It's time for Part II of our Cleveland Browns QB Training Camp preview. In Part I, we discussed the top two players on the depth chart: Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace. Today, we turn our attention to players with a whole lot less experience.
3. COLT MCCOY - 3RD STRING / DEVELOPMENT QUARTERBACK
When the SB Nation Mock Draft took place several months ago, I picked Colt McCoy to go to the Browns 38th overall. When team president Mike Holmgren passed him up twice in the second round, it seemed as if the team's interest in him, or any other young quarterback in the 2010 draft, had waned.
Then, at 85th overall, to the delight of Browns fans, the team went back on the clock and selected McCoy. Two things were for sure regarding McCoy: he fits the West Coast Offense and he's incredibly accurate. Funny enough, initial reports indicated that Holmgren would help oversee the installation of a West Coast Offense in Cleveland. Also, McCoy would be the polar opposite of Anderson and Quinn in terms of accuracy and completion percentage. With those two factors in his favor, would McCoy be thrown into a quarterback competition this year?
Simply put, the answer is no. Heck, there won't even be a competition between Delhomme and Wallace. While the depth chart still has yet to be officially confirmed by Mangini, the offseason vibes from Holmgren and company indicate that McCoy will sit and learn this season. A great foundation has been laid out for McCoy so that one day, perhaps even later this season if the team is ridiculously out of contention, be the Browns' starting quarterback:
- While Delhomme wants to start, he's appreciative of his opportunity and is the type of player who would gladly mentor McCoy as much as he can along the way. You can't say that Anderson or Quinn would've even known how to mentor a fellow quarterback. Neither of them really had the luxury of learning behind someone with experience though.
- There isn't a lot of pressure on McCoy to "save the franchise," seeing as he was a third-round pick. McCoy exhibits a strong work ethic, seems to be a class act, and seemed to be a leader with Texas. Under the management of Holmgren and company, who have had a track record of working well with quarterbacks, McCoy can take advantage of picking their brains left and right.
- He'll use his time in camp to start making the transition away from being a spread offense quarterback. When Delhomme is ready to give up the reigns (ideally after a year or two), McCoy will have an offensive line to dream of, a good running back tandem, and several young receivers to work with. That's a far cry from the opportunity that guys like Tim Couch and Charlie Frye received.
This write-up might seem more like a general intro to McCoy as opposed to a camp preview, but it was important to pound one thing into everyone's head: as good or as bad as McCoy looks in August, it won't lead to playing time during the regular season. For once, we have the opportunity to bring a quarterback into an ideal situation -- let's hope it works out.
Various Concerns / Comments - I'll be interested in seeing how quickly McCoy cuts into Ratliff's camp time. Usually the veteran quarterbacks receive a few more reps at first. I don't really see McCoy getting much, if any, work with the first team offense. He shouldn't be too concerned with getting acclimated to that unit in camp either; that's what Delhomme, and to a lesser extent Wallace, need to do. If you are looking for a piece to get more hyped about McCoy, I remember this article from Midwest Sports Fans a few months ago.
This is what I am already liking about McCoy, which comes from a Terry Pluto article a month ago:
Since camp ended, McCoy has been on the phone or computer most evenings with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, as they work through the playbook together. Some of these sessions last two hours. McCoy does have a hunger for the mental side of the game.
Final Roster Odds: 100%
Practice Squad Odds: 0%
4. BRETT RATLIFF - COMPETING FOR BACKUP QUARTERBACK SPOT
With all of the struggles that Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson had last year, you almost have to wonder, "why didn't Brett Ratliff receive an opportunity to play?"
Ratliff is still young. At 24, he's not much older than McCoy. When the Browns acquired him in a trade last year, I thought it was a fair pickup because I had seen Ratliff face the Browns in the preseason a year earlier. One preseason game isn't a lot to judge a guy on, but Ratliff showed decent arm strength and good pocket presence, staying patient enough to deliver some deep passes against out defense.
Then when Ratliff played in the preseason last year with Cleveland, I found myself rooting for Richard Bartel to make the roster over him.
With two veterans and a "newer" youngster ahead of him on the depth chart, unless an injury occurs, I don't see how Ratliff makes the roster. I'm always against the notion of having four quarterbacks, especially since we already have a player in Joshua Cribbs who can double as a quarterback.
Back in March, our Atlanta Falcons SB Nation affiliate discussed the thought of Ratliff being an option for their team as a backup. I see Ratliff lasting through most of camp, working with the second-teamers early on and then eventually shifting to the third-teamers as McCoy gets more acclimated to the offense. Another option to consider is that if McCoy holds out for part of camp, Ratliff could see extended work.
Various Concerns / Comments - Ratliff's NFL career isn't close to being done by any means, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him land a No. 3 role on another team.
Final Roster Odds: 25%
QB Position Quality (Overall): C+
Heading into the season, we'll be pegged as having one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league due to the uncertainty that Delhomme brings to the table. Wallace has a lot of experience as a backup quarterback under Holmgren though, and with McCoy being placed in a situation in which he can develop, the Browns get a very generous "C+" at the quarterback position.
Next up, Ryan Kelsey will attack the running back position. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with! Before the week comes to a close, we'll finish with a brief article covering the fullbacks.