The following is an exclusive STO/The Cleveland Fan/Hutchison Entertainment LLC (HELL-C) fake interview with Browns' QB Colt McCoy.
Interviewer: We're here speaking today with Colt McCoy, embattled and embittered former starting QB of the Cleveland Browns. Welcome Colt. I would just like you to know that anything you say will be off the record.
Colt: Then why are you recording this?
Interviewer: Sorry, didn't hear you. So! Last year you entered Training Camp as the de facto starting QB, and this year you were ungraciously demoted. What are your feelings on battling for the backup role this season?
Colt: Uh... well, I'm still fighting for the starting job...
Interviewer: Oh, come on. Do you really think you have a chance at the starting job?
Colt: Yes, they told me I did.
Interviewer: But do you really think they mean it?
Colt: Why else would they tell me that?
Interviewer: Can you think of any reasons?
Colt: They were trying to make me happy?
Interviewer: Bingo. Placation. You don't draft a 28 year old dude in the 1st round and not play him, especially when you got what you got from the QB position last year.
Colt: Well, they did lie to me about drafting him...
Interviewer: Since you mentioned it, let's go there. Did Holmgren promise you he wouldn't pick a QB in the 1st round?
Colt: He said, "You're our QB, we're not looking to replace you, we like you, you're like a son to me."
Interviewer: Why do you think he would tell you that?
Colt: To be mean.
Interviewer: Pretend that you run the team and you have a QB, let's call him Deuce McGee, and Deuce had a really shitty year last year, but his replacement might not be available in the draft. What would you tell Deuce?
Colt: I'd tell him the truth that we're trying to replace him.
Interviewer: Why would you do that?
Colt: Because you should always be honest with players because they like it.
Interviewer: And being honest with Deuce will help give him confidence?
Interviewer: So if you can't draft the guy you're looking at and you're stuck with Deuce, you somewhat undermined his ability to do his job?
Interviewer: And this is a good idea to you?
Interviewer: Let's move on. Why do you think they made the move to replace you?
Colt: Because they're stupid.
Interviewer: You don't think it had anything to do with your inaccuracy? Your lack of pocket presence? The fact that sources from multiple sources have stated that they would just stack the line because you couldn't make the deep or outside throws?
Colt: I can make all the throws. All I need is no wind and plenty of space and time to be able to step into the throw.
Interviewer: So you can make the throws if the conditions are perfect?
Colt: That's what I said.
Interviewer: You realize that the other team's goal is to make conditions less than perfect, right? You realize you play in Cleveland where the weather conditions are often less than perfect, right?
Colt: It's the line's fault. I wouldn't have these problems if I played in Green Bay.
Interviewer: Because Green Bay has no weather and Aaron Rodgers wasn't sacked more than you last year.
Colt: Right... wait, what?
Interviewer: So here's the million dollar question - When you're told that Weeden has won the starting job, will you demand a trade?
Colt: My father and I will have to talk about that if it comes to that...
Interviewer: Please. Like you and your father haven't talked about it a thousand times already. Answer me!
Interviewer: Answer me!
Interviewer: I'll give you a Kit-Kat...
Colt: OK. Yes, we'll demand a trade. We think we got treated unfairly and we want a chance to take our talents elsewhere and get a legit shot to start.
Interviewer: And where, pray tell, do you think you'll get a legit chance to start?
Colt: My agent said Calgary. I think they play in the NFC South.
Regarding The Quarterbacks
The QB topic has been beaten to death so horrifically in the offseason that it resembles the zombies after Lionel took the lawn mower to them in Dead Alive. I considered just skipping the position altogether, but let's just get this pain in the arse out of the way.
In the national media (which clearly gives the Browns only cursory thought), Colt vs. Brandon is still considered a valid positional battle. Locally, we know that this was done the second the Browns drafted Weeden. Weed will be the starter, Colt will fight for the backup spot.
If you read any of my articles from last season, you know (ad nauseum) how I feel about Colt's QB abilities. By this point, you have doubtless formed your own opinion about him, and as with religion and politics, nothing anyone says will sway you from your beliefs. I won't bother to try. It doesn't matter what we think anyway - the Powers That Be identified that if Colt wasn't THE problem, he was at least A problem and did everything they could to replace him via the draft.
So the interesting battle here will not be for the starting position, it will be for the #2 spot. Toss aside the importance of the position - we've got 2 guys that probably don't like/respect each other very much fighting for a spot on the team. Because I would be shocked if both Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace are on this team come Opening Day. Knock me down with a feather shocked. Catatonic drooling into my wasabi-flavored gruel shocked.
