5 Cleveland Browns who are truly worthy but under-appreciated

Cleveland Browns, Jacoby Brissett. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns, Jacoby Brissett. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Browns, Jacoby Brissett. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett is nothing but a backup quarterback, How many times have we heard that? Okay, there may actually be some truth to that, in that nobody believes that he is better than Deshaun Watson, but if the Browns are spending only $4.7 million on him instead of $55 million, then they could potentially have $50 million dollars a year to improve other parts of the team.

Early on, there were some disappointing times with Brissett, when he seemed to be fixated on Amari Cooper and was not able to make his normal progressions. For example, versus New England, he targeted Cooper 12 times and connected only four times.

However, we need to remind ourselves that new quarterbacks often take several games to adjust to a new team with an unfamiliar coaching staff. Even the GOAT, Tom Brady, was not on the same page with his head coach until November in his first year with Tampa Bay.

They ultimately pulled it together and won the Super Bowl, but there were some rough outings in October. Nobody is saying that Brissett is another Brady, but we are saying that it’s normal for a quarterback to look bad with a new team in the first half of the season.

Brissett has not thrown very many touchdowns this season, but that’s probably because he has Troy Aikman syndrome. Hall-of-Famer Aikman used to put up lousy stats because Emmitt Smith scored too many touchdowns on the ground. So, as the quarterback, it’s your job to get the ball into the endzone the most efficient way possible, or hog up as much glory as possible by throwing it into the end zone? Look, if your team is fortunate enough to have Emmitt Smith or Nick Chubb, perhaps it is not a dumb idea to let him tote the rock. Screw touchdown passes.

However, Brissett also managed to fade down the stretch in some of the Browns losses, culminating in interceptions that snuffed out hopes for a miracle finish. Cleveland’s pattern has been to start strong and then relinquish the lead. Of course, the quarterback doesn’t play defense.

Overall, Brissett’s passes have moved the chains and kept the Browns competitive. They’ve been deadly efficient on third-and-one and fourth-and-one because Brisset runs like a fullback and has gotten the first down time and again. Give Joel Bitonio, Ethan Pocic, and Wyatt Teller full credit for plowing the way, but Brissett is death in short yardage.

On a run-first team, Brissett ranks 19th in yards per game. That’s not half bad. At the beginning of the season, the Browns’ business plan was to hit the NFL with a top-five rushing attack, a top-five defense, and have Brissett manage the game and the Browns would be okay until Watson could return from exile.

Offensively, the Browns have probably held up their end of the bargain, but the defense has not been nearly as good as it was expected to be. In terms of total yards allowed, they are currently 15th overall with 331 yards per game allowed.

Brissett has done his job very well. He’s a backup quarterback, not the first overall pick, nor an expensive free agent.  At the end of the season, he will be gone, yielding his place so that Watson can ascend the throne.

With any luck, the Browns may get a compensatory draft pick to remember him by.