Regardless of how exactly the process went down this past weekend, the Browns missed their man. What isn’t in question is that the Browns wanted RG3 on the team and he will not be. So like any good co-dependent fanbase, we scour the earth to figure out who we can count on to be the quarterback to take the Browns to the Super Bowl. When one door closes another one opens. Usually. Exactly when that door will open, is another question entirely. That’s the biggest problem for Browns fans is not knowing.
Despite RG3 being an unbelievably exciting prospect, he was going to be an unknown at the NFL level too. That being said, it would have been fun just to know where the team was going if the Browns had landed the #2 pick. That makes the wait much easier as we would have started to see just what the Browns had acquired in Griffin as a player, teammate and man in the community. Now that the air has been sucked out of the room the wait has become excruciating as the potential destinations aren’t nearly as exciting.
Matt Flynn will presumably be making the rounds as a free agent. Kevin Kolb could find his way there too depending on Peyton Manning. Re-treads like Jason Campbell and Kyle Orton are around if anyone wants to talk to them.
The draft is chock full of “other guys” not named Luck or Griffin. Tannehill, Weeden, Osweiler, and Cousins round out the list. To say these guys have question marks next to their names is an understatement to say the least.
So, what do the Browns do? Anyone who says they know is either guessing or lying. The only thing I can say for sure is that the Browns can’t force it. Opportunity to find a long-term solution for quarterback isn’t created by desire or desperation.
So let’s talk about Colt McCoy. McCoy is a tough kid with a great attitude. I know that is the hack thing to say at this point, but it is true. McCoy has been in the spotlight for years and had to follow Vince Young at Texas. All of this will help immensely if the Browns have to turn to McCoy this season after so publicly missing out on replacing him with RG3.
Colt McCoy has presumably known all along that he won’t be handed the job this training camp. Knowing it and being able to deal with it are two different things. For whatever reason, I think Colt is wired in such a way to handle it. We’ve all seen what a detriment competition was for Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. (In fairness, I guess competition might have been secondary to their talent level, but I digress.) I don’t expect Colt McCoy to suffer this potentially ego-trashing period the way some other players might in the same position.
That means the Browns should still be able to get another year out of a more comfortable and experienced McCoy who should know the offense better and hopefully have better and more consistent weapons than he had a year ago. McCoy projects to not win you a ton of games, but as I’ve explored before he also doesn’t lose them hand over fist by donating possessions to opposing secondaries.
Even if the Browns go get Matt Flynn or Kevin Kolb, that obviously doesn’t guarantee they’ve solved their problems. Realistically, it also doesn’t rule out Colt McCoy 100% as Kolb and Flynn aren’t exactly known entities and world beaters just yet.
Same with the draft. Even if you love the physical ability and experience that Ryan Tannehill had at Texas A&M, to think that he is going to just walk in and beat out Colt McCoy with his experience at Texas and 21 NFL games is presumptuous.
I know it isn’t fun to be so flexible, but there is no other choice right now. The Browns made an effort to get the guy they thought could be “the one” for the next decade and just missed. It doesn’t appear that an obvious prospect is going to walk along until next year’s draft, if then even. That doesn’t mean the Browns won’t take a flyer out on a guy or two this off-season. Just don’t hype it up to be anything more than a flyer.