In his latest column, long-time Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto says that the Cleveland Browns do not consider former starter Colt McCoy a “viable starting option” for the vertical offense employed by newly hired head coach Rob Chudzinski.
Wherein both McCoy and last year’s starter Brandon Weeden were shoe-horned into the West Coast under-center offense, Pluto writes that Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner are considerably more open to shotgun-based formations..
Of the 39 QBs examined by the popular stat-based website Profootballfocus, only Houston’s Matt Schaub (34 percent) threw a lower percentage of his passes from the shotgun than Cleveland’s Weeden. The rookie was more effective from the shotgun — where he played in college — with a QB rating of 79.1 with eight touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Under center, it was 67.7 with six TDs and 10 picks. Pluto adds that Weeden’s league-leading 25 passes batted down is partly due to being so often under center, where he’s closer to the defensive linemen as he releases the ball in timing patterns.
The Browns are expected to bring in competition for Brandon Weeden, so it would make sense for McCoy to be dangled as trade bait — whether or not he was “dangled” a season ago is unknown. Thanks to escalators in his contract, McCoy is owed $2.325 million in 2013.