Why DTR over PJ

I think its fascinating how the Browns have handled the backup quarterback position this season. Just as a timeline:

Right before the season started, Josh Dobbs was the backup. DTR was 3rd string, but had been hugely impressive in the preseason, just like Dobbs was last year for the Browns. It was close enough that it seemed a question as to whether DTR had overtaken Dobbs as the primary backup. Berry decided that he could go younger and cheaper, and accumulate assets, by trading Dobbs to Arizona (probably a decision he'd like to take back in retrospect), which makes sense and is widely lauded at the time. PJ Walker is signed right before the season to be an experienced third stringer.

Fast forward to game 4 vs Baltimore. Watson can't go at the last minute, and DTR is put in with no prep or planning. He looks like a rookie who was put in with no prep or planning, and has a disaster against the 2nd best defense in the NFL this season.

After the bye, PJ Walker is elevated to the backup/spot starter until Watson is healthy. He goes 2-1, but with very erratic levels of play. There does not seem to be a big difference between his play in the various games - it seems like this is just the quarterback that he is.

Watson comes back for two games, both wins, and Walker is the primary backup.

Now Watson is out for the season and the team is switching horses to DTR.

I think this is a great move. I think PJ Walker is a known quantity. He probably gives the Browns their best chance at winning individual games, but his ceiling is relatively low. He isn't going to be catching Nick Foles or Brock Purdy type magic.

DTR, on the other hand, might give a lesser chance to win individual games towards the start of his run (debatable, but makes sense with how the team handled the earlier situation), but now that the team knows that this isn't spot start, but instead the rest of the season, the hope of a higher ceiling is driving the decision. The team isn't getting to the superbowl with PJ Walker as quarterback, no matter how good the defense is. It still probably isn't with DTR, but his potential to be a winning quarterback in this league with proper planning and preparation is largely unknown, and the best bet for a successful postseason is that he develops into a quality starter if they give him some time and patience up front.

In a season where Stephanski and Berry might have their jobs on the line, I truly appreciate that they are going for the high upside option here and not just shooting for what maybe a comfortable arrangement to try and get the lowest playoff seed, lose in the first round, and say hope we are healthy next year. I think this move says that what defines success for the coaches and front office is more than that, which is what I want to hear as a fan. It's great to have the Browns-Steelers playoff game on TiVO, but I want more, and its apparent the front office and coaching staff does as well.

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