Colt McCoy will not start at quarterback for the Browns in 2012
Cleveland is a town that loves its quarterback controversy—whether it be Couch vs. Holcomb or Anderson vs. Quinn.
That said, there will be no competition for the spot in 2012. The Browns have pretty much done everything but come out and said that first-round pick Brandon Weeden will find himself behind center when Cleveland opens the season against Philadelphia.
Well, that's what everyone thought until Browns team president Mike Holmgren went on 92.3 FM The Fan's The Bull and the Fox show and told the listening audience there would be an open competition for the starting quarterback.
"There’s going to be a competition as always and as it should be at every position," Holmgren said (transcripts from Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer).
Those words should be comforting to the Colt McCoy supporters out there, and there are more than you would think. They call local radio sports-talk shows daily, lamenting the fact McCoy played last year with no weapons (the receivers led the NFL in drops); he was just learning the West Coast offense; he played behind a leaky offensive line and he did not have a normal offseason because of the lockout.
All of those points are valid, but they don't take away the fact the Browns offense was one of the worst in the National Football League.
So here are five reasons Colt McCoy won't start at quarterback this season.
Brandon Weedon was the No. 22 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft
The Browns elected to take 28-year-old Brandon Weeden with the No. 22 pick.
Because of his age and high draft status, it's unlikely the Browns would consider allowing him to face off with McCoy in a training camp derby for the starting gig.
General manager Tom Heckert said as much during pre-draft media interviews, when he said players who are drafted in the first round are looked on by their organizations as immediate-impact type performers.
Weeden told The Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot he's ready to come in as the starter.
"If I'm asked to be the guy day one, I'm going to do everything on my part to put our team in position to win games and score points. I'm really anxious to get going, and the season will be here before you know it," said Weeden.
Colt McCoy's father ruffled feathers in the Browns organization.
The Browns front office reportedly holds a grudge against Colt McCoy because of something the quarterback's dad had to say about the franchise.
Brad McCoy criticized the Browns' handling of his son after Colt McCoy suffered a concussion during a Dec. 8 game against the Steelers.
McCoy was knocked out of the game but allowed to return shortly after, although he was clearly wobbly.
It was later determined that Colt McCoy had suffered a concussion. The injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. Brad McCoy told a reporter he would never have put his son back into the game.
ESPN 850's Tony Grossi recently reported that criticism led the Browns to write off McCoy as the team's starting quarterback.
Holmgren, during his interview with The Bull and the Fox, denied that Brad McCoy had turned the organization against his son.
"I’m kind of sorry that it came out like that, but as a father myself, I totally understand the emotion of it. But it was too bad, and I think immediately after it happened, everyone kind of felt like ‘Gee, it’s too bad that it happened,'" Holmgren said.
Greg Little led the Browns receivers in catches
The Browns receivers were awful in 2011.
Greg Little led the unit with a paltry total of 61 catches.
Evan Moore and Josh Cribbs tied for the team lead in TD receptions with four.
The Browns would seem to clearly have a problem at receiver, but the front office didn't address it in the draft or free agency.
They took one receiver in the draft, and that was in the fourth round, when they selected University of Miami wideout Travis Benjamin. Most experts look at Benjamin as more of special teams player than someone who is going to dominate a game from a pass-catching perspective.
That said, the Browns likely think the problem with the passing game had more to do with Colt McCoy than a group of receivers with what appears to be a collective case of butterfingers.
Mike Holmgren clarified in the same The Bull and the Fox interview cited earlier in this slideshow that the Browns did target Baylor receiver Kendall Wright with the No. 22 pick in the first round. But when the Tennessee Titans snatched Wright at No. 20, the Browns elected to go ahead and take Weeden.
Colt McCoy struggled to throw the deep ball
Colt McCoy struggled to throw the ball deep last year.
He averaged just 5.9 yards per attempt, second-lowest in the league behind Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert (5.4 yards per attempt).
McCoy also struggled with his accuracy as well.
He ranked 26th out of 33 quarterbacks, with a completion percentage of 57.2.
Colt McCoy has not proven he can win in the NFL
Colt McCoy graduated from Texas with the most career wins in NCAA football history.
He's not been so successful in the NFL.
In two seasons, he's just 6-15 as a starter for the Browns and is 0-8 in the AFC North.