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- Tim Couch, a former No. 1 pick for the Cleveland Browns who struggled to make an impact in the NFL, talked about how hard it was to succeed as a young quarterback with a new team.
- He also described the brutal toll young quarterbacks can take playing behind poor offensive lines.
- Couch said that he thinks it’s wise for the Browns to start Tyrod Taylor at quarterback while No. 1 overall draft pick Baker Mayfield sits and develops.
Tim Couch is perhaps best known for falling out of the NFL in five years after being taken first overall in the 1999 draft by the Cleveland Browns.
In a recent interview with NBC’s Peter King, Couch gave some eye-opening insight into how hard it is to adjust to the rigors of the NFL as a young quarterback.
“I’d say patience being most important because, in my case and in the case of so many of these quarterbacks who got picked high, we’ve had nothing but success entering the NFL,” he told King.
“If they put you in a game and the team is not ready to support you and allow you to go do what you can do, those expectations can come crashing down so fast and so hard. It’s so hard to get it going back in the other direction. That’s kind of what happened to me. We were so bad in that expansion year.”
The physical beating that a young quarterback stuck on a team with a bad offensive line really takes its toll as well. Couch recalled several of the big hits he took his offensive year, saying it shook his confidence.
“I was just getting sacked a lot that first year. [Fifty-six times, an alarming once per eight pass-drops.] You get gun shy. You don’t trust that you’ll have the time to do what you need to do throwing down the field, so you rush things a little bit. If you hit any quarterback in this league, he’s a different player. If you start hitting Tom Brady, watch how different his game is,” Couch said.
Couch said one hit he took his rookie year blindsided him, twisting his helmet around while the stadium felt like it was moving.
In five seasons, Couch played 62 games, starting 59 of them. He listed his numerous injuries and surgeries to King, partly the reason his career never took off. He threw 64 touchdowns to 67 interceptions in his career, completing 59.8% of his passes.
Couch, who is preparing to be a color analyst for the Browns, told King that he thinks the team has a good plan in place for No. 1 overall draft pick Baker Mayfield. According to the Browns, the plan is to start Tyrod Taylor while Mayfield sits and watches, at least to start the season.
Couch said: “My advice to all these guys: Don’t get frustrated … Baker, like all of these rookie quarterbacks, has good guys – Tyrod Taylor, Drew Stanton – in front of him. Take advantage of those guys.
“And remember: patience.”