By Tony Grossi
Extra Points …
Sad state of affairs: Colt McCoy’s season ended with him being blown into LaLa Land by the cheap shot of Pittsburgh Steelers headhunter James Harrison.
Five months later, the sad truth is McCoy’s mind and emotions appear to be still frazzled. With good reason.
In his first comments since the Browns tried to trade for Robert Griffin III, inquired about the availability of Sam Bradford, and then drafted Brandon Weeden with the 22nd pick of the first round, McCoy sounded, frankly, defeated.
He tried to put up a good front, espousing the team-first attitude that makes him such a likeable guy and teammate. But you could see the hurt on his face and hear it in his voice, which cracked slightly on a few occasions. He is a real sympathetic figure now – another victim of the unforgiving machine that chews up quarterbacks in Cleveland.
I know pro football is a harsh business and no player is guaranteed anything. But McCoy’s last nine months have been a supreme test of character. He was given no offensive support on the field, had his concussion in the Pittsburgh game severely mishandled, and now is clinging to a disingenuous promise of a “fair” shot at keeping his old job even when the GM is saying “we want Brandon to be our guy.”
“This is what’s been dealt,” McCoy said. “This is the card that’s been dealt. I can just say I’m working as hard as I can. You never know what you’re gonna expect. One of my favorite quotes from the Navy SEALS (is) ‘the only easy day was yesterday.’ That’s kind of how I have to live right now.”
Colt speaks: As expected, McCoy refrained from saying anything derogatory about the Browns on all fronts. But his comments had a certain edge to them, though they were delivered in such hushed tones that they didn’t carry the weight of a diatribe.
Asked whether the Browns told him they would not take a quarterback in the first round, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported after the draft, McCoy declined to confirm or deny.
“I don’t want to get into the ‘he said, she said’ stuff. All I know is I’m here, I’m excited to be here,” he said.
Asked what the Browns told him after Weeden was drafted, he said, “Um. I got a phone call and (they) just said, ‘Hey, come in here and compete.’ As a competitor, that’s all you need to hear, really. Just come in with your head on right and give it all you can every day.
“I want my teammates to see the same guy every day. You know, amidst some difficulties as a quarterback, you’ve got to be able to thrive in those situations. At the same time, you’ve got to kind of regard them as routine. Those things are gonna happen throughout your career.”
Asked if he thought about asking for a trade after the draft, McCoy said, “No. Because they told me I had a chance to compete.”
Asked about GM Tom Heckert’s comments in Akron on Monday that the Browns want and expect Weeden to be “the guy,” McCoy said, “I can only go by what they tell me.”
McCoy definitely took note of things said by the Browns after they drafted Weeden, about how they expect the receivers to be better with an accurate quarterback throwing to them.
What was his mindset watching this offseason unfold?
“You can imagine a little bit, I guess,” he said. “I’ve read what was said, I heard what was said. My attitude has always (been that I’ve) just wanted to let everyone say what they needed to say.
“I understand. If it’s a fair competition, then that’s all you can ask for. And regarding what everyone has said, this is a business. I don’t want this to be me v. him or him v. me. I want it to be a situation of what’s going to help our team the most. Let’s make it about the Cleveland Browns being a great football team next year. If that’s the case, I’m all in.”
How long will McCoy be here?: The whole experience of having McCoy relive his failings here, having to participate in a faux competition, having to watch Weeden’s fledgling career take off, having to hear and watch his teammates develop chemistry with the inevitable new starter … it’s all unfair.
That’s why I think the Browns would be better off for all involved – McCoy, Weeden, the team – to nip this in the bud as soon as possible and find McCoy a graceful exit to another opportunity.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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