July 22, 2014

Colt McCoy: So you’re saying there’s a chance

Since I am so involved in the sports world now, I have formed some clear opinions of the kind of media and criticism that I like and don’t like. I am officially over the whole kind (usually reserved for Sunday morning TV) where a guy stakes his reputation guaranteeing something and then ending it with some confident unoriginal catch-phrase like “LOCK IT UP!” Maybe that makes me a coward, but I think if anything it is more of an admittance that I don’t have any special powers at predicting the future. All that being said, you can count me in the shrinking minority of people who actually thinks Colt McCoy has a chance to beat out Brandon Weeden to be the Browns’ starting quarterback this year. I believed that even before Mike Holmgren said that there would be some competition in training camp. I still believe it right now.

I don’t think McCoy will be favored. I think the Browns will do almost everything in their power to push Brandon Weeden into the spot. That makes the burden of proof for McCoy that much higher a hurdle to jump. All the same, I just don’t find Brandon Weeden to be a lock to grasp the offense and run it the most efficiently as a rookie no matter how mature he might be.

Brandon Weeden has an advantage over McCoy in terms of the quarterback raw skillset. He has the height to keep from throwing the ball into the outstretched arms of defensive linemen like McCoy seemed to do so frequently last season. He has the arm strength to get the ball to those outside receivers who seemed underutilized in favor of dump off targets and relief routes with McCoy at the helm a season ago.

For all Colt McCoy’s supposed physical shortcomings, I thought the mental side of the game was the hardest part for him a year ago. It is reasonable to question whether or not Colt McCoy can make all the throws. I’m not ready to say definitively that he can’t. I know last year he was so uncomfortable with the offense as a whole for any number of reasons that he wouldn’t make the throws. I firmly believe that given a re-built offensive line and a running back who can actually play, Colt McCoy could and would do better though.

That’s the crux of my argument here. I’m not advocating that they start forming the Colt McCoy bust for his entrance into the Hall of Fame. I’m equally not ready to call Colt McCoy a flat out bust. I’m certainly not ready to guarantee that Brandon Weeden –  a guy who has never seen the offense after playing in the Big 12 with a supremely talented receiver – will be ready to step into the NFL game week one. And we also don’t know if he’ll be ready to supplant a guy who hasn’t stopped thinking about Pat Shurmur’s version of the West Coast Offense ever since he regained his faculties after the James Harrison hit.

The deck will be stacked against him, and there are legitimate arguments to be made about which outcome would be the absolute best thing for the Browns. I just don’t know yet. LOCK IT UP!

  • JNeids

    Isn’t it ironic that the Hall of Fame is filled with busts?

  • RyInCBus

    Well said Craig.  I’m with you, for the most part.  Holmgren said today on Mike & Mike that he has never told anyone (a draft pick) that, when they come in, they’re gonna be the starter.  So I get making Weeden work for it.  What I don’t like is the perception, real or contrived, that there is an open Quarterback competition.  We have seen what those do here.  They’ve almost always ended in utter disaster. This one, in particular, has the makings for a full-on QB controversy amongst fans, around town, and perhaps even within the locker room.  And I’m pretty sure, Holmgren has gone on record saying that he doesn’t want one here.  Weeden may not be ready from Day One.  But the more snaps Colt takes away from him, the more likely that becomes reality.  On the other hand, Weeden may be head & shoulders (literally) better than McCoy.  It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.  But isn’t it always?  Me personally, I’m tired of interesting.  I’d rather have boring and win. 

  • 216in614

    I don’t understand why people just want to hand Weeden the keys so easily. Wouldn’t everyone prefer he beats out McCoy. If he can’t beat McCoy in camp how does that make it easier for us to win games? I mean I know his window is shorter but even if he can’t start game one I’d rather have him have a successful 6 year career with a year of learning and not be so disadvantaged coming into the league then a 7 year career and throw him to the wolves next year game 1.

  • http://twitter.com/Pelderskelter Patrick Elder
  • MrCleaveland

    Agree. Just because Weeden was a No. 1 pick doesn’t mean the Browns have to start him. That’s a false premise. The Browns might well be better off if he sat a year. 

