With both Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace reportedly suffering from high ankle sprains, it appears Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy will make his first NFL start Sunday at Pittsburgh.
As daunting as that sounds, a friend from Hartford, CT made a strong case via email why McCoy can succeed. It must be pointed out that the friend is a graduate of the University of Texas, where McCoy went 45-8 as a four-year starter to become the winningest quarterback in NCAA history.
Here are his 10 reasons to believe in McCoy. My comments/additions are in parentheses:
1. A healthy McCoy isn't any less of an athlete than Seneca Wallace. He can use his feet to buy time. (At Texas, McCoy rushed 447 times for 1,571 yards and 20 TDs.)
2. If he can put the ball where he wants to, his accuracy will help move the chains. (McCoy's career completion percentage of 70.33 ranks second in NCAA history between the 70.39 of Hawaii's Colt Brennan.)
3. There is less of a book on him than the others.
4. If you run a good amount of Wildcat, Colt will have fewer opportunities to get hit. (In the Browns' 13-6 home victory over the Steelers on Dec. 10, 2009, Joshua Cribbs rushed eight times for 87 yards.)
5. If the defense plays as well as it did the last time they played, Colt won't have to do much. (In that 2009 Browns victory, the Steelers managed 218 net yards, netted 77 yards on the ground and converted 3 of 14 on third down.)
6. He's been underestimated every step of the way and he will rise to the occasion. (Despite his college honors, McCoy slipped to the third round of the draft, going 85th overall.)
7. He's a coach's kid and he's smart. (McCoy's father, Brad, was his coach at Jim Ned High School in Tuscola, Texas, where McCoy went 34-2 as a starter.)
8. He knows how to win games when he isn't effective.
9. He's mentally tough. He's faced the best defensive players in college who form the basis of the NFL and he's succeeded.
10. After performing in the intensity of games against the likes of Oklahoma, Nebraska and Ohio State, do you really think he's going to be fazed by 60,000 western Pennsylvanians waving yellow towels?