By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor
You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:
JOE – We’re a fool on offense when we don’t give our REAL quarterback a chance. Can’t wait until Colt McCoy gets to show his guns; too bad it won’t be with the Browns.
I think McCoy has received a sufficient opportunity to show what he could do as a starter for the Browns, Joe.
I also think we’ve seen the extent of what he is as a quarterback, and it wasn’t strong enough to stop the Browns from moving forward to upgrade themselves at the position. That is what they did by drafting Brandon Weeden.
They wanted a bigger quarterback with a stronger arm. They wanted someone who would be a more commanding presence in the pocket. They wanted someone they believed would be more of a difference-maker.
McCoy could very well go onto another team and, to use your term, “show his guns.” My sense is that his best chance for any sort of NFL longevity would be as a backup, whether that’s with the Browns or another team.
PAUL — Any way you slice it, last year was no accurate judgment of Pat Shurmur and his offensive prowess as a coach. Without a true offseason — in addition to lacking competent talent behind center, having a running back that was out most of the year, receivers that suffered from chronic butter fingers, and a line without much to offer outside of left tackle and center — we knew last year would have been a disaster even for Vince Lombardi. Should the Browns remain relatively healthy this season, I have little doubt that the additions from the draft will get Cleveland into the end zone more consistently.
Paul, I, too, would be inclined to place an asterisk on Pat Shurmur’s first season because of the reasons you listed.
In doing so, however, we run a little bit of a risk of sounding as if we’re making excuses for the Browns’ 4-12 finish. The lost offseason and the other challenges the team faced don’t serve as a blanket explanation for all of the struggles of 2011.
And I think Shurmur would be the first to agree with that. He knows as well as anyone that coaches rarely, if ever, operate under ideal circumstances and that judgments about how they and their teams perform will always tend to be harsh. He has never hesitated to take responsibility or be accountable for his team’s performance.
It was, to say the least, a bizarre year for the Browns. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many people, such as you, who are willing to give the head coach the benefit of the doubt for all that was working against him. As Shurmur and the rest of the Browns’ decision-makers have said on multiple occasions, the shortcomings of last season must be fixed. That goes for every aspect of the team.
The infusion of talent from the draft, the year of experience that everyone (including the head coach) has, and key additions to the coaching staff (such as offensive coordinator Brad Childress) should add up to greater success on the field, especially on offense.
That and, as you point out, the team remaining relatively healthy.
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