BEREA — Quarterback Derek Anderson capped his surprising season by being named the team’s Player of the Year by the local chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.
“I appreciate it. Good times,” Anderson said Thursday. “It’s pretty cool. Hopefully I finish it off right.”
Anderson opened the season behind Charlie Frye, but took over in the opener and hasn’t left the field since. He’s completed 56.6 percent of his passes for 3,635 yards, 28 touchdowns, 18 interceptions and an 82.7 rating.
With three touchdowns Sunday in the finale vs. the 49ers, Anderson would surpass Brian Sipe’s franchise record set in 1980. Anderson needs 242 yards to move into second place in franchise history for yards in a season. Sipe holds the top mark of 4,132 set in 1980.
“He’s played really good,” coach Romeo Crennel said. “When you think of what he has been able to do and where this team has come, he’s had a good year.
“Last week, he would like to have done a little bit better and I think this week he will do better. Overall, when you look at the total picture, it’s been a good year for him.”
Despite the four interceptions Sunday in Cincinnati, it’s been a good ride for Anderson in 2007.
“Hopefully it’s not over,” he said. “It’s been a pretty solid year. We’ve done a lot of good things.”
The award was first given in 2001. Previous recipients were: Jamir Miller, William Green, Andra Davis, Robert Griffith, Reuben Droughns and Kamerion Wimbley.
Dawson is good guy
Kicker Phil Dawson was voted Good Guy by the PFWA for his dealings with the media. The only Brown remaining from 1999, Dawson has always made himself available to reporters in good times and bad.
“It’s been an easier year to be nice,” he said of the 9-6 record. “There are a lot of good guys in this locker room. You treat people with respect and try to maintain your integrity, and those things shouldn’t be affected by how things are going professionally.”
“Because of Phil’s longevity and experience in the league, he’s a leader on this team,” Crennel said.
Previous Good Guys were: Tim Couch, Corey Fuller, Shaun O’Hara, Daylon McCutcheon, Jeff Faine and Brian Russell. Couch and McCutcheon were the only two to return the following season.
Receiver Braylon Edwards appeared on HBO’s “Inside the NFL” this week in a segment with former NFL receiver Cris Carter. Edwards tried to explain last year’s sideline incident where he grabbed Frye’s jersey during a 30-0 home loss to Cincinnati.
“It was a situation where we were getting dragged through the mud. Charlie had been sacked nine or 10 times that game,” Edwards said. “A player who was on that line, you know, he’s talking about video games. I mean, nobody knows this story, this is the first time I’ve ever actually shared it.
“Here we are fourth quarter, we’re gonna lose but the game isn’t over and you’re talking about video games? I lost it, I lost it.”
Edwards apparently was using Frye’s grass-stained jersey as evidence that the lineman wasn’t doing his job.
The Browns finished the regular season 3-5 on the road and were victimized by slow starts. If they get in the playoffs, every game will be away from the lakefront, so Crennel said he’ll consider adjusting the routine.
“If it’s San Diego we might leave on Tuesday. If it’s Pittsburgh we might wait until Sunday,” he joked.
In reality, Crennel said they might leave for San Diego on Thursday, which would be a day earlier than normal for a Saturday game and two days early for a Sunday game.
Niners’ QB ailing
San Francisco quarterback Shaun Hill missed practice again with back spasms. If he doesn’t play, journeyman Chris Weinke, who was signed Dec. 12, would be the fourth 49er to start at quarterback this season. Alex Smith (shoulder) and Trent Dilfer (concussion) are done for the year.
Hill has won the last two weeks, the first two starts of his six-year career.
“His play has helped make them a little bit more consistent because he manages the game,” Crennel said. “He doesn’t take sacks. He can move and get out of trouble, throw the ball away, use the weapons that he has and they’ve got some weapons.”
If Hill is questionable for Sunday, the 49ers would activate Drew Olson from the practice squad as insurance.
Linebacker Antwan Peek (ankle) and defensive end Orpheus Roye (knee) didn’t practice. Defensive ends Robaire Smith (neck) and Shaun Smith (biceps), receiver Joe Jurevicius (knee) and tight end Kellen Winslow (knee) were limited.
* Defensive end Zach West (6-foot-5, 305) was signed to the practice squad. He was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent in May out of UTEP. He was on their practice squad from Sept. 26-Oct. 9, when he was waived.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253