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5 Things That Can Help Out Colt McCoy Against the Pittsburgh Steelers

 DETROIT - AUGUST 28: Colt McCoy of the Cleveland Browns throws a fourth quarter pass while playing the Detroit Lions in a preseason game on August 28, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Pity is the predominant emotion when it comes to rookie Colt McCoy making his NFL debut tomorrow at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Know who doesn’t feel sorry, though? That would be Colt McCoy.

And why should he doubt himself, or feel bad for his situation? The guy’s been a winner his whole life – on and off the field – whose always made the most of his opportunities.

McCoy was a school boy legend in Texas, then went on to set a bunch of records at the University of Texas and have his jersey retired. Not to mention, he’s also saved a guy’s life and has a super hot wife.

So enough feeling sorry for this guy, because  I’m sure he doesn’t mind the way his life has played out up to this point. Instead, let’s focus on 5 things that could alleviate some of the pressure off Colt’s shoulders when he takes on the Steelers and their 4th ranked defense.

1. Run the football.

OK, so that’s easier said than done against the Steelers defense, particularly when you consider that Browns running back Peyton Hillis is coping with a thigh injury and the Steelers have limited three very good running backs – Michael Turner, Chris Johnson, and Ray Rice – to a combined 96 yards on the ground.

All that doesn’t bode well for the Browns, but I’m obligated to list it as number 1 since an effective running game is every young QB’s best friend.

2. Throw the ball on early downs.

I doubt the Browns are going to be able to line up and successfully pound the football 35 times against a Steelers defense that forbids you to run the football. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I’m 99 percent sure it won’t happen.

Instead, the best that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll can hope to do is to set up the run with the pass. Throw the football on the early downs and hope to create some 3rd and manageables to help McCoy out.

3. Utilize a 3-step passing game.

Simplify the decision making process for Colt and get the football out of his hands quickly with some short, easy throws.

Give McCoy some confidence with some easy completions out of the gates.

4. Get Colt out of the pocket.

Make no mistake about it: Colt is not your prototypical pocket passer. He’s a shade over 6 feet tall, and if he sits in the pocket tomorrow against the Steelers, bad things are probably going to happen.

The best thing for Daboll to do against the Steelers is to play to Colt’s strengths. Utilize his athleticism and create some throwing lanes by getting him outside of the pocket and on the edge.

5. More Flash.

The Browns desperately need to incorporate the Flash package with Josh Cribbs tomorrow against the Steelers, and they desperately need to get some results.

Here’s hoping that Daboll gets creative and Cribbs brings his A game.

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Tags: Brian Daboll Browns Chris Johnson Colt McCoy Josh Cribbs Michael Turner Peyton Hillis Pittsburgh Steelers Ray Rice

  • Luke

    Hmm, let’s go down the list of these good ideas and see if Daboll & Co. will actually do them…

    1. Run the football
    Daboll et al didn’t bother running the ball much the first two games. They actually thought they had the talent to be a power passing offense. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! To their credit, our fearless Browns leaders actually figured this one out. They run the ball a lot now. Enough to injure all their running backs. Oops.

    2. Throw the ball on early downs
    Another great idea. This idea would have helped Delhomme and Wallace a lot, both before when the Browns were a power passing offense and later when they were a power running offense. Daboll & Co. never figured this out back then. I see no reason why they should figure it out now for Colt McCoy. Expect more Run-Run-Pass-Punt.

    3. Utilize a 3-step passing game
    This too is another good idea, that would have helped Delhomme and Wallace a lot. Throw the ball quickly to tight ends, running backs, and receivers on short slant patterns. Go with the screen every now and then, and dare I say it, the play action pass. None of this was done by Daboll & Co. when it made sense to do so in the past, so there is no reason to believe McCoy will be doing this in the future.

    4. Get Colt out of the pocket
    Again, Daboll & Co. should have done this for Wallace. Seneca is great when he is outside the pocket. He can see the field more clearly and he can use his speed to make things happen. How often did Daboll call rollouts for Wallace? Never. Why expect him to do the same for McCoy?

    5. More Flash
    Yeah! Get the ball in Josh Cribbs’ hands as often as possible! The problem with the Daboll’a Flash package is that every time Cribbs takes the snap from center, he runs. Therefore, the Flash package is very predictable and easily defended. More “Run Josh, Run!” Flash plays didn’t help Delhomme and Wallace, and they won’t help McCoy. Now, if Cribbs actually passed half the time or handed the ball off – whole different story. But he never will.

    Kudos to the author of this article. You were right on every point, and your ideas would help the Cleveland Browns offense immeasurably. Dude, you a smart football guy. But you’re a bit naive in expecting Daboll et al to exhibit similar intelligence on gameday. It hasn’t happened in the past, why should it happen in the future?

    • Bernie Dawkins

      I’m not expecting Daboll “to exhibit similar intelligence” tomorrow, just hoping…

      • Luke

        Yeah…. hope. The automatic fallback position of all Browns fans :-/

        Browns fans also display a distinct “Messiah Complex”. We always get worked up over some great, young hopeful; who will save us all from doom.

        Tim Couch was once a Browns fan messiah. Right now, Peyton Hillis is the messiah. Noise is being made about Colt McCoy being a messiah.

        Browns fans need to stop lurching from one Luke Skywalker would-be hero to another. Destroying the Evil Empire is never so easy.

  • Bernie Dawkins

    Personally, I’d settle for Han Solo.

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  • Clayton

    This is about the worst possible scenario that an artist could paint for the Browns this Sunday. Heinz Field. Steelers. Ben. A rookie quarterback making his debut start. An injured running back, another guy that seems to be impersonating Jerome Harrison, and a fullback that never gets used. No receiver game. An underutilized Cribbs. And an offensive coordinator who could not keep his job in the CFL.

    Break open the peanuts and beer.

    Any given Sunday? We can hope I guess.

  • Bernie Dawkins

    Might have to break out the Black Velvet for this one, Clayton.

  • Clayton

    Bernie – I took your lead and swilled down some sour puss and jim beam, but it turns out that Colt did just fine. A victory, at least mentally, for our new QB. Good completion percentage (better than DA or Golden Boy averaged last season); nice presence; touchdown. The picks are expected. NFL Network was very impressed, and so was I.