The offseason before the 2008 season was one of my darkest times as a Browns fan. We were coming off a 10 win season, and things were looking promising. However I was stunned by the absolute hate being directed towards the QB that actually won those 10 games. Derek Anderson had made the Pro Bowl and looked poised to be the most successful signal caller in the new Browns era, but many people were still unhappy.
How was this possible? A young man named Brady Quinn was on the team, and people were pissed that he wasn't the guy that did the winning. I've already went into detail about Quinn earlier on this blog. But the point is people wanted Quinn to win because he was a hometown boy (if you can count Dublin as being hometown) that grew up a Browns fan. The splitting of the fan base took a toll on everyone, and in my opinion did a lot to affect the product that eventually made its way onto the field.
Fast forward to 2013 when a genuine hometown boy named Brian Hoyer took the reigns of the Browns offense and actually looked good. His success was short lived, due to an injury which ended his season, but Hoyer seemed poised to bounce back and at give it another shot. Hoyer's story is like something out of a fairy tale, and up until May it looked like people were going to get that Brady Quinn moment that they all longed for years ago. Then along came Johnny Manziel...
I don't need to explain who Johnny Manziel is. If you don't know, go turn on ESPN for about 15 seconds and no matter what is on you are bound to hear a Johnny Manziel reference of some sort. I'm not trying to bail on Johnny but I'm not so blinded by the hype that I can't see him for what he is. He is a very athletic QB with a surprisingly good arm... who also came out of college as a sophomore and didn't play in anything close to a pro offense. Most people in that spot would be considered a good prospect, and be expected to pay his dues in the league, but he isn't most people. He's Johnny Football, he is the end all next gen Anti-Tebow that ESPN, NFL Network and TMZ can't get enough of.
All of that is cool, but suddenly people hate the hometown boy. It's not like Hoyer ever did anything wrong. He is 3-0 as a starter, he didn't set the world on fire, but he looked better than any QB in an orange helmet in a long time. Yet that has not stopped the hopes in many, that the Browns find some way to make Hoyer simply go away. That way Johnny Football has no competition for the starting role.
On the flip side many of Brian Hoyer's top supporters have become Johnny Football haters as well. As far as I'm concerned it is all nonsense. I don't know why people are so resistant to embrace the fact that we essentially have two promising QB candidates. How quickly people forget the Browns history of QB need. In fact the Browns have only had 4 seasons since 1985 in which one guy has started all 16 games, and haven't done it in consecutive seasons since 1980-1981 when Brian Sipe did it.
So for those of you that just want one of our QB's to go away, look at this year by year of our starters and maybe you won't be so eager to get rid of anyone, and maybe your will even want to add a few more...
- 2013 - Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer
- 2012 - Brandon Weeden, Thad Lewis
- 2011 - Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace
- 2010 - Colt McCoy, Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace
- 2009 - Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson
- 2008 - Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Ken Dorsey, Bruce Gradkowski
- 2007 - Derek Anderson, Charlie Frye
- 2006 - Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson
- 2005 - Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye
- 2004 - Jeff Garcia, Kelly Holcomb, Luke McCown
- 2003 - Kelly Holcomb, Tim Couch
- 2002 - Tim Couch, Kelly Holcomb
- 2001 - Tim Couch
- 2000 - Doug Pederson, Tim Couch, Spergon Wynn
- 1999 - Tim Couch, Ty Detmer
- 1995 - Vinny Testaverde, Eric Zeier
- 1994 - Vinny Testaverde, Mark Rypien
- 1993 - Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Todd Philcox
- 1992 - Mike Tomczak, Bernie Kosar, Todd Philcox
- 1991 - Bernie Kosar
- 1990 - Bernie Kosar, Mike Pagel
- 1989 - Bernie Kosar
- 1988 - Bernie Kosar, Mike Pagel, Gary Danielson, Don Strock
- 1987 - Bernie Kosar, Gary Danielson (Jeff Christensen started as a replacement player during strike)
- 1986 - Bernie Kosar
- 1985 - Bernie Kosar, Gary Danielson