Colt McCoy should start against the Steelers on Sunday

Posted: October 13, 2010 in Browns
Tags: , ,

Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren said before the season that he preferred his rookie quarterback, Colt McCoy, to sit and learn during his first year in the NFL.  Two ankle injuries to starter Jake Delhomme and one to backup Seneca Wallace have put those plans on hold as it appears that McCoy will be the starter under center when the Browns travel to Pittsburgh to take on the arch rival Steelers on Sunday. 

Having a rookie third round quarterback make his first start against the number four ranked defense in the NFL isn’t the ideal situation, but it’s the correct one to make, based on the current status of the Browns other quarterback options.

Brett Ratliff, who was with the Browns as a backup in 2009 and through the preseason this year, was signed off of the New England Patriots practice squad to add some depth to the position and serve as the backup to McCoy.  He has never taken a snap in an NFL regular season game.

The Steelers are often referred to as “blitzburgh,” because of the extraordinary amount of blitzes they utilize during game days.  They will enter Sunday’s contest against the Browns ranking number one against the rush, and twentieth against the pass.  They are also number one in scoring defense, giving up only 12.5 points/game.

So why start McCoy, who owns more wins as a starting NCAA quarterback than anyone else in the history of college football?  Well obviously it’s out of necessity, but also because it’s time to see how much grit the former Texas Longhorn has.  While McCoy is undersized for a prototype NFL quarterback at 6’1, he more than makes up for it in heart and skill.  While a Longhorn, McCoy was consistently mentioned as one of the best QB’s in the nation, even as a freshman when he had a 29-7 touchdown to interception ratio.  The Browns will keep the playbook simple and will utilize McCoy’s accuracy, by far his biggest strength.  He holds the NCAA record for highest completion percentage in a season with a mark of 76.7%.  His career completion percentage was 70.2%.   

McCoy is also holding a roster spot.  If the team didn’t believe in his skills, they could have cut him after the preseason.  He is on the team as the third string quarterback in case injuries would force the top two out of action.  That has happened, so now it is McCoy’s chance to get some real game time.  He will have had a full week of practice and despite inconsistencies in the offensive line, the line is still better than what the team has had in years. 

Those who oppose McCoy starting against the stingy Steelers defense bring up former Browns quarterback Tim Couch and the beatings he took during his time with the club.  Many attribute those beatings as to why Couch struggled during his NFL career.  The real reason why Couch struggled was because he simply wasn’t smart enough to read a defense and get a grasp on any of the offensive philosophies thrown his way. 

Lastly, have you gotten a glimpse of McCoy’s wife? 

She is the real deal, and very easy on the eyes.  As much as the scoreboard might be ugly for Browns fans, the chance that the CBS camera crew will get some shots of Mrs. McCoy in the crowd make it reason enough to give the kid some reps.

Who knows, maybe after Sunday, we will all wish we were Colt McCoy….

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