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Kessler will be Browns’ 26th starting quarterback since 1999

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 12:  Cody Kessler #5 of the Cleveland Browns drops back to pass in the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 12, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Getty Images

Browns starting quarterback Robert Griffin III got hurt in Week One. Browns starting quarterback Josh McCown got hurt in Week Two. And in Week Three, the Browns’ starting quarterback will be rookie Cody Kessler.

That makes Kessler the Browns’ 26th starting quarterback since the franchise returned to the NFL in 1999, a preposterous total that shows just how hard it has been for Cleveland to find stability at the most important position in football. The long list of starting quarterbacks in Cleveland includes a current NFL head coach, several first-round draft busts, veterans who came to Cleveland at the ends of their careers, young quarterbacks who later had more success elsewhere, and both McCown brothers.

Here’s the full list of Browns quarterbacks since they re-entered the league as an expansion team in 1999: Tim Couch, Ty Detmer, Doug Pederson, Spergon Wynn, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Ken Dorsey, Brady Quinn, Bruce Gradkowski, Colt McCoy, Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Brandon Weeden, Thaddeus Lewis, Jason Campbell, Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel, Connor Shaw, Josh McCown, Austin Davis, Robert Griffin III, Cody Kessler.

Kessler will be the Browns’ fifth starting quarterback in their last five games as Manziel started Week 16 and Davis started Week 17 last year. With the exception of the 1987 strike year when teams used replacement players, no team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger has ever started five different quarterbacks over five consecutive games.

Five is also the number of starting quarterbacks the Packers have had — since Week 4 of the 1992 season. The Packers’ full list of starters since Week 4, 1992 is Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien.

The Browns’ list of starters since Week 4, 1992 is the above 26 players as well as Bernie Kosar, Mike Tomczak, Todd Philcox, Vinny Testaverde, Eric Zeier and Mark Rypien. Yes, the Browns have had 32 starting quarterbacks during a period of time in which the Packers have had five starting quarterbacks — and the Browns didn’t exist for three years during that period of time.

Maybe Kessler will show the Browns were smart to draft him in the third round, and will develop into that elusive Browns franchise quarterback. If he does that, he’ll be bucking a long trend of futility.

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52 Responses to “Kessler will be Browns’ 26th starting quarterback since 1999”
  1. jetphan says: Sep 19, 2016 6:55 PM

    the answer to all your prayers cleveland

  2. johnteedee says: Sep 19, 2016 6:55 PM

    Tebow is up next!

  3. citizenstrange says: Sep 19, 2016 6:55 PM

    I predict that the Dolphins get their first win.

  4. blackbug99 says: Sep 19, 2016 6:57 PM

    Holy crappola, Batman!

  5. mmack66 says: Sep 19, 2016 6:59 PM

    John R. Football is ready and waiting!

  6. weepingjebus says: Sep 19, 2016 6:59 PM

    Ironically they’ve had the same witch doctor since 1999, and that stability might also be a problem.

  7. natelan says: Sep 19, 2016 7:01 PM

    The Browns make me feel better as a Chargers fan. No offense, Browns fans… We’re both loveable losers… But if it weren’t for the Browns, my Chargers would probably be, well… “The Browns of the NFL”…

  8. steelcurtainn says: Sep 19, 2016 7:03 PM

    LOL.

  9. Ferdinand says: Sep 19, 2016 7:04 PM

    The Cleveland Browns – where careers go to die. . . .

  10. abninf says: Sep 19, 2016 7:04 PM

    Like they say, the 26th time is a charm.

  11. salsendardo says: Sep 19, 2016 7:04 PM

    Dallas has had 20 since 99′. Thanks Romo!!

  12. Chris says: Sep 19, 2016 7:05 PM

    I’ve been looking forward to this kid playing.

    Go get’em Cody!

  13. alewatcher says: Sep 19, 2016 7:06 PM

    Revolving doors get less traffic.

  14. jag1959 says: Sep 19, 2016 7:06 PM

    That storefront jersey got retired too soon.

  15. collectordude says: Sep 19, 2016 7:06 PM

    I predicted 4-12 for the Browns before the season began.
    Revising it to 1-15.

  16. jvw1982 says: Sep 19, 2016 7:11 PM

    Its their 3rd this yr and we are entering week 3…..

