First things first, KW's bat phone went off at about 11:38pm last night. He muttered something about a committee needing help and disappeared. So needless to say I (Big $) am flying solo today.
For weeks, we here at North Coast Posse headquarters have been awaiting the Browns to choose a path laid out for them at the 2014 crossroads. It appears that they have settled on the road most travelled, aka the plop and fizzle. After gifting us with some hope and excitement throughout the fall, the Browns enter winter with their playoff hopes fading faster than a Marty Mcfly polaroid. A mixture of luck, opposing coaching blunders and a steady diet of NFC south teams helped build a false sense of confidence about this rebuilding 4-12 team from 2013. I myself was not immune to the excitement, but after watching the dismantling the Bills laid on them last week, I have returned to focusing on the draft and "next year" ,which are much more common activities for a Browns fan come December.
As for the QB controversy at hand, its no secret that the last few weeks have been hard on us card carrying members of the "Hoyer's Warriors". Poor decision making, noodle arm throws and inaccuracy are near impossible traits for an NFL QB to overcome and Brian has come down with terminal case of all 3. I'm able to admit that my allegiance to #6 is fully rooted in the city listed on his birth certificate and I wont apologize for that. I remember the Bernie era, and there is no doubt that it was enhanced by him being a Northeast Ohio guy who bled Brown and Orange from childhood. I wanted so badly for us to relive that through Hoyer, but I think the bottom has started to fall out. This is not to discount the monumental losses of Mack and Cameron, but at this point the Browns brass are going to have a hard time offering Brian starter money moving forward while keeping a #1 pick off the field. Brian will probably end this season on the bench and seek to be reunited his former coach in Houston come 2015. I for one will be the first one in line for some Texans gear if that comes to pass.
With that said, my message to the Johnny Jam Boogie contingent is "Not so fast my friends." The Vet/1st round draft pick QB controversy is a story as old as time (Kitna-Palmer, Brees- Rivers etc.) The twist in this story is just how poorly the Veteran (Hoyer) has played over the last 3-4 weeks and how little traction the 1st round pick (Johnny) has gained. In most cases the veteran keeps the upstart off his heels through solid play. In this case, Hoyer has left the door wide open and Johnny has played a whopping 2 series in garbage time. This says as much about where Johnny currently stands as it does about Hoyer's performance. A closer look at Johnny's TD drive against the Bills shows that it can be chalked up to a change of pace against a defense who knew the game was out of reach. Its clear that Johnny has not wowed any of the coaching staff or team veterans with his commitment to his playbook or practice. This would be a problem for a 6 foot 5 guy with a rocket and pro style offense history. For a guy who is built like Paul Reiser and didn't even use a playbook in college, its a deathblow.
In summary, I personally don't think the QB of the future is on the current roster. Is it too early to champion the "Bring Cardale Home!" campaign?
In keeping with that theme, I have decided to start Lebron at Quarterback this week. That way we get the flashy media hype and hometown hero story rolled into one. He can keep the spot warm for 12gauge.
My prediction this week, to steal a line from the great Clubber Lang, is PAIN. Browns are set to get a taste of a team hungry to make its playoff push. Colts 31 Browns 6. However I also predict that Trent Richardson will continue to suck, if only we could of capitalized on that fleecing.
(Follow along and share in the NCP's misery on twitter throughout the game @northcoastposse )