Year in and year out, the quarterback position has been consistent -- consistently mediocre. And again, the Browns have changed the dynamic at the position.
For better or worse, the Browns have been persistent.
Fast forward to 2010, and yet again the Browns are again trying to find a calming influence, a consistency coming from what is believed to be the single most important on the football field.
Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Brett Ratliff and rookie Colt McCoy are the latest signal-callers seeking to add a dimension of efficiency, productivity and leadership to a team which had the poorest passing offense in the league a season ago.
The veteran presence Delhomme and Wallace provide has seemingly enabled head coach Eric Mangini and offense coordinator Brian Daboll to relax their restrictive scheme in the Browns passing game.
Early in the practice sessions, the Browns passing game offense has been worked extensively. While the QB's on the field are given plays to run, in the case of Delhomme and Wallace, the ability to create has been enabled.
While only a few days into training camp, the quarterback position in Cleveland appears quite the opposite of what has been viewed in past seasons. Delhomme is not expected to be the second coming of Johnny Unitas, what the veteran QB provides is quality leadership and knowledge of what is supposed to occur within any given play.
Accuracy is the best attribute for a starting quality QB at the professional level. Through three-days of training camp practices, Delhomme has demonstrated this ability. Granted, there is an errant pass attempt here and there, but this player provides the long-missing aspect under center for the Browns.
Whereas Delhomme's accuracy has been a welcome sight in Cleveland, it is his experience in knowing how to attack a defense which has been obvious.
The Browns wide receivers have had some difficulty getting off press coverage when running the quick slant. When this opportunity has been taken away, Delhomme has demonstrated the savy to look off a safety of dropping LB, while finding the TE in the seam or RB circling into a zone.
While this type of ability may appear ordinary, it is the type of play that keeps the chains moving and minimizes errors. This aspect alone has been a troubling facet for the Browns offense, and just one reason behind the signing of the veteran Delhomme to stabilize and provide leadership for a young and developing Cleveland offense.
With the offense and defense gearing toward full speed drills and preseason games being on the horizon, the Browns offense, as well as Delhomme and the cast of players at the QB position remain in the spotlight.
The initial results are guardedly optimistic, but there are plenty of practice sessions and games on the slate which will ultimately determine whether mediocrity continues in Cleveland, or just maybe the Browns have finally gotten it right.
Right now, Delhomme looks the part.