Anyone but Colt McCoy.
Anyone but Brady Quinn.
Anyone but Derek Anderson.
Anyone but Charlie Frye.
Anyone but Trent Dilfer.
Anyone but Jeff Garcia.
Anyone but Kelly Holcomb.
Anyone but Doug Pederson.
Anyone but Tim Couch.
And with the latest chant involving Brandon Weeden, there seems to be a trend when it comes to reactions of media and fans of the Cleveland Browns when it comes to the quarterback position. I get it. They have been awful. Tim Couch is still far and away the best quarterback this team has had and was put in the worst situation possible and got no help. Since then, it seems like has been a ‘Couch Curse’, but at what point does this stuff stop? At what point do people stop throwing out random names to sign and learn an offense or completely change the offense (during the season) in hopes of this ‘lightning in a bottle’ idea? There are people who are now trying to romance up Colt McCoy’s time here and now wish he was back. He was not any good either.
Today, I heard Dustin Fox actually use that terminology on the idea of finding a random guy off the street and signing them. This was part of a conversation around the possibility of Tim Tebow. He even suggested this was a good idea because “it would be fun to cover Tebow.” Just put a midget out there or some brand of circus freak and be done with it. If this is what people are reduced to in this situation, there is no hope. It is not fun. It is unpleasant. I have said it all season long. I do not care who the quarterback is on this team this year; the answer is in the draft next year. The Browns do not have a franchise quarterback and will not find one randomly if they roll out a public try out to find the Vince Papale of quarterbacks. As successful as Papale was with the Philadelphia Eagles, he was a gunner. Great football players are not just sitting out there waiting to be found on the street.
Personally, I think the Browns should just go vintage Tecmo Super Bowl and put “QB Browns” on the back of the jersey. It does not matter. If they want to feed Jason Campbell to the wood chipper that will be the Kansas City Chiefs defense this year, go nuts. Could Campbell be better? He could. Could he be worse? Ask Matt Barkley. If the Browns want to bring in Tyler Wilson, Tyler Thigpen, newly released Brady Quinn or Tebow or have them all come in, great. Even Troy Smith’s name came up after he threw a couple touchdowns in Canada. It will not make a difference and it will be no time before the refrain becomes, “Anyone but <insert poor shmo’s name here>”.
The fact that the Browns have not done this does not mean they have given up either. It is difficult to win without a quarterback. The St. Louis Rams are boned. In the preseason, Bernie Kosar had Jeff Fisher and his lackey Peter King from theMMQB.com to complain about how he accurately depicted Kellen Clemens. Kellen Clemens is the starter for the Rams now with the injury to Sam Bradford. The Rams are screwed too. The Tennessee Titans with Ryan Fitzpatrick were God awful. The Chicago Bears with Josh McCown are not likely to be good either. But look at the Buffalo Bills with Thad Lewis; they won. They sure did. The Bills scored 23 points. 7 of them courtesy of Nickell Roby on a pick six. 7 of them were on a drive that started at the Dolphins 44 yard line with Lewis completing two passes. The other 9 points were courtesy of field goals. The 1-4 Minnesota Vikings are set to trot out Josh Freeman who has been awful this year. Every single one of these teams with a backup quarterback in are now done or soon to be done.
There are people in the local media like Scott Raab (who if I am not mistaken was already done with this team when the Browns traded Trent Richardson) who are talking about how Joe Banner, Rob Chudzinski and company have not changed the culture whatsoever. Not only is this stupid as none of the players are speaking out about the situation where plenty of them were outspoken in their dislike for Pat Shurmur last year, but randomly throwing street free agents and other mediocre quarterbacks is not going to make the culture any better. If the Denver Broncos lose Peyton Manning or the Green Bay Packers lose Aaron Rodgers, those teams are not suddenly a changed culture. When the Indianapolis Colts lost Manning , they went 1-15. No one was complaining about the culture there. They lost the franchise quarterback and were promptly screwed as a result. They got Andrew Luck with the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft and suddenly, they were good again.
The Browns are getting better, but that only goes so far when they have a terrible quarterback. If they can get one, they can not only be a changed culture (whatever that means), they can be competitive and be a contender. Until that happens, it is tough to get any traction in other places on offense. The Browns do not run the ball well either.
This will not stop people. There will still be people who insist on bringing up Tebow’s name even if it is simply for clicks or listeners. Nevermind the fact he is an awful quarterback. He seems to be a wonderful human being, but simply a terrible quarterback. And if anyone thinks Tebow led them to 7 straight wins, they are out of their mind. The defense was stellar the entire game and after three and a half quarters of terrible football where he could completed about 6 or 7 passes, he would scrape together enough offense to get the Denver Broncos to win the game 13-10.
I wish the Browns had a franchise quarterback. I hope they can get one this coming May. They do not have one now and no matter how many random names Dustin Fox throws out there, the Browns offense is going to be mediocre at best this year. It is unavoidable. And I hate to keep mentioning this, but everywhere I turn there seems to be some unbelievably sad conversation about which terrible quarterback the Browns should have play for them instead of Weeden. I do not care who plays quarterback, but whoever it is, it will not be pleasant and it is not going to change the fact the Browns need to draft a quarterback. At this point, they are better off losing the rest of the season to improve their draft pick anyway. 9 more weeks.