Why Is It So Hard For Cleveland To Find Their Franchise Quarterback?

gary wertmanCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2009

SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Brian Sipe #17 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass under the protection of offensive tackle Cody Risien #63 during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Jack Murphy on September 25, 1983 in San Diego, California.  The Browns won 30-24 in overtime. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Cleveland has had only three franchise quarterbacks in their 64 year history. Otto Graham, Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar. Amazing. 64 years and only three. Graham was before my time but I had the pleasure of seeing both Sipe and Kosar play.  It's been 16 years since Bill Belichick sent Kosar packing and the Browns have been searching for a quarterback ever since.

First it was Vinny Testaverde, then Tim Couch was supposed to be the savior. Chris Palmer and Butch Davis did Couch no favors by ignoring the offensive line and making some terrible draft picks. Everyone likes to knock Couch but had he been drafted by Pittsburg, we would still be trying to beat him. Then Davis brought in a ready made QB in Jeff Garcia. He lasted one year and was awful while playing for the Browns.

Enter Phil Savage and Charlie Frye. That didn't work so Savage drafted Brady Quinn. Problem was Derek Anderson had a career year and Quinn couldn't get off the bench. It didn't take Anderson long to prove he was a flash in the pan so here we are with Quinn.

Brady Quinn was now given, or won, whichever you prefer, the starting job of quarterbacking the Cleveland Browns. I was eagerly waiting to see just how good Quinn could be. Finally after 16 years of suffering, three without a team, we have our franchise QB. Or do we? Seems Quinn, after finally getting the job he has waited so patiently for, has forgotten what made him the number 22 pick in the 2007 draft.

Something has happened to Quinn on his way to being named the starting QB. He looks scared and indecisive in the pocket. The confident swagger is gone. Many blame it on the offensive line and the fact that there is no talent around him. I agree the line has not played up to standards but there is more to it than that. I'm not sure what it is but somethings definitely wrong with Brady.

Unless Eric Mangini can somehow manage to get Quinn straightened out, we will still be looking for that illusive franchise quarterback next year.