Greetham: Good News Out of Bad

Some of the Browns misfortunes in 2010 may help the team in the long run. Fred Greetham explains...

BEREA, Ohio—Maybe the injuries to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace were a blessing in disguise.

Hear me out.

If neither Delhomme or Wallace would have suffered high ankle sprains, Colt McCoy would more than likely not have played in 2010. The Browns record might not have been much different, whoever the quarterback was, but the Browns wouldn't have known what they had in McCoy.

Other than a less than stellar preseason, the Browns wouldn't have known if they needed to draft a quarterback in 2011 or acquire one through free agency or trade.

Regardless of how much longer McCoy is the starter, he will have had at least four or five NFL games under his belt for the front office to evaluate.

McCoy has now played for the past month and has compiled a quarterback rating of 85.2. He led the Browns to wins over the Saints and the Patriots in two of his first three starts. He took the Browns into overtime with the Jets with an impressive drive in the waning moments.

Eric Mangini said that drive against the Jets was another step in the growth process for McCoy.

"It was the first chance he had to do that bringing the team back in a two-minute situation and that was one of those areas you want to evaluate and see how he does in that," Mangini said. "He's had consistent growth against another challenging defense. He had a lot of difficult decisions he had to make."

Evan Moore said McCoy was impressive against the Jets.

"That takes a lot of confidence in just his fourth game," Moore said. "I don't think it shook him at all. He's very calm and he looks like he's been there before. It spreads throughout the huddle."

McCoy said the drive gave the offense a lot of confidence.

"That was huge for our offense because we weren't consistent in the second half," he said. "The last drive was good. We had some momentum, but we just have to learn to capitalize and win the game."

McCoy said the coaching staff has prepared him very well.

"I think you have to give credit to Coach (Brian) Daboll and Coach (Carl) Smith and those guys have really done a great job preparing me," McCoy said. "I feel prepared going into the games. The offensive line has protected me and the receivers have made plays.  I'm very comfortable back there."

McCoy has displayed a lot of leadership already in his young career.

"The position almost demands leadership," Mangini said. "It's hard to function in that position if you're not naturally that way. You can play the position, but to play the position and really excel at it, you need to have the ability and you also need to have the inherent leadership to take that group and be able to get them to do the things that you need them to do and too get (the players) to play together and to respect you as the quarterback.

"Colt's had a lot of experience with that and he's got a very good presence," Mangini said. "In addition to that, he's done well, so I think all those things help him."

McCoy says he's used to being a leader.

"I've been able to play the position for as long as I have and I hope to play the position for a long time," he said. "I played high school and college and my dad was my coach in high school. I've I been around long enough to know that the quarterback is the leader on the team and the guy the teammates are looking to field.

"You have to be even keeled," he said. "You can't be too high or too low. You have to be consistent and be calm and cool and just continue to lead."

Mangini said he has been very consistent.

"He has been consistent," he said. "I would say that mentally, there is a lot of pressure of who he has faced thus far and being such a young guy, you wouldn't know anything has changed in terms of his consistency."

Some have questioned whether McCoy is tough enough to take hits.

"You have to be tough to play that spot because you're going to get hit and there are a lot of angles that you can get hit from," Mangini said.

McCoy says the hits he's taken thus far in the NFL aren't much different than what he's taken in the past.

"Hits are hits," he said. "You know they're going to happen. I give credit to the offensive line as they have given me great protection."

The players have been impressed with what McCoy has accomplished.

"He's been doing a great job," Moore said. "Colt's extremely accurate. That's one of his assets along with his intelligence. He's been doing that in practice and he's continued it in games."

Based on what McCoy has shown so far, the Browns very well might have found their franchise quarterback.

If that's the case, a couple of injuries might've been worth it.

The OBR Top Stories