting up earlier. The temporarily chosen one responded to a report that his heightened fitness routine has left him with a six-pack of abs.

Characteristically off the wall, Anderson glanced at his gut and replied,
“Four-and-a-half.”

A month past his 25th birthday, Anderson has a chance to grow into a playoff-style quarterback good enough to keep a hot property like Quinn on the bench.

In his own hard-to-read way, Anderson seems intent on making it hard for the Browns to move him out of the No. 1 quarterbacking job. He’s comically relieved to be a year past last year’s camp competition, when at one point a coin flip was used to determine Charlie Frye would start a preseason game.

“Thanks for bringing that up,” Anderson said with a pleasant sarcasm.

Anderson spent the break between minicamp and training camp at his home in Oregon.

 “I was getting up early, throwing, running with my best friend, lifting,” he said. “I was actually doing this Thai massage deal with this lady up in Portland, which was amazing.

 “Flexibility is something I’ve been working on. She kind of worked on me a little bit too much at times. She was killing me.”

Anderson took all of Wednesday’s snaps -- condensed into a short practice -- with the first unit. His left tackle was Joe Thomas, rated as the No. 1 tackle in the AFC by The Sporting News.

Quinn played with the second unit. His left tackle was Isaac Sowells, who appeared in one 2007 game.

Quinn’s jersey number, 10, reminds you of the number of snaps he took in the 2007 regular season, 10. He came away from Wednesday’s practice admitting sitting so much again would be a 1 on a scale of 10.

“It’d be tough,” he said outside the locker-room door. “There’s no doubt about that. I can’t stress that any more.

“When it comes down to it, I’m ready for whatever this team needs me to do.”

It’s open season for Quinn mindreaders. One view foresees him climbing the wall if he doesn’t get some work in real games. For now, Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage won’t even throw out a hint as to how much Quinn might play in the Aug. 7 preseason opener against the Jets.

Anderson vs. Quinn swirls in an odd dynamic. Anderson went 10-5 as the starter and was an injury replacement in the Pro Bowl. Yet, Quinn was the most hotly sought Brown for public appearances in the offseason, and the ones he agreed to tended to be very crowded. Rock star?

“Let’s not get carried away,” Quinn says.

But the lifelong Browns fan knows he has a following.

“You kind of have to embrace it in some ways,” Quinn said. “You sort of have to protect yourself, kind of limit what you do, at least how much fun you can have out in public.

“That sometimes puts a little bit of a damper on things, but outside of that, I mean, it’s fun.

“It’s great to be in the position I’m in right now. Hopefully it’ll continue and things will get better and better in that regard, because that means your performance on the field gets better and better.”

Quinn networks with other NFL quarterbacks. He made it a point to quiz Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers, two who had to sit awhile before getting their shots.

“They both gave some helpful tips,” Quinn said.

Quinn showed his light side in mentioning he looked up Romo during the recent ESPY Awards ceremony.

“I was trying not to look at (Romo girlfriend) Jessica Simpson while I was talking to him,” he said.

Anderson leads Quinn 4,580-45 in NFL career passing yards. Quinn, though, is a former Round 1 draft pick known for working overtime to get on the field.

Something he said Wednesday is the kind of stuff that appeals to coaches: “Last season, right when we found out we weren’t gonna be in the playoffs ... I came in that following week and started working with Rip (Scherer, QBs coach), just working on some fundamental things we wanted to address and just tune up a little bit.

“I’ve worked on quickening the release, on accuracy, things like that.
Outside of that, I do a lot of core training.

“People underestimate how much your legs and lower body really matter in your throwing motion, just the overall power and strength.”

If power is position, Anderson has more of that as camp heats up. He’s the undisputed No. 1, for now.

He was friendly enough Wednesday, but not particularly forthcoming about what’s on his mind.

“I’m always excited to be out here,” Anderson said. “It’s gonna be a good little camp for us.”

Reach Repository sports writer Steve Doerschuk at (330) 580-8347 or
e-mail: steve.doerschuk@cantonrep.com