By Brad VanFossan
Browns training camp has begun and it's as if Colt McCoy was drafted by another team. You have to dig deep and sit through interviews with Jake Delhomme, Josh Cribbs, Mike Holmgren, Seneca Wallace, TJ Ward, and even Peyton Hillis before you get to any news on Colt McCoy. Ok, maybe I'm being partially facetious, but the spotlight is definitely not on the rookie QB, and that's a good thing.
Shortly after the NFL draft in late April, Browns team President Mike Holmgren announced that he had no plans to play Colt McCoy this year, but that it would be a sit, watch and learn kind of year. Based on the majority of rookie quarterbacks over the years that have been thrown into the fire and imploded, this decision makes perfect sense. The Browns finally have a guy in charge who really knows football that has seen this plan unfold nicely. Better late than never. All apologies to Tim Couch.
I am by no means saying that Colt McCoy will be a star in the NFL, let alone an above average quarterback, but I do think sitting him out this year, gives him the best chance at having the opportunity to succeed long term.
Not only will this be a learning year, but since there are no expectations on McCoy, the media attention isn't there either for his first training camp. There are no quarterback battle questions being asked to him repeatedly every day, no pressure to make that perfect throw every rep, and no pressing to learn the playbook at a rapid fire pace. Everything is an absorb and then let things fall into place approach.
Although he's not a Pro Bowl quarterback, Jake Delhomme has been to a Super Bowl, and you can argue he was a big reason why the Panthers got there in the 2003 season. So this isn't a bad guy to have on the roster for McCoy to be able to pick his brain, and Seneca Wallace and Josh Cribbs can provide the insight and viewpoints of a more diverse, mobile quarterback approach. So there is a plethera of information available for McCoy should he welcome it.
When next year rolls around and Colt McCoy is expected to make a run at the starting quarterback position, he won't be an overwhelmed rookie not sure how to handle himself, the media, and he won't be trying to make the perfect throw on every play, he'll have a grasp on the offense, and he'll have already experienced the daily grind of the NFL. Players are investments these days, and the smart move is to protect your investment, and more importantly show them that winning is again a priority is this football crazed, title starved town.
So here's hoping one day Colt will become a stallion that takes the Browns to places they've never been, most importantly, the Super Bowl.