Browns quarterback Colt McCoy met with reporters this morning after the 18th full-squad practice of training camp and insisted he's happy to be in Cleveland despite speculation he’ll eventually be traded or released.
McCoy, though, also sidestepped a question about whether he has asked for a fresh start elsewhere.
McCoy said his throwing shoulder feels fine, and he’s on the verge of completing a two-to-three year recovery period, as outlined by noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews. McCoy pinched a nerve in his right shoulder during his final collegiate game in January 2010.
Coach Pat Shurmur said he’ll wait until the completion of the preseason to choose the Browns’ No. 2 quarterback. Of course, McCoy and Seneca Wallace are the candidates to become rookie Brandon Weeden’s primary backup.
Shurmur said Monday he thinks fourth-string quarterback Thaddeus Lewis is “worth developing.” If Shurmur decides to keep Lewis, there wouldn’t be enough room for both McCoy and Wallace.
Here is a transcript of McCoy’s conversation with reporters:
You’ve said you want to stay here: “My point in saying that is I got drafted here, I spent a lot of time here, I feel comfortable with what we’re doing, I love my teammates, I love this organization, I love this city. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, and I’m a Cleveland Brown. That’s what I am. I come out here every day, I compete, I work hard and I challenge myself. If I don’t get as many reps, I’ll go inside and watch tape and get some mental reps and study the game. I’m continuing to compete. I’m continuing to work hard. That’s all I can do right now. I’m a Cleveland Brown and proud to be one.”
You’ve said your shoulder injury from college is just now starting to feel 100 percent. Why haven’t you mentioned that before?: “I didn’t say it’s starting to feel 100 percent. My shoulder has been fine. I’ve been cleared to play. I’ve been playing. It’s felt fine. I’m saying that I’ve been taking care of it. I’ve been maintaining it. I’ve been rehabbing a lot throughout the last couple years, and when I first got diagnosed with this, the doctor said it was a two-to-three year recovery. OK? So now I’m getting to that point, and my shoulder feels really good. The ball’s coming out well. There’s a lot of zip on it. I think a lot of things are coming together with being a year and a half in the system. So that was the question. But my shoulder has been fine, but I’m at the point now where I’m not worried about it. Nothing’s happened. The ball feels good as I release it. So everything’s good.”
Was there any point in the last couple of years when you thought your shoulder was 100 percent but now you think differently because it feels better?: “No, I just think over time the way the nerve kind of reacts in your body just naturally kind of gets back to 100 percent where you don’t think about it. I think that’s basically all it is.”
Have you changed your approach to practice or learning knowing your reps are different?: “I think the reps are a little different, but I don’t approach practice or I don’t approach a game or I don’t approach meetings any differently. I really will continue to do the same thing, which is prepare and work and study. If I don’t get as many [reps] out here, I’ll grab a couple guys after practice and throw some routes that maybe I didn’t get to throw in practice and just continue to stay on top of my game and work to get better. I feel like this offseason and this training camp, I’ve gotten a lot better and I think most guys can say the same thing.”
Would you like the competition for the No. 2 quarterback job to be over, so you don’t have to answer questions about it?: “Yeah. That would be nice.”
Have you thought about or asked for a fresh start somewhere else?: “Look, I’m telling you as honest as I can tell you, I don’t know. I’ll come in here every day. I prepare. I work. I train my butt off. I compete, and that’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’m gonna continue to do. And I couldn’t be more proud to be here for Cleveland, for this city, for the fans, for my teammates. I mean I’ve played with those guys for all year last year and a little bit of the first year, and I’ve got a lot invested with those guys. I’m doing it for them, too, not just my self. I’m happy to be here. I told you earlier I’m a Cleveland Brown, and I’ll continue to work and prepare and train to be the best I can be.”
With injuries, there might be an opportunity for you somewhere else to truly compete for a No. 1 job. Would you be interested?: “That’s not my job. My job is to come in here and be ready to play and work and compete and we’ve still got two more preseason games. I’m focusing on the Eagles now. If something does happen, that’s really out of my control. What I can control is to come out here and work and prepare to be the best I can be for the Browns. Honestly that’s my mindset right now.”
Rookie defensive tackle John Hughes and defensive end Juqua Parker returned to practice today.
Hughes sat out Monday with an undisclosed injury. He participated in individual drills but not team drills today.
Parker missed three practices with an undisclosed injury before returning to action today. Unlike Hughes, Parker participated in team drills.
Tight end Benjamin Watson practiced but continued to sit out during team drills because of an undisclosed injury.
The following 13 players sat out today: defensive end Emmanuel Stephens (left leg), running back Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle), cornerback Antwuan Reed (left leg), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (right ankle), strong safety Usama Young (reported hamstring), rookie running back Trent Richardson (had arthroscopic surgery on left knee Aug. 9), strong safety Ray Ventrone (right hamstring), weakside linebacker Chris Gocong (had surgery Aug. 10 to repair torn right Achilles tendon and is out for the season), rookie linebacker Emmanuel Acho (undisclosed), defensive tackle Scott Paxson (right knee), offensive lineman Oniel Cousins (Shurmur cited soreness), defensive tackle Phil Taylor (had surgery to repair torn pectoral muscle May 16 and is out at least until late October) and strongside linebacker Scott Fujita (left leg).
Soon-to-be Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III watched practice today from the field. He talked to President Mike Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert as the action unfolded. He did not meet with reporters afterward.
Haslam, who struck a deal to buy the Browns from Randy Lerner on Aug. 2, plans to attend the team’s first home preseason game Friday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. During his introductory news conference, Haslam said he has thought about sitting in the stands instead of the owner’s box during the exhibition home opener.