Greetham: Time for Plan B

With the original plan to have Colt McCoy "red shirt" this season now scrapped, OBR Browns Reporter Fred Greetham says it is time to move forward with the rookie as the starter.

BEREA, Ohio — It sounded like a good idea at the time. However, it is the plan that never really came together.

That plan is at the quarterback position, of course.

Jake Delhomme was signed for $7 million to bridge the gap between now and the future, whether that is Colt McCoy or a quarterback to be named later.

Through no fault of his own, Delhomme got hurt in the first game, tried to come back prematurely against Atlanta and re-injured his ankle.

When the Browns return to play after the bye week Nov. 7, it is assumed that Delhomme and Wallace will be ready to go. After the Browns pulled off the big upset in New Orleans, they enter the bye week with a 2-5 record. Mangini said that Wallace was ahead of Delhomme in his rehab, but gave no indication how long Delhomme will be sidelined.

There is not a lot to play for playoff-wise, with the exception of the coach's job. But what is the point of playing a quarterback who will turn 36 a week after the season ends? Especially if and when the team is playing out the schedule?

Eric Mangini has gone on record saying when Delhomme is healthy he will be the starter. I anticipate that to be the case when the Browns host the Patriots on Nov. 7.

However, it might be time to just thank Delhomme for his time and effort and move on. If they put him on injured reserve, he could still be around to tutor McCoy. I have no problem with the Browns going with Wallace and using McCoy as the backup. Wallace has shown enough that he could be a good option for the Browns and they could sprinkle in some playing time for McCoy in certain situations. At 30, Wallace could be the bridge to the future, if McCoy isn't the answer.

I know the master plan was to have McCoy ‘red shirt' this season, but since that plan has gone awry, why not go to plan B?

McCoy has played his first two NFL games against the last two Super Bowl champions — and fared pretty well.  McCoy continues to show promise and it might be worth it to continue to let him show what he can do.

The more experience he gets will bode better for the future. The Browns need to find out if he's a quarterback they can build around. If not, they need to try to acquire another young quarterback in the offseason.

McCoy only passed for 74 yards against New Orleans, but he managed the game well and did what the coaches asked him to do. He did NOT turn the ball over, either by interception or fumble. In the two games he's played, he's shown a propensity to make better decisions than the experienced Delhomme and Wallace. Three of the Browns losses could be linked to interception returns thrown by the experienced duo.

Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees threw four interceptions and the turnovers were instrumental in the Browns win.

After the bye, the Browns play host to New England and the Jets before the schedule lightens a bit with Jacksonville, Carolina, Miami and Buffalo. All games are on the road with the exception of the Panthers. Cleveland closes the season with three divisional foes in the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers.

McCoy knows he has a lot of room for improvement.

"There's a lot of work I still have to do, there's a lot of things I can improve on and get better at," McCoy said before the Saints game. "Those are the things that I'm focusing on."

One of the knocks on McCoy coming out of college was his size. He's listed at 6-foot-1. Brees had a similar knock on him when he came out of Purdue. Brees  (6-0) was drafted in the second-round, while McCoy was a third-round pick.

Before last Sunday's game, a reporter asked McCoy if he drew inspiration from Brees' success.

"I knew somebody was going to ask that," McCoy said. "Are we the shortest quarterbacks in the NFL? I don't know. Obviously, I don't deserve to have my name put in the same sentence with Drew Brees, especially not right now. "

McCoy didn't exactly outduel Brees, but he lead the Browns to a win, his first win in the NFL as a starting quarterback.

One of McCoy's strengths has been his accuracy. He completed more than 70 percent of his passes in his four years at Texas and he completed 69.7 percent of his passes against the Steelers. He said his height has never been a problem. He's at close to 65 percent after the Saints' game.

"This is what God gave me," McCoy said. "I am who I am, and I'm going to do the best that I can with the ability that I have. Whether I was 5-0, 6-0, or 6-5, it doesn't really matter. I'm going to go out there and compete and play and try to help my team find ways to win."

Browns fans have to like that attitude.

Obviously, we don't know if he'll be as successful as Drew Brees has been in his career, but on this given Sunday, McCoy walked off the Superdome field with a victory over Brees.

McCoy reminds me of another player who  once wore No. 17, not Jake Delhomme or even Braylon Edwards.

No, another quarterback who was was a MVP: A guy named Brian Sipe.

And that wouldn't be too bad.


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