A Cleveland Browns podcast

Browns series: Top 10 best players since ’99; No. 8 Tim Couch

The Cleveland Browns returned to the playing field in 1999 after a brief three-year window of time when their original organization was moved to Baltimore after the 1995 season wrapped up.

Since that move was made much of the current conversations revolve around what’s happened since 1999. The new Cleveland organization has had its problems over the last two decades with numerous coaching changes and over 30 quarterbacks trying their hand at leading the team.

While there have been issues, they’ve still put together some squads over the years that have played tough and even gotten into the postseason a time or two. Along the way, there have been numerous players that have shown true grittiness and dedication to being the very best.

We want to recognize several of those players in this piece that you read next. Qualifying for being in the top 10 included playing for the Browns for three seasons or more. There have been several high-profile players come through town over the years but not many of them did much in their time with the Browns.

So, if you’re expecting to see Odell Beckham Jr. on this list you won’t. This list does include a couple of current players so we can recognize their outstanding accomplishments already.

No. 8 all-time Cleveland Browns player since 1999 – Tim Couch, QB
Tim Couch was the first quarterback that the Browns drafted when they came back in 1999. He didn’t register the most wins or have the best stats but did enough and was respected for the hard work he put into trying to gain respectability for his franchise.

Many now suggest that Couch could have had a longer and more productive career if he was taken care of more in those early years. Couch was often hurt, tackled, sacked, and running for his life because the Browns didn’t invest enough in an offensive line that would protect their team’s quarterback.

For his career, his stats weren’t overly impressive, but he played in Cleveland for five seasons which is a much longer Cleveland quarterback life than so many that came after him. He ended up having a 22-37 record. He threw for 11,131 yards 64 touchdowns and 67 interceptions. He did help his 2002 team make a run to the playoffs as he was 8-6 that year but suffered another injury that sidelined him for the playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Despite not winning a lot of games he still had several highlights in his career that will be remembered fondly by fans. In the inaugural 1999 season, he led a brilliant comeback as he threw a “Hail Mary” pass that was caught for a touchdown as they stunned the New Orleans Saints 21-16.

He went on to have 11 game-winning drives in his career. In another terrific comeback in 2002, Couch led his Browns back from being down 28-14 in a game against the Tennessee Titans to win in overtime 31-28.

Through it all Couch did a lot to help this new franchise get off the ground. He was a gritty player and will be looked at kindly by Browns historians.

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