With all that is occurring in the Cleveland Browns franchise, I must admit I have been more than impressed with how quarterback Colt McCoy has handled himself and has stayed out of the media spotlight through it all.
When the Cleveland Browns selected Brandon Weeden in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, McCoy's days as the undisputed starter and leader of the offense were all but over. Even while the draft was occurring there were rumors McCoy would be dealt for a later-round pick. A trade never came to light and McCoy is currently hard at work in training camp.
At this point last season, McCoy was rounding up the offense on his own due to the NFL lockout. McCoy was unsure if he would even be the starting quarterback for the 2011 campaign but assumed the leadership role in an effort to give the team a fighting chance if and when the squad returned to the field. It was a very respectable effort given by a second-year player that was given the "cold-shoulder" by the previous coaching regime.
Come the 2011 season, McCoy did not have a good year. He finished the season completing 265 passes in 463 attempts for a total of 2,733 yards. He through 14 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and fumbled the ball five times. McCoy posted a QB Rating of just 74.6. The Browns finished the season with a dismal 4-12 record and an embarrassing 0-6 record in their own division under McCoy's leadership.
To place the blame entirely on McCoy would be unfair. The offensive line was a disaster while the receivers struggled to hang on to the ball in nearly every pass attempt. To make matters worse, the ground game was also non-existent due to injuries to Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty. I seriously doubt the likes of Tom Brady or Drew Brees would be able to succeed in such an environment.
McCoy, giving a glimpse of his true character, took responsibility for the failures of the team. Not once did he place blame anywhere else other than on himself. Unfortunately in professional sports, if you do not perform, you are quickly replaced as what has been witnessed with the long list of quarterbacks starting games for Cleveland since 1999.
Browns' fans can only hope Weeden can buck the trend of revolving quarterbacks, but if he fails, there is always Matt Barkley in next year's NFL draft.
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