The Browns’ plan for quarterback Colt McCoy to sit and watch in 2010 hasn’t changed.
But for those anxious to get a glimpse of the future, McCoy shared a huddle with Joe Thomas, Eric Steinbach, Mohamed Massaquoi, Ben Watson and the rest of the firstteam offense Saturday in a two-minute drill during the final minicamp practice. It was the first time the rookie third-round pick had taken a snap with the starters.
“It was great,” McCoy said. “I got in the huddle, I was a little nervous. But once we got rolling, we got rolling.”
With Jake Delhomme getting the first-team repetitions through organized team activities and the minicamp and Seneca Wallace working with the twos, McCoy and Brett Ratliff split the scraps. Coach Eric Mangini said McCoy’s appearance with the starters wasn’t by design, just how the practice schedule fell.
“But it’s good to see what he’s going to look like operating with those guys,” Mangini said. “They’re all used to dealing with Jake and Seneca and you have to go in and establish that you belong.
“The drive didn’t continue, but mechanically it looked fine.”
McCoy completed four short passes against the No. 1 defense and picked up one first down before the drive fizzled. President Mike Holmgren, who made the McCoy pick at No. 85, watched intently from just a few yards behind the line of scrimmage.
McCoy said the jog from the sideline sent him back in time to a practice field in Austin, Texas.
“I can remember the first time I stepped in the huddle in spring ball after the five starting offensive linemen had just won a national championship and they had come back for their senior year and I was a freshman stepping in the huddle calling plays,” McCoy said.
“I kinda had a little flashback just then.
“It was good. Those guys knew what I was calling. We executed it pretty good. I’m learning and that’s only going to help me.”
Mangini is all about situations. The Saturday practice was almost entirely devoted to endof- game scenarios, and McCoy’s turn came with the offense trailing by eight points at its 30-yard line with 1:55 left. He didn’t know the chance was coming.
“In my mind, I’ve got a pretty limited number of plays that I really know off the top of my head,” he said. “You got to understand in a two-minute situation, head phones are off, no coaching, it’s all me running the show.
“It was fun. I got to the sideline, all those guys patted me on the butt, said great job.
Once I feel comfortable with the offense, you can look back in college, we didn’t ever fail in two-minute situations. We went boom, boom, boom right down the field.”
After a redshirt year with the Longhorns, McCoy started for four years and won an NCAA-record 45 games. So taking an understudy role is an adjustment. As is getting only a few reps during team drills in a two-hour practice.
“It’s hard,” he said. “But I think all quarterbacks go through that at some point. I don’t know enough to go out there and get all 12 reps. I feel like I could go out there and do it with practice, with time, and I would feel confident. But right now, that’s not my role.
“My role is to get in the playbook, watchin’ film, picking up on things I can pick up on. Then obviously getting as much coaching as I can.”
If McCoy were expected to play a significant role as a rookie, he’d be force-fed reps and fast-tracked through the offseason. But the Browns have committed to bringing him along slowly.
“It’s a unique situation, it’s one that I’ve never been in,” he said. “It’s tough at times.
But you’ve just got to embrace that and really control what you can control. What I can control is in the four or five reps each period that I get, I need to produce, I need to do well, then those reps will start increasing.
“I feel like I had a really good minicamp and the reps I did have we produced.”
A strong mental approach is considered one of McCoy’s strengths. He’s constantly talking to the coaches and quarterbacks as he tries to get a veteran’s grasp on the offense.
He was pleased that he didn’t miss any hot reads or sight adjustments. Arm strength is less of a given, but he showed adequate velocity.
“I feel like I’m getting on those guys’ nerves I’m asking them so many questions,” he said of Delhomme and Wallace. “That’s my role right now is to come in here and learn as much as I can and compete.
“I feel like I’m getting the hang of it, but still understanding that I have a long ways to go before I’ve mastered anything. But I do feel confident at this point, I feel comfortable and I just got to keep working.”
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