The Cleveland Browns are one of the most storied franchises in NFL history. With their inaugural season taking place in 1946, the Browns have laid claim to some of the finest players to ever play the game. With all this being said, one of the murkier positions for the Browns (especially since their return in 1999) has been the marquee Quarterback position.
Yet, despite their fair share of busts, the Manziels, Quinns, Weedens and all, Cleveland has been the home of numerous great signal-callers throughout their 75-year history in professional football. Today, we will look at the very best 5 QBs to ever don the brown and orange.
Anderson makes it to this section on the virtue of one season alone: his notably solid 2007 season. The Browns had gone through a mishmash of questionable QBs since their return, and Anderson provided a brief sense of stability. In 2007, the Browns went 10-5 under Anderson, with him throwing for 3757 yards and a Browns record-tying 29 TDs on his way to a Pro Bowl nod.
I know what you’re thinking. “How in the world does Tim Couch belong here? He kicked off the infamous QB Jersey list, and is one of the bigger busts in recent memory.” While Tim Couch is remembered for being the first Browns QB bust in their return to the league, it should be noted that the Browns’ failures during his era were not entirely his fault. Couch was selected first overall in 1999 by the expansion Cleveland Browns, and as a result, was thrust forward into the starting lineup with absolutely no running game, any competent offensive linemen, or anybody worthwhile to throw to. Even with absolutely everything working against him, he still managed to post the 6th most Passing Yards (11,131) and 8th most TDs (64) in Browns history. Tim Couch might not have been the franchise savior that the Browns wanted, but at that point, who really could’ve righted that ship?
5. Frank Ryan
Frank Ryan was the QB for the latter half of Jim Brown’s career. Because of this, Ryan’s career has been largely overshadowed. Simply put, however, numbers don’t lie, and neither do rings. Ryan is fourth all-time in Passing Yards for the Browns (13,361) and second all-time in TDs (134). More notably, he was the starting QB for the final Cleveland Browns championship in 1964. That same season, he led the league in passing TDs and also began his run of three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. In 1966, Ryan set the Browns record for single-season Passing TDs with 29 (since tied by Derek Anderson and broken by Brian Sipe). All these combine to put Ryan in the top five and earn him the honor of arguably the most underrated Browns QB.