The Cleveland Browns are struggling through another season.
For a moment this year, it seemed the Browns were onto something with Brian Hoyer at quarterback. After the team traded a former first-round pick, running back Trent Richardson, for a future first-round pick, it looked like the tank job was underway.
Then Brandon Weeden got hurt, Hoyer won a pair of games, throwing for over 600 yards combined, and Cleveland was in this thing. Of course, everybody should have known the pair of steel-toe boots were on the way from above. During a Thursday night primetime game, Hoyer scrambles and goes down awkwardly. Torn ACL.
Despite winning that night to beat the Buffalo Bills, it has been all downhill for Cleveland since. The Browns have lost two straight, to the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, and have looked awful.
So bad in fact, that head coach Rob Chudzinski is now contemplating whether to start Weeden or Jason Campbell this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs and their league-leading defense at Arrowhead Stadium, according to ESPN's Ed Werder.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski deliberating whether to start Brandon Weeden or Jason Campbell vs Unbeaten Chiefs at Arrowhead. Decision today— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) October 22, 2013
How can you not feel for Browns fans? We all know the backstory. Great fans who have not won a championship since 1964 and saw the team get ripped away from them following the 1995 season only to have it be given back in 1999.
The Browns' ineptitude since becoming a franchise again is beyond believable but somehow true. The list of starting quarterbacks for Cleveland since 1999 is the following: Tim Couch, Ty Detmer, Doug Pederson, Spergon Wynn, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Ken Dorsey, Bruce Gradkowski, Colt McCoy, Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Weeden, Thaddeus Lewis and Hoyer.
How do the Browns get anybody to buy tickets? Only Anderson made the Pro Bowl, guiding Cleveland to a 10-6 record under Romeo Crennel in 2007. Look at that sentence, can you believe any of it?
Now, Chudzinski is stuck picking between which corrosive acid to throw into the face of every Browns fan with Weeden and Campbell waiting in the wings.
Weeden has been very substandard this season. In five games, the former first-round pick has thrown only five touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 52.8 percent of his passes. Weeden's total quarterback rating is 24.9, ranking him 34th in the league. Weeden is only ahead of future Hall of Famers Chad Henne, Josh Freeman and Blaine Gabbert.
On the other hand, Campbell has not started a game this season. In his eight-year career, Campbell has bounced around after being a first-round selection by the Washington Redskins in 2005, also playing for the Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears and Browns.
Campbell's best season came in 2009, when he completed 64.5 percent of his throws and had 20 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. Sure, not terrible, but nothing to write home about either. The bottom line is Campbell has been a journeyman and for the last few years, a backup. There's a reason.
Sorry Cleveland, you deserve better.