Colt McCoy Must Stop Whining and Start Competing

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystAugust 7, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08:  Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns looks to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 8, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Not surprisingly, Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur's decision to elevate rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden into the starting lineup didn't sit well with 2011 starter Colt McCoy.

However, if McCoy would like to see game action anytime soon then he may want to do a little more talking between the lines and a little less talking off of it.

As Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Tuesday, it didn't take long for the third-year pro to make his thoughts known on the subject, and shock and amazement that Colt McCoy isn't happy.

"I would like to say that I haven't taken any snaps in walk-through or in practice with the first group," said McCoy. "I've come out here and made myself better with the reps I've got and I feel really good and really healthy and I look forward to some preseason games coming up pretty quick."

Asked if he was surprised he didn't get work with the ones, he said: "I thought coming in it would be a competition. But again I've come out here and competed my tail off and I've really worked hard to get better and improve and I know I have and I know our team has. So from that standpoint I am OK."

According to the report, McCoy didn't comment as to whether he wanted be released or traded, but assuming that his mailing address isn't Fantasy Island, McCoy had to know that the writing was on the wall. In the best of possible worlds, he would have been engaged in a quarterback "competition" that he had no real chance of winning.

Simply put, the Cleveland Browns didn't draft Brandon Weeden with the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft for him to sit behind McCoy, especially given the fact that at 28 years old, Weeden is already the oldest player ever selected in the first round of the draft.

It would have taken a jaw-dropping performance by McCoy in camp or a full-on faceplant by Weeden for McCoy to have any shot at keeping the job as starter. To no one's surprise, neither of those things had happened to this point. Plain Dealer beat writer Terry Pluto stated that "Weeden has been the better looking quarterback, period."

Now McCoy had better stow his disappointment and righteous indignation and go about the business of getting ready to function as Weeden's backup, or the former Texas standout may find himself going from starter to backup to unemployed altogether.

Whether Colt McCoy likes it or not, the fact of the matter is he's a backup-caliber passer in the National Football League. The numbers don't lie: a 57 percent completion percentage, a passer rating of less than 75 and a paltry 5.9 yards per attempt that ranked 31 out of 32 starting NFL quarterbacks last year.

Also, it's not like the Browns are alone in their assessment of McCoy. Ever since Weeden was drafted it's been no state secret that Colt McCoy was probably available, and yet in Cleveland he still sits, no doubt due in large part to those less than impressive numbers I just rattled off.

Sure, it didn't help those numbers that the Browns had no running game to speak of in 2011, or that their cadre of wide receivers a year ago may have been the worst in the National Football League.

However, Weeden has been throwing to those same receivers this spring and has, according to Pluto at least, looked much better for one predominant reason...he has a better arm than Colt McCoy does.

Colt McCoy is at a crossroads in his professional career. He can either accept his new role in Cleveland, work and prepare as best he can to get back onto the field should Brandon Weeden falter or get hurt; or, he can pout and grouse to the media, force his way out of Cleveland and hope that another NFL team will take a chance on him.

As, you know, a backup.