There are three things that are certain in life; death, taxes and the Cleveland Browns continuously searching for a starting quarterback.
The NFL season is two weeks young, yet the Browns find themselves in yet another quarterback conundrum.
Robert Griffin III was brought in during the offseason to resurrect his career and be the savior to the Browns franchise. Griffin didn’t even make it past the first week of the season before he went down for what appears to be the season with a shoulder injury.
Josh McCown, who had a previous stint as the starter for Cleveland, was the starter in Week 2 against Baltimore. He didn’t make it past that week, as he too went out with a shoulder injury. He wasn’t going to be the starter of the future as he is 37-years old.
On Sunday afternoon, when the Browns visit the Miami Dolphins, rookie Cody Kessler will become the 26th starting quarterback for the Cleveland since coming back to the NFL in 1999. He will also be the fifth starter in the last five games, dating back to last season. No other team since the AFL-NFL merger has ever started five different quarterback in five consecutive games.
Kessler was drafted in the third round out of the University of Southern California. On draft day, that seemed a bit early for him to be drafted, but Cleveland head coach and quarterback whisperer Hue Jackson saw something in him. This came after the Browns traded the No. 2 overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles, who selected Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State University.
Through the first two games, which is still entirely too early to tell long-term, it seems as if the Browns have made another draft mistake. Wentz is now 2-0 and his first win came against none other than Cleveland. In that opening game for both teams, Wentz went 22-37, for 278 yards and two touchdowns.
Cleveland has been in quarterback hell since coming back in 1999. This is due to a plethora of draft mistakes and chances on quarterbacks who were near the end of their careers. Kessler will be looked upon to change the luck of the franchise.
At USC, Kessler was a three-year starter who threw for 10,339 yards, 88 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, while completing 67.5 percent of his passes. He was never a first or second team PAC-12 member, but showed he can manage an offense, which earned him finalist honors for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award in his junior and senior seasons. He showed he can complete passes and takes what the defense gives him when he has a clean pocket to throw from, which is a problem for the Browns at the moment. His 6’1”, 220-pound frame won’t do him any favors, but again, Jackson sees something in him that many other coaches did not see. If Jackson was able to turn Andy Dalton into a viable NFL starter, then maybe he can work his magic again with Kessler. That is a big if, however.
The Browns signed Charlie Whitehurst to a one-year deal to help fill out the quarterback depth chart.
Here is the list of 25 Cleveland Browns quarterbacks since 1999:
Tim Couch, Ty Detmer, Doug Pederson, Spergon Wynn, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Ken Dorsey, Brady Quinn, Bruce Gradkowski, Colt McCoy, Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Brandon Weeden, Thaddeus Lewis, Jason Campbell, Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel, Connor Shaw, Josh McCown, Austin Davis and Robert Griffin III.