The Browns are in the playoffs but there are plenty of players over the last 20-plus years who deserved a shot at glory but were denied, these are five of them.
The Browns are in the playoffs but in true typical fashion, it won’t be an easy fight for them. Besides the Browns’ own local media thinking they have no chance, the compounded effects of COVID-19 have ravaged the team. None more affected emotionally than Joel Bitonio. Bitonio has been a loyal player for the Browns and has become one of the greatest offensive linemen the team has ever had. Next to Shaun O’Hara, Eric Steinbach, and of course Joe Thomas, he’s been the best player on the line since the team returned. Yet, like Steinbach and Thomas, Bitonio had never made the playoffs (O’Hara did in ’02.)
Sad news though, Bitonio is out for his first-ever crack at a playoff game. Which got us thinking, what former players also deserved a chance at a playoff game but were denied for one reason or another? This isn’t about which players we’d like back for this specific run, Dawg Pound Daily did a nice write up on that one.
No, this is about which player since 1999, while wearing a Browns uniform, was denied an opportunity to suit up for a playoff game for one reason or another and absolutely should have.
This might be a shocker to some, but Tim Couch didn’t actually play in a playoff game for the Browns. That’s right, despite leading the team to the playoffs in that fun 2002 season, Couch got hurt during the final game of the year and wasn’t available for the playoff game in Pittsburgh. Due to that injury, Kelly Holcomb was given the nod and had a good outing.
Couch was a good quarterback with not a lot of help, especially at the offensive line, and had he been in that game against the Steelers, there’s no telling what could’ve happened. Couch had a knack for winning games, which he showed throughout the 2002 season. It’s impossible to say the Browns would’ve won with him in the starting lineup, but it’s impossible to say that they wouldn’t of either.