Tom Heckert and Eric Mangini reportedly wanted the Browns to stay true to their draft board which, even at the 85th pick, didn’t have McCoy at the top. But Holmgren pulled rank and drafted McCoy.
Even after making the selection of McCoy, Holmgren admitted that the plan was for him to spend his rookie season on the bench. Now, due to injuries to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, McCoy is being thrust into a starting role.
Despite the injury situation, this seems like an ill-conceived plan by Holmgren, Heckert, Mangini or whoever is making the decision to throw a rookie into the fire against the Steelers. McCoy was a disappointment in the preseason and showed no signs of being ready to play in this league.
If he were the only option, that would be one thing, but the Browns recently signed Brett Ratliff who spent the entire 2009 season and the 2010 preseason in Cleveland. Mangini is a fan of Ratliff, who he also coached in New York, and is comfortable with him as a quarterback. So why not give the ball to Ratliff?
There are no expectations for the Browns in 2010, and certainly no expectations in this game in Pittsburgh with a 3rd-string quarterback at the helm. So why jeopardize McCoy’s confidence by throwing him to the wolves – or in this case, Dick LeBeau’s blitzing defense.
If McCoy plays well and leads the Browns to an upset, good for him. It would be a great story. But the odds are stacked against him. Realistically he has more to lose than to gain by playing against the Steelers. This is potentially just the next in a very long line of terrible decisions by one of the NFL’s worst franchises.