Friday, July 14, 2006

A new outlet in the Browns Universe

Welcome to my blog.

I have high hopes for this site. I'm just a fan, and have no inside connections. But I love the Browns, and I need an outlet.

In future posts, I hope to 'splain:
-Why I named this blog what I did
-What I hope to do with this blog
-What you can expect from me, and what I expect from you
-What I think it means to be a Brown's fan
But since this is my first post, I plan to jump right into the thick of the action. . .

The Backup QB
Fortunately for all us Brown's fans, the biggest debate right now (am I right?) is about the QB position, and more importantly, who our backup QB is (or isn't). So lets try to tackle this issue with some ground rules in play.

First, what role does a backup QB play on a football team? My assertion: a backup QB doesn't matter, unless you're a Super Bowl contender or a bottom-feeding team in rebuilding mode. We must first and foremost realize that only one QB is on the field at any given time. When a QB is out there on a passing play, it doesn't matter WHO is sitting on the bench behind him.

Before we decide whether or not we have an adequate QB, its good to realize what an adequate QB is not. A backup QB does not improve the play of the starting QB. Period. This is pretty unique in football. For instance, some positions see the a guy prosper because of another player's Pro-Bowl-caliber level. For instance, when Ray Lewis has bohemoth Defensive Tackles in front of him he's the next Ray Nitschke, but when he's left all alone to prove his own worth, he's just a glorified Andre Davis (tackling machine who does his job and gets to the ball carrier). Also consider Peerless Price who looked like a 1st rounder next to Eric Moulds, but looked like any other fast-guy-who-can-occasionally-catch when he didn't have someone getting double teamed accross the field from him. These instance are what leads us fans to the mentality to judge player in a team-context, and not in a single-performer-context.

But that mentality isn't the right way to approach a QB debate. My point is that QBs are different. They have to perform or fail on their own, without anyone to take the heat off of them. So if we can agree (can't we?) that a QB only passes or fails the smell test on his own merits, we can move onto the next step and consider what a backup QB IS.

Now, a backup QB serves two purposes:
-To perform when the starter goes down with injury
-To work his way into the the starter's role
Does Ken Dorsey serve these purposes?

Lets consider this in steps:
  • Charlie Frye is not being asked to win it on his own, he is being asked to win it like any system QB (Trent Dilfer, Ben Rothlisberger, or Brad Johnson). Our goal should be to show an improved O-line, a powerful running game, and reliable ballcatchers. If we are expecting a QB to win win games, then we are expecting too much. We gotta take this in steps, and the first step is to create a solid offense that can make a QB look good.

    If we succeed in that goal, any semi-competent QB should be vaugely successful. I think Dorsey qualifies as semi-competent, so if he ends up playing because of a Football-Gods-delvivered penance we will still be able to judge Carthon/Crennel/Savage's ability to create a balanced offense. We will still have to hope/pray for the day (2007?) that a competent QB can pull all the pieces together, but in the meantime we can still determine whether or not we are making progress.
  • Second, on whether or not the backup QB can work his way into the starter's role.

    No, Ken Dorsey probably isn't our QB of the future.

    Charlie Frye is the future of this organization. Love it or leave it, he is our QB of the future. Teams rarely get to have two young QBs duel it out for number one, and we are no exception. QB prospects come along too rarely to have another prospect on the bench. We aren't so fortunate to have Moon playing and McNair on the bench (because of the Davis/Palmer debacle) so we gotta take whatever the Lord hath provided. Maybe we will be blessed and Derek Anderson will turn into the next Tom Brady, but this is Cleveland and we don't expect such blessings.

    We only have so many picks in the draft, and we have decided to concentrate on low-risk/medium yield positions (Wimbley, Pool, DQwell Jackson, Edwards). We can't go griping about not getting the top QB too, cause we've just got too many holes to fill.

    Soooo, no use complaining about not having QB prospects A and B on the bench cause we got other concerns.
So, if you'll agree that 1) We need to be able to make progress on offense with-or-without a franchise level QB, and 2) we don't have the option of having a next-generation-starting-QB waiting in the wings, I hope that you will agree that we have an adequate backup QB situation.

We still have plenty of other questions to answer. My point is that the backup QB is probably one of the least of our concerns right now.

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