Browns

Shurmur: “I Think Colt’s Improving”

Despite a quarterback rating of 59.0, several errant passes – one which was intercepted – and never taking a snap within the red zone, Browns quarterback Colt McCoy continues to have the support of his head coach in Pat Shurmur. In Monday’s press conference, freshly removed from a barn-burning 6-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks, Shurmur stated that he continues to see good things out of the second-year kid under center.

“I think Colt’s improving and I’ll stick with what I said [after the game]: I thought he battled,” said Shurmur. “He scrambled once and got a first down, he got outside the pocket a couple of times and got yards and got out of bounds. He did a lot of good things.”

While it isn’t necessarily a good sign when a coach has to hand-pick three specific items to prove that his player is doing some things right, Shurmur isn’t exactly lying.  Exaggerating the good and potentially ignoring the bad, yes.  Lying, not at all – assuming he truly feels this way. There have been plenty of moments where McCoy has looked like a competent NFL quarterback.  The unfortunate part is that these moments were typically sandwiched by insane levels of inconsistency, resulting in a few unfortunate incomplete passes and bootlegs that would run right into a containing defender. 

Using the word “improving” can be a bit misleading based on frame of reference.  McCoy certainly is not improving over his minimal work last season under Eric Mangini, but he may in fact be improving in certain areas from the first game of the season.  With the intricacies of the West Coast offense, the NCAA leader in wins finds himself with a lot to digest.  Doing so while opposing defenses are throwing safety blitzes as a means to combat any success has proven to be highly difficult, especially early in contests.

In turn, McCoy finds his name bantered about when fans and media types discuss what is “wrong” with the Cleveland Browns.  With the defense looking better each week, the offense – specifically that in the first quarter – has become a focal point, one which continues to be marred with red flags after each marginal three-and-out.  Things are not about to get any easier for the Browns offense as they head to the Bay Area to face Patrick Willis and the San Francisco 49ers offense which has managed to slow down established quarterbacks Mike Vick, Josh Freeman and Matt Stafford in consecutive weeks.

Photo: Scott Sargent/WFNY

  • jimkanicki

    i’ve been questioning myself on something that just occurred to me. it just came to me in the last hour. it’s a gut feeling and i can’t shake it.

    HOW WILL I REACT WHEN THE BROWNS TOUGH DEFENSE AND JUST ENOUGH OFFENSE BEATS THE NINERS?

    i’m embarrassed to say that initially i thought i’d be somewhat peeved that perhaps the building is moving in the right direction and horrified at the prospect that i’d have to re-calibrate my pessimism. shame on me.

    and so dear friends, i am taking the pledge:
    I WILL BE DELIGHTED TO EAT ANY AS MANY WORDS AS NECESSARY AND WILL HAPPILY SUSPEND MY BITCHING IF THE BROWNS BEAT THE NINERS. AND I WILL NOT DEDUCT SYLE POINTS IF IT IS AN INARTISTIC WIN.

    against all reason, i’m feeling a shock-the-world win next sunday. really can’t explain it.

  • Mark

    @Jim – Although I do not share your optimism, I love your hopeful outlook. A shock the world win would be exactly what is needed to allow everyone to come in from off the ledge.

  • jimkanicki

    @mark102, wellll… a couple things:

    1. the defense might be that good. maybe they learned something against tennessee. healthy skepticism about the seahawks in the first place, seahawks without t-jackson (enh), lynch (a factor), and zach miller (a pretty big factor) is appropriate. but at the end of the day, they WERE a playoff team last year, they DID get a win in the playoffs, and the DID beat the giants last week. sprained knee haden looked like he could cover anyone, ward looks to be returning to form, sheard seems to be figuring it out. all goodness regardless of seahawks’ health.

    2. special teams CANT be that bad. no pinkston fan here, but there’s no way he gives up a block next week.

    3. offense will be markedly better. here, i assume lauvao has a lingering ‘hammy’ enabling greco to start. greco will make pashos better. mack will be better if he only has to worry about one weak guard next to him. the combo will allow colt to NOT throw off his back foot which has become a bad habit for him and due to getting killed so much.

    4. niners cant be taking the browns too seriously.

    5. if history has taught us anything as browns fans… just when you’re ready to pull the plug on them, they go out and beat the super bowl champ giants. last year the saints after a sorry steelers game, year before 1-11 browns beat the steelers, 2008 beat super bowl champ giant 35-14, 2007 the dawson backwards FG vs ravens.. you get the idea. a win next sunday would certainly qualify as unexpected.

  • James

    Lets go Browns!!

  • Harv 21

    I’ll have what Jim’s having.

  • mgbode

    @jimkanicki – love the optimism, but one thing. do not blame Pinkston for either FG block. He did his job both times.

    on the first FG-block, Cousins misses the block and Pinkston tries to pickup both guys. on the second FG-block, Mack replaces Cousins and whiffs even worse on the block and Pinkston again tries to be the hero.

    not Pinkstons fault in either case.

  • Vengeful Pat

    Pinkston for mayor of Truckville! But no seriously, he did try to cover for those guys and shouldn’t take the blame.