    Holmgren has said that he wants to go into training camp with a known starting QB. If that’s the case, then the only way Weeden can beat out McCoy is during OTAs, and that’s not exactly real competition.

  • RyInCBus

    Fair point.  I know drafting a QB in Round One, especially at 22, isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be.  But when you factor in Weeden’s age, he can’t afford an Aaron Rodgers-like ascension to greatness.  Of course, Colt McCoy is no Brett Favre either so perhaps that is a flawed analogy anyway.  I would just want to shy away from the controversy as much as possible and avoid any and all fan sentiment building for Colt McCoy when clearly, the goal is for Weeden to start sooner rather than later. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/lmclaughlin16 Luke McLaughlin

    This is exactly why I HATED the Weeden pick. I haven’t been around for too much depressing Browns football, but I have been around enough to see the rotation of starting QBs and the controversies of not having a clear, set-in-stone starter.

    I can see this scenario so clear it is scary.

    Whoever ends up winning or getting handed the starting QB position starts off the season rather slow and not fantastic (tough schedule, receiver position hardly addressed) then the fans start calling for whoever loses the competition or isn’t handed the job.

    I would love to be wrong, but it is just hard from what I have seen to not think this way.

  • Bryan

    I don’t think the issue is who will start Week 1.  I agree that Colt might start Week 1 if Brandon is still learning and Colt is looking good.  But in the long-run (say, mid-season) it is clear to me that Colt will not be the solution for the Browns.  Weeden is the guy.  He will be in there eventually.  The better Colt plays, the better it certainly is for the team, but he is no longer “the man” here.  He just isn’t.  That is why Weeden was drafted.  

    In short, then, I see no contradiction (or even drama) between Holmgren’s insistence on competition for the QB spot in the short-run and the clear reality that Weeden is the long-run guy.  Both can be true at the same time. 

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Because “those people” think anyone can play QB and every new QB brought in is the answer in Cleveland.  Couple the fact that Weeden is taller and has a stronger arm and automatically he’s the chosen one.  Of course the Browns drafting him in round one and all but ensuring he’s the starter only heightens expectations.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I can’t see it happening based on everything the Browns have said and that’s the problem.  For people who deal with the media and know how Browns fans are you’d think they’d communicate better.

  • BenRM

    He may not start game 1 of the 2012 season, but I firmly believe Weeden will have more starts than Colt over the course of the year for these reasons:

    1) Weeden is more physically talented
    2) Colt will probably not play well
    3) When they start to lose, they need the rookie QB excuse for job security

  • Team Brady
  • Saurabhgup

    Well one thing settled so far is that the Browns WR corps is sold.  in fact it is sooooo good we let B’more have the trash WR cut by other teams.  Cuz you know Greg Little now understands touching the ball is not a catch anymore.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/nfl/05/08/ravens.jacoby.jones.ap/index.html?sct=hp_t2_a20&eref=sihp 

  • Saurabhgup

    crap,  “sold” = “solid”

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Jones wasn’t good enough for the Browns and their fans anyways!

  • mgbode

    well, Holmgren, in the same interview, saying that you don’t draft an older QB that early to have him sit for 2-3 years does nothing but fan those flames.  of course, he did choose his words wisely leaving the door open to sit him for 1 year (by his words).

  • mgbode

    we drafted Travis Benjamin who is basically a faster version of Jacoby Jones, why would we get a player who couldn’t produce with defenses focusing on Andre, Arian, Tate, and Daniels and had Schaub delivering him the ball?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Holmgren talks with a forked tongue I don’t believe anything he says besides his field isn’t personnel so why is he continuing to talk anyways?  This double talk is getting old.  It’s the only think this FO is good at if you ask me.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Like I said he wasn’t good enough for the Browns.  It’s not like Ozzie Newsome knows what he’s doing with the Ravens. 

  • mgbode

    well, I did not ask you :)

  • mgbode

    you are correct.  last offseasons acquisition of Derrick Mason helped the Ravens so much.  he has an eye for that veteran WR talent :)

    Sheldon Brown would like to thank Ozzie for that acquisition because Mason made him look like a real NFL starting CB last year.  He even got an INT in the endzone thanks to Mason.

