April 19, 2014

Colt McCoy Should Be Dissatisfied but Not Surprised

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?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I think Weeden better enjoy his crowning and the people who annointed him so quickly because their jobs are now on the clock. There is a real possibility Weeden might be Colt McCoy in a year and the people who drafted Weeden will be elsewhere. The irony abounds.

  • Harv 21

    I agree about not trading him just to do so. Few starting QBs make it through an entire season, and might be wise to expect some blindside hits on Weeden his rookie year. If Colt’s improved some I’d much rather have him back up than Wallace, who is also limited physically but after 10 years in the league certainly not getting any better. Unlike Chris Perez, Colt will shut up once people stop jabbing the mic in his face.

  • BenRM

    Except for, ya know, Weeden has some level of discernible talent.

  • humboldt

    Speaking of the GLC, does anyone know if the game against the Lions will be viewable for out-of-towners?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I for one would relish in the end of QB discussions so lets hope that discernible talent is NFL caliber and not collegiate. It would be a pity for Weeden to go 0-2 in professional sports careers.

  • BenRM

    Indeed.

  • Mike E

    www. firstrowsports .eu

    maybe we can’t post links here because this is the third time I’ve tried. But you should be able to catch the game using the link above.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremy-Humbert/100001904340553 Jeremy Humbert

    NFL network is airing it at 1 am Sunday night (or Monday morning, which ever you prefer) I have it set to record. They don’t normally air pre-season or regular season Browns games here in Oklahoma City…

  • humboldt

    thanks Mike

  • humboldt

    Good to know, thank you

  • Dee P

    I live in St. Louis and use this site often for Browns preseason games….works well.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    Just for the record, NFL does offer a package of live / on-demand preseason streaming for $20… almost slightly less offensive than paying full price tickets for the games… :-)

    https://preseason.nfl.com/nflpl/secure/packages?ttv=0&ttp=3

  • SDA

    I believe STO is also

  • sebarron

    Only a moron would even try to evaluate Colt realistically under the past circumstances. I mean 11 against 1 isn’t a good way to develop any player. Colt playing for the Texans would have won every game. Brady playing for the Browns would have lost 14 games.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    If the past is any indication, McCoy will get another chance at some point this season. When was the last time the Browns made it through an entire season with the same QB?

    And on the flip side, if Weeden does start all 16 games, I would like to think that would mean that he is playing reasonably well, and/or we are winning a reasonable amount of games.

  • Full Bred Dawg

    When we get back to winning agn, the saying “Cleveland Rocks” will have a whole new meaning. The best and most devoted fans in the country are Cleveland fans. Sink or swim, we love OUR Browns. Unlike the fans of the southern Ohio team, who only attend IF they are winning, if even then .

  • Cleveland_Rocks

    Does an sub-average player have a right to feel “betrayed” by a team that has been actively shopping for his replacement for 6 months?

    It’s laughable that people feel sad or disappointed for Colt McCoy because he was “wronged.”

  • LazyDawg

    Hopefully they will keep McCoy as the back-up. He for one is far better than Wallace and much more economical to keep around. He just needs to get rid of the ball quicker and quit staring down his primary receiver.

  • Keith B McGlothin

    I agree with you totally that this “competition” was no different than last year. It never mattered what Wallace did, if you attended camp last year, Wallace was clearly looked the better of the 2, most would say he should have, he knew the offense best. That was the primary reason he should have been the starter, McCoy was named the starter, and they in a sense, put his evaluation, and development ahead of TEAM.

    Then to watch McCoy struggle through the season with his poor play, never allowing the offense to progress. McCoy failed to generate a 1st or 3rd quarter TD through 10 games. He not only started games poorly, but he failed to make adjustments at halftime. The change should have been made after struggling to beat Seattle 6-3. McCoy had 30 more offensive snaps, and the best he could generate were 2 FG’s by Dawson from over 50 YDS. I know what matters most is winning games, but on this day the Browns just didn’t lose, due more so to a blown call on a Seattle punt returned for TD.

    McCoy did have a good game vs Green Bay in the pre-season, but it resembled more 7 on 7 drills than live game action. Green Bay didn’t play starters on defense, I know Woodson was out, they never pressured McCoy, and quite frankly, was just trying to get through that first game healthy. The true measuring stick in the pre-season is game 3, and truly was a reflection of McCoy’s play through the regular season. McCoy had 6 possessions.had 4 punts, missed a FG, tossed an INT, SACK 3 times, and had a QBR of 41.2. Nothing about his performance warranted him not playing in the final pre-season game. He was actually outplayed by both Wallace, and Brown who didn’t make the team, yet this confirmed McCoy as the starter, In a game that meant the most, he played the worst…only in Cleveland.

