Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/18/11

Last season Colt McCoy made his NFL debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Going into that game plenty of people didn’t think he would survive let alone fair well enough to earn another start.  But he did.  A week later he made his second start against the reigning Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.  The Browns, who were 13 point underdogs, beat the Saints that week.  The next game the Browns beat the New England Patriots–the same Patriots who finished with an NFL best, 14-2 record.  The following week the Browns took the New York Jets to the brink of defeat until a Chansi Stucky fumble gave way to a Jets overtime victory.  A week later McCoy got hurt but at that point in time Browns fans had seen enough to be convinced that McCoy was the guy for the future. It would turn out, though, that we hadn’t seen enough.

We keep looking back at those games wondering, Where did that Colt McCoy go?  He doesn’t look anything like he did last year.  What happened?  What happened is that Browns fans were treated to what I like to call…The Tim Tebow factor.

A lot of people can’t believe the Denver Broncos’ stance on Tim Tebow.  They cannot believe people are saying how the guy can’t be good.  Tebow supporters will admit–Yes, he has a weak arm and may be a little inaccurate, but the guy knows how to win.  He has been doing it his entire life, he did once in the three games he played last year, and he nearly did it against San Diego last week.  What is Denver smoking?

Going into this season, the same thing could have been said about McCoy, but the difference between Tebow and McCoy was that Colt was given the opportunity to play, therefore there was no need to stress those things.

Look, I love Colt McCoy.  I love his attitude, his passion, his heart, his determination, his everything; everything except his ability to be an elite quarterback in this league.  Right now Broncos fans are in the same position that Browns fans were in a month ago.  We believed that what McCoy lacked in size and arm strength, he made up for in other areas.  Like Tebow, McCoy was one of those college QB’s who (to the untrained eye) appeared to be worthy of the number one overall selection in the draft because of what they did in college.  When we got Colt in the third round of the draft we felt as if we got a steal.  When he was at Texas he dominated the college ranks and we figured that somehow, someway, that would translate to the NFL.  It turns out it is not translating like we thought.

McCoy and Tebow are capable of coming in and giving a spark by making plays.  If a guy like Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of a game with a concussion, someone like McCoy or Tebow would be very ideal playing in their absence.  But don’t confuse that with either of the two starting an entire season in there absence.

It’s no wonder why Tebow’s total QBR declined in each of the three games he started last year, and it is no wonder why his total QBR against the Chargers last week trampled Orton’s.  The same applies to Colt.  Since those first couple of games he played, he hasn’t been the same.  Now that teams have enough time to game plan for McCoy, it changes everything we thought we knew about him.

McCoy is like that reliever in baseball who dominates the back end of the bullpen in his first year only to trail off in the years that follow because the hitters simply figure them out.  That’s what I make of those four starts where I thought McCoy could truly be the Browns quarterback.  Now, along with others, my confidence is quickly fading.  Actually, my confidence is completely shattered.

McCoy was handpicked by Browns President Mike Holmgren.  Holmgren even admitted he stepped in and told GM Tom Heckert to nab him.  Is it possible that even Holmgren, like any fan, couldn’t help but ignore what McCoy did when he was at Texas?  I mean, regardless of your football evaluation skills, it’s hard to ignore the winningest quarterback in college football (as McCoy was) just as it is equally hard to ignore a quarterback who won a Heisman and two National Championships (as Tebow did).  The two quarterbacks have those accolades because they have something special in them and that’s what makes them dangerous to unprepared defenses.  The only problem is that “something special” isn’t the same “something special” (6’4, incredible arm, pin-point accuracy) that a guy like Tom Brady has and that’s really what brought Browns fans into believing in McCoy–all along we thought he was our version of Tom Brady waiting in the wings.  That’s what every fan base thinks any time their guy makes his way up the QB depth chart to become the starter, especially when that guy played at the highest level of college football.  Eventually, though, reality strikes and that Tom Brady mindset that was once there ceases to exist.  Browns fans are at that point.  We have accepted he isn’t the guy we thought he was going to be,  and it is only a matter of time before Broncos fans begin doing the same.

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