BEREA—Colt McCoy took the first snaps with the first team in the Browns first full team scrimmage on the first day of OTAs (organized team activities). However, whether he will be taking the snaps with the first team when the season opens against the Eagles on Sept. 9 remains to be seen.
“The best guy’s going to play,”GM Tom Heckert told reporters at the Akron Browns Backers banquet on Monday night. “That’s the way it is, but we drafted Brandon Weeden to be that guy.”
Weeden said he doesn’t want anything handed to him.
“It’s not my job,” Weeden said after the first OTA practice. “I want to go out and win the job.”
McCoy spoke to reporters for the first time since the Browns drafted Weeden with the 22nd overall pick in April after the first OTA practice.
“It is what it is,” McCoy said. “It happened. You just have to go out and play and compete.”
McCoy said he’s not going to concede anything just because Weeden was drafted in the first round.
“I’m a competitor,” McCoy said. “I’m coming out here every day working as hard as I can. Honestly, this off season has been great so far. It’s really the first one I’ve had. The system was different my first year and last year we didn’t have one. Up until this point, it’s been really good. I’ve made strides and it’s been really good.”
McCoy is keeping a positive attitude.
“For me, I try to come in here consistently positive every day, just like I always do,” he said. “My focus is to be the best I can be for the Cleveland Browns.”
McCoy feels taking part in a full off-season program will really help him.
“I’m excited to be here,” he said. “We had a first day of OTAs and there’s been a lot of improvement so far,” he said. “I think when we watch the tape form today there will be a big improvement from all of our guys from the end of the season.”
McCoy said he didn’t ask the Browns to trade him after Weeden was drafted.
“No, because they told me I had a chance to compete,” he said. “I just wanted one more year to progress in the system. Last year, during the lockout I was flying guys in and trying to learn the playbook and it took a while to get things meshed out. Already after two weeks in not preparing for a game, I feel like we know what we’re doing and we’re running an offense.
“Now, I get a chance to do that and the ball’s coming out well and the receivers are catching the ball nicely,” he said. “I’m not sure I’ve been around a group of guys who are eager to win and driven to win and I’m all about that.”
McCoy said he doesn’t worry about what might have been last year if the Browns would’ve had a running game. Peyton Hillis was injured most of the season and the Browns were inefficient all season rushing the ball. He said he was excited about the addition of Trent Richardson.
“I was thrilled they drafted Trent I was excited we went after him,” he said. “I can’t deal in hypothetical (situations), but I do know in our division you have to have an established running game against the defenses we play. That’s why I was excited we drafted Trent.”
McCoy said the Browns called him after they drafted Weeden.
“I got a phone call and they said just come in here and compete,” he said. “As a competitor, that’s all you want to hear. You need to have your head on right and I want to have my teammates see the same guy every day. In the midst of difficulties, you want to thrive and if you call it difficulties, whatever. If my goal is to be the same person every day, then I’ve got to be the same person every day.”
McCoy said he and Weeden are getting along and he doesn’t want it to be an adversarial situation.
“If (Weeden) has questions, I’ll totally help,” he said. “I really don’t want to make this be about me and another guy, be me versus Brandon or versus Seneca. I want this to be all about winning games for the Cleveland Browns.”
McCoy said he’s fully aware of the situation, but has dealt with this before.
“You can imagine a little bit,” McCoy said. “I’ve read what was said and I’ve heard what was said, but my attitude is I wanted to let everyone say what they needed to say.
“I had to earn my job every year at Texas and I had to earn my job in high school,” he said. “My Dad didn’t start me until my sophomore year in high school. I don’t want this to be a situation of (Weeden) versus me. Let’s make it about the Cleveland Browns being a great team next year, and if that’s the case, I’m all in.”
McCoy was asked if he would seek a trade, if he doesn’t end up as the starting quarterback.
“I don’t really deal with hypothetical (situations),” he said. “Right now, they’ve told me I have a chance to compete for the job.
“I can only go by what they tell me,” he said. “You can’t make any excuses. This is the card that has been dealt. I am working as hard as I can. I thought the first day went great. One of my favorite quotes is from a Navy Seal, who said: ‘The only easy day was yesterday’ and that’s how I feel.”
Shurmur said he has been impressed with how McCoy is performing and dealing with the competition.
“Colt’s fine,” Shurmur said. “He’s out there competing.”
He said he’s not worried about a division on the team.
“We have a room full of quarterbacks,” Shurmur said. “They’re all competitors and fine players.
“I’m not concerned about any of that,” Shurmur said. “The guys are professionals and will handle it professionally.”
Fujita Speaks: LB Scott Fujita was at OTAs and practiced, despite being suspended for the first three games of the season. He has appealed the suspension and said he will fight to clear his name.
“My reputation is far more important ultimately, than three game checks,” Fujita said. “It’s a process and we’ll let it play out.”
Fujita stood by his statements of innocence in the bounty scandal when he was suspended and didn’t want to add any further comments at this point. He said when ‘it’s appropriate’ he’ll talk about his lack of a role in the scandal.
Fujita hopes he will be able to play in the season opener.
“I’m very optimistic.”
The Early Two: Shurmur said that WR Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi are currently the two starting wide receivers, but it’s early.
“Greg and Mo, it’s safe to say are the first two,” Shurmur said. “There are three or four other guys right there, as well.”
Shurmur said he has been impressed with Little’s physique.
“He’s leaner and in great shape,” Shurmur said.
WR Carlton Mitchell made a couple of nice plays on the first day.
“He’s flashed a little bit,” Shurmur said. “He needs to take advantage of the opportunity and continue to flash.”
Two Phil’s Missing: Besides DL Phil Taylor, who is recovering from a torn pectoral surgery, K Phil Dawson was not in attendance. Shurmur said he doesn’t expect him until the mandatory minicamp June 5-7.
Tom Heckert said that he’s ‘100 percent positive’ Taylor will be able to return to action this season. Shurmur said Taylor would be a candidate for the new injured reserve rule per the CBA, which allows a player to come off of injured reserve during the season.
“Based on how I understand the rule, he’d be a candidate,” Shurmur said.
LB D’Qwell Jackson, who missed most of two seasons with torn pectoral muscles, said he has talked to Taylor.
“He’ll appreciate playing more,” Jackson said. “I told him to stay positive and he’ll get good results.”
D’Qwell Sits: LB D’Qwell Jackson sat out of practice with a stiff back.
“It’s not serious,” he said. “They held me out as a precaution.”
Jackson did say that he’s been impressed with what he’s seen of top pick Trent RIchardson.
“He passes the eyeball test,” Jackson said.
Brown a Corner: Speculation that 33-year old CB Sheldon Brown will be moved to safety has been put to rest by Heckert and Shurmur.
“Sheldon’s a corner,” Shurmur said. “We’re not moving him to safety.”
Shurmur said CB Dimitri Patterson will compete with Brown for the starting job.
Shurmur said he likes the team’s safeties and said second-year safety Eric Hagg has had a good off-season.