How not to find your franchise QB with special guests, the Cleveland Browns

Here are some useful tips for your franchise if it is looking at not having a Franchise QB

1 Do not use a high pick on QB
The NFL tries spread the talent around with draft being in reverse order to the standings and with QB the most important position to win games with it stands to reason that with a high pick a QB if available and good value that is if your not the Browns. The Browns have had two seasons in the past 14 years where they had a winning record so that means 12 high draft picks. They have had 12 picks in top 15 picks and do you know how many times they users on a QB? Once, all the way back in 1999 on Tim Couch for him to turn into a franchise QB bit of a bust. With so many other worse QBs gone since Couch actually looks good, leading the Browns to their only playoff appearance since ’99. The following are QBs the Browns could have had but passed over, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Donovan McNabb, Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Nick Foles and Ryan Tannehill. I mean it’d be something if there were a three or four on the list but there is 11 and some made no sense, like who thought Spurgeon Wynn would be better than Tom Brady ? Moral of the story if you have a high pick and a good QB is available, take him.

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Tim Couch after being drafted way in 1999

2 Trade into late first round to pick a QB
The reasoning here is that if they weren’t chosen by then there must be a flaw in their game which makes them perfect for the Browns. While it is way too early to grade the Browns pick of Johnny Manziel at #22 this year the Browns have a bit of a track record there. Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden, two of the biggest first round busts ever. When JaMarcus Russell was picked ahead of Brady Quinn the writing should have been on the wall but no the Browns just had to take a chance on him and got completely burnt. Beaten out by Derek Anderson, Quinn never even looked close to being a franchise QB. He was traded to the Broncos for RB Peyton Hillis and a sixth round pick which ended up being a really good deal for the Browns and last saw extensive playing time with a Chiefs team that went 2-14, yep that’s where Brady Quinn will lead your team if you let him start. Brandon Weeden pick was even stranger considering he would have been available in the second round and also because he was 27. Yeah, the Browns did indeed reach for a 27 year old rookie who did not fit their scheme and what they were trying to do who already failed as a pro baseball player. Not as bad as Quinn but way more of a heartbreaker. There is know QB out there not Jay Cutler, not Andy Dalton or even Tony Romo who knows how to throw a game ending interception like Brandon Weeden, that’s of course if it’s not several interceptions. Weeden had some talent and a cannon of an arm but had chronic decisions making and lack and kind of touch on the ball at all, to the point where we left with the sidearm pass which is perhaps second only to the Butt-Fumble as the worst decision by a QB ever.

3 Draft a player who does not fit your scheme
Right from the off Tim Couch was going to be a disadvantage as a spread QB in a traditional scheme with no line and no one to pass it to. Couch had played in a spread in college and the Browns knew that and could have made his life a hell of a lit easier if they picked a coach that ran a scheme similar rather than force a scheme that didn’t suit him on him. With a patched up line in front of him Couch struggled with injuries and fumbles during his stay in Cleveland. Finally after 5 years Butch Davis somehow thought Kelly Holcomb was better and Tim Couch has played since. You would have thought the Browns would have learned from this but no they did it again when they put a square peg in a round hole by picking Brandon Weeden to play in Pat Shurmer West Coast Offense and then to make matters worse they had start him as rookie because they couldn’t afford to redshirt at 28 despite the fact that Colt McCoy knew the system and was a better fit. Weeden played in vertical offense in college which was built around stud receiver Justin Blackgammon and is pretty much the antithesis of the West Coast. Understandably Weeden struggled from the start throwing 4 INTs in the season opener against Philly but then again Michael Vick equaled it. It didn’t get much better his rookie year finishing with 13 TDs and 17 INTs. His second year he should have excelled in Norv Turners Air Coryell scheme but still struggled throwing 8 TDs and 8 INTs before benched for Brian Hoyer only to start again after injuries.

