Blog Entry

Colt McCoy could really use a big-play WR

Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:11 pm
Turns out, Little might be better as a No. 2 receiver. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The Cleveland Browns are in desperate need of a big-play wide receiver. They had a chance to land such a player during the 2011 NFL Draft. Instead, they traded the sixth-overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for the Falcons' 2011 first, second and fourth-round picks, as well as a first and fourth-rounder in 2012.

Atlanta promptly selected Julio Jones, who along with A.J. Green were considered can't-miss prospects. Green has been that and then some this season -- 50 catches, 832 yards, seven touchdowns. Jones has battled hamstring issues but has started nine games, catching 34 passes for 566 yards and two touchdowns.

The Browns, meanwhile, used their first-round pick on defensive tackle Phil Taylor and took wideout Greg Little in the second round. Little has struggled with drops this season and is considered something of a project. This has to be disconcerting to Cleveland's second-year quarterback Colt McCoy.

After playing well as a rookie, the expectations were that McCoy would continue to get better in Year 2, especially if the Browns gave him a legit downfield threat to complement Peyton Hillis and Josh Cribbs. That didn't happen.

Instead, McCoy has regressed, the offense has stalled, and the Browns (4-8) are one of the worst teams in the league. On Thursday, they'll face the 9-3 Steelers on NFL Network. Draft guru and color analyst Mike Mayock, who will work the game, spoke about the Browns' offense and McCoy and Little in particular.

"I think the kid's got the deck stacked against him a little bit right now," Mayock told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot. "They don't really have anyone like a [Mike] Wallace or [A.J.] Green that can stretch the field for them vertically, and that's a difficult thing when you're a quarterback. Basically, you're kind of playing small ball. You're trying to run the football and move the chains with a lot of play-action and underneath stuff. And at some point, you've got to be more than that."

Mayock was also troubled by the Browns' unwillinginess (inability?) to throw the ball down the field.

"[McCoy's] not making the downfield throws and what's really happening is that teams are starting to squat on the wideouts, and it's difficult to watch when your offense is so compressed. It's an old-school West Coast offense -- a lot of three- and five-step drop, get the ball out of your hand. I understand it, but at some point you've got to watch this kid throw the ball. You've got to see more of the intermediate routes that demonstrate arm strength."

And that goes back to not having a premier pass catcher.

"Maybe the wide receivers aren't getting as much respect as you'd like," he said. "Greg Little is having a good year, but he's dropped four or five passes [actually six] in the two games I've watched. Mohamed Massaquoi is a pretty good receiver and Josh Cribbs obviously has the 'wow' factor, but he's certainly not a polished receiver."

It's hard to fault the Browns for making that deal with the Falcons. After all, on draft day, New England coach Bill Belichick told Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff, "Thomas, I'm just telling you as a friend. I wouldn't do it."

Belichick added that he thought Jonathan Baldwin was "just as good if not better" than Jones. Which leads us to this: the Browns weren't wrong to trade out of the No. 6 pick, but they really could've used a playmaker.

As it stands, their offense is so predictable that people half-paying attention know what's coming.

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Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:00 pm

Colt McCoy could really use a big-play WR

Nice website CBS.  I just spent 10 minutes writing an in depth message only to get an error message when submitting.... what a waste of time!

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:57 pm

Colt McCoy could really use a big-play WR

If the Browns don't improve during the 2012/13 season, then Mike (the Walrus) Holmgren should be run out of town.  The guy makes like $5M per year to do nothing... what a waste of money.  Should have kept Eric Mangini for one more year as he was about to turn the corner with this team.  Now, new coachs. new system, new problems, but no more wins than the last 2-3 years. Such a joke of a franchise for a team that was once so proud.

With two first round picks in 2012, a second, a third and two fourth rounders, the Browns should be able to add some much needed talent to this team, but you never know with the inept management this team has.

Since: Dec 8, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:30 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:19 am

Colt McCoy could really use a big-play WR

This article just told the biggest secret there is to tell about the Cleveland Browns (sarcasm). Being a Browns fan, it is true we are in desperate need of a big play stretch the field type of receiver. But the key part to the article is the Browns DO NOT attempt to throw the ball down field often. I was in favor of the trade during the draft and still am. I was more impressed with AJ Green, than I was with Julio Jones. Barring the injury bug that has hit Jones, he is in a better situation in Atlanta. The Browns need to address the WR position in the upcoming draft. McCoy has to battle reports os having a so-so arm, being undersized and just being a great college QB and nothing else. I liken him to what Drew Brees experienced early in his career. I think if they surround him with talent he will preform better, but throwing the ball downfield for 5 yards a play doesnt scare ANY defense.

Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:12 am

Colt McCoy could really use a big-play WR

Wow, groundbreaking journalism here.  QB could use big play WR....what a novel idea...this may just take off.....soon QB's will be throwing to WR's everywhere!  I can't wait!!!

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:17 am

Colt McCoy could really use a big-play WR

Name one QB that would not benefit from another legit WR? This article is retarded. Maybe the Browns would be better off if they moved to Baltimore and called themselves the Ravens? Wait, we tried that once. I say rename the team and put a logo or something on that stupid orange helmet. Cleveland, where sports players go to die or leave the first chance they get (Lebron, Lee, C.C., and on and on).

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:44 pm

Colt McCoy could really use a big-play WR

Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford have seriously regressed from their stellar rookie seasons. However, Tim Tebow is taking the NFL by storm and is poised to lead the Broncos into the playoffs. 

Since: Oct 3, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:31 pm

Colt McCoy could really use a big-play WR

they can get terrel owens Cool

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