Colt McCoy should be dissatisfied. That’s the nature of being a quarterback. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Seneca Wallace. If you’re not starting you want to be and more than likely think you should be. You can’t begin to approach the position without a desire to want the ball in your hands. From that perspective, I’m almost relieved that Colt McCoy expressed some displeasure with the “competition” for Browns QB to date. Simultaneously, despite what Pat Shurmur says, I think the competition is really just beginning.
While I certainly understand Colt McCoy finding it unfair, to think that Colt McCoy doesn’t “get it” is also impossible to understand. This time last year, he was Brandon Weeden. There was no competition between Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace. Colt McCoy would have had to open the door for Wallace in practice. Similarly, McCoy then had opportunities to open the door for Wallace again in the pre-season. McCoy went 9/10 for 135 yards and a TD against Green Bay. McCoy threw three TD passes against Detroit. McCoy was mediocre in the tune-up game going 9/18 with an interception and taking three sacks before not playing in the fourth game at all. By the time the Eagles sacked McCoy three times in the third game, it was all over and he was the starter.
Was it a competition? Sure, kind of. If Colt McCoy laid an egg in the first two games and Seneca Wallace lit it up, there’s no telling who would have been under center week one against the Bengals. Same thing this Friday in the GLC. Colt McCoy will get a chance to play, most likely immediately after Brandon Weeden. If Brandon Weeden completes 30% of his passes and throws two or more interceptions and then Colt McCoy leads a couple TD drives, what do you think will happen? On August 16th when the Browns take on Green Bay, if something similar happens, guess who is going to find themselves back in the QB conversation?
Pat Shurmur is auditioning for his job now, and he is going to do whatever he thinks will give him the best chance to win. This is no longer a guaranteed three-year stint at head coach as he helps develop the roster under the tutelage of Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert. Yes, they decided early and decisively this off-season that they were better off trying to win with someone other than Colt McCoy, but Brandon Weeden is an unknown quantity right now. All indications from practice are that Weeden is going to be fine and give the Browns a better chance to win than Colt McCoy, but it’s only practice. Let’s just wait until the first quarter is over on Friday and Brandon Weeden’s seen Ndamukong Suh charging toward him.
Lastly, for those who are looking to run Colt McCoy out of town… Unless the Browns get solid value in trade, there is really no reason to do anything. Colt McCoy may not be the kind of cornerstone athlete that you build your team around, but in a quarterback deficient league, there’s no reason to think that a guy who protects the ball isn’t extremely valuable as a backup.
Say what you want about Colt McCoy, he’s not a turnover machine. In a decidedly bad situation a year ago, without a real running back and with a right tackle that could barely walk by season’s end, Colt McCoy still threw more TDs than INTs. Even if he’s just your backup, with a better supporting cast including Trent Richardson, I like the prospect of having Colt McCoy around in case Brandon Weeden suffers a dreaded high ankle sprain, for example.
As we await the arrival of Joe Banner, tell me a first-rate business and salary cap guru wouldn’t be proclaiming the business sense of a young backup QB that is under control for just over $1 million over the next two years. The alternative is Seneca Wallace for two years and over $5 million. Is that really even a choice?