American Football Database
Derek Anderson
No. 3     Arizona Cardinals
Personal information
Date of birth: (1983-06-15) June 15, 1983 (age 39)
Place of birth: Scappoose, Oregon
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Weight: 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
College: Oregon State
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 6 / Pick: 213
Debuted in 2006 for the Cleveland Browns
Career history
*Offseason or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2010
TD-INT     53-55
Passing yards     9,148
QB Rating     68.8
Stats at

Derek Matthew Anderson (born June 15, 1983 in Scappoose, Oregon) is an American football quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, and played for the Cleveland Browns before joining the Cardinals. He played college football at Oregon State.


Early years

Anderson grew up in Scappoose, Oregon, where he led the Scappoose Indians to one of their record three consecutive state football championships in Class 3A football. He excelled at basketball and was named state player of the year in both football and basketball his senior year. He participated in the first ever U.S. Army All-American Bowl game in 2000.

Anderson grew up in Scappoose, Oregon, where he led the Scappoose Indians to one of their record three consecutive state football championships in Class 3A football. He excelled at basketball and was named state player of the year in both football and basketball his senior year. He participated in the first ever U.S. Army All-American Bowl game in 2000. - He was a childhood friend and schoolmate of Playboy Playmate Sara Jean Underwood.[1]

College career

A Beaver fan growing up, he wanted to play for Oregon State most of his life and his decision to play for the university was celebrated by fans.

At 6'6" Anderson was not the prototypical quarterback. In fact, many believed he would play basketball in college instead of football. Still, he was recruited nationally for football and his dominating high school performance as quarterback led him to stay with football.

Sophomore (2002)

At the start of his sophomore year (2002), Anderson was thrust into the starting role as QB and handed the reins of a rapidly improving program. His early performances showed inexperience and poor passing. This led to an early streak of losses for the team. Despite the losses, Oregon State had no serious competition for quarterback in 2002 and his job was secure.

His early entry into the starting role came on the heels of Oregon State's most successful period to date. Capped by a Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame, the team went 11-1 in 2000 and ranked 4th in the nation under head coach Dennis Erickson. Expectations at OSU were exceptionally high in 2002 and the monumental task ahead would be daunting to any young quarterback.

Despite these challenges, Anderson helped the Beavers record an 8-5 season. His work was good enough to give them entry into the 2002 Insight Bowl. However, the young team was no match for a, then, well-seasoned University of Pittsburgh. Anderson's team lost 38-13 and coach Erickson left for a National Football League head coaching position with the San Francisco 49ers.

Junior (2003)

Pressures on the entire team to keep the program on-track were only compounded by the sudden change in head coaching. The return of previous head coach Mike Riley from the NFL meant learning an entirely new system. With help from teammate and star running back Steven Jackson, Anderson again rose to the occasion and played a leading role in propelling the team to an 8-5 record. This time ending the 2003 season on a 55-14 Las Vegas Bowl win over a, then, up-and-coming New Mexico program.

Senior (2004)

By the 2004 season, Anderson successfully integrated footwork into his repertoire and surprised many defenses with his new found ability to escape the tackle and even run the ball for touchdowns. Although the team's 7-5 performance was far from spectacular, Anderson became nationally recognized as a dangerous offensive weapon who could strike long-gains at-will. Plus, he was now a legitimate running threat at quarterback. The Beavers went without Steven Jackson through the 2004 season (Jackson was drafted into the NFL at the end of the 2003 season). Even without the star running back, Anderson willed his team back into the Insight Bowl where they again faced Notre Dame (led by future Browns teammate Brady Quinn). The Beavers never trailed in the game and easily defeated the Irish 38-21. Anderson unleashed 359 yards and four touchdown passes, with no interceptions.

Anderson is the fourth player in Pac-10 history to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season, setting an Oregon State Beavers football record at 4,058 yards in the 2003 season. He ranks second in the Pac-10 for career touchdown passes, at 79 (also an Oregon State record). He is the 6th person to ever throw for 10,000 yards in a career in the Pac-10, and holds the Oregon State record for career passing yards at 11,249.

Professional career

Baltimore Ravens

Anderson was selected out of Oregon State University by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft (213th overall), but never played for them and was waived on September 20, 2005. The next day he was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland Browns


Anderson joined the Browns in 2005. He did not see any action, being third on the depth chart behind Trent Dilfer and Charlie Frye.


