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Couch Has Slimmer Chance

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Couch Has Slimmer Chance

Postby slowkidz » Thu Jun 26, 2003 9:09 am

bah...not the slimmer chance i was lookin for...but ah well....

QB TRIMS DOWN TO BATTLE HOLCOMB
By Mark Story
HERALD-LEADER SPORTS COLUMNIST

The true beauty of competition: It yields wildly
unexpected results.

Already, there have been surprising losers in Tim
Couch's quarterback duel with Kelly Holcomb.

Like KFC.

Papa John's.

And the bakers of bread all around Northern Ohio.

"I've hired a nutritionist," Tim Couch said
yesterday. "I've always been a guy who worked out
hard, but I'd never worried much about my diet.
Now, I am."

Out: Fried chicken.

Says Couch: "And, I had always been a big bread
guy."

No more.

In: Lots of broiled fish and chicken.

And, though it's killing him, the pride of Leslie
County is cutting way back on pizza.

"I miss pizza bad," Couch says with a rueful
grin. "That's the one where I cheat a little bit.
I can't go cold turkey on pizza."

Know this: A man willing to give up fried chicken
and cut back on his pizza is a man dead intent on
retaining the job title of starting quarterback,
Cleveland Browns.

So if you were wondering why Couch showed up in
Lexington this week for his now annual football
camp looking fitter than a tailored Italian suit,
here is why.

He's lost "five good pounds" from 230 down to
225, and has redistributed the weight on his
6-foot-4 frame "in some good ways," he says.

As he watched over the 85 or so quarterbacks and
wide receivers going through his camp at the
University of Kentucky, Couch seemed like a man
at peace with where he stands in the great Browns
QB Derby.

"If you look at what Coach Davis has been saying,
it sounds pretty good," Couch noted of Browns
Coach Butch Davis.

Earlier this month, Davis said publicly that "Tim
has not really lost the job. I think it's a bad
assessment when people say it's a 50-50 because
it really isn't 50-50."

Still, "I plan on going into training camp ready
to compete," Couch says.

Of course, the QB finds himself in this
unexpected duel for his job because his 2002 was
rockier than many quarries.

After a rapier-sharp pre-season, a balky elbow
sidelined him for the regular season's first two
games.

Holcomb, a career backup out of Middle Tennessee,
played lights out in both.

Used to public adulation, Couch returned to a
city smitten by another QB.

He got booed at home. Faced cheers in Cleveland
when injured against Baltimore. In response, he
ripped the fans who had cheered.

Bouncing back, Couch led a number of epic
fourth-quarter comebacks. Got the new Browns to
the verge of their first-ever playoff appearance.

Only to be sidelined by a broken leg in the
season finale. Meaning he had to watch Holcomb
re-emerge to throw for a whopping 426 yards and
three TDs in what became a heartbreaking playoff
loss to the Steelers.

By that time, many were noting that the Browns
offense just seemed to function more crisply --
throws made sooner, receivers more apt to get
balls in stride -- when Holcomb was in the game.

Meanwhile, others were pointing out that for one
who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft,
Couch's career touchdown-to-interception ratio
(57 TDs, 61 ints.) is hardly that of a franchise
quarterback.

Yet, for what it's worth, I suspect those writing
off Couch are overlooking a couple of key
factors.

By NFL quarterback standards, he is still a babe,
turning 26 on July 31. His best football should
be ahead.

Plus, thrown immediately to the expansion-team
wolves, he may have taken the greatest physical
pounding of any QB in NFL history. In four years,
he has been sacked a staggering 147 times.

And there is this: The guy gets off on being
doubted.

When he left behind a legendary high school
career in Leslie County for UK, the knock Couch
recalls was that a small-school QB could not hope
to thrive in the SEC.

When he left behind Hal Mumme's Big Blue
throw-athon having rewritten the UK record book,
the knock he remembers was a QB used to throwing
60-plus times a game in a "weird offense" could
not hope to succeed in the NFL.

"My whole thing," he says, "has always been
proving people wrong. This is just another
chance."

Skipping the fried chicken and pizza (well, most
of the time) is worth it, after all, if it helps
you force your critics to eat their words.
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slowkidz
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Postby Homeless » Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:41 am

Holy smoke, another Couch article with no end result. :-o

Whats more amazing is it was posted by the premier Couch hater in the world. :-)


*I am NOT a browns fan....just in case you try to make it look like I am.*
Last edited by Homeless on Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby slowkidz » Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:49 am

Homeless wrote:Whats more amazing is it was posted by the premier Couch hater in thw world. :-)


this reporter's gotta do what a reporter's gotta do....>sigh> :-/
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