Sunday, June 28, 2015

Why Cut the Backup Quarterback?

     The Cleveland Browns, like many other historically under-performing teams, love to cut the backup quarterback every year. 

      Weak front office personnel fear public opinion and especially the dreaded "quarterback controversy."  Hence the tendency is to avoid the problem by simply getting rid of the backup, hoping that the new starter will become a superstar. 

     But all too often teams need a backup because the starter gets injured.  In the case of the Browns, a ridiculous number of quarterbacks in the league are former Browns including:

    Brian Hoyer, Houston
    Brandon Weeden, Dallas
    Colt McCoy, Redskins
    Derek Anderson, Panthers 
    Bruce Gradkowski, Steelers
    Josh Johnson, Bengals
    Luke McCown, Saints
    Jason Campbell, free agent. 

    Browns fans won't like me saying this, but we need to take a cue from the Steelers on this issue.   They managed to keep Charlie Batch employed for 8 years.  Though not a superstar, he won  6 games as a starter and lost only three.   That's about the same winning percentage as Ben Roethlisber, by the way.     

 Charley Batch played with the Steelers for 8 years and had a 6-3 record as a starter.  Hey, he was good enough to win!

     Heck, the Browns rarely have a winning record with their starter, never mind the backup.  But in past years they have needed backup quarterbacks after letting the starter get pounded by defensive lines.   Perhaps by now things might be a little more solid with Pro Bowlers Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, as well as up and coming Joel Bitonio and Cameron Erving plus established pros Mitchell Schwartz and John Greco.   Still, you never know when you might need a backup quarterback, so here's hoping they don't jettison Johnny Manziel, Thad Lewis or Connor Shaw.  Assuming Shaw can clear waivers, he would be eligible to return to the practice squad, allowing Thad Lewis to make the 53-man roster.   

     I would like the Browns to go for the best guy available. This means the front office has to be strong enough to endure the criticism that will inevitably result.  Qbs tend to peak after 3-4 years with the same team rather than the 1 year audition that they normally get.   

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