Anderson served as Frye's backup for the Cleveland Browns in the 2006 season. He made his first appearance in an NFL regular season game against the Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns Stadium, October 22, 2006, taking one snap after Frye was briefly shaken up. His second NFL appearance was more noteworthy. After Frye injured his wrist during the first half of Cleveland's December 3 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Anderson played the entire second half. He threw his first two NFL touchdown passes in that game, connecting with tight end Steve Heiden twice in the fourth quarter. Anderson scrambled for 33 yards in overtime, moving the ball from the Kansas City 45-yard line to the 12-yard line, after which the Browns were in field goal range. Anderson's play was instrumental in leading the Browns back from a 28–14 deficit to a 31–28 overtime victory.


Although some reports said he outplayed incumbent starter Frye and rookie Brady Quinn in mini camp, Anderson was not as productive in the pre-season games and Frye was named the starter for the 2007 season. Head Coach Romeo Crennel earlier said that the two were so close in effectiveness that he would use a coin toss to decide which QB would start the first preseason game. Anderson would take over for Frye in the 2007 opener after Frye was ineffective in the first quarter against the arch rival Pittsburgh Steelers. The game was Frye's last in a Browns uniform, as he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth round draft pick two days later. Named the starting quarterback by Crennel for Week 2, Anderson threw for 328 yards and five touchdowns against the Cincinnati Bengals in his first start. His passer rating for the game was 121.0 as the Browns defeated the Bengals 51-45, solidifying Anderson's role. In the same game, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer threw for six touchdown passes. It was only the third time in NFL history that two quarterbacks had thrown at least five touchdown passes in the same game.[2]

On September 30, Anderson beat the team that had originally drafted him, the Baltimore Ravens. He threw for two touchdowns and 204 yards, completing 10 of 18 pass attempts with just one interception. The Browns would later beat the Ravens again, making it the first time since 2001 that the Browns were able to sweep the Ravens.

In Week 13 of the 2007 season the Browns faced the Arizona Cardinals. Down 27–21 late in the 4th, the Browns drove down to the Cardinals 34-yard line. On fourth down, Anderson threw a pass to the end zone which was caught by Kellen Winslow. The pass was ruled out of bounds and held up through review. Anderson argued that Winslow was forced out, but the force-out rule was not reviewable. The game was notable for the referee's missed call of a Braylon Edwards catch and tackle by contact, but mistakenly ruled a touchdown as Edwards got up and ran to the endzone.

Another close game that could have put the Browns in the playoffs was December 23 against the Cincinnati Bengals, in which the Browns went scoreless in the first half, but held the Bengals scoreless in the second half. Anderson had four interceptions, two of them in consecutive plays, and one more in the Cincy end zone as Cleveland appeared to be heading for a scoring drive. The Browns had two turnover-on-downs possession. Anderson threw two touchdown passes to Braylon Edwards, Cleveland's only scores in the game. The game ended in a 19–14 loss.

Anderson led the Browns to a 10-6 overall record, 10-5 in games in which he started. Anderson finished with 29 touchdowns to 19 interceptions. During the week of December 12–18, Anderson was named as a first alternate for the 2008 Pro Bowl at quarterback.[3] On February 4, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots announced he would not be attending the Pro Bowl due to injury. This paved the way for Anderson to make his first appearance in the Pro Bowl.


On February 29, 2008, the first day of free agency, after speculation that Anderson would leave Cleveland to pursue a bigger contract, Anderson agreed to a three-year contract to stay with the Browns through the 2010 season.[4] With fans split between the proven Anderson and the locally-homegrown Quinn (an image of Quinn wearing a Bernie Kosar jersey as a kid was shown at the 2007 NFL Draft), many were speculating if the Browns were in a similar position the San Diego Chargers were in a few years back with Drew Brees and their first-round pick Philip Rivers.[5]

The 2008 season was a tough one for the Browns and Anderson. In the preseason he suffered a concussion when he was sacked by Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants. This would prevent him from practicing for the majority of the preseason. In the regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, he was 11 of 24 for 110 yards and 1 touchdown. On November 3, after starting out the season the Browns announced that Anderson would be benched in favor of Quinn. On November 23, during a game against the Houston Texans, Quinn was benched by Crennel in favor of Anderson. On November 25, Quinn was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a broken finger and Anderson was renamed the starting quarterback. On November 30, Anderson was injured during a game versus the Indianapolis Colts. It was later revealed to be a MCL injury, which put Anderson out for the season. The Browns lost the last 4 games to finish with a 4-12 record.


