Another wonderful Sunday afternoon was again spent agonizing over my beloved Cleveland Browns. The Pittsburgh Steelers once again dominated the talent-deprived Browns to the tune of 27-14. It could have been, and should have been, a lot worse as 3 consecutive possessions of Steeler turnovers kept the score respectable.
This morning as I drove to work, reflecting on the game and listening to ESPN Radio's 'Mike and Mike in the Morning', one thing really hit me (and has been hitting us all as Browns fans since 1999). In the NFL, a competent quarterback is vital!
Just watch the way Ben Roethlisberger has his way with our defensive backfield. Or highlights of young Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers torching opponents for big wins; even Matt Schaub throwing for nearly a 4-spot against the Bengals. That doesn't even touch what Drew Brees and Tom Brady did. Holy cow those guys are good.
The bottom-line is, the NFL has been, and will always be a quarterback-driven league. If your team has a solid quarterback, it will be a solid team, regardless of what other pieces are in place. Quarterbacks make everyone else better.
Sure, having weapons like Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward, Heath Miller and Rashard Mendenhall helps. I'm pretty confident, however, that if the Browns and what they currently have on their roster added a quality signal-caller, it would be a different story, truly. The quality of talent in the free-agency/salary-cap era of the NFL is that good.
Derek Anderson is not the answer...still. Need we remember that this guy was on the practice squad behind Kyle Boller and the rest of the vaunted Ravens offense of a few years ago, and when he did come to the Browns he was third on the depth chart behind future hall of famers Trent Dilfer and Charlie Frye? I think you can sense my humor here.
My point is that Derek Anderson isn't good.
For me, I still don't think we've seen enough of Brady Quinn to truly make a judgment on his future, though I'm guessing we won't see him get his chance, sorry Brady.
So, Browns fans, with the season heading for another top 5 pick, who do you want? Which quarterback (of the big 3) can lead this team? Is there somebody else in the college ranks? Or do George Kokinis/Eric Mangini go the free agency route? Only time will tell.
To me, it's crystal clear—you have got to have a good quarterback in this league. Then, everything else can and should fall into place. This team's number one concern should be getting the right guy for the long haul—then maybe we can finally blog about something good.
As always, keep the faith Browns fans!