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Colt McCoy: Leading the Browns Back from NFL Obscurity

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 25:  Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles during their pre season game on August 25, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
John SzurlejAnalyst ISeptember 7, 2011

The Browns'

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 13: Josh Cribbs #16 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates in the dog pound after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 13, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ja
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Colt McCoy has shown this preseason that he has matured as an NFL passer.

The lessons from future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre seemed to have been worth the time spent learning the ins and outs of the West Coast offense and reading defenses.

If anything the preseason has shown us it's that there is a marked improvement in the way McCoy has been able to show patience in the pocket.

This preseason, McCoy has thrown four touchdowns to one interception and has recorded a QB rating of nearly 102.0 while completing 61 percent of his passes.

When examined, McCoy has been able to avoid the jitters and insecurities that would have made him rush throws and risk turning the ball over in the past.

In the preseason Week 1 game against the Packers, the young QB dropped back, set and waited for the play to establish itself before unloading to Joshua Cribbs for a touchdown. What was more impressive is he did this as the pocket started to collapse in on him.

Last year, McCoy may have been rattled and either scrambled or thrown the ball prematurely.

Instead, he stood his ground and threw the ball where only his receiver was able to catch it, all without allowing the cornerback to know when the ball was in the air.

GREEN BAY - AUGUST 14: Brian Robiskie #80 of the Cleveland Browns makes a touchdown catch during the NFL preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field August 14, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
Tom Dahlin/Getty Images

This is a prime example of his maturity.

In his other touchdown passes, McCoy has shown better decision making overall, as he is scanning his receivers better and has worked on looking off defenders.

His one interception is when he was rushed and threw off of his back foot to Ansante Samuel of the Eagles. Hopefully those lessons are some that Favre left out, as it hauntingly reminded me of some of his Favreisms.

Looking at his preseason also reveals something that needs to be acknowledged. McCoy was sacked three times for 23 yards.

The important thing here is that he didn't try to make something happen and force a play that wasn't there on those which he could have.

McCoy is developing a good rapport with receivers like Brian Robiskie and Greg Little, as well as his No. 1 wide out, Joshua Cribbs. If he continues to grow this trust with these receivers, I would look for a huge improvement form the units production this year.

With the weapons he has in Peyton Hillis and Benjiman Watson, McCoy should be able to have room to breathe as they will also take undue stress off of his arm.

McCoy has made it his point to learn as much as he could, without waiting for someone to teach him, he has decided to take the next step on his own accord, and for that the Cleveland Browns will benefit overall.

With continued growth, McCoy can now lead this Cleveland team out of the shadows and back into the light of the NFL world. It will be a good day when the Browns return to relevance in the NFL and become a contending team again.

It may not happen this season, but if things continue down the road they are on, the Browns will once again return to greatness.

Overall, if McCoy can keep his composure and continue to make solid decisions, he could easily become a dangerous quarterback.

I wouldn't be surprised to see McCoy throw for close to 2,500 yards and tally 15 touchdowns this season.

He has the opportunity to lead this team and carry it on his shoulders, and I see that happening.

Welcome back, Cleveland!

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