By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
The Morning Kickoff …
Twenty grand: Since 1999, the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers each have had three quarterbacks start games for them. At that glacial pace, they wouldn’t field their 20th starting quarterback until the 2099 season.
Those teams don’t know what they’re missing – the characters, the adventures, the microscopic passer ratings.
As Jason Campbell prepares to debut Sunday as the Browns’ 20th starting quarterback since 1999, we pause to honor the 19 who came before him.
1. Ty Detmer, 1999, 0-2 record: His biggest contribution came after being traded to the Detroit Lions, with whom he tossed seven interceptions – seven – in a 2001 game against the Browns.
2. Tim Couch, 1999-03, 22-37: The only quarterback in history, I believe, to have pulled off the last-play, “Hail Mary” win two times in his career -- in New Orleans in 1999 and in Jacksonville in 2002.
3. Doug Pederson, 2000, 1-7: Authored Chris Palmer’s last win as Browns expansion coach – against Bill Belichick and Drew Bledsoe, no less.
4. Spergon Wynn, 2000, 0-1: A nice guy whose claim to fame was being selected 16 spots ahead of Tom Brady in the 2000 draft. Nobody can ever take that from him.
5. Kelly Holcomb, 2001-04, 4-8: After throwing for 429 yards and three TDs in a 36-33 playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland grocery shelves were stocked with a barbecue sauce bearing his name. By then, he wasn’t so hot.
6. Jeff Garcia, 2004, 3-7: His incredibly eventful season included: the only Game 1 victory in the expansion era, an NFL-record, never-to-be-topped 99-yard pass play for a touchdown, and a 0.00 passer rating in a game against the Cowboys.
7. Luke McCown, 2004, 0-4: Technically possessing the worst record of the bunch, he is the oldest (32) QB drafted by the club still active.
8. Trent Dilfer, 2005, 4-7: He practically wetted himself in his personal grudge match against Brian Billick and the Ravens, and then considered it utterly beneath his dignity to be benched in favor of “a third-round draft choice from Akron.”
9. Charlie Frye, 2005-07, 6-13: After “winning” the preseason QB competition, he was yanked at halftime of Game 1 in 2007 and traded two days later.
10. Derek Anderson, 2006-09, 16-18: After a Pro Bowl alternate season in 2007, he earned contract extensions for himself, GM Phil Savage, coach Romeo Crennel and coordinator Rob Chudzinski. In other words, he cost Randy Lerner more money than any one individual other than Mike Holmgren.
11. Ken Dorsey, 2006-08, 0-3: I am predicting he will have a better coaching career than his playing career. He is currently Cam Newton’s QB coach with the Carolina Panthers.
12. Brady Quinn, 2007-09, 3-9: The second of three Browns QBs taken in the first round, he signed this week with St. Louis, his sixth NFL team in seven seasons. The most muscular-ripped quarterback in history.
13. Bruce Gradkowski, 2008, 0-1: In his lone start, a 31-0 loss to the Steelers, he produced a 1.0 passer rating on 5 of 16 passing for 18 yards and two interceptions. Intrigued, the Steelers signed him as a free agent in 2013.
14. Jake Delhomme, 2010, 2-2: Held the best record of them all until this year.
15. Seneca Wallace, 2010-11, 1-6: He is always welcome at any of Holmgren’s estates in Seattle, Phoenix and Malibu.
16. Colt McCoy, 2010-11 6-15: He has authored two books (Growing Up Colt and The Real Win) and still hasn’t told the story of visiting another planet in 2011, courtesy of James Harrison.
17. Brandon Weeden, 2012-13, 5-14: At this point, I’m thinking golf is his best sport.
18. Thaddeus Lewis, 2012, 0-1: If he leads the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs, there will be a run on the I-480 bridge.
19. Brian Hoyer, 2013, 3-0: The leader in the clubhouse to be the Opening Day starter in 2014, his two complete-game victories brought more joy than any QB since Anderson.
20. Jason Campbell, 2013, 0-0: (Insert epitaph here.)
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to email@example.comFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
Return to: Grossi Stories Blog
There are no games scheduled for today.