Monday, April 1, 2013

We hardly knew ye, Colt

Now that he has been dealt to the San Francisco 49ers, is there any question Colt McCoy has a whole bunch of guardian angels hovering above him?

From the basement to the penthouse just like that.

The Browns get rid of one headache – avoiding the interminable number of why is Colt McCoy still with the Browns stories that were certain to hound us until his eventual departure – with one smooth move.

Why wait? Let’s get this over with now. Kudos to the Browns for removing the mystery with such dispatch.

The 49ers were the perfect partner with whom to do business. They needed a backup to Colin Kaepernick after trading Alex Smith to Kansas City. And they had 14 draft picks with which to play. So it can be assumed that the Browns should thank the Chiefs for making the Smith trade, opening up the opportunity to move McCoy.

It made too much sense. Besides, Joe Banner & Co. had only six picks in the draft later this month. Packaging his sixth-rounder with McCoy, Banner picked up extra picks in the fifth and seventh rounds.

So now, the McCoy bashers most likely will turn their attention to Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell. After all, they need to vent about someone and Thad Lewis will not make the cut.

McCoy, meanwhile, must be wondering if he ever will get a chance to play on a regular basis in the National Football League. Backing up Kaepernick probably means the only action he’ll see is during the exhibition season and mopping up routs in the regular season.

It sure looks as though the baby-faced New Mexican (by way of the University of Texas) was meant to be an NFL backup. But now he has a strong chance to be a backup who sports at least one championship ring.

And who knows? Now that Jim Harbaugh is his head coach, maybe he’ll finally be able to learn more about the quarterback position than he ever did under anyone with the Browns.

McCoy started 21 games in his three painful seasons with the Browns, winning just six. He fell into disfavor with the selection of Weeden in the first round of the draft last season.

The fact the team’s third-round pick in the 2010 draft remained with the club as its No. 2 quarterback all season was surprising. Many believed he would either be released or traded when Weeden was chosen.

He arrived in Cleveland with modest fanfare after Browns President Mike Holmgren personally stepped in and selected him. Many fans were thrilled with the choice since they believe Holmgren is a quarterbacks guru and it would be only a matter of time before McCoy would be the man: The Franchise Quarterback.

He was supposed to be an observer as a rookie, but was forced to step in halfway through the season following injuries to starting quarterback Jake Delhomme and backup Seneca Wallace.

In 24 games with the Browns, McCoy completed 58.3% of his 702 passes for 4,388 yards and 21 touchdowns with 20 interceptions. Lack of a strong arm enabled opposing defenses to successfully squeeze the field on him. They knew he could not complete the staple 15- to 18-yard out most teams have in their arsenal.

That’s when it became obvious his tenure with Cleveland was going to be short lived. He does not fit well in coach Rob Chudzinski's stretch-the-field offense. It was just a matter of time – and timing, as it turned out – before he would wear the colors of another NFL team..

Still, he played the good soldier. Never bad-mouthed the organization. Even though he knew he was not in the team’s future plans, he zipped his lips. He was the ultimate professional in that regard.

He will not be missed by a large majority of Browns fans. His presence in Cleveland served only as fodder for the many arguments that seemed to follow him around.

He won’t have to worry about that in San Francisco.

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