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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Tim Couch was NOT an NFL Bust

It is inevitable during NFL Draft week that you not only hear the stories of the great players drafted too low but also the players who didn’t pan out who were drafted high.  Will Joe Burrow join that list?  Only time will tell.  But almost 100% of the time, Tim Couch and word “bust” are placed side by side when you talk to fans outside of this fanbase.  Now, I don’t mean to argue that Couch was some kind of top tier NFL quarterback, because his 5-year career was not astounding.  But, I am amazed at how Couch is usually heralded as Exhibit 1B (with Ryan Leaf) as what the word “bust” truly means.  Off the top of my head, here are the QB’s that I consider busts: Leaf, Akili Smith, David Klingler, Andre Ware, Jamarcus Russell.  Just to name a few.

The only way I know how to compare these players is to give you the stats.  And since each guy played different number of seasons, I will give you their per start average for yards passing:

Couch (5 seasons): 59 starts, 188.7 YPG, 59.8% Completion. 75.1 QB Rating

Ryan Leaf (4 seasons): 21 starts, 174.5 YPG, 48.4% Completion, 50.0 QB Rating

Akili Smith (4 seasons): 17 starts, 130.1 YPG, 56.6% Completion, 52.8 QB Rating

David Klingler (6 seasons): 24 starts, 166.4 YPG, 54.2% Completion, 65.1 QB Rating

Andre Ware (4 seasons): 6 starts, 185.3 YPG, 51.6% Completion, 63.5 QB Rating

Jamarcus Russell (3 seasons): 25 starts, 131.7 YPG, 52.1% Completion, 65.2 QB Rating

So, I think it is safe to say that Couch has AT LEAST 5 guys who are bigger busts than him.  Here is another stat for you: Who is the only one of these players to lead their team to a playoff berth?  That’s right, Tim Couch.

But that very playoff appearance is also what hurts Couch the most.  Couch broke his leg in the last game of that season, meaning he didn’t start in the playoff game.  Instead, Kelly Holcombe did, played very well, and led to a QB battle the next season.  Couch never was able to recover, thanks to Butch Davis.  Davis opened the job back up because of ONE game that Holcombe played, overlooking the entire season that Couch had just played.  And the Browns have not been back to playoffs again.

Couch ended up tearing his shoulder to shreds as well, basically ending his career.

Tell me if this statement is wrong: TIM COUCH’S CAREER ENDED BECAUSE OF INJURY.  THE OTHER 5 GUYS ABOVE HAD THEIR CAREERS ENDED BECAUSE OF POOR PLAY.  That is why you can’t call Couch a bust.

So, again, my question is this:  Why is Tim Couch considered a BUST, when he was actually an average quarterback.  He took an EXPANSION team to the playoffs in 5 seasons.  David Carr had the same amount of time and never got the Texans close.  Couch still holds the Browns record for completion percentage.  Carr still holds the Texans record for being sacked.

Here is my favorite Tim Couch highlight video:


Article written by Bryan the Intern

9 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Tim Couch was NOT an NFL Bust

  1. 2Dogs
    10:24 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

    Spot on BTI as always. Just joking. The bad thing is these guys want to be the #1 pick and this is what can happen. You don’t draft #1 because you were good the year before. If Couch had dropped a few spots, even to #2 like Donovan McNabb, he would likely have had a better career.

  2. Ez21
    10:36 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

    Tell that dude playing that game to grow a pair and throw the ball!

  3. JASUN74
    10:42 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

    Right 2dogs. He had no help on the lines and got pressure from everywhere. He was honestly very good considering the talent around him. Put him on a talented, established team and he’d have had a shot at a Hall Of Fame Career. I loved Tim’s game as his passion for playing, he went to one of the only places that it would be almost guaranteed he would fail. It was their first year back in Cleveland and they just didn’t have a team around him yet. It’s really a shame that we didn’t get to see him play for another franchise and get to enjoy his game. Still, I agree with BTI and Tim was most definitely not a Bust and gave them everything he had. They used him too quick and without anyone to block for him, it just cost him too much and by the time they could help a little he was already hurt too bad. This ones on the Browns Organization, not Tim Couch!! Thanks

    • UKinIN
      10:57 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

      My favorite quote about Couch’s NFL career is that the Brown’s offensive line was so bad every snap that Couch took was almost a form of assisted suicide.

  4. jpgfile
    1:52 pm April 24, 2020 Permalink

    I like the quips along the lines of “Couch wasn’t a bust. He got busted.” in connection with that O-line composed of other teams’ castoffs. Peyton Manning would have become an afterthought playing for those Browns. The Deuce’s strength wasn’t firepower; it was accuracy, as the above stats + his UK stats show. If he had gotten a chance to play for a solid team running a Bill Walsh-type system where accuracy mattered most….Oh boy.

  5. Dustin Rumbaugh
    3:41 pm April 24, 2020 Permalink

    You could put Peyton Manning on that trash Browns roster and he would now be considered a bust. I swear I typed that comment before reading JPGfile’s comment. Its so true though. Stick Tom Brady on that roster and he stinks and probably gets a major injury from lack of protection.

  6. Lyle Evans
    4:41 pm April 24, 2020 Permalink

    Thanks for this piece. It pisses me off royally every time you hear someone say Couch was a bust. Bullshit. Putting a guy who left college early in as starting QB for an expansion team is begging for dozens of painful sacks and that’s exactly what happened. Still, Couch eventually led a sh*t team to the playoffs. The Browns then head coach fancied himself a QB guru but it turns out he was a moron.

  7. zoupman
    6:54 pm April 24, 2020 Permalink

    Love Tim Couch. Always appreciated fact he came to UK and all he did while at UK.
    It’s a shame he was drafted by the Browns.

  8. mcp157
    8:56 am April 25, 2020 Permalink

    Tim went to a very bad team in the NFL and did not benefit from playing with Hal Mumme, who’s passing schemes did not transfer to the NFL. He was not a bust. With the correct coach in the NFL who knows how much better he could have been.