BEREA: Seneca Wallace cut to the chase Tuesday when explaining his view of the Browns’ quarterback situation — he and Colt McCoy probably cannot coexist as rookie Brandon Weeden’s backups.
Such an opinion is not earth-shattering. But when Wallace spoke to reporters Tuesday after an organized team activity practice, it was the first time a Browns player publicly discussed the notion in such a blunt manner.
Browns coach Pat Shurmur is expected to name Weeden the starting quarterback at some point this summer. The only real mystery is whether Wallace or McCoy will serve as his backup.
Shurmur reiterated he can envision all three of them remaining on the roster, but Wallace doesn’t buy it.
“Probably not,” Wallace said. “You guys have written all about it. … Cleveland has had situations where they had quarterback controversy and all this other stuff. And if you’re going to move forward with a guy and it be your franchise guy, you need to put all your focus in that guy and let him play and take all the media situations out of it and the fan situations out of it and let him play in order to build that franchise the way you want it.”
Wallace also said he would not be OK if he’s slotted third on the depth chart.
“No, not really,” Wallace said. … “We all know the third guy doesn’t dress Sundays, and if it comes down to that decision, obviously, neither one of us wants to be that third guy.”
Role of the backup
Wallace said he doesn’t know whether he would ask for a trade or release if he’s listed behind Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft, and McCoy. As for McCoy, he insists he hasn’t allowed himself to think about becoming the No. 2 or No. 3 quarterback.
“I have not gone there in my mind,” McCoy said. “When I come out to practice, in my mind I’m the starter. That’s the only way I look at it.”
McCoy sidestepped a question about whether he has contemplated requesting a trade or release.
“That’s out of my control, too,” McCoy said.
Shurmur said he favors keeping three quarterbacks on the roster. So out of Wallace, McCoy and fourth-string quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, at least one won’t stick around.
On the other hand, one could end up leading the offense if Weeden gets hurt.
“I think there are a couple things that are important about a backup quarterback,” Shurmur said. “Let’s talk about during the season now. Because the starter gets almost all the reps during the week, the backup needs to be able to come in and function efficiently and not have many reps. That’s one characteristic. Typically your backup quarterback, I like the fact that he may have mobility because the game may be in a situation where you’ve lost your starter and you want to have everything available to you, whether it be movement throws, drop-back throws or whatnot.”
Is experience a factor?
“Absolutely,” Shurmur said. “Anytime you get an experienced player either as a starter or a backup, I think it helps them.”
Wallace will enter his 10th NFL season this year, and all of his experience is in a form of President Mike Holmgren’s West Coast offense. In other words, he seems to fit Shurmur’s description.
McCoy, 25, who’s scheduled to make a base salary of $540,000 this year, has only one season under his belt in the system.
But McCoy is younger and cheaper than Wallace, 31, who’s set to make a base salary of $2.4 million this year.
“I mean look, this is my 10th year,” Wallace said. “I know the ropes. I know what goes on. I’m not naïve to that. I know the system well enough to compete at anytime. Whatever decision is made, that’s the coaches’ decision. We would all love for it to be sooner than later to figure that situation out. But the coaches are trying their best to figure out what’s going to happen. And like we’ve all said before, we don’t know if we’re all three going to stick around. We might and we might not. But they know what I bring to the table. And if that’s enough, who knows?”
McCoy said he doesn’t plan to present his case to the front office.
“I think my mindset is just to come out here and play, and with each rep that I get, I expect to get better,” McCoy said. “Each rep that I get, that’s what I can control. I study hard. I understand what’s going on. I watch other quarterbacks. I watched defenses throughout this offseason. We’re trying to beat our defense now [in practices], but you’ve gotta look at what you’re going to face the rest of the year. So I’m doing all the things that I would do as a starting quarterback, and I don’t think that’ll change.”
Even though OTAs will wrap up Friday and Weeden has taken the majority of the first-team snaps throughout them, he still doesn’t view himself as a lock to become the starter.
“I feel like nothing’s set in stone until it’s official,” Weeden said. “That’s the way I’m approaching it anyway, and I’m going to keep competing.”
Once again, Wallace said what everyone has been thinking.
“I’m a realist,” Wallace said. “Obviously, [Weeden] was drafted in the first round for a reason, and it wasn’t [that] they drafted him to come and sit on the bench.”
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/browns.abj.