Quarterback problems? Browns starting 19th QB in 15 seasons vs. Vikings

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 19, 2013 - 7:41 AM

Brian Hoyer will become Cleveland’s 19th different starter since the team returned to the NFL.

 

Looking for a reason the Cleveland Browns are 73-153 since they returned to the NFL as an expansion team in 1999?

Here are 18 of them:

Tim Couch, Ty Detmer, Doug Pederson, Spergon Wynn, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Ken Dorsey, Bruce Gradkowski, Jake Delhomme, Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace, Thad Lewis and Brandon Weeden.

Looking for a reason the Browns are expected to lose yet another one when they visit Mall of America Field for the Vikings’ home opener on Sunday?

Brian Hoyer.

For the 19th time since 1999, the Browns will have a different starting quarterback when they face the Vikings in a meeting of 0-2 teams. Hoyer had been the Browns’ No. 3 quarterback until Wednesday morning when Browns coach Rob Chudzinski opted for and executed a rare spill-the-beans moment for an NFL coach.

Not only did Chudzinski rule Weeden out of Sunday’s game four days early because of an injured thumb on his throwing hand, but he also announced that Hoyer would leapfrog No. 2 quarterback Jason Campbell for only the second start of his career.

That was welcome news to Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, whose staff had been studying Campbell closely on Monday and Tuesday.

“It’s a lot better than finding out on Sunday at noon, I promise you that,” Frazier said.

Of course, when it comes to the Browns and the decisions they’ve made at quarterback since 1999, one has to wonder if Wednesday’s gift from Chudzinski is even necessary.

With the advantage of hindsight, here’s a what-if look at a Browns team that has had only two winning seasons and one playoff berth since 1999:

• What if the Browns had picked Kurt Warner instead of Scott Milanovich in the 1999 NFL expansion draft?

• What if they had drafted Donovan McNabb No. 1 overall instead of Tim Couch in 1999?

• What if they had used their sixth-round draft pick in 2000 on Tom Brady instead of Spergon Wynn?

• What if they could relive the 2001 draft, when they took defensive tackle Gerard Warren third overall, 29 spots ahead of Drew Brees?

• What if they had signed Tony Romo as an undrafted rookie in 2003?

• What if they hadn’t selected tight end Kellen Winslow II sixth overall, seven spots ahead of Ben Roethlisberger, in 2004?

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