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Cleveland Browns Midseason Review: Quarterback

With eight games in the books, Friday and Saturday will focus heavily on quickly taking a look at each position on the team and deciding whether that unit has lived up to, fallen short of, or exceeded expectations at the half-way point of the season. We start with quarterback.

Was I naive to think that quarterback Colt McCoy could finally be the Cleveland Browns' quarterback of the future?

Let's make one thing clear: if there is one thing I am thrilled about with the quarterback position this year, it is the fact that there is not a quarterback controversy. McCoy is the guy, and unless he suffers an injury, we'll still have eight more games to evaluate him.

I was very optimistic about McCoy in the preseason. Completing nearly 61 percent of his passes, he had a quarterback rating of over 100 and looked very confident in the West Coast Offense. He seemed to go through his progressions much better than he had in the 2010 season and was making some picture perfect throws to his receivers. All of that quickly fell apart when the regular season started. I don't want to make excuses for McCoy, but it is very frustrating that left guard Eric Steinbach suffered a season-ending injury before the start of the season and running back Peyton Hillis basically hasn't played all season.

McCoy often has little, if any, time to throw. He doesn't have a ground game that opposing defenses respect. With that in mind, it is easier said than done for McCoy to always have time to get the ball down the field, especially when your receivers aren't elite in the first place. The playcalling has been very questionable at times too. The thing that concerns me is that I have also seen enough instances of McCoy having enough time to throw, only for him to miss a fairly open receiver. His greatest strength is supposed to be his accuracy, but it's not showing.

To this point, McCoy has fallen short of my expectations. He still has a chance to make things up over the next eight games though, and he might be getting some help. His next two opponents, the Rams and the Jaguars, aren't the greatest teams and both of those games are at home. Then, five of the last six games are against divisional opponents, and Hillis might be back for those games. We'll know by the end of the 2011 season whether McCoy will be "the guy" again in 2012, or if we'll have to look elsewhere.

What are your thoughts on McCoy this season thus far, and do you think he'll get better over the next eight games?