Colt McCoy Through the Lens of Brady Quinn


Browns fans are understandably terrified of a QB controversy. The days of Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn (not to mention Charlie Frye) will do that to you. I’ve already been on record that I think it is a possibility that Colt McCoy might beat out Brandon Weeden, at least initially, because of his experience in the Browns’ offense. Still, despite all the moving parts and an ultimate desire to win ASAP, some Browns fans are so bitten by the Brady Quinn past that they think the only option is for Colt McCoy to be gone.

They might be right. I might be missing the boat completely on this thinking that this mix of quarterbacks can coexist. It does seem similar to Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn in some ways. On the one hand you have the somewhat smaller guy with questionable arm strength with Colt McCoy and Brady Quinn. On the other you have a guy who fits the stereotypical QB mold in terms of height and ability to hurl the ball like Derek Anderson and Brandon Weeden. And other than that, there just isn’t much similarity between the controversies of the past and potential conflict now.

One of the biggest problems with the D.A. vs. B.Q. situation was that Browns fans kept echoing the sentiment that “we need to see what we have in Brady Quinn.” That phrase became so common at one point that it made me want to scream just because everyone was using the same exact phrase. Is there anything worse than a localized cliché that peppers sports talk radio and website comment sections? I digress. The current situation with Colt McCoy is totally different than when we had to see “what we have in” Brady Quinn.

In Brady Quinn’s entire Browns career, he played twelve games total. When most were clamoring for him to play, he’d only played in three games total. The Browns and Romeo Crennel had probably seen enough in practice to keep him firmly planted to the bench, but Browns fans hadn’t. The same can’t be said of Colt McCoy. Some Browns fans will undoubtedly want to see more and say that Colt didn’t have a fair shake. Holmgren even said it, I guess. But even with that, Browns fans have seen 21 games of Colt McCoy’s handiwork. This doesn’t even mention that Colt McCoy was a third rounder and Brady Quinn was a first rounder.

I can and will argue that a team’s fanbase almost always deserves the right to see a first-round QB play at some point. Brady Quinn is really an outlier for a first round quarterback. Consider this. Brady Quinn is a first round quarterback and he’s only started 12 games in his NFL career. Andre Ware started six, but Ryan Leaf and Akili Smith both made it over 20 before they were washed out of the league. Jamarcus Russell? 25 games for the dreadful first overall pick to the Raiders. J.P. Losman has had 33 by comparison. What I am saying is that Brady Quinn is exceptional in a bad way because even as he is apparently not good enough to play in the NFL if you trust multiple organizations talent evaluation, he has had precious little opportunity to prove to fans that he’s that big a bust. It really is difficult to draft a guy in the first round who is so incapable of being a starting QB that the fans of the drafting team don’t even get a chance to see him play. Controversy is difficult to avoid at the QB position with such an unbelievable lack of ability to even garner a chance.

To be fair to Quinn, a lot of that had to do with the push and pull of Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel in one of the most dysfunctional Browns team situations of all time. Yes, that is saying a lot, but it is true. For all the losses that have been piled up since Mike Holmgren has been here, it is a night and day difference from a culture standpoint at least so far. At least there is no hint of a coach flipping a coin to determine who will be playing the most important position. That’s not a punchline either. There is nothing funny about a cointoss QB rotation unless it happens in a rival city.

Now, as I said in the opening paragraph, I am one of the few people who thinks Colt McCoy can still win the job. I might have already talked myself out of it though because it occurs to me that is the only way to cause a QB controversy. I’ve constantly looked at this thing assuming Colt McCoy gets handed the backup role and how he would deal with it. A more important question is how well would Colt McCoy have to play in order to keep the fans from clamoring for Brandon Weeden?

It still seems to me that McCoy and Weeden are the types of guys who will be able to handle it. It also seems like Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmur will be decisive enough to stave it off.

  • mgbode

    there is no way the craziness that is Berea would get approved by editors.  it’s way too unbelievable, even for soap opera / reality television.

  • Henry Brown

    More question marks please, makes you sound much more intelligent.

  • Crave Control, eh?  “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

  • But a head coach like Shurmur is?  Yikes.

  • mgbode

    oh, I know and didn’t mean to sound dismissive if I did.

    and Paul Brown is the original poster child 🙂

    HC/Owner by 36yo and complete control freak.

    of course, he also coupled that with being the most innovative coach of all-time, which certainly helps 🙂

  • maxfnmloans

    I wasn’t suggesting anyone made anything up either. The John Collins thing was really all I remembered.  I had forgotten Romeo trying to explain Phil’s emails (don’t think there was twitter then), and essentially wiped from my mind the fact that Phil was never in the building because he was always on the road scouting.

    And Randy tried the ex Pats D Coordinator mixed with up and coming Ravens personnel guy not once but twice.  All the while asking for patience, yet sending out letters about season ticket renewals in March of every year.

    I sure hope these guys get it right, because the thought of Randy trying to hire yet another regime makes me sad.

  • For the same reason I still love the Browns — I hope against hope that it’ll turn around.

