With only eight NFL starts on his resume, Browns quarterback Colt McCoy knows his decision to write a book so early in his career has raised some eyebrows.
McCoy, though, stands by the intent of the book, Growing Up Colt, which has recently been released. The book, co-authored by McCoy, his father, Brad, and writer Mike Yorkey, is primarily about life lessons learned through the guidance of parenting and faith.
“We were skeptical at first,” McCoy said Tuesday in a phone interview. “When we were approached to write a book, I was just thinking, ‘Why? It’s not like I’ve won a Super Bowl or done anything real extraordinary that’s really book worthy.’
“But they approached us more along the lines of writing this book in a way to kind of talk about some of the experiences I’ve had, the ups and downs, the things that I’ve faced in my life growing up, along with some of the lessons and the principles that my mom [Debra] and dad tried to use in raising me.”
The first chapter, Rookie Start in Blitzburgh, will perhaps capture the attention of Browns fans more than any other part. It describes the disappointment McCoy felt last season in Week 5, when he didn't get a chance to replace Seneca Wallace once the latter suffered a high ankle sprain late in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons. Jake Delhomme, who was still recovering from a high ankle sprain of his own, was called upon to substitute for Wallace.
McCoy, 24, wrote that former Browns coach Eric Mangini “was doing everything he could to not give me the ball.” After the Browns lost to the Falcons, McCoy initially believed the team would rather sign a quarterback to start against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6 than let him make his regular-season debut.
“Since the Cleveland coaches had treated me like a leper since the season began, I figured they were busy making phone calls to bring in a veteran free agent,” McCoy wrote.
Of course, despite worrying that he wouldn’t receive his big break, McCoy ended up starting when the Browns visited the Steelers at Heinz Field.
“Yeah, it was a little tough, expectedly,” McCoy said. “I think it’s no secret. We all knew for a third-string quarterback in the NFL, that’s kind of how it is, and that’s kind of how it starts for a lot of guys. [Before the season began, Browns President Mike] Holmgren was great and just said, ‘Look, it’s not in our plans for you to play. Here’s what we want you to do. We drafted you. We expect things out of you. But right now, we expect you to just sit there and watch.’
“I don’t want some of those things in the beginning of the book to come across as I’m bashing anybody. I’m just telling you some of my emotions, some of how I felt, some of the ways our coaches coached. … For me, it was one of those down times, where you have to learn from, grow from and take something positive and really learn from it. I hope that’s what I did.”
McCoy said he doesn’t want anyone to think he wrote the book for attention, either. The purpose of the book, he said, is to inspire readers.
“I guess the one main thing that I’ve been really hesitant about this whole time, really hesitant about even writing the book, was I don’t want people to get the sense when they read this book, [that I’m] like, ‘I’ve done all these great things. Look at me. Here I am,’ ” McCoy said. “You know, that type of book. I really wanted to put some things in there to make me sound normal, like a human being. Yeah, I’ve struggled. Yeah, I’ve had to overcome a lot of things to get where I am.
“I guess the main message would be, ‘Hey, I’m not perfect in any way.’ Here’s some things that I went through, some experiences that I learned [from] growing up. Hopefully, you can learn from some of these, and it will help you in your life if you’re an athlete trying to make it, if you’re a father trying to raise your kids, a mother trying to raise your kids.”
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Browns blog at http://browns.ohio.com. Follow the Browns on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ABJ_Browns and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/browns.abj.