Bernie Kosar is 53 years old and hasn’t played in the NFL for more than two decades. And yet, he is the link between Browns fans and the last time the Browns were good.
That probably makes Browns fans love him even more.
“It’s an interesting point and way of looking at it,” Kosar said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Part of it was I think I played good and I played tough, but also I think it does bring us back to a time when Cleveland was one of the top few teams in the league. Whether we won it or not, we were always in it at the top level for quite a few years in a row. I think you’re astutely correct that that’s something that kind of crosses a few people’s minds. I’m proud of that.”
Kosar, the author of Bernie Kosar: Learning to Scramble, played for the Browns from 1985-93. He led the team to five playoff appearances and three AFC Championship games.
The average Browns fan would give anything for that type of success. Cleveland hasn’t finished with a winning record since 2007 and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2002.
Think that’s bad? Well, it gets worse.
The Browns are 0-6 this year, benched second-round draft pick DeShone Kizer, and watched Kevin Hogan throw for 140 yards and three interceptions in a 33-17 loss at Houston this past Sunday.
“I don’t want to sound like a quarterback apologist, but quarterbacks, we’re victims or beneficiaries of the guys around us,” Kosar said. “There’s a direct correlation to a quarterback and success and a quarterback and wins with good players. I know the quarterback is a focal point. Of course you want to get that handled. It does not appear like it’s in stable shape just yet here in Cleveland. But also just as big of an issue, if not more, is guys around the quarterback – receivers, the playmakers – haven’t really been making plays.”
Don’t believe Kosar? Look at the film.
“Kevin Hogan didn’t have a lot of options of guys running wide open (to where you could say), ‘Oh, my God, he missed him,’” Kosar said. “Guys are covered pretty close in the game – and that’s disheartening when you’re struggling.”