April 24, 2014

Yahoo! Article Details Brian Daboll’s Rough Rookie Treatment of Colt McCoy

Throughout this season, Cleveland fans had heard whispers and anecdotes of former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s rough, and perhaps extreme, treatment of then rookie Colt McCoy last season. An article by Michael Silver on Yahoo! this holiday weekend provided a bit of color to the story, with plenty of quotes from Browns players who seemed all too willing to talk about their former coach and his over-the-top treatment of McCoy. Browns players described in detail a number of incidents to Silver, most notably Daboll’s penchant for screaming at Colt through the headset in his helmet while the quarterback tried to call plays in the huddle and line up the team.

It apparently became so bad that Daboll’s treatment, and his constant dressing-down of the QB, became a running joke in the Browns locker room. When pressed by Silver, McCoy said that the treatment was for the best and made him a stronger man, even if it was hard to apprehend that last year. Browns players, however, took a different approach.

From Silver’s Yahoo! article:

“It happened all the time. Running scout team, you basically look at a play-card in the huddle and run that play – it’s not like there’s a lot of gray area. And still, Daboll would lose it. One time Daboll was yelling at him as he was running the scout team, into his helmet, and it was the part of the drill that finished practice. As Colt’s walking to the team breakdown area, where Mangini is giving his speech, Daboll is still in his ear, screaming. People couldn’t believe it.”

Daboll and the coaching staff apparently had a practice of riding the rookies, as Alex Mack corroborated to Silver. Mack said that his hazing by the coaching staff was worse than anything he received from veteran teammates his rookie season. The most extreme anecdote centered on a “welcome to the league” moment Daboll initiated on McCoy:

Several Browns recalled a meeting early in the 2010 season in which Daboll told McCoy, “I just watched [tape of] your last college game, and you were terrible. What the hell were you throwing out there? That was one of the worst games I’ve ever seen. Why the [expletive] did we draft you?”

In addition to the locker room and headset shouting, another Browns player described an incident where Daboll asked McCoy to fill in at the fullback position during a walkthrough. When Colt, who obviously wasn’t accustomed to playing the position, ran the incorrect route, Daboll apparently lost it and went off on him. Football coaches are generally considered screamers, but throughout the article, Browns players consistently characterize Daboll’s treatment as extreme for the professional ranks.

Daboll refused to comment on the story or respond to the quotes from Browns’ players and McCoy. The only time Colt really went into detail was when prompted about the headset screaming:

“There were times I had to pull my helmet off to call a play in the huddle,” McCoy recalled in an interview earlier this month. “Guys could hear him yelling, and they’d say, ‘Just take it off.’ People said to me, ‘Man, I ain’t never seen anything like that. Just hang in there.’”

Daboll’s offense was a particular source of media criticism and fan outrage during the Mangini era. It’s obvious that Daboll did not appreciate Mike Holmgren’s regime thrusting a new handpicked quarterback on the existing offensive coaching staff. The offense, however, continues to struggle under Pat Shurmur. While the new coach and offensive coordinator may treat him better, the season on the field has been just as rough for McCoy, if not worse.

Both Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren are still not sure what they have as we enter the final six games of the season. Just this month, Heckert declined to say Colt had regressed but indicated that there should be progress from this point forward. If Daboll’s treatment did in fact make him stronger as he says, he’ll need to call on that strength as the Browns enter the brutal AFC North portion of their schedule..

  • MrCleaveland

    Who died and made Daboll king? I wonder why no one stood up to that jerk.

  • Pat18970

    Not to condone what Daboll did, but McCoy appeared a lot more confident last year than he does this year.

  • Tim

    Wow, what a joke, glad dabol is gone

  • Mike

    Or maybe Pat, he actually had a running game last year? Let’s not put all our blame on McCoy this year. No running game, no offense line. He’ll be a good NFL QB. We, as fans, need to let him work the kinks out. Also, how’s Daboll doin in Miami? Oh yeah he killed Henne and now wants to ruin Matt Moore. He’s an idiot, and Mangini is even more stupid for letting him discourage and yell at his players. What a confidence boost.

  • JM

    Miami’s offense is ranked 20th. So he’s about where he was last year.

  • Wheel

    Another reason I’m glad to be rid of Mangini and his scourge of coaches. Daboll is a lousy coach, and sounds like an even lousier human being. I’m not sure how people like this rise through the ranks. Colt needs a RB (Trent Richardson), a OL (DeCastro) and a WR (Floyd). Holmgren and Heckert have seriously misstepped by not addressing needs on offense. McCoy deserves a chance to succeed. This year, he is not getting that chance.

  • Mike

    So, is being 20th good? I am not quite sure what the point of that stat is. The team is 3-8 in a fairly weak division.

  • http://whocares.com Bob

    Colt should have decked him.

    No wonder the Browns suck and always will suck. They get a genuinely good kid and treat him like Jack*$% Russell should have been treated.

