2012 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns, Colt McCoy vs. Notable QB's in First 16 Starts

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2012 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns, Colt McCoy vs. Notable QB's in First 16 Starts
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Colt McCoy passed for over 3,000 yards and had more TD's than INT's in his first 16 starts. He achieved those numbers surrounded by abysmal talent- So why are we talking about trading first round picks to replace him?

"...Now wait a minute! Okay, this guy is a real zero. That's true. Think back to when you were freshmen. Boon, you had a face like a pepperoni pizza, right? And Stork here. Everybody thought that Stork was brain damaged. I myself was so obnoxious the seniors beat me up once a week. So this guy is a total loser? Let me tell you the story of another loser..."-Eric "Otter" Stratton, Animal House (1978)

Part II in a 5-Part Series

We might as well name this slideshow: Legendary NFL QB's Whom Browns Fans Would Shriek to Replace After 16 Starts.

In the first segment of this series, I explored the psychological foundation of Browns fans' myopia. The last time the Cleveland Browns contended for the- say it with me now- contended for the Super Bowl, Bernie Kosar played quarterback, and Bill Belichick was the head coach. In a classic chicken-or-the-egg situation, the Browns have found tragically little success at either position in the wake of their 1999 reincarnation.

This segment will examine the performances of several notable NFL veterans in their first starts at quarterback. It should be noted that only Steve Young's 1985 Tampa Bay Buccaneers featured an offensive skill position group comparable to the anemic 2011 Browns.

Some interesting trends:

-Note the direct relationship between quality running games and winning records.
-Teams without a 1,000-yd rusher rarely won more than 5 games.
-Roethlisberger and Flacco each enjoyed the support of top-5 defenses and rushing attacks in their first-16 starts.

Also to be noted:
-Players often started their first 16 games over the course of two seasons. 
-The "Modern Passing Pace," as my good friend Nate Hoover coins it, has lead to an increase in attempts across the league. When Aikman, Young and Elway were in their heyday, 550-600 attempts would normally top the league. In 2011, 8 QB's threw over 550 attempts. 

You can follow Brian on Twitter @StepanekButton

Colt McCoy and the Bernie Kosar Complex">Part I: Colt McCoy and the Bernie Kosar Complex
Part III: Missing Pieces and the Robert Griffin III Saga
Part IV: The AFC North and the Case for RG III
Part V: The Cleveland Browns' Recipe for AFC North Success

Statistics are compiled from http://www.pro-football-reference.com/

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