Johnny Manziel has officially been named starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. The topic of the quarterback position for the Cleveland Browns is a laughable one. There have been 23 gunslingers under center since the expansion Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999. It is truly incredible how poor the quarterback play has been for this organization. I don’t know who or what to blame. Bad luck? Coaching? Or our god-awful string of GMs? It is just unlucky. The Packers go from Favre to Rodgers. The Colts go from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck. I hate it.
I digress, who has been the most successful? I could not even tell you off the top of my head. So depressing. With that being said, here’s a list or “power ranking” of Browns quarterbacks since 1999.
Side note: Criteria includes where said quarterback was drafted, their age, role in the organization and how many times they made me want to put my head through a wall watching them play.
- Brandon Weeden (2012-2013, 5-15 as starter)
He is by far my least favorite quarterback on this list. He was a 28-year-old rookie and made plays on the football field that made me physically ill. Cue the “Brandon Weeden Struggle Face.”
- Luke McCown (2004, 0-4 as starter)
A 2004 fourth round draft pick that never had any true expectations. He found his true calling eventually as a backup in the Verizon Wireless commercials.
- Brady Quinn (2007-2009, 3-9 as starter)
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t high on Brady Quinn. Many draft “experts” had him at the top of their big board. Well, they were wrong and he was awful.
- Bruce Gradkowski (2008, 0-1 as starter)
I don’t even know how to rank some of these dudes. He started one game in 2008 against the Steelers and was 5 of 16 for 18 yards and two interceptions. Jesus. Life is hard for a Browns fan.
- Connor Shaw (2014-present, 0-1 as starter)
Honestly, I love Connor Shaw. He looked tough as nails last year forced into the starting role due to injuries and played decent. He also plays safety and receiver on the scout team.
- Ty Detmer (1999, 0-2 as starter)
He was supposed to “mentor” Couch in 1999, show him the ropes of the NFL. Great job Ty.
- Spergon Wynn (2000, 0-1 as starter)
Who? He started one game in 2000 against the Jaguars and lost 48-0. Sounds about right.
- Doug Pederson (2000, 1-7 as starter)
His only win as a Brown was against Bill Belichick and the Patriots. At least there’s something positive from the 2000 season?
- Ken Dorsey (2008, 0-3 as starter)
Dorsey stepped in when Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn went down in 2008. He was 0-3 and had zero touchdowns and seven interceptions. Solid.
- Jeff Garcia (2004, 3-7 as starter)
We signed a 34-year-old Jeff Garcia to a four year $25 million deal. So Cleveland Browns it’s a god damn shame. He did date a playboy bunny while in Cleveland, so there’s that.
- Colt McCoy (2010-2012, 6-15 as starter)
I was a big Colt McCoy fan. He’s a great football mind that doesn’t possess the physical tools to be great in the NFL. There’s a reason he still has a job in Washington, future coach in the making.
- Thaddeus Lewis (2011-2012, 0-1 as starter)
Mainly a third-stringer behind Weeden and McCoy, Lewis had one decent start against the Steelers throwing for 204 yards and a touchdown in a 14-point defeat. He’s this high on the list because his competition is abysmal.
- Kelly Holcomb (2002-2004, 4-8 as starter)
The man started the only playoff game for the Browns since 1999, after taking over for an injured Tim Couch. It was a loss against the Steelers, but nonetheless the most excitement our fan base has had.
- Seneca Wallace (2010-2011, 1-6 as starter)
Both McCoy and Wallace fell victim to being on awful football teams, and awful coaching (Hey Pat Shurmur).
- Jake Delhomme (2010, 2-2 as starter)
The Browns love signing thirty something quarterbacks. Delhomme was 35 when he signed with the Browns and was exceptional during his time in Carolina. Hey, he may have thrown only two touchdowns against seven interceptions before getting injured, but at least he had us at .500.
- Charlie Frye (2005-2007, 6-13 as starter)
I wanted Frye to be successful so badly. The University of Akron legend just didn’t have it. On a side note, anyone remember the Braylon Edwards Charlie Frye McDonalds commercials? Pure gold.
- Johnny Manziel (2014-present, 1-4 as starter)
The jury is still out on Johnny being the franchise quarterback. I firmly believe he can be successful in the NFL. He finally has a chance to show what he can do; I hope he proves me right.
- Jason Campbell (2013, 1-7 as starter)
Campbell played decent on a bad football team, taking over for the woeful Brandon Weeden. He also had a pretty solid connection with Flash Gordon (we miss you Josh).
- Josh McCown (2015-present, 1-6 as starter)
McCown is not the reason the Browns went 1-6 during his seven starts this season. He looked impressive, tossing 11 touchdowns against four picks. He also became the first Browns quarterback to toss three consecutive 300-yard games. Definitely the better of the McCown brothers.
- Trent Dilfer (2005, 4-7 as starter)
Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl as a starting quarterback. Lets give credit where credit is due. He played decent in Cleveland, but clearly did not enjoy his time with the organization.
- Tim Couch (1999-2003, 22-37 as starter)
Remember when I said Holcomb started a playoff game? Tim Couch led the Browns to that game. Hate on Timmy all you want but he is nowhere near the biggest No. 1 bust in NFL history. He was asked to lead an expansion franchise from day one, not many would succeed in that situation.
- Brian Hoyer (2013-2014, 10-6 as starter)
Brian Hoyer is Brian Hoyer. What you see is what you get. He is capable of winning football games and playing under control, but can also implode. He was 10-6 as a starter in Cleveland and unfairly had to deal with the Johnny Football hype on a weekly basis. A guy I will always root for.
- Derek Anderson (2006-2009, 16-18 as starter)
Yes, Derek Anderson is the best quarterback the Browns franchise has had since 1999. His 2007 season was spectacular. He threw 29 touchdowns against 19 interceptions and led the team to a 10-5 record, and because it’s Cleveland it was not good enough to earn a wild card spot. He lost his job to Brady Quinn, and is not a fan of the city of Cleveland either. He told a newspaper, “The fans are ruthless and don’t deserve a winner.” F*ck you Derek.
Okay, one more reminder of how awful/unintelligent Brandon Weeden is. I can’t help myself. Remember this play Browns fans?
Sports Chat Co-Founder