Colt McCoy addressed the media Tuesday for the first time this offseason and he seemed baffled and rattled about his future with the Browns. Perhaps baffled isn’t the right word. Perhaps he was, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on draft night, blindsided by the team’s selection of Brandon Weeden with the 22nd pick.
McCoy looked and sounded defeated Tuesday, and though he put up the good verbal front — or at least tried — he seemed rattled that the Browns did not deed him the starting quarterback spot.
In a way his reaction is kind of surprising.
McCoy didn’t play all that well last season, and he was told when the season ended that there would be competition in 2012.
He’s got it, full bore.
Now the Browns have to make a difficult decision. And that is whether they are better off with McCoy as the backup or with McCoy on another team.
Because he only thing that would keep Weeden from starting against Philadelphia on Sept. 9 would be catastrophe in the sense that he’s terrible or he’s injured. Injury is always possible, but a team can’t plan for disaster. Weeden looks far from terrible.
Then again, it’s still practice in shorts.
The argument for McCoy being Weeden’s backup are the same old ones that have been trotted out the past 13 years when the Browns chewed up a quarterback.
He knows the offense. He’s a competitor. He’s a good guy. He cares. He believes. He walks little old ladies across the street every chance he gets. He even trims his parents shrubbery, with a hand trimmer.
All this really is meaningless, because his presence on the team comes down to ability and the team. And the concerns about McCoy staying might carry more weight.
Though McCoy was noble in his statement that he didn’t want the Browns offseason to be about him and Weeden, it’s almost inevitable if both are on the team. D’Qwell Jackson admitted the quarterback spot will be the talk of the town.
Every pass Weeden throws will be measured, and if he struggles early there will be calls for McCoy. Somehow a fan base that wanted to run McCoy out of town all last season now seems sympathetic and supportive of him.
It just doesn’t work — as the last 13 years have shown. Every time the Browns had a quarterback competition or controversy or companionship it blew up in their face.
The Washington Redskins named Robert Griffin III the starter already. They removed any and all doubt. The Browns keep saying they will have this competition, and McCoy said he was promised he would compete. Tuesday, it was McCoy running with the first team.
The early returns are in. Weeden is bigger, stronger, throws harder and his ball gets to receivers faster. An 11-on-11 drill in OTAs is not definitive, but McCoy’s first throw was an interception.
Weeden will struggle, too. He’ll throw picks in games and there will be tough days — especially with that gauntlet of a first six games.
But the sooner he gets in with all the starters, the better.
McCoy gave the Browns his all, and he’s to be commended for that. But sometimes a player’s all is not enough. McCoy played in brutal circumstances, but he didn’t help himself much either. He’s also not the first guy to face a change after playing in brutal circumstances.
Some of his words Tuesday are more than understandable. It’s tough to see someone brought in to take your job, and when you care it’s double-tough.
But some of what he said sounded a bit entitled, which has been a constant theme of the Browns at many positions since 1999.
While McCoy sounded rattled, Weeden said he really preferred not to be named the starter because he wanted to compete and prove he deserved the job.
“I want to go out and win the job,” he said.
Perhaps too much is being made of McCoy’s words and demeanor. Perhaps it’s the way he is. It wasn’t too long ago that Jon Gruden was challenging him to be more assertive when he spoke on that silly quarterback show.
But at this point it just seems better for all involved to cut through the murk and give McCoy a chance elsewhere. Way back on April 28 I opined that it was “better for (McCoy), better for Weeden and better for the Browns” to give McCoy a new beginning with another team.
That truth seems more self-evident today.