When I heard the stories several days ago that Kelly Holcomb and Trent Dilfer both retired in the same week, I started outlining a small piece I could write up (either discussing their tenure with the Browns, or if the pattern would continue with any other Cleveland quarterbacks). I think I can abort that now though, because two people have already covered it -- the folks over at Waiting for Next Year, and our favorite Plain Dealer writer, Terry Pluto. Here is link to Pluto's piece in today's paper: Beleagured ex-Brown QBs
Here is my favorite part, highlighting a quote from former Browns coach Butch Davis during a meeting Pluto and Akron Beacon Journal writer Patrick McManamon attended:
Anyway, Davis said: "If I had to win one game to keep my job, I'd start Holcomb. He can get as hot as anyone in the NFL." Then he went out the next Sunday and started Couch, the Browns winning, 22-14, at Cincinnati.
Don't ask me what that story means, but it seems to say a lot about the final two years of the Davis era. He had two quarterbacks, couldn't pick one and refused to make the major moves needed to bring in linemen so his quarterbacks actually would have a chance to succeed.
You can't argue with Davis' statement -- it was the "sudden start" games against the Kansas City Chiefs (Dwayne Rudd game), the Pittsburgh Steelers (in the postseason), and the Cincinnati Bengals (ridiculous 50-something to 40-something game) that inflated some fans', including my own, expectations for him.
As Pluto states, you have to settle on a quarterback, and the only way to do that is to properly build around him.
Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson were never projected to be great NFL quarterbacks. But Joe Thomas, Eric Steinbach, Hank Fraley, Kevin Shaffer, and a variation at right guard gave at least one of them the opportunity to succeed -- even to the point where he became a Pro Bowler.