Tag:Colt McCoy
Posted on: August 22, 2011 9:09 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 9:26 pm
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Browns, Thomas agree to 7-year, $84M extension

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We don't know if Titans running back Chris Johnson will point to this as more evidence he deserves to be the NFL's highest-paid player, but either way, the Browns have signed left tackle and 2007 first-round pick Joe Thomas to a seven-year, $84 million extension that reportedly includes $44 million in guarantees, a league source tells the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot.

Thomas has been one of the Browns' most consistent players since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999, and he is the cornerstone of an offense that finally appears to have a quarterback in Colt McCoy. (Yes, we're aware of similar conversations about Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.) Thomas was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons, has started all 64 games in his four-year career, and has never missed a snap.

"Joe is obviously one of the finer left tackles in the business,'' coach Pat Shurmur said, according to Cabot. "He's a very, very good pass protector. I guess what's impressed me is that he's a fine run-blocker as well. Typically, you find a guy that's good at one and average at the others, but I think Joe is good in both phases, extremely good.

"He's big, has good feet, balance and body control. He has pretty good power for a guy that's a tackle. And he has a feel for the game. Usually what makes a player good is kind of a combination and he's blessed with a lot of those things.''

The Browns' offensive line has been the least of their worries in recent seasons. In addition to the revolving door at quarterback, the running and passing games fell somewhere between inconsistent and nonexistent. Trading for Peyton Hillis prior to the 2010 season immediately upgraded the rushing attack. And the emergence of tight end Evan Moore, and the addition of rookie Greg Little could give McCoy the downfield weapons he'll need to have any chance at success.

Ultimately, it all starts up front with the o-line, and Thomas has been a big part of that.

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Posted on: August 16, 2011 11:29 am
 

Colt McCoy worked with Brett Favre this offseason

Posted by Will Brinson

Over the summer, NFL players weren't allowed to contact with coaching staffs. So many of them turned to other tutors in order to beef up on their respective offenses. Nothing weird about that.

But that doesn't make it any less interesting to hear that Browns quarterback Colt McCoy sought out Brett Favre for advice.

"Since I couldn’t get coached, it was a great opportunity to pick the brain of a guy who’s played in the [West Coast] system for 20 years,” McCoy said via a Browns spokesman, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. "It was a chance for me to get a lot of questions answered. We worked on footwork, progressions, reads and things like that. It was definitely a positive trip."

At this point Favre's name, in any non-retirement context, strikes fear into the hearts of NFL fans and scribes across the land. But McCoy's decision to chat with the future Hall-of-Famer actually makes a lot of sense.

Browns Offseason

For starters, Favre built his legacy under Browns president Mike Holmgren when the mustachioed legend coached the Packers. Favre is Holmgren's guy and Favre knows the system that coach Pat Shurmur is installing under the regime.

Shurmur had tremendous success with Sam Bradford, developing him into one of the more prolific rookie passers in NFL history. That wasn't because Bradford spent the year chunking the ball down the field either; he dinked-and-dunked his way to 3,512 passing yards and an NFL rookie-record 354 completions (on an also-rookie-record 590 attempts).

While McCoy is a different QB than either Favre or Bradford, he's still a talented young man who flashed plenty of promise his rookie year in the West Coast offense.

And if he wants to improve on an already pretty good shot at repeating his 2010 success, he's certainly making a smart move by seeking out the advice of the people who best understand the offense he's charged with running.

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Posted on: August 10, 2011 9:22 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:18 am
 

Podcast: Previewing the AFC North

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

We're rolling out the NFL previews and first up on the podcast: the AFC North.

Unlike other divisions, where any team could win, the AFC North will come down to the Steelers and Ravens, although there will be a race to the basement between the Browns and Bengals. That said, both Cleveland and Cincy have relatively easy schedules and there's a chance (remote but not impossible) that one or both of these outfits could win more than six games.

For that to happen, young quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton will have to play out of their minds and get a lot of help from their teammates. McCoy performed better than anybody expected last season, and with expectations predictably low for Dalton, there really is no place for him to go but up (assuming, of course, he doesn't get maimed by the Ravens' or Steelers' defenses at some point during the season).

Baltimore fans may not be sold on Joe Flacco, but the front office's decision to cut ties with two of his favorite receivers -- Derrick Mason and Todd Heap -- won't magically make him a better player. As it stands, the Ravens have Anquan Boldin and, well, that's it. Rookie Torrey Smith could be forced into duty, which while great for getting him some early experience, won't do much for the passing game. The solution: more Ray Rice.