4 Bring a free agent ” veteran” who is past his best or has never been at least a decent starter to be your “man”
With the exception of Brian Hoyer and possibly Derek Anderson, this has never ended well for the Browns. Neither had real playing time with Anderson a rookie who had just been cut by the Ravens and Hoyer Tom Brady’s backup in NE before making one start in Arizona. Even then it is a small sample size with Hoyer and Anderson flamed out in his second and third seasons and left Cleveland bitterly claiming “the fans don’t deserve a winner”. Some of the others just did not work like Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Ty Detmer and Trent Difler. Delhomme was some what understandable after leading the Panthers to a Superbowl 6 years previously and it was a nice idea to have him as a mentor for Colt McCoy but he had shown serious signs of regression in his final season in Carolina and shouldn’t have been appointed starter. In all seriousness who genuinely thought that Seneca Wallace could be a starter in the NFL? He was just not good enough for the NFL and was showed up when he played. Both were brought in by the spoofer that is Mike Holmgren but more on him later. Ty Detmer was a record breaking QB at BYU winning the Heismann in 1990 but was nothing more than a journeyman in the NFL and was Brett Favre backup in Green Bay. The original starting QB of the “new” he last all of one game before Tim Couch took over. Detmer played the season finale after Couch picked up a knock but never played again for the Browns after missing all of the 2001 season through injury and moved onto Detroit the following season. Difler was brought in to play and help mentor rookie Charlie Fyre but a disagreement with Offensive Coordinator Maurice Carthon left him wanting out almost immediately. This is the Browns after all so nothing goes smoothly. If he isn’t a proven player with plenty of mileage left in the tank, he isn’t worth bringing in as a stated or a backup.

Jake Delhomme never reached the same heights in Cleveland as he did with the Panthers and was largely a disappointment

5 Rely on a late round (3rd or later) pick to turn into a starter in less than two year
The reason is a team draft a QB in the later rounds is to develop him into a potential Franchise player over time, that is of course unless you are the Browns. Four times the Browns have taken QBs in the third or later as development project only to start them within two years which defeats the entire purpose. All four (Spurgeon Wynn, Luke McCown, Charlie Fyre and Colt McCoy). I get maybe three of these (not sure about McCown) but there is no way in he’ll do I agree with the Spergon Wynn pick. I mean what scout in the Browns front office looked Spergon Wynn up and down and say they saw a potential starter in the NFL? He played at a lower level, was smaller and threw less touchdowns in college than Brady and you want to draft him, I mean what were you thinking? Even if you thought Brady wouldn’t be a starter he still looked like a better backup. Out of the other three I feel Fyre could have become an above average starter but I feel the best of the three would have been former Longhorn Colt McCoy who could have developed into an Andy Dalton kind of QB if given the right supporting cast and better coaching. Instead like all the others he was rushed into action and this hampered his development as a result.

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“Wynn” was something Spergon Wynn never did with the Browns going 0-8 in games
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It’s a case of what might have been with Colt McCoy

6 Do not have a good front office and talent evaluators
Up until the Browns hired Phil Savage in 2005 they lack any kind of decent decision making in their front office with poor pick after poor pick in the draft leading to years of losing. Even when they did hire Savage he was great but got some good players like Joe Thomas, D’Qwell Jackson, Lawrence Vickers, Ahtyba Rubin and Braylon Edwards but he also missed completely with others like Kamerion Wimberly, Brady Quinn and trading away the Browns 1st,2nd,3rd and 5th round picks in 2008. I
After Savage it got slightly better though as Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert. They still missed with QBs though drafting Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden, overall this position was an anomaly with Probowlers such Joe Haden, TJ Ward and Josh Gordon coming from Heckert drafts. He also had a nice trade down with Atlanta from 6th to 27th in the 2011 NFL Draft and getting a 2nd and 4th round pick in 2011 and a 1st and 4th in 2012. Unfortunately he only picked one current Browns player with those picks in Phil Taylor, the rest were the ever dropping Greg Little, Bust Brandon Weeden and fullback Owen Marecic. The other went in the unnecessary trade from 4th to 3rd to pick Trent Richardson which was one of the reasons Jimmy Haslam got rid of him and the overated Mike Holmgren. Holmgren, who got won a Superbowl on the back of MVP Brett Favre and got to another with Shaun Alexander in Seattle did nothing in Cleveland to prove that he won those on but instead showed that just happened to have some of the gifted players of the late 90’s/early 00’s playing for him.

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Mike Holmgren who used Brett Favre’s success to get the job in Cleveland and set the Browns back years with his choice of QBs

To recap if your franchise is not looking for a franchise QB then all it needs is the dreadful cocktail of a clueless front office bringing in old, overpaid veterans along with young development projects who don’t fit the scheme and then just start the veteran and switch to the rookie half way through and you’ll be well on your. Just as long as you don’t use that high pick on a once in a generation player like Andrew Luck like those sellouts the Colts did, not hardcore multiyear tankers like the Browns.

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