2012 Training Camp – Cleveland Browns QB Carousel Continues

The Football Educator’s guest blogger Tim Smith takes aim at the Cleveland Browns continuing QB carousel entering into the NFL’s 2012 Training Camp.

The Cleveland Browns change quarterbacks more often than the quarterback changes his jock strap.

In 2007, the Browns drafted Brady Quinn as their starting quarterback. He was supposed to be “our guy.” Three years later, in 2010, Colt McCoy was picked up as the new “it” man. Going into McCoy’s third year, the Browns have brought on Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State.  Has McCoy reached his three-year shelf life with the Browns?  History might repeat itself if Weeden is this season’s secret weapon.

Since the team’s revival in 1999, management has seen 16 different starting QB’s to be the so-called “winning ticket.” What the Browns don’t realize they’re doing is giving a new meaning to the acronym NFL. “Not For Long” is the tag line in Cleveland. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result. Well, if all the Browns do is continue to replace the quarterback on his three-year-anniversary, they can’t expect to see a dynamic change in the team’s success.

The continuous drafting of new quarterbacks puts a tremendous amount of pressure on first year and second year QB’s in the NFL. Who would want to join a team that is notorious for recycling their players? The stress from the level of uncertainty can’t help boost the players’ performance, team unity, or Cleveland pride.

But football is not about sportsmanship or pride anymore. The NFL is not just an athletic association. It is a business–an example of corporate America at its finest. In the business world, I’ve learned that anyone who gets a paycheck from an employer is replaceable within a blink of an eye. The only difference between professional football players and everyone else is the label assigned to their respective job loss. In the NFL, players are “cut” or “released,” which in another corporate setting is the equivalent of being “laid off” or “fired.”

Its time for the Browns to shed their fear of commitment and support one franchised QB (for the first time in 13 years.) Only time will tell if Weeden is truly “their guy.” Although he’s 28 (Three years older than McCoy was as starting QB,) he is still a rookie. But maybe maturity is what this team needs to build a stable force in the NFL. Or, maybe Weeden is “Not for Long.”

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