McCoy has just completed his second NFL season. During that time, the third round pick out of Texas has started just 21 NFL games.
Sure, his second season was uneven, but McCoy did show some improvement, finishing 2011 with more touchdown passes than interceptions (14-11) despite the fact that he was surrounded by one of the poorest offenses in the NFL.
The Browns offense didn’t have a great stable of talent to begin with and then they were decimated by injuries. Their top offensive weapon, Peyton Hillis, had a horrible season that was marred by injuries and questions about his attitude. Cleveland ranked 28th in the league in rushing yards which certainly didn’t give McCoy much support.
His receiving corps also left a lot to be desired. The Browns had an up and coming wide receiver in rookie Greg Little but no other receivers or tight ends who struck fear in the hearts of opponents.
The offensive line was also banged up and mediocre. Other than Joe Thomas, the front line lacks All Pro talent and the results were obvious: a running game that didn’t have very many holes to run through and a quarterback who was consistently under pressure from opposing pass rushers.
Basically, McCoy didn’t have a chance to develop as a quarterback and show what he can do. Most NFL quarterbacks still require three years for the game to slow down as they gain knowledge of their team’s system and what it takes to be successful in the NFL. McCoy had barely half that amount of time and little talent to around him.
No matter how talented a quarterback is, he won’t put up great numbers if receivers are not open, defenders are always in his face and he is always facing third and long because his running game isn’t very effective.
The Browns selected a quarterback in the first round of the draft in Brandon Weeden who will be 29-years-old before the 2012 NFL season gets underway. McCoy will be only 26. Weeden has no NFL experience and will face a learning curve that McCoy is already part of the way through.
With the exception of franchise QBs like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, teams rarely get value if they use high picks in the draft to select a quarterback. The NFL is a passing league and the supply for
signal callers is not as great as the demand.
It would have made more sense for the Browns to give McCoy one more year to develop before trying to find another quarterback. If he developed in year three, the Browns had the QB they can build around. If he fails to show enough improvement, Cleveland would have been in a good position to draft one of the top quarterbacks coming out in the 2013 NFL draft.
Colt McCoy may be heading out of Cleveland before the new NFL season begins. And Browns fans may never know whether or not he could have been the answer behind center that the team has been looking for since
Bernie Kosar left town roughly 20 years ago.