Lebovitz: Davis Trying to Pick Couch

The world's sports media camps outside the Berea facility, occasionally you can hear a hushed nervous whisper from the crowd. Soon, at 6PM tonight, puffs of smoke will come out of a chimney attached to Butch Davis' office signaling the annointment of a new starting quarterback... hush... wait... here's some stuff that's not on the web today... shhhh...

Without any real indication from Berea as to the thinking at the starting quarterback position, fans and media have scoured the play-calling, substitutions, and everything else hunting for clues. Here are some of the things I've seen via email, IM, or the chat room over the last 36 hours:

  • Couch was smiling a lot on Friday night, so it has to be him.
  • Lots of runs were called when Couch was in the game in order to protect him.
  • Lots of runs were called when Couch was in so that his stats would look less impressive.
  • Lots of passes were called when Holcomb was in so that he could showcase his abilities.
  • Lots of passes were called when Holcomb was in the game so that there was greater opportunity for him to make a mistake.

In other words, no one has the slightest idea, and Davis very likely made up his mind last night or this morning.

Still, if you're looking for indications or conspiracy theories, you could do much worse than the one advanced by News-Herald writer Hal Lebovitz this morning. Lebovitz, whose column does not appear on the internet, suggests this morning that Davis kept Holcomb in during the second quarter until he made a mistake. Holcomb was yanked after throwing an interception during the team's first drive. Previously, it was believed that Holcomb would not play into the second quarter.

Although Hal does not suggest that he knows Davis' pick, he does suggest that the substitution approach indicates that Davis wants to pick Couch.

Lebovitz also points to the team's official media release for the Packers game as an indication that the team is pushing things toward Tim Couch. The media release features Couch and offers such glowing statistics as his ten fourth-quarter victories, and favorable statistical comparisons which put Couch in the same sentences as Otto Graham, Peyton Manning, and Troy Aikman.

Elsewhere in News-Herald stories which did not make it onto the Internet, Jeff Schudel talks about Carmen Policy's desire to tie Butch Davis to a long-term contract through 2008, and Dennis Northcutt's desire to exit town for a high-paying contract. Northcutt will likely never be higher than third receiever in Cleveland, and his agent feels that there will be a team willing to pay Northcutt a ton of money.

BerniesInsiders.com's Lane Adkins wrote about Northcutt's interest in looking around back in June and even before.

- AB

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