    McCoy has no value, if he had someone would have already traded for him. McCoy doesn’t protect the ball, he has a TD/INT ratio of 20/20, which has been greatly helped out by about 6-8 meaningless late TD drives. He’s also been SACK 55 times, with 12 FUM, only 2 lost, with a QBR of 74.5. He’s also yet to win a division game. Wallace is the QB that protects the ball (31/18), SACK 55 times, with 19 FUM, losing 10, but has appeared in 41 more games, and has a QBR of 81.3. You might want to get your facts straight, unless you have another means of defining, or determining ball protection. McCoy’s TOP isn’t very impressive either, even facing prevent defenses in most 4th quarters, if not 2nd H.

    McCoy is easy to defend, you press outside, taking away the 5 YD pass, and you bring pressure to his strong side. He had no running game because the backs had no run lanes. When you have a QB with obvious limitations, and only see’s half the field, the extra bodies he invites in the box, effectively took away run lanes, on their way to the QB. Its no mistake Hillis had his best games with Wallace at QB, prior to being banged up in the finale vs Pittsburgh.

    While McCoy had more TD than INT, at least 5 were meaningless, in other words scored after the game had already been decided. You know when defenses shut it down, and let you complete a few passes, while also improving your TOP. The fact is, McCoy inhibited the Browns offense, Hillis was the same back who was slowed by season’s end with McCoy at QB when defenses figured him out, and effectively took away Hillis. Was RT a problem, I’ll give you that, but when opposing defenses are bringing pressure to your strong side, why continuously go there? Why put added pressure on your RT? Its called making an adjustment to force the defense to adjust, McCoy never did. Opposing defenses couldn’t defend Wallace the same manner they did McCoy. There is always a means to one’s final numbers, contrary to popular belief, McCoy and Wallace, are not the same.

    McCoy is a game manager at best, and if the Browns deemed that to be enough, they wouldn’t have selected Weeden with the #22 pick. Mccoy is nothing more than a victim, of the process he benefited from last year. In the end, he’s nothing more than a casualty of his own poor play. What complicates matters is how Browns brass has handled it, starting with praising McCoy through poor play, honesty never has to be explained. In regards to Weeden, I don’t think he’s ready to play, and handing him the job, and sending him out there, is basically setting him up to fail. This equates to a 1 year tryout, its no wonder he wanted his contact fully guaranteed. If he fails, the position will have to be addressed in the next off-season/draft, and with the regime change, there may be a change there anyways.

    As we’ve witnessed, you can’t just hand the ball off to Richardson, to try and mask poor QB play, in the same manner as was done with Hillis. There has to be balance. If McCoy had put up these same numbers in Pittsburgh, he would be cut, and it wouldn’t be questioned. Only in Cleveland is mediocrity valued, where nice guys get to stick around for having good attitudes. The writing was on the wall for McCoy the moment the Browns drafted a QB, and it really wouldn’t have mattered where. He was given the job last year, and failed at keeping it, that doesn’t automatically qualify him as being the back-up. It doesn’t come down to money, the browns are about 15 million under the cap, if I’m not mistaken. It’s about keeping the guy that’s most valuable, that makes the most sense, not least cents. What can Weeden gain from McCoy, who barely knows the offense himself? Just having perceived better talent around, doesn’t automatically make one better.

    I will say the Browns did McCoy a terribly dis-service in how they managed, and developed him, but opportunities are what you make of them, and McCoy should ask for his release, and choose his own path. Everyone wanted Brady Quinn, assumed he was the QB of the franchise, he’s yet to make a footnote in the league, though he has a victory over Pittsburgh on his resume. He chose to go to Kansas City, maybe hoping for another Crennel coin flip, I don’t see him getting on the field there, unless there’s an injury to Cassel. Maybe McCoy should go to Dallas, or Houston, either way, he’s not an NFL caliber starting QB, maybe he can effectively become a teams backup, or developmental project. I’m sure how much in won at Texas will always have meaning there.

    Follow me on twitter at BrksfromthePnd