NFL News of January 2, 2003

Longtime backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb, who came off the bench last week when Tim Couch broke his right leg against Atlanta, will start Cleveland’s first playoff game since 1994 as the Browns travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday for a first-round AFC matchup.

It will be just Holcomb’s fourth start as a pro, and the biggest game of his career – by far.

“We played a couple powerhouses when I was in college,” said Holcomb, who played at tiny Middle Tennessee State. “Nebraska almost killed me. They hit me on every play.”

— The Record “NFL Notebook”

The Browns lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round. Holcomb, however, threw for 429 yards—the third qb to throw for more than 400 yards in a playoff game. Holcomb shared time with Tim Couch as the starting qb of the Browns in the 2003 season and was then replaced by Jeff Garcia during the 2004  season. After stints with the Bills, Eagles and Vikings, he retired in July of 2008.

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