  17. bleedingfacemask says: Sep 19, 2016 7:15 PM

    The way things are going so far, they’ll be starting 16 different QBs this year alone.

  18. crappygovernment says: Sep 19, 2016 7:17 PM

    Romo has only 2 more playoff wins than CLE since they came back!

  19. BIGGSHAUN says: Sep 19, 2016 7:17 PM

    I tried to identify which one of them were the most successful. I’ll get back to you guys on that.

  20. polapea says: Sep 19, 2016 7:19 PM

    Did the QB’s fail to develop in Cleveland or did Cleveland fail to develop the QB’s? Seems like theirs a pattern of ineptitude that goes far beyond just the QB position.

  21. dreemeagle says: Sep 19, 2016 7:20 PM

    cleveland, regardless of the complete sham of the NBA championship fix this year, is where professional careers go to die–Elliot Ness, Sam Shepard, Rocky Colavito, Jim Brown, the near-champion WNBA franchise and every QB since Sipe;

    farewell and ado, Kessler–it was nice not knowing you;

  22. 34bo34 says: Sep 19, 2016 7:22 PM

    Put in Pryor!!!!!

  23. mogogo1 says: Sep 19, 2016 7:22 PM

    “Dallas has had 20 since 99′. Thanks Romo!!”
    ________

    True stat but 11 of the 20 were pre-Romo era. Romo started all 16 games 4 times and 15 two other years. And don’t forget they lucked into him as an undrafted free agent. Without Romo they’d have the Browns record blown away.

  24. vbe2 says: Sep 19, 2016 7:23 PM

    The Browns could have had McNabb in 1999, they could have had Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, Aaron Rodgers in 2005, Russell Wilson in 2012, Derek Carr in 2014 and now Carson Wentz in 2016.

    That’s just to name a few that were within their grasp, not taking into account possible trades to move up for some others.

    The Browns are the Browns and will always be the Browns.

  25. thetooloftools says: Sep 19, 2016 7:25 PM

    YAY !
    WE SET A RECORD !

  26. jason9696 says: Sep 19, 2016 7:34 PM

    That’s absolutely insane. How many quarterbacks have the Patriots used since 1999?

  27. justintuckrule says: Sep 19, 2016 7:36 PM

    Brady, Colt, Cody, Connor, Ty – – you sure that’s the Cleveland QB list and not the most trendy baby boy name list for 2016 that all moms these days pick their boys’ names from?

  28. concmike says: Sep 19, 2016 7:42 PM

    Cleveland is a another example of why the NFL is starting the ratings/fan base decline.

    There are not enough great owners, coaches and players that can really build a team with the 32 that currently exist.

    An owner or ownership group that really understands football, the coaches, scouts, players, draft picks and what it takes to build a team for the future. I mean really Cleveland has been “rebuilding” sine being “reintroduced” for 17 years??? AFC Central Division Champions 1989 was their last mini trophy season…..then they moved in 1995….

    A great head coach with an assistant group that understands football players and how to get them to “buy in” to the season plan. Nine head coaches sine 1999 makes that all but impossible.

    The great starting quarterback is the most important. If you don’t have one…..you don’t have a team to compete with. With Kessler the 26th starting quarterback in 17 years maybe this is the beginning of something good…..yes sarcasm.

    Maybe it is time for old Roger to think about contraction and retire 4 teams for a while. You could redistribute the few good players on these 4 underperforming teams to other NFL teams and then let the remaining 28 owners know that in 5 more years 4 more that don’t get competitive are going to go too…..how long can a fan base support a perennial loser? I mean look at the number of cities who will no longer bow down to the NFL and build a billionaire a new stadium. St. Louis and San Diego are just the beginning. That number is going to grow…..

  29. nite2al says: Sep 19, 2016 7:45 PM

    Bad karma.

  30. officialgame says: Sep 19, 2016 7:48 PM

    Next man up. The problem is the dude is blindfolded and walking off a plank.

  31. FoozieGrooler says: Sep 19, 2016 7:52 PM

    Johnny Manziel is available, although I can’t vouch for his state of sobriety.

  32. tonebones says: Sep 19, 2016 7:55 PM

    I don’t even care about Carson Wentz. I think the local kid, Conner Cook will end up being the best QB from this draft, and they could have had him in the 4th round. It’s not always about having the #1 pick. Some #1’s have turned out great, but so many super bowls were won by guys that everybody passed up time and time again. I won’t bore you with the list, but it’s a long one.