  • Homedelivery

    I am a 49er fan. Before Jim Harbaugh we had a yeller as well- Michael Singletary. Did you Brown’s fans catch his act on television? Singletary was a lousy coach too who thought the louder he yelled the better the team would perform. He tried his best to ruin Alex Smith with what Singletary thought was motivational screaming. Harbaugh has taken the same players and made them a better team through superior coaching and game planning. Hang in there Browns fans your ship too will come in. Good luck.

  • TikiHat

    In some ways, I think Colt had it easier last year. Everybody had very low expectations for him, as the Yahoo article makes obvious. He clearly believed in himself, but nobody else did. “Fans” were predicting that his career would end in his first game as he was called to Start against the Steelers. The playbook consisted of a few variations on giving the Ball to Hillis or throwing to a Tight End behind very good protection.

    This year is different. Instead of being despised by the coaching staff, he clearly has his chance to “Be The Man”. There are actual expectations. He’s had a revolving door roster on a revolving door of an O-Line. He’s had to get to know more running backs in 10 weeks than some QBs do in a career. He’s having to learn a more complex offense while his receivers are all learning it at different paces(and the newer running backs are praying for a cliff-notes version). His Coach isn’t hostile, but is learning as HE goes, too. Is it any wonder that the first half of Colt’s season looked shaky?

    The Good News is that the first two games of the second half looked much better. His Coach trusts him more, and is learning to modify the gameplans to fit the roster situation. McCoy is getting up to speed on the plays; and at least Cribbs, Little and, perhaps, Norwood are joining him. The O-Line seems to be competent enough for the Shotgun to work and actually opened up some holes for the running backs. We can only hope that the return of Hardesty and Hillis will help even more as we enter the meatgrinder for the next month and a half.

    In a way, Colt might be right in thinking that the psychological pounding he took last season toughened him up for the physical pounding this year.

  • JM

    The point is the Browns offense isn’t any better. They were ranked around 20th last year. So blaming a coordinator for a lackluster offense is a little old. Especially when Miami is actually scoring points this year.

  • PacoDaGreat

    Im a ravens fan but i pay close attention 2 the other nfl teams especially those in our division. Colt truly got a bad hand these past 2 yrs. with the lack of running game, defense that can stop the run, and lack of offensive production, hes bound 2 be set up for failure. if the browns can get consistence on his side he’ll b fine. the browns have to draft a big time wide receiver to take the pressure off colt and possibly a running back as well. Good luck 2 the browns because i only hate the steelers lol

  • BomberDawg

    Thank God this idiot is gone. Makes me root for Colt even more. Can we please, please, please get an offensive line and some receivers for this guy (rather than watch him go somewhere else and win, which absolutely will happen)?

  • Cleveland78

    Let me guess, Seneca provided half of the content.

  • clyde43

    Brendan,
    So much for the money you wasted on a Boston education. How on earth does an alleged college graduate not know the difference between apprehend (“…even if it was hard to apprehend that last year…”) and comprehend?

  • Joe

    Mangini’s biggest failure probably was the hiring of Dabol. With Mangini’s strength being on the defensive side, he needed to hire a top-notch OC. He had Brad Seely who is one of the best special teams coaches in the league, he had Rob Ryan who is a good DC… then he had Dabol who seemed to be clueless on how to run a good offense.

    Sad thing is, we do not have a better OC this year. Shurmurs offense was ranked at the bottom of the league right along with Dabols. Shurmur is a rookie HC and has not business trying to also be the OC (I am not convinced he has any business being the HC either).

    Like Wheel said – give him a o-line and a WR and then lets see what he can do. Use a first round pick on a WR, and a 2nd round pick on a RT, and possibly the other 1st rounder on a RB if you can’t re-sign Hillis. Add to that a return of a healthy Steinbach at RG and you have the makings of a good line. With a good line, a decent running game, and a legit #1 WR, I think Colt will shine. Until then we need to have patience.

  • ColtBeliever

    I knew something was up last year with Daball and Colt. I could tell it in Colts’ actions, AND Mangini’s as well! Mangini didn’t like Colt either, and LET Daball try to tear him down! I’ve followed Colt throughout his Texas career, and his first year backup to VY, I knew he’d be good. I was right. He will be a great QB in the NFL if given the right weapons, play calling, and guidance necessary! He will flourish if given new, consistant, running and receiving talent, protection, and a decent coach who will build around his strengths like Denver is doing with Tebow. (but far overboard on Tebow if you ask me…)Colt knows he can’t win all the games in the NFL, but he is a winner. He will either do great for the Browns, or another team will pick him up who is a great OC, and QB coach! Colt will do well wherever he lands, and I will follow wherever he goes, cuz I firmly believe in him!

  • http://twitter.com/aka_encKe Paul Cline

    I totally agree. i was thinking the same thing as i was reading this article