Camp Day 1: Thoughts on the QB “Competition”

The Browns took the field for the first full team practice today and Brandon Weeden was reportedly awful. I’ve been thinking on this for a while, and figured it would be a good point of discussion…what if the .1% probability happens and Colt McCoy wins the starting job?  Well, Weeden’s shaky first day, coupled with a bit better day by McCoy sent the gears a churnin.

Is it truly a tragedy if Brandon Weeden is a bust if it causes Colt McCoy to elevate his game as a starter? As Brown’s fans, we have long forgotten what the benefits are when your team has a talent laden roster. Certainly, the ability to compensate for injuries is the first thing to come to mind.  But competition is the less evident but perhaps more important side effect.  When the “ones” are facing a much more competitive group of “twos”, the quality and impact of practices increase. More importantly, when someone is breathing down your neck to take your job, it is a primitive instinct that makes that fire burn a little hotter.  So if Tom Heckert’s purpose at pick 22 was to grab a quarterback who can win some games in the playoffs, it really shouldn’t matter whether it be Weeden or McCoy…if Weeden is the driving force behind McCoy’s improvement, the pick is not wasted. I’m betting 7 out of 10 browns fans would disagree with me, but I’m not about splitting hairs, just give me a quarterback that can win for us, I don’t care who it is. Colt is younger, can avoid pressure better and wins with Colt starting count the same as for Weeden.

Even Colts detractors must concede that last year was not a fair assessment of what McCoy brings to the table. Sure, his arm strength leaves a lot to be desired, but without a running game and with a less than mediocre right side of the offensive line, his strengths, accuracy and intangibles, weren’t ever given a chance to flourish. He was thrust into a new, more complicated offense without an offseason. Finally, factor in that his top two receivers were a rookie who hadn’t played football in a year and a special teamer, and it’s fair to say the deck was stacked against him. Long story short, 2011 Colt McCoy is not the best version of Colt McCoy.

I’m not saying McCoy should or will win out, he probably won’t. I also think if Weeden is the quarterback Heckert and Holmgren have projected, he will be better than McCoy ever could be. But if that slim chance that he does take the reigns comes reality, then I’m not asking why Tom Heckert drafted a bust at #22, I’m hoping that pick made Colt McCoy a franchise caliber QB.

-JW

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