Being a fan of the Cleveland Browns this past decade is like being Ralphie in A Christmas Story pre-BB gun present. Lots of anticipation and even some cool moments every now and then. Unfortunately, life hands you far more pink bunny pajamas than it does what you really want.
This is especially true when you consider the Browns’ quarterbacks since 1999. It’s not just that the Browns have had a bunch of “how is this guy starting in the NFL?” QBs during the past eleven seasons. Cleveland always (always) picks the wrong quarterback. Here’s a look back at the men who have killed the dreams for Cleveland Browns fans since the team returned to the NFL.
Zac’s note: I may not list every Browns’ quarterback since 1999 as doing so may cause me to start drinking at noon. On a Tuesday.
Tim Couch: I’ve always been a Tim Couch sympathizer. The number one overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft performed about as good as he could have playing behind an atrocious offensive line. Couch also leads the “new” Cleveland Browns in “OMG Moments,” completing two game-winning Hail Mary passes. Injuries limited and eventually ended Couch’s playing time.
The Browns passed on Donovan McNabb (remember that name), Edgerrin James and Ricky Williams in order to draft Couch.
Spergon Wynn: Rocket arm. Zero accuracy. I still want a Spurgon Wynn Browns jersey, though. Just because.
Doug Pederson: Perpetual “our quarterback is hurt so we’ll start this guy” NFL QB.
Kelly Holcomb: Holcomb was Derek Anderson before Derek Anderson. Holcomb was spectacular in a handful of games for the Browns, including one of the best playoff performances any NFL quarterback has ever had (in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Figures). Instead of trading Holcomb when his stock was at its highest, the Browns gave him the keys to the offense for about three seconds before moving on to…
Jeff Garcia: Arguably the most overrated pickup in the history of the new Cleveland Browns. Garcia actually has one of my favorite NFL quarterback stats, finishing a game against the Dallas Cowboys with a zero QB rating.
Charlie Frye: Frye’s low-point came at the start of the 2007 NFL season. He was named the starting QB of the Browns before the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Frye would be benched before halftime in that game en route to being shipped to Seattle for a sixth-round pick just two days later. Frye remains the only quarterback in NFL history to start the season as a team’s QB only to be traded before week 2 of the same season.
Ken Dorsey: No.
Bruce Gradkowski: Good Lord, no.
Brady Quinn/Derek Anderson: To this day there remains a group of Cleveland Browns fans who grossly overrated Anderson’s performance during the 2007 NFL season. Anderson has yet to prove that he can have a great 16-game season and he was eventually replaced by fan-favorite Brady Quinn. Replacing Anderson with Quinn made sense on paper. They’re two extremely different quarterbacks and thus one would expect two different offenses. That never really happened and Quinn’s lack of arm strength hurt him in the 2009 NFL season.
Now both Anderson and Quinn are out of Cleveland for (just about) nothing. The worst thing? The Browns could have traded Quinn for Jay Cutler straight up before the start of the 2009 NFL regular season.
Seneca Wallace/Jake Delhomme: The replacements for Anderson and Quinn as the Browns head into the 2010 NFL Draft. Delhomme threw for eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions in eleven starts for the Panthers last season. What does a 59.4 QB rating earn a new Cleveland Brown?
Seven million during the 2010 NFL season.
Reports suggest the Oakland Raiders may acquire Donovan McNabb before the upcoming NFL Draft. Just weeks after the Browns gave Jake-blanking-Delhomme 19 million dollars. Good thing the Browns have double-digit draft picks, a few of which could have been used to acquire the unappreciated McNabb.
When will it end?
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