Cleveland Sports Insiders

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The Cleveland Browns need a quarterback….

Johnny_Manziel_in_Kyle_FieldThe Cleveland Browns need a quarterback. This sentence has a very familiar ring to it, and over the last 15 years has been true more times than not.

The Browns have been burning through quarterbacks since their hapless return to the NFL in 1999. Tim Couch was the Browns first selection as an expansion team in ’99, this was the last time the Browns used a top 10 pick on a quarterback. Keep in mind that 1999 was fifteen years ago, a whole Peyton Manning career ago.

Since drafting Couch, the Browns have looked high and low to find someone to play quarterback. They’ve tried a plethora of veterans (Ty Detmer, Trent Dilfer, Jason Campbell), perennial backups (Kelly Holcomb, Doug Pederson, Seneca Wallace, Derek Anderson) mid round draft picks (Charlie Frye, Colt McCoy, Luke McCown), free agent acquisitions (Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme) , long shots playing only because of injury (Spergon Wynn, Ken Dorsey, Bruce Gradkowski, Thad Lewis)and even spent late first round draft picks (Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden) trying to find a potential franchise quarterback. The jury is still out on which category Brian Hoyer will fall into. Continue reading


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Jimmy Haslam’s Cleveland Browns get it all wrong

Banner (TONY DEJAK — AP Photo)

Banner (TONY DEJAK — AP Photo)

Hostages.

Cleveland Browns fans are all just hostages to a brand name that can do no wrong in Cleveland. Okay,that’s not quite right.  What I meant was, by doing no wrong in Cleveland, I really meant they do no right in Cleveland, which has just demolished the brand name of the Cleveland Browns.

But somehow, none of that matters.

Confused yet? Fortunately for all of us, confusion is the name of the game with the Browns since 1995. We aren’t all witnesses, we are all walking callouses.

Cleveland Browns fans are passionate about their team, and that may be the understatement of all understatements. It’s been a strange road that has only been enhanced by the team leaving back in 1995 when Art Modell owned the team. It was enhanced further when they came back, played badly, and drafted badly…over and over and over again.

Thoughts of Tim Couch still ring in my ears, and he may have been one of the better quarterbacks the Browns have drafted.

Seriously.

The Cleveland Browns brand-name is virtually untouchable, and the owner and the president and the GM know it. I have visions of these three sitting together during planning meetings just laughing, knowing that they could retire Brandon Weeden‘s number tomorrow, and still likely sell out the opening game of the season next year if they announced it as “Brandon Weeden day.”

It’s not just in Cleveland, but the market on the North Coast is so uniquely tied to this team, that there’s something special about this hostage mentality. Perhaps we all have some form of Stockholm syndrome, in which we’ve bonded with these idiotic front offices that we’ve grown to despise so much over the years.

Cleveland teams don’t win titles, but Cleveland fans want a title so badly, that these ownership groups really can do anything they want, and fans will keep coming back. In many ways, there’s been an embracing of the “what’s next” mentality, so that when weekends like this come up, fans actually say, “Meh, it’s just Cleveland.”
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