It's not surprising that Kelly Holcomb is pleased with the news that has come out of Berea during the offseason.
Riding high in popular opinion after his standout performance in the playoff loss to Pittsburgh, Holcomb can't wait to get to the quarterback competition he will have with Tim Couch from the moment the first minicamp is held in early April.
"They say they're going to let us compete," Holcomb said. "When coach (Butch) Davis first came in he said he wanted to have every position on the team compete. I'm at where I'm at today because of my competitive spirit and perseverance. There's still a long road ahead, but I'm looking forward to comp eting."
Holcomb, as Browns' fans readily remember, completed 26 of 43 passes for 429 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in place of the injured Couch in a 36-33 loss to the Steelers. Holcomb also started the first two games of the season for an injured Couch. He was 27 of 39 for 326 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas City and followed up with a 17-of-30 performance for 198 yards and two TDs against Cincinnati.
Davis took notice of Holcomb's showing. He said recently that the quarterback situation will be resolved before training camp, but he later changed his tune and said it could continue into training camp.
Holcomb expressed confidence in how he'll handle the battle.
"I've always thought that it was going to play out for me, whether it's here or somewhere else," Holcomb said. "I believe deep down in my heart that I'll be a starter on a football team somewhere. Things work for people that stick their nose to the grindstone and persevere.
"Not everything is going to go right. I know I have the ability, and I'm looking forward to next season."
Couch and Holcomb are situated next to each other in the locker room at Berea and have a strong working relationship. He knows things will be different because of the competition, but he doesn't expect it to drive a wedge between the two.
"We would be missing the boat if we let it come between us," Holcomb said. "The media builds it up. People build it up, but it's a football game. It's all about winning or losing. People don't care who's in there."
Holcomb's cap-friendly contract (a base salary of $825,000) means he'll likely be with the team as a starter or a backup. With a cap hit of more than $8 million, Couch's situation is different. As of now, there's been no talk about restructuring his contract.
"I'm glad I'm not in personnel," Holcomb said. "I don't want to have to make those decisions.