    I hope that the fans here will see this disaster for what it is before its too late.  I hope that they will have a healthy skepticism for a team that has won 9 games in two years with a genius at the helm.

    I hope.

  • smarter analogy would make you credible

  • floydrubino

    Some of these stories from you guys makes me realize why Cleveland stinks. Any form of media that covers the Browns never hold any accountability to Lerner. Your story shouldn’t be about a qb controversy it should be the browns just picked a guy almost 30 that can’t beat out Colt McCoy. All these scenarios mean nothing to me because all these qb’s that Cleveland has picked are horrible picks. Frye and Quinn should of never even been picked where they were picked. Look how good an o-line and system can make a qb look because of Derek Anderson. There is no way that Weeden is not starting game 1. Even though he’s 30 at least Weeden can throw the ball with some velocity so at least they got that right. We have to pick guys with cannons like Weeden and Osweiler this year and just keep picking the right qb prospects with the upside you are looking for so we can ride their success for 10 years. Weeden has a chance because at least he has the arm strength to be effective but his pocket poise scares me when our o-line is terrible. Don’t worry McCoy you will get your chance because the o-line will let us down protecting our qb. 

  • Team Brady

    I do not approve of this premise.

  • floydrubino

    Out of all your scenarios there is one person who has been here. There is a reason this scenario keeps popping up again and again. It is obvious that Lerner is creating an environment where this situation could grow and cultivate. Lerner has this mindset that is obviously not healthy for this team. I don’t know if he even really cares about this team anything more than his ego owning a team. Holmgren is an improvement from Lerner but still not good enough in my mind. I don’t think he has the energy level to get this thing going in the right direction.

  • mgbode

    our OL should not be terrible this year.

  • mgbode

    Al Lerner hired Butch and gave him control, not Randy.

    It’s possible that Randy is inherently flawed and that it’s impossible that the Browns can ever achieve success under him.   I don’t see any proof of that other than he has made some bad hires and is trying to figure out the right way to build an organization.

    But, if that is how you feel, then I feel bad for you.  An owner isn’t going to sell a NFL franchise that is increasing in value like crazy unless the NFL tanks or they need serious money.  Randy is not hurting for money.  The NFL could conceivably, over time, fall apart a bit.  But, that’s not a scenario I would cheer for either.

  • Hypno_Toad

    “….i’d give Craig the benefit of the doubt….”

    There’s a first time for everything 😉

  • Henry Brown

    The bums – they clearly should have gotten Payton Manning and Arian Foster but instead we get Weeden and Richardson. The bastards. 

  • Henry Brown

    I didn’t make an analogy

  • OK, the knock on Weeden – Old, Gets Rattled, Nervous Feet, No Mobility.  All of those may be true, and the one that MAY (emphasis intended) be his downfall is dealing with the rush of the NFL.  But, what you can’t argue about is that he has major skills for a QB – and I would argue they are much better than McCoy’s (who probably wins the “he has a heart of a lion” category).  Also, what you get with Weeden is a mature married guy that is going to take care of business, and not do all the “rookie” things.  

    It makes for good press (and better sports radio for those people that can’t/won’t read), but the reality is that opinions matter so little in athletics, because one of these men will step up and become the leader the Browns need – the other will have to accept that they are the backup, and may be called upon at anytime, because it is inevitable that the starting QB will get hurt and someone will have to come in and “save the day”.

    So think past this “Colt v Weeden” thing and be thankful that the Browns backup will be a quality athlete, capable of taking over a game and winning it.  The team wins regardless.

  • Mansoor Khan

    I wish I could like the first part of this post and not the 2nd. 

  • Big Bad Tone

    I totally agree on Quinn.  In fact, I believe it was the Cleveland fanbase that ruined Derek Anderson.  Having said that, the Browns drafted a DA clone in Weeden.  Look at the college film of the two…..IDENTICAL!!!!!  Colt should be cut because he is not good enough to take a chance that 1 fan MIGHT clamor for him when Weeden struggles.

  • Billb034

    It makes me shake my head to read about the Browns’ quarterback situation — as though one guy was ever going to come in and fix this mess.  It also makes me feel badly for the fans, who are among the best in the NFL.  

    Who was the Browns’ last notable QB?  Milt Plum?  Frank Ryan? Bernie Kosar?  How long ago was that? At what point does it become clear that the problem is the organization not the players? . The last place a good QB would want to play is Cleveland. They kill careers of promising QBs.

    Remember, that Brady Quinn played college ball under Tom Brady’s offensive coach and was excellent. He washed out with the Browns because he played for a disorganized and indecisive front office.  

    Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed much for Colt McCoy either. It takes a long time to clean up a mess like the Browns front office was during the Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn era, and I don’t see much progress under Holmgren.

    I think the fact that Romeo Crennel picked Quinn up to join him in KC and back up a QB like Matt Cassel whose health has to be a concern is a testimony to the fact that Quinn has more potential than people think. And Colt McCoy probably does, too.  The best thing that could happen to him is to get out of the perpetual QB train wreck known as the Browns.  

    They’ll screw up Weeden’s career, too.  And next year they’ll be searching all over again.