If you were a young, free agent quarterback and you knew you wouldn’t be the clear-shot starter for a franchise, although, you would be a coveted backup, someone to hold the clip board and help signal in plays that the offensive coordinator calls—where would you go?
How about a place where it’s nice year round and you could enjoy yourself?
How about Cleveland?
The Browns franchise is now notorious for praising the QB with the clip board. The one under center is just a fill in. From Tim Couch to now Jake Delhomme, the QB position in Cleveland has been a revolving door.
The Browns offense since it has come back into the NFL in 1999, has never ranked higher than eighth in total production, the only bright spot being in 2007 when Derrick Anderson had a Pro Bowl year.
With that knowledge, how comfortable does Jake Delhomme feel?
How comfortable are Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy?
Let’s say it's seven games into the regular season at home against New Orleans. The Browns are 1-5 with the sole win being at home against Kansas City in Week Two. Delhomme has thrown four touchdowns and has eight interceptions leading into this game.
The Browns win the toss and elect to receive the ball. Josh Cribbs has an excellent return for 45 yards to the Saints 48-yard line. Delhomme takes the field, the offense leaves the huddle and lineup. Jake goes into his cadence then yells, “Hut!” He drops back and throws deep to a streaking Brian Robiskie. The pass is underthrown and Darren Sharper gets his second pick-six of the season.
Can you already here that Cleveland crowd?
“Give us Seneca!”
“Give us Colt!”
How would you feel holding that clip board?
The quarterback holding the clip board begins to receive all sorts of unwarranted praise. The Cleveland media will begin over-analyzing the amazing practices in the offseason the two backup quarterbacks have had.
The wonderfully productive preseason games they’ve had will come into play, and Delhomme will ultimately be ran out of town while being serenaded by boo’s from the Dawg Pound.
Although the Browns have made major changes to their front offices, the atmosphere is changing for the better. Some things never change, and in Cleveland, this is truer than in any other city.
Unless Delhomme can have some sort of immediate success, the Cleveland fans will begin to call for their favorite player, the quarterback with the clip board.