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Sports


Cleveland's unrequited quarterback love
Terry Pluto talks about Cleveland's longing to fall in love with a quarterback...20 years since Bernie Kosar was cut in the middle of the 1993 season.
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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It was 20 years ago this month that the Cleveland Browns, under then-coach Bill Belichick, cut quarterback Bernie Kosar. Fans have seen more than 20 quarterbacks come and go since then…Not one has been able to match Kosar’s success and likability. In fact, many have been (happily) forgettable. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says that with Browns on their third quarterback this season, it seems like fans really just want a ‘Bernie Kosar’ again.

LISTEN: Terry Pluto on unrequited quarterback love in Cleveland

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LISTEN: Pluto on Cavs and rumors about team meeting brawl

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20 years since Kosar
"Bernie in the late 80's delivers probably the best run of Browns football since the 1960's," says Terry Pluto. And, interestingly, he never led the team to a Super Bowl. Still, fans still can't seem to let go of that era. "People talk about Bernie Kosar like this was three years ago. It's been 20 years since he was cut and actually 23 years since he he played well," Pluto says. image

Quarterbacks we want to love
Browns fans have a good reason to hang on to the Kosar era. That's because the team's had more than 20 quarterbacks since then. "I [still] see [the jerseys] at the games..Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn and Kelly Holcomb. They have one or two good games and we say, 'THIS is the guy!'"

And, Pluto says each quarterback, no matter how briefly they played here, has a story and a moment of fan love. Kelly Holcomb played in 2003 after top draft pick Tim Couch was benched. "Well he got in, he was hot for a few games, and then the next year, they put out a local brand of ketchup named after him."

We've had quarterbacks who were Browns fans. Charlie Frye, University of Akron alumnus from Wellington, Ohio. "He wasn't around long enough to get his own ketchup or mustard."

The new quarterback love
Now, Pluto says, fans are enamored with Jason Campbell. He's the Browns third quarterback this season. He's going to be 32 next month. "He's a journeyman. He's been with three different teams. His career record when he began starting for the Browns was 31-40. "He had a decent half at Kansas City and he beat Baltimore and I’m getting emails: 'Is this the guy?' 'Maybe we won't have to draft a quarterback!' They're falling in love with Jason Campbell after they just fell in love with Brian Hoyer who had two good games and blew his knee out."

So, what's been the problem? 
Pluto says the problem is, the Browns haven't "a guy" since Kosar. "Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson, Thad Lewis, Seneca Wallce, Ken Dorsey, Jeff Garcia, etc. There really hasn't been any of these quarterbacks who have left the Browns and gone and played elsewhere. Because sometimes you say, well maybe they're in the wrong situation." 

New romance in 2014
Browns fans should get set for yet another new face at quarterback next season. "The Trent Richardson trade, where they traded their running back for a number-one pick, was to stack up the draft picks in 2014 to get a young quarterback."

Related WKSU Stories

Cleveland councilman loves Browns, but not price tag for stadium upgrades
Friday, November 15, 2013

Pluto: The NFL has long had a hazing problem
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cleveland Browns replace QB Brandon Weeden with veteran Jason Campbell
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Armchair psychoanalysis of Browns QB Brandon Weeden
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Browns trade Trent Richardsonfor first-round draft pick
Thursday, September 19, 2013

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