Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's talk about Colt McCoy...

A little roundtable discussion from Cleveland Sports Torture about the Browns' Colt McCoy, and his role as quarterback going forward...

Brian: I am desperately trying to give Colt McCoy the benefit of the doubt. He shows definite leadership, and flashes of real playmaker ability. But the constant stream of dink-and-dunk passes and underthrown (yet rarely attempted) down the field balls is just too much to take. There was a question about his arm strength coming into the league, and I think that's what's showing up. Remember, similar musings about Tim Couch were heard before the 99 draft, and sure enough, that was a problem. Yes, I know the coaching on this team is abysmal. And the league-leading drops aren't helping. But to say that it's all drops and coaching FUBAR, is being dishonest. (And I'm not even counting the end zone interception Thursday. That was quintessential underthrowing by Colt, but that's all on the coaches after putting him back in after getting head-blasted by James Harrison.)

Sean:  Up until the past few weeks. I was in the camp of  'we really don't know what we have in Colt, let see how does with a few above average players around him.' He's a tough kid, blah, blah... Now I think if we can grab one of the top 3 QB in the draft next year...follow that up with OL & WR, and put Colt on the bench.

On the way home Jarod Cherry had a comment that  made me second guess myself. He said RGIII has the athleticism to extend plays (ulgh I'm so tired of that line) and avoid the sack, but that he is a deeper passer and not built for the dink and dunk passes the West Coast offense is known for.  And, that Barkley  would get eaten up in the pocket behind our weak ass line and end up like all of our other QB's in the past 12 years. I kind of see that point too. So we can just save this conversation and change the QB's name every 2 years or so.

Lerner is not a media guy, and is paying Holmgren to be the face of the brass, and he's nowhere. It's not like him sitting out at a press conference will solve anything, but still, I grow more apathetic with each game.

Kevin: Brian mention similarities between McCoy and Couch - the biggest similarity to me is that the Browns are going to (like they did to Couch) destroy a young QB, mentally and physically, by not putting enough around him. Couch may not have been worthy of a #1 overall pick, but the guy was certainly good enough to play in the league, which he wasn't able to do once he left the Browns (mainly because of injuries due to getting pummeled every Sunday).

Colt may not be the answer. But I don't see how anyone can fairly judge him. Sure he has mishaps, but how much of it is from just developing bad habits on this awful team (similar to Couch)? We can't just keep going on with this revolving door at QB... I think Colt needs (and I'd love to see it) a year with some good (or at least competent) talent and coaching. I saw flashes of  something special last year and I want that guy back. 

Doug: The Browns are in a terrible spot with McCoy. It's very difficult to determine exactly what they have in their young QB when his receivers are consistently dropping balls and the line is failing to protect him. But the confidence Colt showed last year looks shot, his decision-making is poor, the accuracy that is supposed to be his strong suit has steadily declined all season, and the physical tools manifest in the league's top-shelf quarterbacks are not in evidence.

The question the front office must ask themselves this off-season is, What is Colt's ceiling? McCoy is probably better than what he has displayed in 2011 - last year proved to an extent that he can make plays with on-field help and better playcalling from the sidelines. Still, his upside seems limited in a league where mediocre-to-good quaterbacking will simply not get you to the promised land. It's said that the true measure of a man is how he responds to adversity. McCoy has not responded well, and that should be very concerning to Messrs Holmgren and Heckert. 

SamVox: Count me in Colt's corner. Albeit slightly and infrequently, I've seen all the intangibles from McCoy that attract me to quarterbacks: vision, grit, intelligence, accuracy, class, and a clutch throw or two. He recalls Brian Sipe and Jeff Garcia. But Shurmur hasn't a clue about how to use Colt effectively. Pat and Big Show are too arrogant to watch film of Mangini rolling Colt out and/or keeping the defense flummoxed with a mixed bag of power-running plays and Colt's finesse. Certainly, Colt has made some shitty throws this year, but he'll learn about his limitations with experience. Unfortunately, our front office has done virtually nothing to assist with his development. Young receivers running poor routes and dropping bunnies are a weekly detriment. Vet wide-outs with skill are a dime a dozen, but only God knows why Homgren wouldn't sign one. And, obviously, our O-line is the NFL equivalent of second grade girls holding hands to form the weak part of the wall in "Rover, Come Over."

