Are we headed for the 19th different quarterback to start a game for the Cleveland Browns? Are we going to start a season with a different starting quarterback for a seventh straight season and for the 12th time out of 14? It’s looking more and more like that is a possibility that will become a reality.
So far in the three introductory press conferences the Browns have held, not a single member of the new regime has had a single favorable thing to say about the Browns’ starting quarterback from 2012. Not a single, god damn, nice thing to say. Call me crazy, but if I’m Brandon Weeden I start talking to my agent about the possibility of an exit strategy. I hear Kansas City and Arizona need a QB. Those could be good fits for him.
So if not Brandon Weeden, then who is the starting QB for the Browns in 2013?
There are any number of possible choices. The Browns could, for reasons that no one can begin to wrap their head around, go back to Colt McCoy. It seems like an impossibility, but if he’s still on the roster come August it could be in play. He had a decent preseason in 2011 and he definitely out played Weeden in 2012. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he performs well again and completely swindles the new staff.
There are a number of possibilities from outside the organization as well. One has to assume that both Alex Smith and Matt Flynn will be available through either trade or free agency. Smith is the more proven commodity having started numerous seasons for the 49ers and having put up somewhat solid numbers on a consistent basis over the past two seasons. Flynn on the other hand signed a large contract with the Seahawks after one record breaking start in relief of Aaron Rodgers and promptly lost the starting job in the preseason to Russell Wilson. If I had to choose between the two I would go with Smith based on the track record, but the potential Flynn has shown in a relatively small sample size is intriguing.
Then there is the draft. In other words, the barren wasteland of Browns QBs. If they get lucky they could get the chance to draft Geno Smith. He looked great early on this season but the drop off from week one through their bowl game was a little alarming. Still, he fits the mold of the new style of NFL QB. Someone with decent mobility that could potentially run a read option but also chuck it down the field.
Tyler Wilson is also in play, but if the Browns take him at 6 it could be a disaster. Wilson is a solid pocket passer QB with size and a decent arm that can make all the throws needed at the NFL level. That said, Arkansas was terrible this season. In an era in which everyone seemingly qualifies for a bowl game… they didn’t. Sure it’s not his fault he lost his head coach/playcaller, 3 wide receivers and most of his offensive line, but one would think if he was the real deal he could at least drag them to 6-6. Instead he was getting blown out by good teams and putting on clincs against crappy ones.
Other potential draft option QB’s in no particular order are EJ Manuel from Florida St., Matt Barkley from USC, Ryan Nassib from Syracuse, Mike Glennon from Stanford, Landry Jones from Oklahoma, or any other number of QBs who decide to enter. The moral of the story in all this is that this year’s crop of rookie QBs isn’t anywhere near the caliber of Andrew Luck, RGIII, or Russell Wilson.
Here’s the thing. If the Browns want to go in a different direction in terms of QB, that’s fine. I just hope thy know what they’re doing and what they’re getting themselves into. Everyone, and I do mean everyone is saying that there aren’t any franchise changing QB’s available. If that’s the case. why rush to push Brandon Weeden out the door? With the offense he was running, how could anyone formulate an accurate assessment of his abilities as an