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Does this ring a bell?
In 1999, the Browns returned to football after a three-year hiatus. They began their new era by drafting Tim Couch with the No. 1 overall selection.
Let that mark the decade-plus curse on Cleveland Browns quarterbacks.
The former Kentucky star produced just one winning season in his brief five-year career. He sheepishly left town with a 22-37 record and the label BUST written all over him. Fans are still irate over this pick
Cleveland then selected a quarterback in a more modest fashion in 2004. It tabbed Luke McCown in the fourth round. Mr. McCown has been an NFL vagabond at best, starting a total of nine games without any success (0-4 with the Browns).
He somehow remains in the league today.
Charlie Frye didn’t resurrect the franchise either the very next year. He managed to play in the state of Ohio for nearly two whole seasons. However, he also managed to throw more interceptions than touchdowns and lose more games than he won.
And for the purposes of brevity, Brady Quinn (2007)—Mr. First Round Fighting Irish Heartthrob himself—and Colt McCoy (2010), the once record-setting Texas QB, both failed in short order for the Browns franchise as well.
(Well, at least they did so in somewhat un-catastrophic fashion. McCoy deserved another chance.)
Now it’s Brandon Weeden, the sixth quarterback taken, and the third in the first round by Cleveland in the last 13 years.
Weeden’s certainly better qualified than McCown or Frye, and is much less overhyped than Couch. I’d like to say he is an improvement over McCoy, but a much younger Colt never had a chance to develop with a respectable offensive around him.
Will Cleveland endow Weeden with the necessary weapons, or pull the plug on the 28-year-old after a couple years as well?
I sincerely hope for the sake of Browns fans and the NFL at large that the Cleveland brass affords Weeden the opportunity to succeed. Mike Holmgren is too savvy of an executive not to.
Then again, as the 22nd overall pick, Weeden bears a striking resemblance to a certain Brady Quinn, a 22nd overall pick himself.
Will the NFL gods look favorably on the Cleveland Browns and Weeden this time around?
My gut says no. Both the ethereal and discernible odds are just too stacked against them.
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