And please don't mention arm strength-- Jeff George, Derrick Anderson, Jamarcus Russell, etc. You can take your big arm and shove it up your scout's ass. The bottom line is we are losing football games to less than average NFL teams because Randy Lerner mistakenly gave our fat f__ President ten million dollars to bring his outdated football philosophy from the Pacific northwest--where it failed miserably--to our lakefront, where--wouldn't you know--it's failing miserably.

Ryan: Wow, I can't believe how much I agree with Kevin. I want Colt to succeed and, as Sam mentioned, I think he has all the intangibles to do so. That whole arm strength argument drive me crazy too, he certainly doesn't have a laser arm but he can still make all the necessary throws. It is impossible to judge him with the talent we have an offense. I hate the idea of drafting a QB in the first round(besides Luck) who will likely be a bust if we don't improve the guys around him.

When I was at the Pittsburgh game on Thursday we had nice upper deck seats on the 50 yard line. I was really able to see how well the Steelers receivers were able to separate from the DB's or find open holes in the zone. Roethlisberger would hit the receiver and they would have room to run. The Browns WR's don't create that separation or find open holes very often so all of Colt's passes have to be perfect and when he is running for his life I imagine that is hard to do.

I think Colt deserves more time with more talent. Hopefully the Browns can find talent in the draft and maybe spend some money in free agency this year.
I actually kind of hope McCoy can't play this week. I would like to see the kind of success Seneca Wallace will or won't have with the offense. That may tell us a little something about McCoy.

I do think it is funny that most people seem willing to give Colt more time but are already done with Shurmur. Certainly Shurmur's in game adjustments and play calling need a lot of work but the problem is talent. I think Colt and Shurmur both deserve next year to show improvement. I know Shurmur isn't going anywhere but if it was up to the fans he would be fired. I think Holmgren and Heckert both knew this year was a rebuilding year and planned on waiting until this off-season to find some impact free agents. At least I hope that is the plan.

Trout (guest contributor): I'm tired of this conversation right now. If there was someone on the bench that could have a future I'd spend more time thinking about it and decide whether to put him in or not. But there is no other option right now. Really, I think McCoy shows promise at times, as does the offense, but it's never consistent. Why, I don't know. The coach doesn't seem too bright. I think it's a bigger mess at RB. And I think that makes for a better conversation than the QB situation.

Now--whether to draft a QB or not. It comes down to who is available where. If a QB is the best option at that time take him. Even if Colt might be the answer, if the other QB is good you can trade him down the line or trade Colt a la Brees/Rivers. It worked out for both. Brees is in an offense that makes him better and Rivers is pretty good too. But if we have a draft risk on the board at QB but a stud LB is there, take the stud. I do think you should draft a QB in the top 4 every three years though. Just so you have a plan if someone gets hurt--or sucks.

Heckert knows who he likes, he liked Haden, Taylor and Sheard. He either trades down or takes the player he likes, Luckily for him we need all positions. It would be hard to pass up Richardson if we were able to get rid of this coach and get a real offense. If the Browns can get Richardson and a guard or tackle, then follow up by signing a WR it would be sick. 

Tom:  Before the season I was behind Colt 100%.'s more 60/40. I want him to be the guy but this year it seems like he has regressed. Not sure if it has to do more with the talent around him, however. The lack of arm strength doesn't bother me so much because how often does any NFL QB go more then 30+ yards in the air. His accuracy issues are more of a problem in my eyes. I read a couple of weeks ago his shoulder was bothering him, haven't heard much since so it may be an injury we don't know about. It doesn't help that the guys he's throwing to have issues with drops each week. I wish he was doing well just so we didn't have to worry about taking a QB high in the draft. Based on the looks of it, a good QB in round 1 is a possibility unfortunately.

The Browns really dropped the ball with his concussion though. I'm not sure what they were thinking. Ben Watson and Owen Maricec were benched for concussions and they weren't the ones de-cleated in front of the Browns' bench. For no one on the sideline to think he didn't possibly have a concussion is insane. I understand going back in the game eventually because he said he's ok, but he should have of at least been held out for the rest of the series. Its not like they didn't have another option at QB. Once again Shurmur dropped the ball with an injury situation.