So I've been reading all of the stories about Weeden being named starter and Colt's disappointment. Let me be up front - I'm a Colt McCoy fan, but I'm not a fanatic. Do I think he is ready to be a starter right now - no I don't. Do I think he could be an solid back-up right now - yes I do. Do I think he could ever be a starter - honestly I'm not sure. But I like him and I hope the Browns keep him as the #2. Why - because I think he can come in and finish a game if needed and even win a few if he has to start some games due to a Weeden injury or bust. I'm not sold on the overpaid Wallace at all. But the real question of this post is "was Colt McCoy lied to or is this just reporters trying to find something to report on whether its true or not. So let's look at what the news has reported and representatives have actually stated since the end of the 2011 season in regards to Colt and the QB position.
On Jan 2, 2012 - Shurmur states to CBSSports.com reporters: “I expect that Colt will improve just like I expect (backup QB) Seneca (Wallace) will improve and whoever the quarterbacks are here. I think that can be said for all positions, so the best quarterback will play when we start the season.” As of that date anyone who follows the Browns should have been aware that the Head Coach wasn't sure Colt would be the starter in 2012. All of us should have known that Colt would be competing for his starting job and that there was a strong possibility that another QB would be brought in through free agency or the draft.
Then the Browns are rumored to have an interest in Matt Flynn. Nothing comes of the rumors but if you are following the team you have pretty good reason to suspect the Browns are shopping, especially in light of Shurmur's Jan 2 comments, which we can know he actually made.
Then the Browns bring in RGIII, Weeden, Tannehill, and Cousins before the draft to try out. There is no doubt this time the Browns are shopping and of course the top choice is RGIII. However, the Browns actively try to trade up for RGIII but fail. There are statements by Holmgren and Heckert that they are impressed with Weeden but no such statements are made about Tannehill or Cousins. Clearly since RGIII is out Weeden is the only other rookie QB the Browns see as viable.
Before the draft Shurmur states that with RGIII gone he is planning on proceeding as he had stated in January. He indicates Colt will likely be the starter but he does not state this as definitive nor does he say a QB won't be drafted to compete or that one won't be drafted in the first round. My impression from his statement, and ones made by Holmgren and Heckert around that time was that they were still looking to at least draft a developmental QB.
Now we get to the "big lie" that Colt McCoy was told before the draft that the Browns wouldn't draft a QB in the first round. The only person who says the Browns promised that is Adam Schefter quoting an unnamed NFL insider AFTER Weeden was taken. Can't find a place where Holmgren, Heckert, Shurmur, Colt or anyone else associated with the Browns made that statement before hand or has confirmed that statement. We just have to accept for some odd reason that Schefter (who makes his living by being the guy with the inside track but only seems right about a third of the time) was actually told this or at least that the unnamed insider actually knew what he was talking about.
When asked if Colt would be traded after Weeden was selected Heckert answers it would be discussed but there is never another statement from Holmgren or Heckert that they were going to or even a confirmed report that they actively tried to. There has not been a confirmed report that any team has approached the Browns for Colt or that the Browns have approached another team. Though reporters keep telling us the Browns will trade him any day, yet when their "deadlines" come to pass without a trade we are just given another timeline for when it will occur.
Now was Colt lied to about competing with Weeden for the starting job. Again we look back at Jan 2 and we knew that Colt was facing a battle. During and after the draft Holmgren, Heckert, and Shurmur state that Weeden was drafted with the expectation he would start 2012. They go on to say that they would wait to name a starting QB to give ALL of them a a chance to compete but they have never wavered from the statement that Weeden was drafted for the job. If you didn't understand the reality it was Weeden's job to lose then you weren't listening.
Between minicamps and training camp Shurmur states he wants to name a starter sooner rather then later. Again if you didn't realize that what Shurmur was saying was "Weeden is our starter unless he demonstrates he is not ready or gets hurt" then you weren't listening to anyone but reporters. The reports coming out of ota, minicamps, training camps and the statements by Holmgren, Heckert, and Shurmur have all indicated that Weeden hasn't done anything to change the minds of the front office or coaching staff. Nor have the reports and statements indicated that their opinion of Colt has changed since Jan 2. Clearly Colt nor Weeden has done anything that would change their position from what it was coming out of the draft.
Since then Colt has not asked to be traded, has been professional, and has publicly stated he wants to stay with the Browns and help them compete. Today Colt expressed his disappointment over not getting the job but with class and style, never once saying anything bad about the Browns, the front office, the coaching staff, or Weeden. Disappointment yes, rancor no. Weeden has nothing but praise for McCoy. Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmur have nothing but praise, tempered with reality, for Colt while acknowledging they believe Weeden to be a better choice as a starter right now.
HMMM? Where is, or for that matter has been, the controversy on the team except in the stories of reporters who are trying to keep their jobs by reporting (read twisting) something, anything, that they can make seem controversial to grab headlines? The saddest part is too many fans seem to be hopping on reporter band wagons and helping drum up a controversy that hasn't and doesn't exist. Will Colt ever start for the Browns again? Who knows. Injuries are common and rookie QBs bust all the time. Its a possibility. Will Colt retire from the Browns? Who knows - few do in today's NFL but its always a possibility. Will Colt get traded this season? Who knows. If someone offers the Browns the right incentive at a point when Weeden is looking viable of course they will trade Colt because they still have Wallace who is adequate. It doesn't mean they will actively shop Colt either, though they might. Will Colt go on to have success as a starter in the future with the Browns or someone else? Who knows. It has happened before and it will happen again - look at Drew Brees.
What we do know is that Schefter's story started a controversy that might not have been otherwise and reporters trying to keep their jobs by having something "exciting" to write about are keeping it alive.