FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2011, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy is checked out by the trainers as he gets ready to go back into the game after taking a hit from Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. McCoy's season appears over, finished by the infamous hit from Harrison three weeks ago. McCoy still has not been cleared by team doctors to practice after sustaining a concussion on Dec. 8, and will likely miss the season finale Sunday against Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright, File)
Browns quarterback Colt McCoy spoke to reporters for the first time since the night of Dec. 8, when he suffered a concussion as a result of the helmet-to-facemask hit he took from Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison. Here are some of the highlights from McCoy's locker-room chat with reporters:
- How tough have the last couple of weeks been? "I think the hardest part is not being able to travel or be with your team or be out there at practice with them, play in the games," said McCoy, who has a newly grown beard covering his face. "You work so hard all year long just to be able to be out there and contribute. That part's been the hardest part."
- Do you think you can play this week or do you think you're pretty much done? "I know I'm making progress each and every day, and I'd do anything to be out there and play with them this weekend," McCoy said. "I'd love to. We'll see."
- Why haven't you passed the baseline concussion tests that are required for you to pass to be cleared to play? "I don't want to get into any specifics, but I can tell you that I'm making progress," McCoy said. "I've been cleared to do a little running, do a little lifting, do a little exercising and everything has gone well. Just doing everything that our medical staff asked me to do, and I think it's gone really well. I'm making progress and hopefully I'll be able to contribute to the team this weekend."
- What do you think about the way the Browns handled your concussion? "Again, I'm not gonna recreate what happened," McCoy said. "I'm not gonna get into specifics. It's in the hands of the league, and I think that their first priority is the safety of the players. I think if you ask anybody in this locker room, they're pro health for the players. That's completely out of my control. What I can tell you is our medical staff does an outstanding job, and that should never be in question."
- Are you worried at all about long-term effects from the hit? Is it going to potentially jeopardize your career? "No, I'm doing everything that our medical staff has asked me to do," McCoy said. "These things are different for everyone, I think, depending on the hits and whatever. But like I said, I have made great progress, and I'm really close and I feel good."
- Do you think your father's comments have hurt your standing with the team? "No, but I will say I have talked to my dad, and I have addressed some things with my dad," McCoy said. "What we talk about, I'm gonna keep private and keep that between us."
- Are you still having headaches? "I just don't want to go there guys," McCoy said. "I really don't want to recreate anything. I don't even want to think about it. I can tell you that I'm feeling a lot better, especially of late. I really feel like I'm coming out of this, and I hope to at least be able to be out there this weekend and help my team."
- Are you satisfied with the one-game suspension the NFL gave Harrison? "I really have no opinion on that," McCoy said. "That's a league matter. That's completely out of my control."
- Did you get to show the Browns everything you had this season? "It's unfortunate that I wasn't able to play these last two games, but I think that's a question you can ask (coach) Pat (Shurmur) or (General Manager) Tom (Heckert) or (President) Mike (Holmgren)," McCoy said."Anytime you go through a season like this, every person is going to get evaluated, including me, the quarterback. I think that's the right way to go about things. There's two things I can control: One, I can control how hard I work, how hard I prepare; and the second one is I can control how I feel. I want to be here. I love this city. I love my teammates. I'll do anything. I want to be here, so after that ... speculation has never gotten me anywhere. I'm a factual guy."
- Was it a cheap shot and do you have any animosity toward Harrison? "No, I really have no opinion," McCoy said. "I think the league has handled that, and I'm doing the best that I can to move forward and do the best I can to get healthy and get back and help our team."
- Do you have any sense of your future with the team? "I love this place," McCoy said. "I want to be here. I want to be part of the resurrection of the Browns. That's what I'm here for. Aside from that, I don't know anything else."
- When did you start growing your beard? "Well, I really haven't done much," McCoy said. "So it just kind of happens."