Browns quarterback Colt McCoy spoke to reporters Tuesday after the franchise's first organized team activity practice of the year. Here is a transcript from the news conference:
How did you react when the Browns drafted Brandon Weeden 22nd overall: “It is what it is. It happened and I've just got to go out and play. I mean, just go compete.''
How are things different for you now than last year when you were basically labeled as the starter?: “Like I said, I'm a competitor and I'm coming out here every day, working as hard as I can. Honestly, this offseason has been great so far, because this is really the first one I've had as far as in the system, first year I was here was a different system with different coaches and last year we didn't have one, so for me right now, up to this point, it has been really good, because you get to work on things, watch some of the good plays, watch some of the bad plays, look at some of the things you can do better as a group, then bring some wideouts out, throw the ball, work on those things. I've made strides as far as that's concerned. It's been really good. Again, I just try to come in here consistently positive everyday, just like I always do. And then the rest of the stuff, I need to focus on what needs to be done, focus on being the best I can be for the Cleveland Browns. If I have that attitude every day, then the right thing will happen.”
Is ESPN’s report true that the Browns told you before the draft they wouldn’t draft a quarterback in the first round?: “I don't want to get into the he said, she said stuff. All I know is that I'm here. I'm excited to be here, and we had a great first day of OTAs. I felt like the ball was coming out well. I felt like there's been a lot of improvement from the end of the season until now, just with the hour we've had with our coaches, for the first two weeks, you can see a difference. It's a little unfair right now with defenses. They can rush. We can't get our hands on them, you know, you're throwing in real tight windows. But I think when we watch the tape after today, you'll see a big difference, not just from me, but from all of the guys, receiver-wise, running backs are getting to the right spots, there's a lot of things to be excited about as far as our organization and where we're going.”
What message did you receive from the team’s decision makers after Weeden was drafted?: "I got a phone call and [they] said, ‘just come in here and compete.’ As a competitor that's all you need to hear, really. You're just coming here with your head on right and give it all you have every day. My thing has always been the same, from the day I came here until now. I want my teammates to see the same guy everyday. Amid some difficulties as a quarterback, you've got to be able to thrive in those situations. At the same time, you've kind of got to regard them as routine. Those things are going to happen throughout your career. So for me, if my goal is to be the same person every day, then I've to continue to be the same person every day.”
How did your first meeting with Weeden go?: "It was fine, it was fine.''
Are you willing to help and mentor Weeden?: "If he asks questions, yeah, I'll totally help. Again, I really don't want to make this about me versus another guy, me versus Seneca [Wallace] or me versus Brandon. I want to make this about what is best for our team. What is going to get us wins when fall comes around. These practices, these are all things we work on and we try to improve. I don't want there to be any distraction as far as am I the quarterback or is Brandon the quarterback. I want it to be about, hopefully the best person will play.''
Have you asked for a trade?: "No, because they told me I had a chance to compete.''
What did you want after last season?: “I just wanted one more [year] to progress, honestly. You go from one system to the next system in the West Coast. I think the big difference is last year during the lockout, I was flying guys in and we were going over things and had the playbook and I was just trying to teach myself what was the right thing to do. And then you come here and you learn the ins and outs, how he wants the play run versus kind of how you taught yourself. And you never really kind of get matched on the same page. And throughout just the two weeks that we had as far as OK we're not preparing for a game. We're going to go out here and walk through these things, here's how we want to run this play. Here's how we want to do this, and all of a sudden, even after just two weeks, I feel like we're running an offense. I feel like guys know what to do. I know what to do, and we're more effective, so that's all. At the end of the season last year, there were a lot of things at the end of last year that I felt I really wanted to work on, I wanted to get better at. It felt like we were really close and now I get a chance to do that, so I feel really good. The ball's coming out well. The receivers are catching the ball nicely. We've worked really hard as a team. I'm not sure I've ever been around a group of guys who are [as] eager to win, that are driven to win, and as a competitor, I'm all about that.''
Would you ask for a trade if you become Weeden’s backup?: "I don't really deal with hypotheticals. The only thing they've really told me right now is you can compete for the job. That's the only thing I think about. I kind of regard this as a day-by-day thing.''
What is your reaction to General Manager Tom Heckert saying the Browns expect Weeden to be the starter?: "I can only go by what they tell me.''
Have you gotten a fair shake?: "You can't make any excuses. This is the card that's been dealt. I can just say that I'm working as hard as I can. I thought today went great, the first day of OTAs, you never what to expect. One of my favorite quotes by the Navy SEALs is 'The only easy day was yesterday.' That's just kind of how I have to live right now.”
Are you shocked by what happened?: "No, I sat down with all of them and we all agreed to that. We all agreed that I was going to come in and compete regardless.''
Why did you tweet congratulations after Trent Richardson was drafted but not Weeden?: “You must have missed it (laughs). To be honest, I was just thrilled that they drafted Trent. I played against him in college, I've watched him for a long time and think he's a great football player. It's hard to tell in shorts and T-shirts, pretty much everybody looks good in shorts and T-shirts, but so far, I've loved playing with him. I've talked to him a lot and up to the point before they got here, we were kind of communicating back and forth and I was excited we went after him.”
How much would a strong running game help you?: “I can't deal in hypotheticals. You can always say 'what if' but I do know that in our division, you've got to have a running game. When you get down in crunch time, in situations when it's cold, late in the season, you've got to have an established running game. That's the only way you can really be effective against the defenses that we play. That's one of the reasons I was really excited we drafted Trent.”
Are you still experiencing any symptoms from the concussion you suffered last December?: “I haven't experienced anything. I feel really good.”
What was your mindset when the Browns pursued other quarterbacks during the offseason?: “You can imagine a little bit, I guess. But for me, I've read what was said. I heard what was said. I guess my attitude is I've always just wanted to let everyone say what they needed to say. As long as I'm given an opportunity to compete as a quarterback, I had to earn my job at [the University of Texas] every year basically except for my senior year. I had to earn my job in high school. My dad didn't start me when I was a freshman. I had to play when I was a sophomore. I understand the idea, and if it's a fair competition, then that's all you can ask for. And regarding what everyone has said, this is a business. I mentioned it earlier. I don't want this to be a situation where it's me versus him or him versus me. I want it to be a situation of, and I think we can all agree to this, let's help our team the most. Let's make it about the Cleveland Browns being a great football team next year. And if that's the case, I'm all in.”