New Jaguar Scouting Report - Tim Couch

With the Jaguars signing of the former number one overall pick (1999) in quarterback Tim Couch, we at Jagnation have decided to get an expert opinion for our scouting report on the former top prospect.

We asked Barry McBride, publisher for The OBR, and an NFL Team Expert for the Cleveland Browns, a man who has seen every game that Couch has played in. Barry was nice enough to share this bit of information with Jagnation:

As the history of the new Browns has been revised over time, Tim Couch's role subtly seems to be changing. Perceived as an inadequate quarterback when he was with the Browns, fans and the media have come to the conclusion that Couch simply was put in an impossible situation.

Inserted in the expansion franchise's second game in 1999 after a disastrous 43-0 opening loss to the Steelers, Couch had to play behind a makeshift (at best) line with virtually no help other than WR Kevin Johnson at the skill positions. A struggling defense had Couch trying to lead this ragtag unit back from big deficits at times.

Sacked 56 times his first year, it was only a matter of time before Couch got hurt, which he did in the second year of the reborn franchise, repeatedly.

Couch bounced back in 2001, but wound up getting sacked over 50 times that year as well. A tough kid, Couch continually battled back and even threw for over 3,000 yards in 2001. Eventually, the perception of failure and the injuries led to a quarterback controversy with backup Kelly Holcomb, and head coach Butch Davis jettisoned Couch in 2004 after signing QB Jeff Garcia. Couch's shoulder was a disaster by this time, and he spent several years rehabbing before attempting a comeback with the Jaguars.

Despite the kind view increasingly taken of his situation in recent years, Couch did have certain elements of his game which struggled on their own. He never used a playbook at Kentucky, which resulted in sort of a shock to the system when working with head coach Chris Palmer's thick playbook in Cleveland. Couch's long ball had a tendency to flutter in the strong winds of Cleveland stadium, and he never really had the big arm you might hope for with a first-pick overall. Couch, however, excelled at reading short routes, which is the offense he thrived in at Kentucky.

As you've noted on your forums, there are very few Browns fans who wish Tim Couch ill. He's looked on by many as a talented, gutsy kid who simply couldn't win with the horrible team assembled around him by Carmen Policy and Dwight Clark. Whether he can be reborn in Jacksonville depends on the health of his shoulder, whether he can catch back up to the speed of the game, and whether or not he can throw the long ball.

- Barry

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