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Couch gets his first start

The Associated Press

BEREA – Rookie quarterback Tim Couch will take the first snap for the Browns in the inaugural game at Cleveland Browns Stadium, but Ty Detmer is still slated as Cleveland’s starter in the regular season, coach Chris Palmer said.

Tuesday, August 17, 1999

BEREA – Rookie quarterback Tim Couch will take the first snap for the Browns in the inaugural game at Cleveland Browns Stadium, but Ty Detmer is still slated as Cleveland’s starter in the regular season, coach Chris Palmer said.

Detmer has been the starter for the Browns (1-1) in both exhibition games so far, while Couch, the top overall draft pick, has come in during the second and third quarters.

”Ty would still be the starting quarterback if we opened the regular season tomorrow, but we’re going to give Tim a chance to start Saturday and play with the first group,” Palmer said.

Palmer said he’s not upset with Detmer and saw some good things from the veteran on Saturday in a 30-3 loss at Tampa Bay.

”But we’ve never seen Ty work yet in the two-minute drill and we’ve not seen Tim start a game. So we’re going to put Ty in for the second quarter in order for him to have a chance to do that,” Palmer said.

Palmer, who said he planned to give Couch a start in the preseason, expects Detmer to start for the Browns final exhibition game with the Chicago Bears Aug. 28, and again in the season opener Sept. 12 at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

”I’d rather start Tim this week than in the Chicago game, because that’s the game where we’re trying to settle down, play the people we’re going to open the season with and get them some extensive work.”

Detmer, in playing the first quarter of the opening two games, has completed 4-of-13 passes for 33 yards and no touchdowns. He was 2-of-7 for 22 yards against the Buccaneers.

Couch was impressive in the Hall of Fame Game win over Dallas, completing 11-of-17 passes for 137 yards, but struggled against Tampa. The Buccaneers limited Couch, who completed just 5-of-12 passes for 27 yards.

”It was kind of a surprise when I came in this morning and Coach Palmer told me,” Couch said Monday. ”I just smiled. I told him, ‘It sounds good to me.”’

Couch says his goal is to be the permanent starter, even as a rookie.

”I’ve been working as hard as I can ever since I got drafted to get to this point and have the chance to show them what I can do,” he said.

Detmer said he was disappointed by Palmer’s announcement, but is confident the switch won’t be permanent.

”Everybody’s job here, not just mine, is on the line every day. That’s just the way this business is” said the eighth-year pro, who has also played for Green Bay, Philadelphia and San Francisco. ”But the decision on who’s going to start wasn’t made at the time of the draft. It won’t be made now. It will be made later on, sometime before the Pittsburgh game.”

Notes: The Browns made their first cuts of training camp Monday, sending former Ohio State linebacker Jerry Rudzinski packing. Other cuts included receivers Sylvain Girard, Joseph Nastasi and Mark Seay; linebacker David Menard; defensive end Rod Manuel defensive backs Kory Blackwell and Eric Stokes. … Palmer also announced Monday running back Sedrick Shaw and right guard Scott Rehberg will also start against the Vikings.