Its Carolina for NFL quarterback Derek Anderson
Scappoose native Derek Anderson has been signed to play for the Carolina Panthers
Don't count Derek Anderson out of the National Football League just yet-if he passes his physical, he will be a Carolina Panther this coming season.
Anderson said back in June that his contract was up and he didn't expect to be playing for Arizona this year. However, players were locked out and nothing could be officially done until this past week.
Monday morning, Anderson texted his father, Glen: 'It's Carolina. All I have to do is pass the physical.'
First-year head coach Ron Rivera said of the process, '(General Manager) Marty Hurney right now is in the throes of working that deal out. We met with Derek this morning; it went very well; and I think Marty is visiting with his agent right now. Something should be forthcoming.'
Anderson is being brought in to the Panther organization for a variety of reasons. The team drafted Auburn quarterback Cam Newton as the top pick in the draft late last spring. They signed him for $22 million, but he's still a rookie.
The team also brought in Rob Chudzinski as offensive coordinator from San Diego. Chudzinski was the offensive coordinator in Cleveland, the year Anderson led the Browns to 10 wins and went to the Pro Bowl.
That's a bonus for Anderson. The team will have a new offense, one that Anderson is familiar with and there's just two weeks until the first pre-season game.
In addition to Newton, the Panthers also have Jimmy Clawson and Tony Pike as quarterbacks. Pike has been injured. One of those will have to go to the practice squad.
Rivera said that the relationship factored into their decision to sign Anderson. 'Chud obviously goes back to the year that he had when he was with him in Cleveland and the success that they had up until he got injured. Chud spoke very highly of his abilities. We had an opportunity to watch tape on him from when he played last season and visit with him. The conversation was very good and what we watched on tape was good.'
On what Anderson's role will be, Rivera said, 'As we get Derek here, we are going to go through and see where he is in terms of the system and we'll go from that point. The only thing I've always said is we're going to compete at that position for sure. He'll become part of a competition.'
The coach said he expected Anderson to be a role model and a teacher for the mostly young quarterbacks 'Without a doubt. And he talked about it as well, having done that when he was in Arizona last season. He understands the situation and the set of circumstances. But at the same, I told Derek that's no reason to accept a backseat. So I think his whole approach, his whole attitude about everything is he's going to come in and compete, and that's what I told him I wanted him to do.'
Due to the collective bargaining agreement, Anderson will have to wait until Thursday to practice with the team, assuming he passes his physical.
Anderson's father thinks Derek will probably be the No. 2 quarterback on the team, but could get a lot of playing time in preseason. He could step into the top spot if Newton were injured or has problems running the offense.
Anderson's leg up is that he already knows the offense and the offensive coordinator. Carolina was just 2-14 last season, but has made a number of moves to try and improve their standing. Running back Jonathan Stewart is also on the team.
'Derek says it's hot and humid down there,' dad noted. He pointed out it was also hot in Arizona and humid in Cleveland. Come winter the weather is much better than in Cleveland, but maybe not as good as Arizona.
'It's ironic,' he said. 'Their first (regular season) game (Sept. 11) is against Arizona. Derek still has a house in Arizona. I might have to fly down for the game and stay there.' He said grandpa Gene Anderson was already out buying a new flag, and that he was looking for a new hat.
The team opens the preseason with the Giants on Aug. 13, and follows Aug. 19 with a trip to Miami.