Trent Dilfer on the Browns: A Browns Fan Puts ESPN Analyst in His Place

The CoopCorrespondent INovember 7, 2008

Following last Monday’s announcement by the Cleveland Browns that they would be starting Brady Quinn at quarterback in place of the ineffective Derek Anderson, ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer—a member of the Browns during the 2005 season—ripped the organization for the move on national television.


(Gee, not much of a conflict of interest there, is it? Good job, ESPN! Way to be a bastion for quality journalism once again.)


Dilfer sounded off specifically on the change at quarterback but also landed some haymakers on the Cleveland Browns as an organization. Since Trey Wingo, or anyone, for that matter, was not up to the task of rebutting Dilfer’s comments, please allow me to fill the role. 


Dilfer: “But I do know this, playing for the Cleveland Browns for a year. This is a dysfunctional organization.”


The Coop: Well, Trent, to be honest, you really only played for the Browns for part of the season. Remember, you were replaced by Charlie Frye after going 4-7. The team decided they wanted to see what they had in their backup quarterback. Sound familiar?


Nonetheless, one year? You’re basing these comments on all of one year’s worth of experience with the organization? Hmm, last winter I purchased a few shares of Exxon Mobil stock. How come no one is calling me to discuss federal energy policy?


Dilfer: “As an organization, from the very, very, very top down, they are very influenced by public opinion.”


The Coop:  You’re right. The fans are calling the shots. That’s why Brady Quinn started on opening day last year. And that’s why Romeo Crennel was fired after the Pittsburgh game this year. And remember when Phil Savage signed Ty Law in the offseason to help the embattled Browns secondary?


And you know what else? Rumor has it that season ticket holders were mad that they had to pay for Personal Seat Licenses when the team came back in 1999, so team owner Randy Lerner is going to refund all of that money as a part of a new economic stimulus package.


Dilfer: “There’s so many layers of dysfunction on this football team, Derek Anderson is the least of their problems.” 


The Coop: You’ve got a good point. I mean, who wouldn’t want a quarterback that has the 31st-best passer rating and has completed less than 50 percent of his passes? 


Dilfer: “You never, ever bench a quarterback on a bad football team. You bench the quarterback when your football team is good and your quarterback is holding you back.” 


The Coop: Uh oh, Trent. Are we getting too personal here? I mean, if anyone knows about being benched, it’s you. Remember when you were benched in Cleveland? Isn’t it possible that the team was bad because you stunk out loud? We talked about this, didn’t we? 4-7?  Sound familiar?


But Trent, I’m also wondering: If you only believe in benching quarterbacks on good football teams when the QB is holding the team back, how come you didn’t bench yourself when you played for the Baltimore Ravens in 2000? After all, the Ravens were widely regarded as being successful, in spite of their offense.


Dilfer: “This is a knee-jerk reaction from an organization that is known to make knee-jerk reaction moves.”


The Coop:  Such as…? 


(long, uncomfortable silence)


The Coop: OK, Trent. Well, moving right along, I’m writing an article on your comments, and I just want to make sure I have all the facts and stats correct. Stop me if I say anything wrong.


For starters, you had a 14 year career with—wait, is this right? Five organizations?  That’s a lot of new houses, huh?


Anyways, during your career, you threw 113 touchdowns and 129 interceptions, throwing more TDs than INTs just four times. What is that, like 30 percent? 


I also learned that your highest single-season quarterback rating came in 2001 with the Seahawks, during which you played in just six games and managed a 92.0 rating. In fact, that 2001 season marked the only time in your career that your rating exceeded 82.8. You must have really been eating your Wheaties that year!      


Speaking of Seattle, how is it exactly that you ended up there again? I mean, I know the Ravens cut you, making you the only quarterback in NFL history to be released in the season following a Super Bowl championship. Not exactly a distinction I’d want, but hey, being the only person to do something, well, that’s something...Right?


Anyways, you signed with Seattle as a backup to Matt Hasselbeck. There weren’t any NFL teams that needed a veteran Super Bowl-winning quarterback? I just don’t understand. Did they have like, really cool clipboards or something?


Ok, Trent. I can tell you’ve had enough, which is good, because I’ve had enough of you. 


I’m just trying to help. You sound so bitter and angry, especially given that you were nothing more than a mediocre NFL quarterback who stole a Super Bowl ring.


Maybe next time you comment on the Browns, you’ll actually get some sources and rely on more solid information than what you learned in your very limited time in Cleveland three years ago.


Or maybe you’ll just keep your mouth shut and let some other idiot at ESPN say something stupid. Trust me, it happens all the time.