I have been a huge Colt McCoy fan and supporter from the moment the Browns drafted him in the third round of the 2010 draft. I was happy to see the Browns make a low risk, high reward pick on McCoy in the third round.
Colt McCoy at Texas was a winner. He was a smart football player, with a good head on his shoulders. He broke all sorts of Texas and NCAA records, including the most wins in FBS history. I thought, finally, the Browns had a winner. I thought they should let him sit for a while, and eventually Colt would be the Cleveland Browns starter for years to come.
Colt has struggled in his first few seasons with the Browns. Thus far, Colt has posted a respectable 58.4% completion percentage, 4,309 yards passing, 20 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, and a 74.5 QB Rating. The most startling statistic has been his wins and losses. He has won just 6 games while losing 15. In his career at Texas, he won 45 games.
While some people aren’t willing to make this excuse for Colt, I am. Colt is not at fault for the Browns record. Yes, he has been somewhat lackluster, but Colt has not had the adequate talent around him to win football games. Last season, rookie Greg Little was the leading receiver. The year before that, tight end Ben Watson was the leading receiver. Both of these facts, while startling, are just that: facts. The Browns haven’t had an elite receiver since the days of Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards, before he started dropping everything thrown at him. The Browns offensive line, while solid in Colt’s first year, struggled immensely last season. Peyton Hillis and the Browns rushing attack was no where to be found last season. Colt hasn’t gotten any help from the Browns offensive “weapons”, if you could even call them that.
So here’s what to do with Colt.
I specifically remember Browns President Mike Holmgren saying that Colt McCoy wouldn’t touch the field in his first year, and may not even start until his third year in the NFL. Well, that prognostication by Holmgren was far from accurate. Colt not only played his rookie season, but started in almost half of the games. He also started 13 out of 16 games in his sophomore campaign. In Holmgren’s prediction, this should be the year in which Colt McCoy would get his first full NFL season under his belt. Since that has already happened, it’s time to backtrack a little bit in terms of Colt’s development.
The Browns could be set at QB for years to come if they develop both Colt and Brandon Weeden correctly.
It’s obvious that Weeden needs to start as soon as possible, simply due to his age. The Browns drafted him to start, and start he will. That doesn’t mean that the Browns need to rid themselves of Colt McCoy, however. Colt has some experience under his belt, but he now needs to roam the sidelines and learn. Colt is only 25 years old and can sit on the sidelines for a few years until Weeden begins to decline.
Weeden has played in a professional setting before, all be it in a different sport, and has the talent to be a very good NFL Quarterback. His age, however, is what is holding him back from being the franchise QB the Browns have so desperately needed. His lack of time is what is holding the Browns hostage. If Weeden was 23, the Browns could play Colt for another year or two and eventually hand the reigns over to Weeden who could then have a 10 year NFL career. Unfortunately for the Browns, that’s not the case. Instead, they have two quarterbacks who should be in the prime of their careers, who are instead just beginning their NFL journeys. Colt’s step back and Weeden’s leap forward have put the Browns in limbo, but again if they play it right, the Browns could make this seemingly difficult situation, into a beneficial one.
Start Weeden now. Keep Colt on the sidelines for a few years. Let Weeden hit his prime. The minute he starts to show signs of decline, start Colt and let him play until it’s time for him to hang it up.
The only problem with this plan is Brad McCoy.
Brad McCoy does not like the Cleveland Browns organization. He has already complained about their treatment of his son, and wants Colt out of Cleveland as soon as possible. While Colt has remained faithful, hardworking, and has been everything off the field that the Browns hoped he would be, his father has been quite the opposite. My worry for my plan is that Brad McCoy somehow convinces Colt or the Browns to let Colt leave Cleveland. The Browns would then be back at square one in terms of their “franchise quarterback”. Weeden has only about 5-8 years to be an effective NFL starter and while the Browns are certainly getting better, I think their Super Bowl window is a bit further away than that. Essentially, when the rest of the Browns are ready to compete for the Super Bowl, Brandon Weeden will begin his decline as an NFL QB simply in terms of age. The timing would be horrendous, so my hope is that Brad McCoy will come to terms with having his son sit until Weeden’s time runs out.
All along, I have thought that Colt McCoy would be the QB who would lead the Browns to the Super Bowl. He just has that hard-nosed, down and dirty mentality that the Browns need to lead them to the promised land. While Brandon Weeden will certainly help us in the short-term, Colt McCoy is the long term guy for the Cleveland Browns. If the Browns do as I say, which they probably won’t, Colt McCoy could be leading the Browns to the Super Bowl.
So what do you think the Browns should do? Let me know in the comments section or on Twitter @H_Grove !
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