Pittsburgh returns basically the same team that lost to Green Bay in the Super Bowl. If you're a Steelers homer and looking for a silver lining from that loss: there won't be any Super Bowl hangover. So there's that.

Alright, talking starts below. (Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.)




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Posted on: July 14, 2011 11:14 am
Edited on: July 14, 2011 9:55 pm
 

What else did Harrison tell magazine reporter?

HarrisonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In an interesting admission today, the writer of the controversial James Harrison piece for Men’s Journal magazine told Harrison to do whatever he needs to do in order to make peace with his quarterback.

“We talked about 11 o’clock yesterday morning,” Paul Solotaroff told ESPN radio, via Pro Football Talk. “Look, James is the guy who’s got to live with Ben for the next three years.... So as I told James, ‘Listen, whatever you’ve got to say to mend fences is perfectly fine with me.’”

That’s why Harrison told Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger that Solotaroff twisted his words in the story.

But it also sounds like Solotaroff didn’t use all the quotes he could have, and apparently, Harrison got really nasty in the interview (it, of course, would be a surprise if Harrison wasn't nasty)

Harrison's Big Day
“I filled up three notebooks, I don’t know how many hours of digital tape, and I cut so much stuff from this piece,” Solotaroff said. “There is just acres of stuff James said that’s compelling and amusing and riveting. And that wasn’t the only thing he said about Ben.”

In addition to bashing Roethlisberger and RB Rashard Mendenhall in the piece that ran -- he also said some not-so-nice things about commissioner Roger Goodell -- Solotaroff left on the cutting room floor the quote in which Harrison called Cleveland’s Colt McCoy “an idiot kid quarterback.”

But you know what’s also kind of weird about this interview? Solotaroff seems like a HUGE fan of Harrison.

“I was furious at the way James got done by Goodell last year,” Solotaroff said. “I thought making him the poster boy for this abrupt and arbitrary rule change . . . was about the most wrongheaded thing you could do, particularly since Goodell seemed bent on singling James out.”

That’s fine for Solotaroff to feel that way. But now it sounds like Solotaroff is protecting Harrison from getting into even more trouble, simply because he likes Harrison so much.

And when you basically admit to that in a radio interview, your credibility as an objective reporter will get called into question. As it should be.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 2:54 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Browns doing 'due diligence' on Terrelle Pryor

Posted by Ryan Wilson

When asked Monday about whether the Browns might have interested in quarterback Terrelle Pryor, coach Pat Shurmur would only say, "I can't comment on that situation."

Maybe he can't comment, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot will: "The Browns are intrigued enough by former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor to do their due diligence on him for the supplemental draft, a league source told The Plain Dealer."

"Due diligence" is a start, but it's a long way from actually submitting a bid for Pryor in the NFL supplemental draft, much less making him a first-round pick as agent Drew Rosenhaus has previously proclaimed.

The doubts about Pryor as an NFL quarterback have been well documented. Putting aside Rosenhaus' assessment, the consensus among draft experts is that Pryor is no better than a fourth-round selection.

But maybe that's where the Browns envision bidding on him.

(Unlike the regular draft, the supplemental draft is an auction; teams are grouped by record and submit bids based on which round they would take a prospect. Highest bid wins).

As it stands, Cleveland has second-year quarterback Colt McCoy and veterans Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme. McCoy appears to be the favorite to win the job, and Delhomme, who the Browns inexplicably paid $7 million in 2010, could be released (although he shouldn't have trouble finding work).

Cabot writes that if the Browns think Pryor is worth pursuing, they could draft him as the No. 3 QB next season. Cabot also points out that Monday Night Football color analyst Jon Gruden is a protege and close confidant of Browns president Mike Holmgren (Gruden worked on Holmgren's staff in Green Bay in the 1990s), and he's also pretty high on Pryor's talents.

But he's not the only one. Last week, ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker made the case for the Browns taking a flyer on Pryor.

"Pryor is projected to be a fourth-round pick in July's supplemental draft by everyone not named Drew Rosenhaus," Walker wrote June 16. "That's a modest cost for someone with Pryor's athletic ability, big-game experience and pedigree. That is especially the case for the Browns, who have nine draft picks next year -- including two first-rounders -- following a cunning trade with the Atlanta Falcons."

Walker also notes that Pryor would have access to two of the league's best QB coaches: Holmgren and Shurmur, who have worked with Brett Favre, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb and Sam Bradford.

And then there's this: After the April draft, Holmgren admitted that his only regret was not taking a quarterback.