    The New England Patriots would also like to give Ozzie Newsome a big hug and a share of their AFC Championship $$$ for that acquisition.  Without it, a real NFL WR may have been on that game-deciding route who would have actually caught the game-turning TD. 

  • Steve-o

    I counter your Dumb and Dumber quote with one from There’s Something About Mary;

    “I thought I made it clear. If everything else falls through, then maybe.”

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yea your right Ozzie is no Tom Heckert that’s for sure!  Everyone makes mistakes I would think a Cleveland Browns fan of all people would understand that fact.  Don’t forget Ozzie cut Cousins who Heckert signed so be greatful. 

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Oh yea well I asked me tough guy, LoL!

  • BenRM

    I’d prefer to wait until camps are over and pick up one of the 8 or so receivers that New England won’t be able to carry. 

  • Saurabhgup

    mgbode i think you miss the point of my sarcasm.  doing NOTHING with the WR corp is also not acceptable.  

  • Ike

    “I firmly believe that given a re-built offensive line and a running back who can actually play, Colt McCoy could and would do better though.”

    Anyone who doesn’t agree with this is just a Colt hater.  I think H&H believe the same; they just don’t think McCoy’s improvments would be enough to surpass what Weeden will be able to do.  I trust their opinions more than anyone else’s here, but that still doesn’t guarantee anything.  We shall see..

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You are assuming they’ll in fact sign someone but Heckert prefers ex-Philly players.

  • mgbode

    naw, I fully got it.  I was just having some fun with Shamrock.

    also, I would have considered signing Jacoby Jones as “doing nothing with the WR corps”

  • mgbode

    just pretty sure a WR signing in mid-May is going to turn out more like the Mason signing than a blockbuster one.  especially when that WR is Jacoby Jones.

  • http://twitter.com/GreatestHurley Jason Hurley

    You forgot 4) James Harrison

  • Chris Topher McLafferty

    NO WAY! I loved McCoy but there is no way he is the starter, the only reason Holmgren said that was to make Weeden work for it, but there is little doubt that they all have him penciled in as the starter

  • Chris Topher McLafferty

    NO WAY! I loved McCoy but there is no way he is the starter, the only reason Holmgren said that was to make Weeden work for it, but there is little doubt that they all have him penciled in as the starter

  • Mansoor Khan

    I think you mean Lee Evans, not Mason. But you’re right. Ravens have had bad luck with fixing their WR issues. 

  • BIKI024

    if there is any guy who could make a QB “controversy” work, it seems like it would be Colt..  he has always said and done what’s best for the team.  Bottom line, them 2 pushing each other should make each other better.  From all accounts, Weeden seems to have the same type of demeanor and he would appreciate the competition to push each other to bring the best out of each other.  

    and if and when Colt gets the #2 (or #3) spot, he’ll do it like a pro and continue to work on his craft and be ready if his number is called.  he is not some prima donna that demands and expects to start.  does he want to play, of course, what guy in the NFL doesn’t want to play.  just because you’re QB doesn’t mean it’s any different for them than being a backup LB or DB on a roster.  he’s only going into his 3rd year, 2nd year actually if you ask Holmgren and Shurmur.. and we just saw Phil go down, and we haven’t had healthy QBs around here who have played all 16 games since 2007, so he’s one snap away from having another shot to show he can play.   i hope we keep him, but as the backup.

  • DAVID AYN

     It’s nice to be boring and win.  But if you mean that, then let the better man win the starting position.  Nobody wants a controversy, yet how can you find the best man for the job?  Competition is what builds winners; why do you seem opposed to that?

    If Quinn or DAnderson would return and win the job, I’m for him, or anybody else who can help the Browns win.

  • DAVID AYN

     Regardless of the back-up QB, if the starter loses the first and second games, and heaven forbid, the third, you know the fans will do more than chop at the bit for the back-up QB…even if it’s old and chubby me.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_732433N656BUGDJRA5EVT2SM3M Gregory

    The only thing stopping Weeden from being QB week one.  Is a full body cast. 

  • Gbcborger

    I have question what happens if this turns out like the Chargers. Colt has had the same numbers as Drew did. Which Qb do you think the Charger fans would like to have now.