Well, if there was ever a question in Browns minds, there isn’t anymore. As of yesterday, Colt McCoy has been named the starter for the Browns in the first opportunity since all quarterbacks regained their health.
Eric Mangini (much to the chagrin of many of you) chose Jake Delhomme consistently over Seneca Wallace in the last few weeks. The reason for that remains unclear. We aren’t sure, and might never be. Does Eric Mangini consider Seneca Wallace a backup no matter what? Did he not appreciate even the modest statements that Seneca Wallace made just prior to getting healthy about the team needing to choose one quarterback? Was it simply a professional courtesy to Jake Delhomme because Mangini (and Holmgren and Heckert) are keenly aware that Delhomme won’t be back here next season? There are a lot more questions than answers here.
One answer we do have is that at the end of it all, Colt McCoy is the preference based on what the coaches have seen so far this season when all three quarterbacks were again healthy options. The coach announced it during Thursday’s conference with the media.
“In terms of the quarterback situation and the plans moving forward I thought Colt (McCoy) looked good yesterday. I thought he moved really well which is what I expected. He got the bulk of the work with the first team and the plan is for him to start here this weekend and to start the remainder of the season. My thought process on that is that he did a really good job when he played and he improved every single week. He’s earned this opportunity.”
The coach also went on to confirm a couple of the suspicions that I had throughout the last few weeks as far as how the quarterback decisions have been getting made. For all those who seemed to think that Mangini was “risking his livelihood” by going with Jake Delhomme, it appears you are wrong. Just as I suspected, this is a true organization of football people working together and Mike Holmgren has been in on the discussions.
“We talked a little bit about it, talked to Brian (Daboll) about it, Carl (Smith) about it but ultimately it was my decision. I let Mike know about it and we talked through it and he’s been great with any decisions that have taken place during the course of the year. He’s a really good sounding board.”
Now it doesn’t really matter what happens the rest of the year. Even if someone gets hurt, we know where everyone stands, or at least have a very very good guess. Seneca Wallace is a designated backup and will presumably never have a chance to compete to be a starter. Jake Delhomme has performed admirably as a teammate and competitor, but he has officially been beaten out by Colt McCoy as the starter for this team and barring unforeseen strangeness will be next year.
It hasn’t been completely without controversy, despite my best efforts, but it has been close. Certainly this has been the smoothest Browns quarterback situation that we have seen in years. Kind of surprising considering three guys have played substantial amounts of time.