Liking What They See

Terry Robiskie likes what he sees in McCown

The Browns' decision to start rookie quarterback Luke McCown against the Buffalo Bills says as much about Jeff Garcia as it does McCown.

Last week, the Browns had little choice but to start McCown, a fourth-round pick. Jeff Garcia's shoulder kept him from practicing until Friday. Kelly Holcomb's three cracked ribs kept him from being an option.

But now interim coach Terry Robiskie said Garcia's shoulder is 90 percent healed. Still, he's sticking with McCown.

"As a coaching staff, we saw Luke play last week and do some pretty good things," Robiskie said. "We made the decision we're going to go with Luke for another week."

McCown was far from perfect against the Patriots. He threw two interceptions and was too quick to dance out of the pocket. But he did throw for 277 yards and two touchdowns.

"We want to see how he performs in Buffalo and how he holds up against a team that is not the world champion," Robiskie said.

Robiskie said McCown's ascension isn't necessarily permanent. But the signs for Garcia's future in Cleveland aren't promising. His criticisms of the offense -- Robiskie was the coordinator -- and some of his teammates rubbed some on the Browns wrong.

Last week, in his first meeting with the team after taking over after Butch Davis' resignation, Robiskie asked those who considered themselves team leaders to stand up.

Kelly Holcomb stood. McCown stood, as did about 20 others.

Garcia didn't.

Robiskie was diplomatic about that.

"I don't know if he should have or shouldn't have," he said. "The fact he has probably stepped up and been vocal and made a couple of statements (critical of the offense) doesn't necessarily mean he's a leader, or may not feel (he is)."

Robiskie also let it slip that Garcia did not feel the need to come to the Browns' facility on Tuesday for treatment. Though Tuesday is the players' off day, a player with Garcia's reputed work ethic would figure to stop in.

Garcia declined to speak to reporters.

According to Robiskie, Garcia "was fine with it" when told of the decision to start McCown.

As for the rookie, McCown gave himself a mixed grade against the Patriots. McCown was 20 of 34 passing, but Robiskie told him in an extended film session Monday that he could have completed six or seven more passes if he hadn't gotten impatient in the pocket.

"There were several times when I scrambled out and the protection wasn't that bad," McCown said. "I need to set my feet, settle down in the pocket and stand in there and make throws."

Robiskie is not ready to anoint McCown the team's quarterback of the future just yet, not that he has the power to even if he wanted to. But he does like what he has seen.

"He has something about him that says, `I want to be a good football player,'" Robiskie said. "He is a terrific athlete, but he's also got the mental side.

He has the speed and the strong arm, and he wants to be good.

"It is not just this week. It is this (whole) year.

He comes in by himself in the morning and watches tape. He wants to be good pretty badly."

The OBR Top Stories