Regarding The Candidates
Brandon Weeden - Rookie/1st round - Oklahoma State - 6'3/221 - 28 years old - (jersey #3) - Say what you want to about his age (the "old man" jokes are hilarious, I mean really really funny, like acid reflux), but it's been a while since the Browns have had a guy under center that looks like a valid NFL QB. That's not just stature - that's poise, arm strength, accuracy, the whole ball of charger cords. Derek Anderson had that for a brief period of time in 2007, but then teams figured him out and exposed his dismal accuracy issues and decision making gaffes.
The same could very reasonably happen with Weeden, but what I think most people are overlooking is that this guy likely would've been a Top 10 pick if he were 5 years younger. That's just how good he looked in college, how productive he was. So EXPECTING him to fail just like "all the other guys" is probably due to a case of Cleveland self-pity rather than logical analysis.
The dude still could bust - anyone could. But I know his potential certainly has me interested to see him play, something I would never say about any other QB on the roster. He and Josh Gordon will garner the lion's share of Training Camp attention.
Colt McCoy - 3rd season/3rd round - Texas - 6'1/215 - 25 - (#12) - McCoy had his share of problems last year and showed the skill set of a career backup, but since that's all he'd be here in 2012, he still has value in that regard. He almost has to "beat out" Wallace, since even though he's younger and cheaper, he's likely seen as more of distraction than Seneca. And a team as bad as the Browns doesn't need to be throwing further distractions at their rookie starter.
Colt had an entire offseason to better learn the offense, so the hope is that the speed of the game can "slow down" for him. There are some things to like about Colt, like his mobility and his toughness. If he can show increased pocket poise, it should help improve his accuracy and even alleviate some his arm strength issues. If not, he'll just join the scrap heap of non-NFL-caliber QB draftees the Browns have paraded through Berea over the years.
Seneca Wallace - 10th season/4th Round - Iowa State - 5'11/205 - 31 - (#6) - The common argument is that Seneca isn't a team player. While I think his attitude towards Colt is indeed disappointing ("I'm better than him and they gave him the job anyway so I'm not helping him out"), it's not surprising that he's more than willing to mentor Weeden in the West Coast Offense. With Weeden, Seneca KNOWS that he's the backup, and if he wants to make the cushy $3 mil he's got coming his way this year (a number he certainly won't find elsewhere), he'd better embrace his role.
As mentioned earlier, he's older and more expensive than Colt. But he's also untradeable, whereas Colt might be able to garner a 5th or 6th round pick. And he's also MUCH more versed in the offense they'll run. Not to mention that there will be absolutely NO ONE clamoring for Seneca to start if Weeden struggles the first few weeks. I know some would disagree, but as far as I'm concerned there's nothing to separate Colt and Seneca performance-wise. I don't think Colt is "better" in any sense of the word. Hopefully one of the two will separate himself during TC.
Thaddeus Lewis- 3rd season/Undrafted - Duke - 6'2/200 - 24 - (#9) - We've seen very little of this "developmental project", but since I surmise that there is almost zero chance both Wallace and McCoy are on the final roster, you can pencil Lewis in as 3rd QB right now.
Regarding The Predicted Outcome
Brandon Weeden will be announced starting QB fairly early in camp in order to kill the farce (and media analysis) and allow him to get as many 1st team reps as possible - which he'll need. With this young WR corps and his own newness, Weeden will make plenty of mistakes early. All reports point to him being somewhat of a gunslinger - and I can certainly see a lot of Favre in him. But for all the errors he makes, he'll makes some big plays too. Weeden will not be boring, oh lawdy no.
Tad Lewis will continue quietly on his way towards possibly becoming the 2013 backup in his 3rd year under Pat Shurmur. Hopefully we'll see a bit of why the coaching staff is excited about him in the Preseason, but he'll likely remain an enigma.
Colt and Seneca will battle it out early, neither looking incredibly unlike they did in 2011. At a certain point, the Powers That Be will realize that they have more than enough data on both of these guys and will just make a decision. In all honesty, that decision is probably already made, and the Browns are just hoping that some team has a QB injury early so they can ship the backup they don't want off for a premium.
And that backup is Colt McCoy. He's simply not worth the distraction. What he brings to the table isn't enough to warrant the potential divisiveness of his presence. Once the Browns can get a 5th rounder for him, Colt will be gone and the internet will light up for a few days. A few dolts will say something about how they hope he comes back here and "destroys" the Browns. He'll make some comments, his dad will make some comments, his brother will tweet some comments.
And then he'll be history. As far as Cleveland is concerned, over, done. Someone else's backup QB. And we can move on with the Next Guy.