The Browns' poor season in 2008 resulted in the firing of Crennel and the installation of former New York Jets coach Eric Mangini as the new head coach. Throughout the 2009 training and preseason Anderson competed against Quinn for the starting quarterback position. Quinn ended up winning the job, but after 10 quarters of poor play by the Browns, he was benched. Anderson took over in the second half of Game 3 against the Baltimore Ravens. Though the Browns would still end up losing the game, Mangini decided to name Anderson the starter for the next game. His first start of the 2009 season was against the Cincinnati Bengals, the same team that he faced after replacing Frye in 2007. Anderson was 26 of 48 for 269 yards with one touchdown, and was able to the finally produce some offensive momentum for the Browns. However, Cleveland lost 23-20 in the final seconds of overtime. In the ensuing games, Anderson's quarterback rating deteriorated to the NFL's worst. On November 11, 2009, coach Mangini named Brady Quinn the starting quarterback for the Browns' next game on November 16, against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. Derek did not see any action on the field again until Week 16, when he was named starter after Quinn was put on Injured Reserve. Anderson and the Browns won their last two games of the season, ending with a record of 5-11.

Despite finishing strong, Anderson was released by the Browns on March 9, 2010.[6] Upon leaving Cleveland, Anderson told The News-Herald, "The fans are ruthless and don't deserve a winner. I will never forget getting cheered when I was injured. I know at times I wasn't great. I hope and pray I'm playing when my team comes to town and (we) roll them."[7] He later apologized for his remarks.[8]

Arizona Cardinals

On March 17, 2010 Anderson signed a two-year deal worth $7.25 million with the Arizona Cardinals.[9] After Kurt Warner retired and Matt Leinart was released, Anderson became the starting quarterback for the Cardinals. After struggling in his first few games, Anderson was benched in favor of rookie Max Hall on October 6. Anderson was named the starting quarterback again for the November 7 game against the Minnesota Vikings after Hall struggled.[10] However in week 14 he was benched again after suffering a concussion and was replaced with Hall, whose season ended with a separated shoulder later in the game. Rookie John Skelton finished the game and succeeded Anderson as the Cardinals' starting quarterback. Anderson also created a notable soundbite after being caught on national TV laughing with a fellow teammate while he and his team were playing poorly. His subsequent anger toward the reporter who asked why he was laughing made nationwide news and was featured on several sports shows.


    Passing   Rushing
Season Team GP GS Comp Att Pct Yds Rating TD INT Att Yds TD
2006 Cleveland 5 3 66 117 56.4 793 63.1 5 8 4 47 0
2007 Cleveland 16 15 298 527 56.5 3787 82.5 29 19 32 70 3
2008 Cleveland 10 9 142 283 50.2 1615 66.5 9 8 25 55 0
2009 Cleveland 8 7 81 182 44.5 888 42.1 3 10 10 8 2
2010 Arizona 11 8 162 307 52.8 1,972 68.2 7 9 5 25 0


  1. Greg Garber (2007-12-27). "Derek Anderson: From humble beginnings to budding star". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  2. Sports Illustrated, September 24, 2007, p. 24
  3. Jackson, Zac (2007-12-18). "Edwards, Cribbs headed to Hawaii". Archived from the original on 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  4. Jackson, Zac (2008-02-29). "Browns, Anderson agree to terms". Archived from the original on 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  5. Browns GM Savage pleased with start, encouraged by progress
  6. "Derek Anderson Released". ESPN. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  7. Schudel, Jeff (2010-03-09). "D.A. blasts Browns fans". The News Herald. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
  8. Grossi, Tony (2010-03-21). "Derek Anderson apologizes for blasting Cleveland Browns fans". Retrieved 2010-03-15.
  9. Anderson agrees to terms with Cardinals
  10. Biggs, Brad (November 4, 2010). "Cardinals turn back to Derek Anderson". Retrieved 2010-11-07.

External links

Preceded by
Charlie Frye
Cleveland Browns Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Brady Quinn
Preceded by
Brady Quinn
Cleveland Browns Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Brady Quinn
Preceded by
Brady Quinn
Cleveland Browns Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Jake Delhomme
Preceded by
Kurt Warner
Arizona Cardinals Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Max Hall
Preceded by
Max Hall
Arizona Cardinals Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
John Skelton