This forum post got me thinking about Colt McCoy and his chances for success in Cleveland. I read the article in that post about the possibility of him being cut and wasn’t surprised or even taken aback by it. Mainly because I already believed that Cleveland was a terrible spot for Colt to end up. It’s not necessarily all Colt’s fault, but there are some things that are obviously his own personal obstacles.
Those obstacles are the listed below in decreasing importance:
- Arm - This is the whole reason why he was drafted in the 3rd round in the first place (and his height). Someone of his ilk might point to his 70+% completion percentage but I don’t believe he is that accurate nor did he have to make the throws that the NFL will require to get to that 70% in the pros.
- Lack of Pocket Awareness – A lof the comments in that post made mention of Colt not being good at going through his options, happy feet (well, I’m adding that one) and processing information quickly. To me, it all points towards him having poor pocket awareness in general. I have watched the Big 12 CG many times in the past few months and even though our offensive line was getting tossed around like rag dolls against Nebraska, Colt was bailing on the pocket almost as the ball was being snapped. In the NFL, the difference between bad and good quarterbacks and even between good and great quarterbacks is the ability to stand in under fire and deliver the necessary throws. There is always pressure and I have trouble seeing Colt stand in there and take it at all, much less consistently every game. This is also the reason why I see Sam Bradford failing in the NFL. Maybe some people more familiar with the QB position can say whether this can be learned and improved to the extent necessary at this point in his career.
- Injury History – Look, when Colt went down against KSU his freshman year, I was worried sick about what that injury would do to a QB like him. We were counting on him for another 3 years. When he went down again against ATM two weeks later, I had all but given up on Colt. It took him over a year to regain his arm after that game. It was the worst kind of injury in my opinion. It would not keep him out of games but it could always come back at anytime without a major hit needed. With the style of football he plays, I feel lucky that Colt made it as far as he did without re-injuring the shoulder. In the NFL, given point #2, Colt is going to experience a lot more hits and these hits will be more forceful and make another injury to that same shoulder very likely.
Back to the point of this post, the obstacles that Cleveland the Organization and the City will present are also going to work against Colt’s chances for NFL success.
- Cleveland’s Wide Receiving Corps – When Mohammed Massoquoi is your #1 wide receiver and the rest of your top 4 are Brian Robiskie, Josh Cribbs (the punt returner) and Chancey Stuckey, that’s not good. Which one of those do you want Colt locking in on every 3rd down?
- Defenses in AFC North – Colt will be playing these teams 6 times a year: Cincinatti, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Do they get any pressure on the QB? See point #2 above again as to why this one is very important. But to be fair, a lot of quarterbacks would struggle facing those defenses that many times. I was personally hoping he would go to SF in order to get Arizona, St Louis and Seattle 6 times a year.
- Weather – I don’t see this one mentioned a lot but I think this one will definitely have an adverse effect on Colt. Every year after the 6th or 7th game of the season, Colt will most likely be playing in some cold, windy shit weather. It’s just another reason why there haven’t been any good Cleveland quarterbacks in my life time.
What Cleveland does have going for them is a good offensive line but they are more run blockers than pass blockers. I’m not sure if second year offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has an offense that suits Colt or not. I figure it’s some sort of West Coast offense since Holmgren is in charge. I also have no doubt that Colt will work as hard as anybody to improve and be successful but so will Tim Tebow and that guy is going to suck in the NFL.
At the end of the day, I don’t expect Cleveland to cut their 3rd round pick. Seneca Wallace is not the future there either so Colt will be given the chance to be brought along slowly. I just don’t think he can be successful long term unless a lot of the factors above change.
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