Colt McCoy: Backup QB Excellent Insurance Policy for Cleveland Browns

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IINovember 25, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 30: Quarterback Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns drops back for a pass during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 30, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The circle of life was in action for the Cleveland Browns’ quarterbacks this week as the team took on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Colt McCoy’s 2011 season ended due to a concussion he suffered against Pittsburgh, and he made his return to the field after rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden was taken out of the game following a blow to the head. The Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich noted the incident via Twitter:

Regarding injury of #Browns QB Brandon Weeden, he hit his head as he bounced off hip of LT Joe Thomas. #NFL #Steelers

— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) November 25, 2012

The game was a rare bright spot in the Browns’ 2012 campaign, and good news followed regarding Weeden. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported the following via Twitter:

Browns expect Brandon Weeden to be fine. Sounds like it was mostly precautionary with him.

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 25, 2012

Weeden’s early exit certainly caused Browns fans to worry, but the Cleveland faithful have less reason to be concerned than many other fanbases, as McCoy is an excellent backup.

He started 13 games for Cleveland last season and completed 57.2 percent of his passes for 2,733 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. 

Through his first 10 games, Weeden has completed 2,298 passing yards and thrown 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while recording a 55.3 completion percentage. He added 158 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the Steelers before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter. 

The two quarterbacks' stats are similar. Weeden has the slight edge, but if McCoy were forced to step in at some point this season, there would not be a significant drop off. 

Despite McCoy’s ability, there will not be any quarterback controversy in Cleveland. The Browns invested a first-round pick in Weeden and he is already 29 years old. The team will give him time to prove that he was worth a high draft choice. 

McCoy has handled his demotion with class and remains a valuable member of the team. If he has to factor into the team’s plans this season or farther in the future, he is a player that the team can comfortably rely on. 

Cleveland has improved throughout the season and now has a chance to go on a winning streak.

With games against the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs on their plate, the Browns have an excellent shot to win three consecutive games. If Weeden’s injury had been more serious, McCoy would have been completely capable of stepping in and helping his team to victories in these contests.

A reliable backup is an extremely underrated part of an NFL roster, and Weeden’s injury scare should serve to remind Browns fans that their team’s understudy is one of the better second-string options in the NFL.

The Browns have a chance to finish out their season on a high note, and if McCoy is called upon, he will help continue the team’s progression.