Arians still on Couch's side

Posted Dec 9, 2001

Tim Couch may have three interceptions next to his name in the box score of the Browns' 27-16 loss to the Patriots, but according to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, none of the picks were the quarterback's fault.

"I don't think any of them were on Tim," said Arians. "He got hit (by Anthony Pleasant) on the first one, he hits Quincy (Morgan) and he bounces it up to (Pleasant) for the another one."

Tebucky Jones ended a Browns' drive late in the first half with his second interception of the game. According to Arians, that penalty was the result of Kevin Johnson getting tangled up with Patriots' cornerback Terrell Buckley.

"(Couch) is catching (Johnson) right on the break, right when you want to throw it, and they pull each other down," said Arians.

Couch's numbers have not been good over the last four weeks. During that stretch, he has thrown nine interceptions and just two touchdown passes. Despite those numbers, Arians is convinced Couch is the perfect leader for the Browns' offense

"Tim is a tough son-of-a-bitch," said Arians. "I love the guy. If you are going to build a football team, you can't have a better guy to build it around, believe me."

Couch's problems are due in large part to poor protection up front. The Patriots knocked Couch down nine times, unofficialy, in addition to their three sacks.

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