This is the crop of guys who if they had better coaching, and consistent playing time could’ve had a chance at something great. That’s not to say they would’ve, but there was enough potential there to warrant the opportunity.
6. Colt McCoy (21)
Over the three seasons, Colt McCoy was with the Browns, he went 6-15 in his 21 starts, completing just about 58% of his passes. He had 21 touchdowns, to 20 interceptions during his tenure with the Browns. Unfortunately for him, he went from being in Eric Mangini’s offense to Pat Shurmur and Shurmur wanted a bigger quarterback to throw, which is why McCoy got abandoned for Brandon Weedon, despite McCoy’s solid sophomore outing.
He continues to play well in relief to this day, having a stop in San Francisco before moving onto Washington for five seasons. He very nearly became the starter of the Redskins in 2018 but injuries derailed that opportunity. McCoy is still fondly remembered in Cleveland and why wouldn’t he be? Everyone wants to grow up like Colt McCoy. He signed with the New York Giants to be their backup for the 2020 season.
5. Brian Hoyer (16)
A. WINNING. RECORD. FINALLY. Brian Hoyer only started 16 games for the Cleveland Browns but he did so with a 10-6 record. In his two seasons with the Browns, he had 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions while completing 56% of his passes. He did amass just shy of 4,000 yards passing with 3,941 total yards.
Despite having a 10-6 record during his two seasons under Rod Chudzinski and Mike Pettine, Pettine decided that a quarterback who could actually win would be bad for his career as a crappy coach, and let him leave after his second season with the Browns in the hopes of clearing room for Johnny Manziel.
Hoyer went to Houston and had another season with a winning record, while Manziel was out of the league the next season. Hoyer is now in New England with Kessler and unless the Patriots make a move in the draft, it’ll be two former Browns competing for the starting position.
4. Kelly Holcomb (12)
While it’s hard to say that Kelly Holcomb deserves to be over Hoyer, the fact is that Holcomb did play well in the team’s only playoff game since returning. So, yeah. Being brought in during the 2001 season to back up Tim Couch, Holcomb got the start at the beginning of the 2002 season due to Couch being injured. Holcomb torched the Kansas City Chiefs in what should’ve been a win, had it not been for Dwayne Rudd’s thrown helmet.
During Holmcomb’s 12 starts with the Browns, he went 4-8, with 25 touchdowns, 21 interceptions, and a completion percentage of 64%. He was an instant offense whenever he was put into the game, but despite making the playoffs in 2002, Butch Davis opted to play hot potato at quarterback, resulting in neither Holcomb nor Couch getting consistent use in 2003. This was partly why Davis would be fired as head coach.
Couch would move on to Green Bay, while Holcomb would spend one more year on the bench in Cleveland before moving on to Buffalo.