2010 Cleveland Browns Position Preview: Quarterback
This is part of a series in which we will look at every facet of the team and provide position previews for the Browns, leading up to the start of the regular season.
It is difficult trying to figure out what to expect from Cleveland Browns quarterbacks this season because, well, there aren’t any left from last year’s team. The organization cleaned house, parting ways with both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, and brought in veteran quarterbacks Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace in addition to drafting Colt McCoy.
So, without further ado, here’s a look at the team’s quarterbacks going into the 2010 season:
Delhomme will be the starter going into the season – a concept the team has hardly known in recent years – even though he had a very forgettable 2009 in which he only threw 8 touchdowns to go along with 18 interceptions. The Browns hope that last season was simply an aberration and Delhomme can go back to being the dependable quarterback who once brought the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl.
In reality, Delhomme is in Cleveland to serve as a leader for the young players on the offense, mentoring McCoy and helping to develop the receiving corps. To that extent, he will probably be a success, as his largest contribution to the team will most likely not come in the form of wins, though those wouldn’t be such a bad bonus.
Seneca Wallace will not be your ordinary backup, as the Browns have plans to give him plenty of opportunities. With his mobility, Wallace becomes an asset when put on the field in the same packages as Josh Cribbs. Wallace is actually very serviceable even as just a quarterback, so the Browns are lucky to now find themselves with two competent quarterbacks with plenty of experience.
As for the guy who everyone wants to know about, don’t expect to see McCoy on the field anytime soon. The organization has made it clear that it does not want to see McCoy playing in 2010, because that would most likely mean the season went south pretty fast. McCoy will benefit greatly from watching on the sidelines (like so many great quarterbacks in the league) and having Delhomme show him the ropes.
It is obvious that team president Mike Holmgren has a plan in regards to McCoy, but, judging by Holmgren’s track record, it probably won’t stop the Browns from at least entertaining the thought of drafting another quarterback in the next few years. Not to mention the Browns seemed content to let McCoy keep falling in last April’s draft.
However, McCoy has a lot going for him as he enters the league. He is a proven winner, though that does not always translate to the NFL, and, more importantly, he is an extremely accurate passer. McCoy completed nearly 70 percent of his passes in college, his junior being the best at 76 percent to go along with 34 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions. Obviously, college stats can pretty much be thrown out the window at this point, but there is no denying that an accurate arm and some ample time to learn the pace of the NFL will go a long way in making Colt McCoy a successful quarterback in this league.
There has been some talk of keeping four quarterbacks on the roster, but it seems highly unlikely that the Browns will do that. Sorry, Brett Ratliff.
For the first time in years, those two dreaded words will not be mentioned at Browns training camp. Those two horrific, spine-tingling words that make you cringe and dry heave the moment you hear them: quarterback controversy. Instead, all signs point to Jake Delhomme opening the season as the starter, as he rightfully should. To allow the team’s young receivers to start working with Delhomme early is essential to any success that this offense will have.
The quarterback position comes with a huge question mark but hey, what else is new? At least there is a veteran presence now under center, ready to manage the offense and guide the Browns’ many young players down the path to becoming serviceable -and, for some, very good – players in the NFL. For that, fans should be excited.