|In a shocking development, linebackers can't cover Johnson. (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
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Good news: there are people in the NFL who think that Colt McCoy can be a competent NFL starter.
Bad news: it's not clear those people are in the Browns' organization.
A year after starting 13 games as a rookie and showing glimpses of potential, McCoy headed into 2011 with a new head coach and expectations. It's been a rough four months; the Browns' offense has been predictable and inept, the team has managed just four wins through 15 weeks, and McCoy, who suffered a concussion against the Steelers two weeks ago, has yet to return to the field.
And there's a chance that, two seasons and 21 starts into his career, he may find himself out of chances in Cleveland.
"I know people are saying, 'Is this guy a player?' but there's a lot of things to like about him," said CBS Analyst and former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot. Gannon has studied most of McCoy's games this season and will be calling Sunday's game against the Ravens where Seneca Wallace will make his second consecutive start. "I mean, there's something about him that makes me think he's got a chance. I like him. ...
"People don't understand that you've got develop the quarterback position," Gannon said. "We're making a huge mistake in the NFL with these young guys. These coaches come in and say, 'He's not my guy, I want to get rid of him,' and then they bring another guy in. Then it takes a couple of years to develop that guy. Meanwhile, they fire that head coach, and the next guy comes in. It's a terrible cycle."
There could be the slim possibility that McCoy gets another chance at the starting gig. USC quarterback Matt Barkley announced last week that he was returning to college for his senior season, foregoing the NFL Draft where he would almost certainly be a top-10 selection. That means the Browns, Redskins and Dolphins -- all teams in desperate need of a franchise quarterback -- will either have to move forward with the status quo or try to find a stopgap via free agency or a trade.
Gannon, meanwhile, thinks McCoy could benefit from some Jim Harbaugh-type mentoring.
"When you have a talented kid like Colt who can do some things, you put your arm around him like [coach] Jim Harbaugh did with Alex Smith and show him some love," Gannon said. "You tell him you believe in him and that you trust him, and that you're going to win this thing together. Now you're seeing a different guy in Alex Smith. He has five interceptions this year. He's not throwing 40 touchdowns [Smith has thrown for 16], but he's playing winning football."
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