ESPN NFL analyst Jon Gruden, who's, of course, a former Super Bowl-winning coach, conducted a national conference call today, and I asked him to evaluate the rookie season of Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. Here's what Gruden said:
"I'm really happy for the progress that he's shown. Selfishly, I really like that guy. You probably could tell. It's a tough situation for Colt McCoy, (St. Louis Rams quarterback) Sam Bradford, (Denver Broncos quarterback) Tim Tebow and (Carolina Panthers quarterback) Jimmy Clausen, all four of these guys that were drafted ... last year are having to learn new offenses in a lockout situation. But the one thing McCoy brought to Cleveland, I think, was playmaking. I saw him make some nice scramble plays, running for touchdowns, creating with his arm. They were able to move the pocket. I think he's gonna be a natural in this West Coast offense that coach (Pat) Shurmur's gonna put in. This guy can throw the ball accurately. He's tough. He's a leader. And I thought, on tape, he did some really good things in every football game that he played last year for a rookie in tough circumstances. Again, I think Cleveland is gonna continue to improve his supporting cast, and that'll help Colt McCoy as well. Hopefully this lockout ends, and he can join forces with the offensive staff and learn what it is they want him to do."
But some analysts have said McCoy's arm strength, or lack thereof, is a concern. So I asked Gruden for his opinion. Here's his take:
"I think if you watch him throw the seams, I did see him throw some outside, breaking routes last year. I saw him connect on a couple balls down the field. They don't really have a legitimate guy that they feature deep. They're more of a possession pass offense like a lot of teams are these days. But I think he's got enough arm to succeed in Cleveland and in the NFL."