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Former Browns QB Bernie Kosar discusses the NFL Draft, Colt McCoy and more

By Nate Ulrich Published: April 26, 2011

Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar received the Dino Lucarelli Award at the National Football Foundation's banquet Monday night in Westlake. Kosar said he has been talking with NFL teams about getting a job in a personnel department, but the league's lockout has been an obstacle in his potential employment.

"It's tough with the lockout," Kosar said. "They're not hiring anybody right now. It hurts a lot of different stuff. It's hurting everybody. Most everybody is cutting back on hiring right now."

Kosar also addressed several other topics in a question-and-answer session. Here are some of the highlights:

Q: Do you have any feelings about whether the Browns should use the sixth overall pick to draft a defensive lineman or a wide receiver?

A: "You very rarely see quarterbacks put up their hand and vote for the front seven. We're voting for weapons to help us. Like I said, we're victims or beneficiaries of the game. Guys around us, the more playmakers you have, the better your offense tends to be. We're making a switch on both sides of the ball. You could state a case for, I don't think (Alabama defensive tackle) Marcell Dareus is gonna drop to (No.) 6. But let's say he does. You've gotta look at that. (Georgia wide receiver A.J.) Green probably ain't gonna be there at (No.) 6, but what if he (is)? The main thing for anyone in the draft is you've gotta be nimble and be open-minded and see who the top guys are. 'Cause who knows? This year's draft, there's no real definitive first, second or third guy. At various points, you probably heard, what five or six different guys maybe gonna be the first guy? There's a lot of guys that are in the ballpark."

Q: If the Browns don't draft a topflight wide receiver, can they get by with the guys on the roster?

A: "It's D-Day for the receivers picked a couple years ago (Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie). It's D-Day. They know they've gotta up their tempo and  up their production."

Q: Do you think Auburn quarterback Cam Newton could be a legitimate No. 1 pick?

A: "He's the single most dominant college player last year. I think you've gotta look at him as special. I think it'll be important how he's coached and how his focus is. They've done a lot of interviews, personal and public, about his commitment to football. Everyone I've seen he's looked great. I've met him a couple times. If his football commitment stays as the No. 1 focus, I think he has a chance to be special."

Q: Would you build an NFL team around Newton?

A: "I'd love to work with Cam Newton. Yeah."

Q: What do you expect from Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in his second season?

A: "Not to put pressure on him, 'cause there's enough on him as it is, but I do think one of your biggest jumps is between your rookie year and your second year. You're not the rookie anymore. You're not worried about having to do junk for the veterans. You know your situation. You know the offense. You know the team. You know the locker room. They know you, so you really have a chance just to focus on your games. I do think it gives you an opportunity to make a big jump."

Q: How can switching to a West Coast offense help McCoy?

A: "I do say this a lot: Quarterbacks are victims or beneficiaries of the guys around (them). And you saw (Browns President Mike) Holmgren talking about last year how in his system (when he was a coach), he used the receivers more in motions to kind of get 'em open on the shorter and intermediate stuff. And not that (former Browns offensive coordinator) Brian Daboll didn't. But there's just changes more within that motioning and shifting, I think, of the receivers that sometimes highlight them more than the tight ends."

Q: How much does the lockout put McCoy behind, considering he needs to learn a new offense?

A: "I think in terms of terminology, that's one thing. But Colt's been around, and the system last year had all kinds of these elements in it. I'm not sure how much it was highlighted, though. But there are elements of it that he should be familiar with. Obviously, the lockout doesn't help. It doesn't help anybody, though. They're all kind of in that same spot. But he's a smart guy. The mental part of it, I don't think is gonna be an issue for Colt."

Q: Does McCoy have enough arm strength to succeed in Cleveland?

A: "He definitely made enough plays to show that his arm strength is there. A lot of people want to compare against the flamethrowers. But his arm strength down the field has been good enough to make enough plays in the league."

Q: McCoy recently organized workouts for some of his locked-out teammates in Austin, Texas. What does that say about his leadership?

A: "Colt is, I think, just a fantastic person. He's committed to the area. He wants to be great. He wants to be the leader, and he's doing those steps. I think it's fantastic."

Q: What do you think of new Browns coach Pat Shurmur also serving as the team's offensive coordinator?

A: "It's his reputation, and it's his career. And if wants to get it right, especially with the lockout, I'd probably want to have it my way, too, 'cause he's the one being ultimately judged. And if that's how he feels comfortable instituting his stuff, I think he should do it."


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