Debating the quarterback has almost become a tradition for the Cleveland Browns over the last few years. When GM John Dorsey selected Baker Mayfield many with myself included, believed this would finally end.
Now the Browns find the debate has begun again. This time it’s with the backup, as the role has become even more critical.
While we race into the 2019 NFL season, the league after years of questions about player safety has taken it the next level. The time of allowing a quarterback to remain playing after a questionable hit is no longer acceptable. Using the better safe than sorry mentality the player will be pulled for evaluation instead.
Over the last few months, the Browns front office has built what many in the NFL community believe will be one of the most electrifying offenses of all 32 teams. Each position group was strategically constructed to withstand the riggers of a 17 week NFL schedule. The only group left without the same precision so far is the quarterback room.
When asked both John Dorsey and Freddie Kitchens on who backup would be, Drew Stanton was the name given. Stanton was an average quarterback in his last few starts, and his completion rate was only 49.7%
While Drew Stanton’s vitality was never a question as part of the Browns offense or to the development of Baker Mayfield, his ability to come in relief will need to be.
Under new head coach/offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens and assistant Todd Monken, the Browns look to develop a high-speed scoring machine. This wouldn’t necessarily fit the style of quarterback the Browns will get with Stanton as the number two backup.
If the Browns genuinely do find themselves in a playoff run late into the season having a quarterback that can hold down the offense will be a crucial piece to the success. Mayfield doesn’t have a history of injury and losing him for an entire year shouldn’t be the top focal point.
Instead, the focus should be strictly on the ” what if” Mayfield should be withheld from a series of plays for elevation. What quarterback could the Browns retain to fill this vital role?
With only two quarterbacks on the roster now I would believe the Browns will add at least two more heading into spring training. This year unlike the previous the NFL has a pool of players with the Alliance of American Football league or (AFF) that teams can pick from.
Having this pool of players could be a win-win for everyone involved in the process of growing quarterback play for both leagues. A quick look at the available free agent quarterbacks from http://www.fftoday.com/nfl/freeagents.php is not very promising.
Instead, if the Browns working with the NFL and the AFF could add a quarterback like Garrett Gilbert who is currently playing for the Orlando Apollos, this could be the start of a building a great working relationship.
Quarterbacks from the AFF would have an advantage over second and third string QB’s released from NFL teams. As all starting AFF QB’s will have just finished ten weeks of live play. While many the NFL QB’s may not have had any playing time for over a year or more.
Like every other position group Browns, fans should have little doubt the current front office will get this right as they have so many others.