"I think, philosophically, I always like to take a quarterback in the draft late," Holmgren said at the time. "But that also had to make sense. This year, based on our roster needs and what we had and what we needed to do, we did the right thing. Now, are we finished adding to the quarterback pile? I don’t think so but maybe we are, but I don’t think so. I think we are going to try and figure out a way to get another guy in here but you do what you have to do when the draft comes up to make good decisions and Pat and Tom did that.”

Channeling Rosenhaus and Pryor: "So you're telling me there's a chance?"

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Posted on: June 11, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Jake Delhomme in demand as QB mentor?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For having settled comfortably into the twilight of his career, quarterback Jake Delhomme sure is popular. Pretty much everybody was shocked when the Browns paid Delhomme $7 million to be their starter in 2010. Injuries and lack of ability eventually landed him on the bench, where he was much more valuable as rookie Colt McCoy's mentor.

And it's his relationship with young quarterbacks that makes Delhomme marketable, even after his quarterbackin' skills have long since deserted him. The Denver Post's Mike Klis suggested last week that Delhomme would be a great fit with the Broncos and Tim Tebow.

Upon hearing that Delhomme's days in Cleveland could be numbered, former Panthers teammate Ryan Kalil took to Twitter to make the case that Carolina should re-sign him.

“Dear Marty Hurney, (slow chant) bring him back..bring him back..bring him back…BRING HIM BACK!” Kalil continued. “‘We’ve got to talk about where we want to head as far as the veteran back up is concerned.’ – Ron Rivera #BringJakeBack”

The Charlotte Observer's Darin Grantt notes that "Kalil jokes around a lot," before adding: "But if Delhomme was available, there would be a groundswell in the locker room to bring him back to Charlotte."

The lesson: don't burn bridges on your way out the door.

Delhomme makes sense in Carolina. The Panther drafted Cam Newton and he's going to need help transitioning to the NFL (while we're on the subject, Jimmy Clausen could use a confidant, too). Delhomme shows a knack for working with inexperienced, wide-eyes QBs, and he doesn't seem preoccupied with ever being a starter again. Basically, he's a coach who gets to wear a uniform on Sundays.

Rotoworld warns that Delhomme makes sense as a mentor, "but there's no way they could put him on the field." Well, they could. Not because Delhomme should be out there, but it's not like we're talking about the New England Patriots. The Panthers had the first overall pick for a reason: they were 2-14 in 2010. If, god forbid, Clausen and Newton get hurt and Delhomme has to play for a few weeks, what's the worst that can happen? Carolina loses two or three games? Big whoop -- they had two separate five-game losing streaks last year.

On the other hand, if Delhomme's presence accelerates Newton's growth as an NFL quarterback, then the growing pains will be worth it.

Then again, if Delhomme is the missing piece to a successful offense, the Browns not only should keep him, they should give him a raise.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 10:58 pm
 

Several NFL teams might have interest in Burress

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Plaxico Burress will be released from prison on June 6 after serving more than 20 months for, well, accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub in November 2008. The punishment may not have fit the crime, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to make an example out of Burress, presumably to serve as a warning to others who might consider carrying a loaded weapon in public (or shooting themselves with it, for that matter).

At the time, Bloomberg was clear: "I don't think that anybody should be exempt from [three-and-a-half years behind bars for illegally carrying a loaded handgun]. And I think it would be an outrage if we don't prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

Now, almost two years later, Burress will finally get his release. For most inmates about to earn their freedom, the biggest concerns about life on the outside often include finding gainful employment and staying out of trouble. The latter is linked to the former, so landing a job is paramount. Which brings us to this: What will the NFL market be for Burress' services once the lockout is resolved?

First, some background: Burress last caught a pass in an NFL game on November 16, 2008. Still with the Giants, and less than a year removed from a Super Bowl title, Burress had just three receptions for 47 yards against the Ravens before a hamstring injury forced him to the sidelines, and a few days later, a self-inflicted gunshot wound changed his life. The next time Burress suits up in an NFL game he will be 34, the age most players begin their transition to life after football.

So the dilemma facing potential suitors goes something like this:
  • After more than 20 months behind bars, does Burress have anything left?
  • How would he fit in with new coaches/teammates/scheme? 
  • Will he stay out of trouble? 
All questions NFL front offices will undoubtedly consider, and a few of them will be ready to sign Burress once we have a 2011 season. In today's "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King lists his early front runners.

