Sunday Opinion: Lions Should Get on Couch

While I'll concede the Lions probably won't make this move, it is worth considering. Former Browns' QB Tim Couch has shown he has the ability to make plays, but was wildly inconsistent and without support in Cleveland. Should the Lions consider him as a back-up? Lions Insider Mike Fowler shares his opinion.

(ALLEN PARK) - It wasn't unexpected, but Friday the Cleveland Browns released Tim Couch, a former No. 1 overall draft pick from Kentucky who flamed out in the "City by the Lake."

In reality, Couch had little chance for success in Cleveland He was Chris Palmer's guy all the way, but when the Browns pulled the rug from under Palmer and turned to former University of Miami head coach Butch Davis, it became apparent quickly that Couch was in trouble.

Davis never gave his quarterback the support that a young player at such a pressure packed position needs to develop and in fact undermined his ability to command respect in the huddle with his open flirtation with Kelly Holcomb.

Making matters worse, Davis refused to release Couch right away when it was clear he no longer fit into the team's plans for fear he would sign with division rival Baltimore.

Under Palmer's offense- as with all rookie quarterbacks - he struggled, compiling a 5-27 record under Palmer's two-year regime.

But in 2002, the light switch turned on and Couch threw 18 touchdowns in his fourteen starts, leading the Browns to a playoff berth, the only one since their return to the NFL.

A change of scenery is likely all that Couch needs to revive his career and that brings us to the Lions.

Detroit's current backup Mike McMahon was nearly dealt to the Browns in the offseason, but when the deal fell through, the Lions pulled McMahon off the trade market.

McMahon is in the final year of his contract and will qualify for unrestricted free agency if the Lions do not either re-sign him to another contract or place either the franchise or transistion tag on him restricting his movement. The chances of that happening are almost non-existent.

If McMahon is ready to leave the Lions organization, Couch would be a good fit as a backup.

If pressed into service, he would seem to be more prepared to lead the team to success having played in more than twice as many games as McMahon. He would also likely benefit from the vast knowledge in tutoring quarterbacks possessed by Lions head coach Steve Mariucci and his protege', quarterbacks coach Greg Olson.

Detroit could likely nab Couch for the veteran minimum since their are few opportunities for quarterbacks around the league at this late date. Couch is rumored to be considering joining Green Bay as Brett Favre's backup.

If Detroit could sign Couch to a two-year deal, it would give them great flexibility at the quarterback position. He could take nearly an entire year to learn the West Coast offense and then at year's end, if McMahon walks, the Lions would be covered. Even if starting quarterback Joey Harrington continues his struggles to progress as an NFL starter, he would be a viable alternative to step in.

While I'll concede the Lions probably won't make this move, it is worth considering. Couch has shown he has the ability to make plays, but was wildly inconsistent and without support in Cleveland.

He could be a flower ready to blossom in Detroit.

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