Colt McCoy likely to start again this week

Aug. 02, 2010 - Berea, Ohio, United States of America - 02 August 2010: Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.

For a rookie quarterback making his first ever start in the NFL, playing a hot Steelers team in Pittsburgh isn’t exactly a dream scenario. But for all intents and purposes, Browns’ rookie Colt McCoy held his own last Sunday.

Unless Seneca Wallace (ankle) or Jake Delhomme (ankle) make significant progress over the next few days, McCoy will start against the Saints this weekend in New Orleans. While the Saints aren’t the Steelers, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ game plans are usually aggressive – especially when he smells blood in the water (i.e. a rookie QB making only his second career start). So McCoy better be up for the task again this Sunday.

That said, if he plays as well as he did last week against the Steelers, McCoy should be fine. He made a couple of rookie mistakes, which was to be expected, but for the most part it was an impressive debut. He completed 23-of-33 passes for 281 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions – one of which wasn’t his fault (Ben Watson should have caught the pass). What was more impressive than the numbers was the way he took command of the huddle, displayed accuracy on his throws and was poised in the pocket. He wasn’t overmatched in the slightest.

Even if Wallace and Delhomme were healthy, the Browns have nothing to lose by starting McCoy again. Wallace arguably gives Cleveland its best chance of winning because he’s mobile and he’s been around the game for a long time, but there’s no reason to play Delhomme over McCoy. Delhomme isn’t part of the Browns’ long-term future, nor should he be. McCoy, on the other hand, could be Cleveland’s starter for years to come.

Even if McCoy struggles this week, as long as he shows signs of progressing there’s an argument to be made that he should continue to start – even over Wallace.

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You’re starting, Colt McCoy! Really?! Against who?! Pittsburgh. Ah, crap.

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Rookie quarterback Colt McCoy  of the Cleveland Browns warms up just prior to the start of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Nothing has been confirmed yet, but Browns head coach Eric Mangini said Monday that rookie Colt McCoy might make his pro debut on Sunday because Seneca Wallace has a high ankle sprain and Jake Delhomme is still dealing with an ankle injury himself. (Not to mention he’s also Jake Delhomme, which will always continue to hold him back.)

That’s the good news for McCoy. The bad news is that the Browns’ opponent this Sunday is a well-rested Pittsburgh team that will no doubt be fired up with the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers have the second ranked defense in the league in terms of yards allowed with 1,156 (Miami has given up the fewest yards at 829). They also have the best run defense in the NFL, which is a problem considering the Browns like to pound the ball on the ground. So if the hope was to feed the ball to Peyton Hillis (who is banged up himself) and Jerome Harrison (whom Mangini apparently never wants to see get another carry the rest of the year) in order to take the pressure off young Colt’s hands, that may backfire.

The Browns are hoping that they can start Wallace this week, but high ankle sprains can be tricky. Andre Johnson of the Texans just had one and despite his best efforts, he had to miss Houston’s game against Oakland two weeks ago.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not McCoy is thrust into action this week against arguably the best defense in the league.

Update: According to Chip Brown via his Twitter page, McCoy has been told he will start this Sunday at Pittsburgh. Hold onto your nuts…

Browns appear ready to head into camp with Delhomme as their starter

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 03:  Jake Delhomme #17 of the Carolina Panthers reacts on the sidelines against the New Orleans Saints during their game at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Eric Mangini said Monday that the Browns’ starting quarterback job is Jake Delhomme’s to lose. Some Cleveland fans may want to throw their Jim Brown bobblehead through their office window after reading that news, while others probably shrugged and muttered, “Well, at least it’s not Derek Anderson.”

Thus far, all of the reports on Delhomme this summer have been positive. Mike Holmgren was looking to add a veteran quarterback who could help provide leadership in the locker room and he found one in Delhomme. Perhaps more importantly, the former Panther has developed a good report with young receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie.

Of course, Delhomme has been around long enough to know how to make an impression in OTAs. While his veteran presence has probably been a welcoming sight around Cleveland this summer, the real work is still ahead. This is a player that hasn’t played with confidence in the recent past and his decision-making has been downright brutal over the last year and a change. If the Browns were looking for a savior at the quarterback position, Delhomme isn’t it.

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Browns to stick with Derek Anderson

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns are not considering a change at quarterback, which means Derek Anderson will remain the team’s starter.

The Browns are damned if they do, damned if they don’t in this situation. In Brady Quinn, they had a quarterback that didn’t make wise decisions, couldn’t throw the ball vertically, couldn’t hit receivers in stride and couldn’t lead the offense. In Anderson, they have a quarterback that doesn’t make wise decisions, can’t lead the offense and is completely turnover prone. But hey, at least he can throw the ball vertically; sometimes it’s directly to the other team, but vertical nonetheless.

Even though Anderson is incapable of moving the offense, Eric Mangini has to stick with him at this point because if he goes back to Quinn than it’s going to look like he has less of a handle on the situation than he already does. The bottom line is that Cleveland has one of the most inept offenses in the NFL and they don’t have a quarterback on the roster that can guide them out of the muck.

Unless…Brett Ratliff anyone?

Report: Quinn named Browns’ starting QB

While head coach Eric Mangini won’t confirm it, the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Brady Quinn has won the Browns’ starting quarterback job over Derek Anderson.

Browns coach Eric Mangini told the quarterbacks Tuesday night and Quinn took the first-team reps in practice Wednesday afternoon.

Quinn acted Wednesday as though he didn’t know. “We’re just out there continuing to battle with one another to get everything better for our team,” he said.

This non-announcement announcement has been long overdue. While Anderson certainly didn’t roll over, Quinn was the better quarterback in preseason and arguably gives the Browns the best chance to win on game day.

The Browns have a solid offensive line, but they need the running game to produce (rookie James Davis anyone?) and Braylon Edwards to prove that he can return to his 2007 form for this team to have a shot at a winning record this year.

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