  33. laukkanen5 says: Sep 19, 2016 8:01 PM

    many teams thought Kessler would go undrafted, leave it to these morons to take him in rd 3…He won’t survive this game…

    Sashi and Paul Dork era off to a blaring start

  34. dirt2013 says: Sep 19, 2016 8:13 PM

    The Browns are in a league of their own and in that league they are still losers.

  35. genericcommenter says: Sep 19, 2016 8:20 PM

    This is all a part of Hue’s gameplan to reunite with Terrelle Pryor at QB.

  36. jason9696 says: Sep 19, 2016 8:32 PM

    At least the Indians are doing good this year. But I think two of their starters have got hurt the past few days and are done for the year. What the hell is in the water in Cleveland?

  37. oscarxray says: Sep 19, 2016 8:39 PM

    I expect Kessler to look like the game is not too big for him,that is as long as the team is not wearing all brown in the hot Miami sun.

  38. chronsy says: Sep 19, 2016 8:40 PM

    Even Better Stat: If Kessler starts next week The Browns will have started a different QB for five straight regular season games.

    Week 16 – Manziel
    Week 17 – Austin Davis
    Week 1 – RGIII
    Week 2 – McCown
    Week 3 – Kessler

  39. pittsburghdamned says: Sep 19, 2016 8:42 PM

    Have they named a 27th yet?

  40. chaseutley says: Sep 19, 2016 8:50 PM

    Philly will give you Chase Daniel if you give us our 2017 first rounder back.

  41. fatguystrangler says: Sep 19, 2016 9:04 PM

    Seneca Wallace is the common factor on both those lists.

  42. steelerfan63 says: Sep 19, 2016 9:04 PM

    This isnt the NBA. You cant rig a Championship Cleveland.

  43. idiedpretty says: Sep 19, 2016 9:23 PM

    Roger, please have the NFL shut down the Joke by the Lake!

  44. joeflaccosunibrow says: Sep 19, 2016 9:48 PM

    @conmike You do realize it’s unrealistic for the NFL to contract. Not only do you have owners that have invested money, you have municipalities that ponied up money for stadiums. Lawyers will have a field day.

    I instead feel like the NFL should have a minor league system similar to MLB. QB’s need time to develop. I doubt Rogers or Brady would not be where they are today if thrown to the wolves (aka NFL DE’s) week one of their career. If they had 16 “D League” teams with each team run by 2 NFL teams, the player talent stream would be higher quality. When a starter goes on IR with an injury, most teams are getting scrubs off the street. Meanwhile you can call up a player that was getting meaningful reps in the minor leagues. That player would not stink as bad as someone who was couch surfing.

    Until NFL figures out how to make money that way, there will be no minor league.

  45. sortssux says: Sep 19, 2016 9:57 PM

    steelerfan63 says:
    Sep 19, 2016 9:04 PM
    This isnt the NBA. You cant rig a Championship Cleveland.

    – – – – – –
    yea and your whole team was doing steroids all during the 70’s. So whats the big deal

  46. firecracker87 says: Sep 19, 2016 10:06 PM

    At some point the owner really has to have a hard look at himself in the mirror.

  47. aypeeswhippingstick says: Sep 19, 2016 10:09 PM

    Starting qb in Cleveland is like being the drummer in Spinal Tap.

  48. captainwhodat says: Sep 19, 2016 11:02 PM

    Have they named a 27th yet?
    Yep, Charlie Whitehead is ready and able…

  49. grandstandrice says: Sep 19, 2016 11:23 PM

    I’ll say it again. This Cleveland team is not the team of Bernie Kosar (or Jim Brown et al). That team is now in Baltimore. And if you think this Cleveland team is that Cleveland team, then you must think the current Baltimore team is the team of Johnny Unitas and the current Houston team is the team of Earl Campbell. Yes, I know in this country we’re used to accepting lies from authority figures, but usually the lies are a little less obvious.

  50. mystereo says: Sep 19, 2016 11:33 PM

    They’re not called the Clowns for nothing.

  51. matth3w420 says: Sep 20, 2016 7:24 AM

    Good news is they’re playing Miami. A team that still has not found its identity in over a decade.

  52. dreadnok89 says: Sep 20, 2016 10:05 AM

    If he does as good as I do with him in madden they are in trouble

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