Colt McCoy Conundrum

Your buddies all have opinions. Your Dad has a take. It’s all anyone wants to talk about. The papers, blogs and talk radio have beaten this bye-week fueled controversy to death.

Who should start for the Browns once everybody is healthy?

First off, let’s make something clear; no ones job is on the line based on this decision. You have to think that this is a decision that will be made by Mike Holmgren and Eric Mangini together, so the whole-Mangini-is-just-playing-the-veteran-to-save-his-job take doesn’t cut it. This will be a joint decision.

Secondly, I’m not going to delve into the Jake Delhomme-Seneca Wallace debate. Let’s not debate if we should give credence to his good preseason play and a decent half of play (besides for the terrible almost-pick six, oh yeah and that touchdown throw to MoMass? Should have been picked, kudos to ex-Brown Sean Jones for that gift).

Let’s discuss Colt vs. The Field.

The two reasons one might suggest that Colt McCoy should start:

A) He gives us the best chance to win.

B) We have to see what we have before next year’s draft.

The counter-arguments:

A) The Browns have to play to win every game, they can’t just play for the future.

B) The plan was to sit him this year; that shouldn’t change just because of injuries.

Let’s take a closer look:

He gives us the best chance to win:

Not sure you can make that case at this point. Based on what we’ve seen, it’s hard to say the coaching staff feels the same way, looking at the game plans they prepared for him. Then again, the Browns actually were chucking it early against the Saints until they built a little lead and started going Republican.

That being said, I do think he has shown more than just poise, namely he’s not afraid to and can make throws in tight windows and he’s accurate. Was his performance blown out of perspective? Sure. Did he show something besides poise? Definitely.

We have to see what he has for the future vs. you have to play to win at all times:

The answer is somewhere in the middle. If your not sure he’s your guy and he’s not your best option I don’t think you can justify starting him the rest of the season on the premise that your 2-5 and your not making the playoffs anyway. You don’t treat the rest of the season like extended training camp and preseason.

You only use the regular season to “develop” your young QB if your certain he’s your future at the position.

On the other hand you have to look at the big picture and do what’s best for the Browns long term. I don’t think anybody disagrees with September call-ups in baseball and playing your young talent at the end of the season.

Are you really going to tell me that if the Browns think that he might be their franchise quarterback and that if they feel they can glean important information to that end by playing him the last four games of the season that they shouldn’t do it and should play a washed up Delhomme or a career backup Wallace instead?

Of course not.

The point is that just playing young talent when your out of playoff race early is not the best thing for

the Browns, whereas playing them at the end to assess the long term needs of the franchise is.(Once again assuming that Colt McCoy is not your best option right now).

The plan was to sit him; injuries shouldn’t change that:

This is not as clear cut as people think; it depends what their reasoning was behind making such a statement.

Let’s assume they felt that there was a very good chance he was the future and that the best way for him to maximize his potential was by sitting and learning while slowly getting acclimated to the “speed of the game” (Cliche of the Post brought to you by ESPN) then the reasoning behind the original plan is still in play.

But if the reason was that he was just viewed as a intriguing prospect and a long-term project that wouldn’t preclude the Browns from drafting a quarterback high in the near future and then suddenly he showed serious promise, that’s a whole other ballgame. Then it might make sense to see what McCoy is about before investing more capital into the position.

There are myriad other scenarios that could have effected the logic behind “The Plan”. I won’t bore you with all the back and forth; suffice it to say that  just because that was the plan doesn’t mean that train of thought still applies.

The bottom line is this; if the Browns feel Colt McCoy is close to being the man who gives us the best chance to win then obviously he should start the rest of the season. Even if they feel he’s not there is still a strong case to be made for him to get some serious playing time come December.

Throw in the fact that Holmgren surely will get a itch to see what the itch he got in middle of the third round of the draft is all about, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing plenty more of  Colt McCoy this season.