"I think [Burress will] have two or three teams very interested. My guess is the Jets, Eagles and Raiders will be involved (the Jets if they don't sign Randy Moss), and I'll tell you a team that should be interested: Cleveland. A reborn Burress would do a good job giving Colt McCoy a threat he doesn't have right now -- if Burress is in shape and as interested in resuming his career as I've heard."

The Jets have proven time and again that they are unafraid to hitch their wagon to players with baggage (apparently, there's plenty of room on the wagon for both). Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards are the most recent examples, and they helped the Jets to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance last January. Coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum know what they're doing.

There is also the possibility that Edwards and Holmes could be lost via free agency should there be a season. That explains the interest in Randy Moss, although neither Moss nor Burress offer Mark Sanchez quite the dynamism that Edwards and Holmes provided a year ago.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, intimately familiar with incarceration and second chances, appeared on Philadelphia's WIP last week and said that he'd love to have Burress on his team.

"Absolutely -- it would be a great addition for our team," said Vick, according to SportsRadioInterview.com. "With the guys we have now, I think we can fit him in and make it work. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to put that ring on your finger at the end of the year.

"I think certainly Plaxico is going to come out with a chip on his shoulder the same way I did, and he'll go out and help this football team to whatever capacity he can. I think the guys would be willing to embrace him and bring him in. If that happens, who knows? We talking about 'what ifs' now? It would certainly be a good thing."

Assuming Burress could recapture his past form, it would give the Eagles a third legitimate wideout after DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin (not to mention tight end Brent Celek). There's also a running game featuring LeSean McCoy and Vick, an offensive line bolstered by first-round pick Danny Watkins, and an already-explosive offense suddenly seems more dangerous. And let's be honest, if anybody can relate to what Burress has been through, it's Vick.

King also mentions the Browns, a team mired in futility, and on its fourth coach since 2004. The organization hired Mike Holmgren as team president in 2010 to turn things around. He drafted quarterback Colt McCoy, who played better than anyone expected as a rookie, and added wide receiver Greg Little in April. Still, Cleveland is in need of a big-play, pass-catching threat; Josh Cribbs isn't quite there and Burress could be an attractive short-term solution while McCoy and his young offensive teammates gain experience.

Whether Burress has any interest in going to the Browns is a different matter entirely, although Ron Cook, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, thinks the Steelers should give Burress a look. Pittsburgh drafted Burress in the first round of the 2000 draft, and he was then-rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target in 2004. The Steelers chose not to re-sign him after his contract expired following the season, and Burress ended up with the Giants, where he won a Super Bowl in 2008.

This is just a hunch, but the Steelers will have no interest in Burress; they currently have a depth chart full of quality young receivers to go along with veteran Hines Ward. If they take a chance on any 6-4 wideout, it will be Limas Sweed, their 2008 second-round pick who has battled injuries and drops in an unexceptional three-year career.

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Posted on: May 21, 2011 4:57 pm
 

Kolb to the Browns rumor doesn't have real legs

Posted by Will Brinson

The lockout is still very much on, which means we're still very much talking about where Kevin Kolb, the heavily-hyped Eagles backup quarterback, will end up playing in 2011.

Today's zany rumor -- the Cleveland Browns! -- comes to us courtesy of Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network.

"I’m going to go Cleveland [if I'm the Eagles]," Lombardi said. "I’m not buying the Colt McCoy love affair going on in Cleveland. I don’t know how you can have the love affair. I think with the extra pick they got from Atlanta, that first-rounder, it’s gonna be hard to beat them in a poker game."

That's an interesting take ... if the Browns a) don't believe in McCoy and b) DO believe in Kolb.

The latter is made more interesting by the fact that Lombardi, in the same article, said that "it's hard to watch tape on Kevin Kolb and think he's worth a first-round pick." Since, you know, it's kind of counterintuitive to think that Cleveland would give up a first-round pick for a guy that's not necessarily worth a first-round pick.

Whatever, it appears to be pointless anyway -- Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer cited a source on Saturday that says the "Browns won't pursue" Kolb.

That doesn't mean that the Browns have no interest in Kolb -- after all, Tom Heckert drafted him while in Philly a few years back.

But at this stage of the game, it seems pretty likely that you'll see Cleveland roll the dice with McCoy at least through 2011. His performance certainly justifies not risking a first-rounder on another relatively unproven signal caller.

Oh, and speaking of Colt McCoy, he recently filmed a little clip with Valvoline talking his rookie-year experience and football "guarantees," of which there really are none. Including, I suppose, the Browns trading for Kolb.



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