Saturday, August 25, 2007

Looking back at the Browns quarterbacks from 1999; with Van Morrison
Given the current discussion about quarterbacks and the Browns, I think it's a good time to look back at the quarterbacks from 1999-present. And since I love Van Morrison music, it's also a good time to list them with Van songs.

Here are the rules:

- I will not include players who did not take a snap in a regular season game, so guys like Josh Harris will not be listed.

- The Van Morrison songs are just a way to write this while still keeping my sanity.

OK, here we go:

Tim Couch (1999-2003): I really think, after years of reflection, that Couch was not the worst pick the Browns could have made. But the Browns were the worst team Couch could have gone to. He was never really that bad, but the offensive line was. And so Couch got battered year after year, until the Browns finally released him. I can't say for certain, but I think Couch would have been a very good quarterback had he been drafted by Philadelphia or any other reasonable team.

Van Morrison song for Tim Couch: Did Ye get healed?

Reasoning: Couch's injuries have forced him from the game. I don't know if Couch would have been great, but I think he never really had the chance. No one was happier than I was when Couch signed with the Jaguars, but he was released. I certainly hope he's not finished, but it isn't looking good.

Ty Detmer (1999-2000): Detmer was supposed to be Couch's mentor. Couch wasn't even supposed to start in 1999, but a horrid opener against Pittsburgh altered the plan. Detmer did get one more start with the Browns -- the season finale against a playoff-bound Colts team. Detmer somehow led the 2-13 Browns to a late lead, but the Colts rallied for a 29-28 win. Detmer missed all of the 2000 season with a preseason injury (thus becoming one of 18 Browns QBs to get injured that year) and was replaced by Kelly Holcomb the next season.

Van Morrison song for Ty Detmer: Full Force Gale

Reasoning: It's what Detmer must have felt he'd been hit with after Chris Palmer told him he was yanking him after one start.

Doug Pederson (2000): Called into action after Detmer's injury, Pederson became the starter after Tim Couch hurt his thumb during practice. He played in 10 games during the 2000 season. All I remember is after one week, there was a ful-fledged quarterback controversy. Fans wanted Palmer to throw Spergon Wynn out there. Pederson was awful, throwing 10 picks and only two TDs. He ended up in Green Bay, serving as Brett Favre's backup for four seasons. This is why Packer fans should be thankful for Favre's durability.

Van Morrison Song for Doug Pederson: Cleaning Windows

Reasoning: That's what Pederson should have been doing instead of quarterbacking for the Browns.

Spergon Wynn (2000): Why yes, this guy was drafted ahead of Tom Brady, why do you ask? Spergon Wynn wasn't awful in relief, and looked good enough that fans wanted him to start. Then he did. Against Jacksonville. Final score: Jacksonville 48, Browns 0. Wynn went on to play for Minnesota, then ended up in the CFL.

Van Morrison song for Spergon Wynn: Only a Dream

Reasoning: What the idea that Wynn could be a savior was.

Kelly Holcomb (2001-2004): A Butch Davis signing, Holcomb could just blow you away one game, then look mediocre the next. The guy threw for 429 yards in the Browns' only playoff game since 1999. That game was enough to get him the starting job with the Browns in 2003. That just didn't go very well. Holcomb probably is a career backup, and resumed that role after leaving the Browns. Apparently he's with the Eagles now.

Van Morrison song for Kelly Holcomb: Rolling Hills

Reasoning: A good game, then a bad one. One week he looks like Bart Starr; the next week he looks like the backup quarterback in Necessary Roughness. "Blow the Whistle!"

Jeff Garcia (2004): Everyone tries to call this era in Browns history a disaster (when hasn't it been since 1999?), but it wasn't as though Garcia came to a good team. And he single-handedly led the Browns to competence in an overtime loss to the Eagles. The guy was a gamer. Sadly, his name was in the tabloids more than it was in the sports section. He had his share of bad games, and when Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage came in, Garcia was gone.

Van Morrison song for Jeff Garcia: You Don't Pull No Punches

Reasoning: From Terrell Owens to injuries to court issues to losing, Jeff got it from all sides. But he has made quite a comeback.

Luke McCown (2004): Yes, I forgot about poor McCown in the original version of this post. After I finished writing it, I thought I may have forgotten someone, since there were so many. Anyway, McCown was a rookie thrust into the starting spot when Terry Robiskie took over as head coach after Butch Davis was paid tons of money to go away. McCown got a start against the Super Bowl Champion Patriots, and that went about as well as you might expect. He did throw four touchdowns for the Browns that season, but was also picked seven times. He has yet to see action in a regular season game since 2004.

