Browns report: Inside slant
July 14, 2003
Just about everyone in Northeast Ohio has weighed
in on the Browns quarterback situation.
Tim Couch has weighed in, saying he's enjoying
Kelly Holcomb has weighed in, saying he's
grateful for this chance to finally win a job.
And coach Butch Davis has said he's glad to have
two winning quarterbacks.
But the one person who hasn't said much has been
the guy in the trenches with the two passers, the
guy who draws the gameplans and calls the plays,
the guy whose job depends on the performance of
the quarterbacks -- offensive coordinator Bruce
What does he think?
"It's a very easy position to be in," Arians
said. "They're both playing at a very high
Which presumably is better than having two guys
playing at a low level.
"It's a hell of a lot better than saying 'who's
your quarterback?' and you ain't got one," Arians
said. "I can take these questions all day because
whoever lines up is a winner. It doesn't matter
to me. We move the football pretty well with both
guys, so it's a win-win situation."
Arians adroitly praises both quarterbacks and
deftly dodges criticism of either.
He genuinely likes Couch, and he brought Holcomb
to Cleveland when Davis was hired in 2001.
If Arians has a favorite, he's not giving any
"There's always got to be a judge somewhere, so I
think it's a pretty good analogy at times that
you've got to knock the champ out," Arians said,
seeming to favor Couch before turning his
thoughts toward Holcomb. "But the other guy
played pretty doggone good. I would be shocked if
one or the other just played so much better than
the other that it would be easy to choose. (The
decision) happens over time. Coach will make the
decision and he'll obviously ask for our input.
They are both good. Nobody is going to mess up."
Arians dismisses the common belief in Cleveland
that Couch holds the ball too long. He praises
Couch for his two-minute work last season,
especially in a crucial game against Baltimore.
But he's always liked Holcomb.
He means it when he says he can be comfortable
"Tim never played poorly," Arians said. "Kelly
got an opportunity and played really good. You've
got to give him a shot."