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What better time for the Cleveland Browns to again use Bernie Kosar


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What better time for the Cleveland Browns to again use Bernie Kosar: Bill Livingston

by Bill Livingston/The Plain Dealer

Wednesday June 24, 2009, 3:44 PM


When Bernie Kosar drafted the Browns in the mid-1980s, making an end run around the rules to play for his boyhood team, it seemed like just another way he had gotten the better of life.


Ernie Accorsi, the Browns' general manager, gave him No. 19, which the best quarterback he had ever seen, John Unitas, had worn. Johnny U. was another guy long on heart and football smarts, who got knocked around hard inside the lines and harder outside them.


Today, Kosar, who graduated from the University of Miami in 2 1/2 years as a business major and made millions, only to lose more in bad investments and worse loans, is bankrupt. The same thing happened to Unitas.


Bankruptcy is hard to believe with Kosar because he never had Unitas' arm and had to rely on his wits. No one ever presented a Bernie Kosar Golden Arm award, as with Unitas. But there was a disconnect in both between football genius and the ability to function away from the roars. In life, neither called the signals.

PD fileThe Plain Dealer's front page in 1993 the day after the Browns released quarterback Bernie Kosar.


Bernie had to out-think, out-study and out-improvise better athletes. But it is not his playbook anymore. On the field, he bled for his fame. Off it, with a body broken by 273 sacks absorbed in 126 career games, he is still taking punishment.


One of the joys of his life is when he gets his say, albeit briefly, about football. It is a privilege to hear Kosar do television commentary for Browns exhibition games. Since the Browns are seldom in the playoff race, they get network broadcast teams during the season that make you want to hit the "mute" button. No one on TV is as good on them as Kosar.


That ability to de-mystify a complex position like quarterback is why I still think he could be a great addition to the Browns as a quarterback consultant.


It should have happened years ago, although there were reasons, both fair and unfair, why it didn't. He endorsed the ownership team of Al Lerner and Carmen Policy, then they put him on a wrecker's hook and took him to a junkyard. There was only going to be one star in the Browns' organization then, and it was the empty suit that was Policy.


At the same time, Kosar already had the slurred words that still characterize his speech. There were all kinds of rumors of all kinds of addictions. There was speculation about too many blows to the head, too. Yet the man could brilliantly explain X's and O's in layman's terms.


As a player, he was very egotistical. But he had to believe in himself because, given his physical deficits, no one else would. He fought with his coaches to use more audacious game plans. Famously, his final play with the Browns was one he drew up in the dirt. It went for a touchdown.


It was painful years ago when he pleaded for a job in my column, noting that he had been cheered, been booed, been a hero, been a goat, and that he could help Tim Couch as he went through the same things. No one was interested.


The current secretive, lock-down Browns probably do not have the self-confidence to employ such a strong-willed, independent thinker, especially since part of his bankruptcy plea was his failed payment of over $1 million to the team. My guess is that it is for the stadium loge he once used.


I'm just saying he let plenty of people use him first.

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Who couldn't use a QB with a career losing record?


get this guy off the board, what a dick. Why are you so addicted to this board? I can't think of anything I'd rather do less than visit a Pissburgh forum, Who's got the obsession around her?



Back to the thread, If BK got a job with the Browns he'd have to work a while before paying off that supposed debt, I can't see it happening. Time to move forward. I hope BK gets through this OK.

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