Van Morrison song for Luke McCown: Domino

Reasoning: McCown started because there really was no one else after injuries decimated the quarterback position in 2004. Garcia went down, then Holcomb went down. Then practically the entire offense ended up on Injured Reserve. McCown never had a chance to be successful with the Browns, but no one would have been with that team.

Trent Dilfer (2005): Dilfer was brought in to start and not make too many mistakes. He did that. He wasn't great, but he was competent. So he was better, much better, than a majority of the Browns' quarterbacks. The Browns determined Frye was ready to start in 2006 (yeah, that was a good idea) and Dilfer was shipped to San Francisco.

Van Morrison song for Trent Dilfer: Precious Time
Reasoning: Dilfer wanted to play, didn't want to be a backup, and probably knew his career was close to over. Had he accepted a backup role with the Browns, last season may not have been such a disaster. Well, OK, it would have been.

Charlie Frye (2005-present): It's difficult to remember now, but there was a time when some considered Frye the Browns quarterback of the future. Those people were delusional. Anyway, Frye has yet to prove himself as anything more than a third-string quarterback. Still, the Browns will likely start him in 2007, until the wheel falls off on another season and Brady Quinn starts. Like, in week 3.

Van Morrison song for Charlie Frye: Man has to Struggle

Reasoning: Frye will have to do something pretty special to keep his job past October. With what he has around, there is at least an opportunity. Good luck, Charlie.

Derek Anderson (2006-present): Right now, Anderson is pretty much living off one game -- his overtime win against the Chiefs last year. Ever since then, Anderson has looked like a high school freshman against a varsity team. He had his chance to wow the coaches this month, and hasn't (although he played well tonight against the Broncos. Then again, so did Frye. And Quinn). My guess is he'll be elsewhere by the end of this week.

Van Morrison song for Derek Anderson: You Know What They're Writing About

Reasoning: I'd hope no NFL quarterback reads the newspaper. Well, at least not the sports section. But the writers haven't been kind about Anderson's play. But I'm also sure Anderson is aware of how poorly he's played for much of the preseason.

Maybe this got you excited to watch the Browns. Or maybe it got you thinking about how great Van Morrison is. Either way, if you read this, I'm happy.

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At 12:35 PM , Blogger Metalhead said...

I'm 36 and I got to admit, I don't get the Van Morrison joke. Heck, I think most people won't get it. You need to apply your content to something more than some oldie "rocker". Anyways most Browns fans listen to AC/DC and Metallica, have you heard the songs they play during game breaks at the stadium?

You know the saying: "Cleveland Rocks"

Not "Cleveland's mellow"

At 12:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand how saying Wynn was drafted before Brady can make him look even worse, but Brady was drafted in the 6th round...

100-200+ players went before Brady, which makes the fact that Wynn went before him nearly irrelevant.

At 2:25 PM , Anonymous Smed said...

Yeesh. I think metalhead needs to get educated. Van Morrison is a perfect artist to relate to Browns' QBs.

Of course, on my site half the time I ramble about my mixes featuring bands that no one cares about or songs that no one has heard.

But Van Morrison? Yeesh, dude, turn your dial off of the classic rock station and start downloading.

At 2:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys with the screen name "metalhead" will likely tell you that all Browns fans listen to AC/DC and Metallica and whatever recycled garbage gets played on 100.7, but believe it or not some Browns fans can appreciate a brilliant rock/jazz provocateur who has made compelling music for forty years, and whose every album does not sound the same. Also, I draft Spergon Wynn over Brady every time...I mean, maybe I haven't been paying Brady still in the league...?

At 7:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin Johnson was also a quarterback against Philly. He is a smooth, muscular blackman whom I wish to be the top to his bottom. I wouldn't even have to wear a rubber, but I would grease him up in his butt and oil his darkie skin until he glistens. He would get the hurting of his life and I would tear that anoose until it bled but he is tough enough to take the beautiful pain. At the end, I wouldn't even kiss him on the mouth, I would tongue his neck and flex over him and kiss the tips of my fingers and put it to his forehead.

At 8:40 PM , Blogger Michael Beckwith said...

You forgot Luke McCown!!!

At 7:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Van selections....

Surprised you couldn't find a use for "not feeling it anymore" or "why must I always explain".

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