Years of losing can make an NFL football team tired and negative. Years of losing can make an NFL city downright insane. The Cleveland Browns brought embattled quarterback Jake Delhomme on board during the off season and got rid of incumbents Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. Without even knowing it, Cleveland may have saved both the franchise and the city that loves it, in spite of numbers that say otherwise.
To understand this reasoning, you have to understand Jake Delhomme’s history. Originally with the New Orleans Saints, Delhomme was not in any position to get any playing time. Then he arrived in Carolina and was handed the keys to a brand new toy. Carolina was not considered to be a winner by any stretch of the imagination at that time. They had some success here and there, but was still considered to be a middle of the road NFL football team at best.
Enter Jake Delhomme…
Jake Delhomme instantly energized the Panthers once he took the controls and gave them something that the team had not really experienced up to that point -confidence. His youthful spirit and enthusiasm carried the Panthers all the way to the NFC Championship and brought them within a couple of points of beating a dynasty in the Patriots. Delhomme did that without having the prototypical skills that a quarterback usually sports in such a high end game. He has always had a decent arm, and his accuracy is pretty decent, but nothing really stands out physically.
What Jake Delhomme lacks in prototypical skills he more than makes up for in the mental areas of the game. Jake Delhomme is a winner and he knows how to keep a team together. He goes onto the football field and he expects to walk away with the win. That mentality is what could end up saving the Cleveland Browns.
Delhomme struggled last season for a great many reasons but seems to have put those troubles behind him. He has had a fantastic preseason in Cleveland, and seems ready to help the Browns climb out of the doldrums of expecting to lose. That is what has troubled this franchise for years.
While Delhomme is no spring chicken, he still has plenty of gas left in the tank to help this young Browns team learn a valuable lesson about winning. Delhomme is the perfect example of a guy that wants to win and lose as a team. That is called many things, but the most descriptive moniker I can think of is class.
Cleveland will turn the corner this season, regardless of how many games they win. With Jake under center, the Browns are going to believe they can win. That alone is worth its weight in gold to a team that has lived with the losing attitude for so long.