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.
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