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Why the Backup Quarterback is Always Popular

In every NFL city where a team performs below expectations the fanbase seems to always call for the backup quarterback to start. Sports talk radio shows, blogs and social media chatter usually hears the loudest voices for whoever the backup quarterback is in that city. I’m old enough to remember many quarterback controversies in Cleveland.

Thirty years ago, the controversy was over Bernie Kosar and Vinny Testaverde. Both were product of the of Miami University. Eventually Testaverde kept the starting job and led the Browns to a playoff win in 1994. We also cannot forget the infamous Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb quarterback controversy in 2003. The Browns just came off a 2002 Playoff Season and then Head Coach Butch Davis went with the backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb to start the season. He based his decision on a gut feeling The Browns record that season was 5-11. Both quarterbacks didn’t start the 2004 season for the Browns. I can continue up to Joe Flacco today. At least with Joe Flacco he had success last season as the starting quarterback for the Browns. The problem that usually arises from quarterback controversies is that is a detriment to the team.

It is rare for a quarterback controversy end well. What they are good for is material for beat reporters, discussion topics online, on podcasts, radio, or television. You see fans and media members take sides on their quarterback. People in general always think the grass is greener on the other side of the bridge. It is human nature to think this way. But reality is cruel thing. And if your team is underperforming the reality usually means that the quarterback is only part of the problem and not the solution.  The Cleveland Browns have now signed the former number overall draft pick Jameis Winston to be Deshaun Watson’s back up. That will be his job. No controversy and no doubt that Deshaun Watson is the starter. However, if he makes a mistake, throws an interception, or has a bad game, Fans may chant for Winston to play. This may bother Deshaun to hear those chants. The best advice I can give to Watson is to not give them a reason to chant.



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