McCoy happy to be with Browns

Published 2:11 am Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BEREA (AP) — Colt McCoy won’t say he wants out of Cleveland, though he no longer starts for the Browns.

“I love my teammates, I love this organization, I love this city,” McCoy said Tuesday after another practice with the second-team offense.

McCoy said being replaced at quarterback by rookie Brandon Weeden hasn’t made him request a trade. The former Texas star, who started 13 games a year ago before getting a concussion, maintains he is proud to be in Cleveland.

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“I got drafted here, I spent a lot of time here, I feel comfortable with what we’re doing,” McCoy said. “We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, and I’m a Cleveland Brown. That’s what I am.”

The Browns (No. 30 in AP Pro32) have been expected to deal McCoy — if only to remove second-guessing by fans over using the No. 22 overall pick on Weeden, a 28-year-old former baseball pitcher.

Yet McCoy is still competing with 10-year veteran Seneca Wallace for backup duties. Behind them is Thaddeus Lewis, claimed on waivers a year ago from St. Louis.

Lewis may factor into coach Pat Shurmur’s decision on selecting backups.

“There’s something to Thad that I think is worth developing,” said Shurmur, who coached Lewis in 2010 when the former Duke passer was on the Rams’ practice squad.

For now, McCoy is preparing to play Friday against Philadelphia and ignoring trade rumors.

“I’m focusing on the Eagles,” he said. “If something does happen, that’s really out of my control. What I can control is to work and prepare to be the best I can be for the Browns.”

McCoy is tired of being asked about the Browns’ backup plans, which Shurmur seems in no hurry to reveal.

“I don’t see a real urgency right now to settle that,” Shurmur said. “Week 1 (regular season), it will pretty much be unveiled who’s two and who’s three. I don’t necessarily see the drama in it, quite frankly.”

The waiting game could benefit the Browns. Should another team’s quarterback get hurt, McCoy and Wallace become more valuable bargaining chips.

McCoy hasn’t approached success, but has flashed promise in Cleveland after a stellar career at Texas, where he set 47 school records as the only NCAA quarterback to win 10 or more games in each of his four seasons.

A third-round pick in 2010, McCoy completed a Browns rookie record 61 percent of his passes in eight starts, including a 30-17 upset at defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans in his second start.

McCoy threw at least one touchdown pass in each of his first five games after Shurmur became coach in 2011. He missed the final three games with a concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit by Steelers linebacker James Harrison on Dec. 8.

One of the criticisms of McCoy is a lack of arm strength. He suffered a pinched nerve in his throwing shoulder in his final game for Texas in January 2010.

“My shoulder has been fine,” McCoy said. “I’ve been cleared to play. I’ve been playing.”

McCoy was on target with throws Tuesday, a tad more accurate than Wallace, but lacking the same velocity as the strong-armed Weeden.

“When I first got diagnosed with this,” McCoy said, “the doctor said it was a 2 to 3-year recovery. OK? So now I’m getting to that point, and my shoulder feels really good. The ball’s coming out well. There’s a lot of zip on it.”

McCoy remains dedicated despite his different role. He still stays after practice to work on routes with certain receivers and is confident it has helped.

“I’ve gotten a lot better,” he said.

McCoy enjoys seeing others improve, too, even if they are catching passes from Cleveland’s other quarterbacks.

“I’ve played with those guys for all year last year and a little bit of the first year, and I’ve got a lot invested with those guys,” he said. “I continue to work hard. I’m doing it for them, too, not just myself.

“That’s all I can do right now. I’m a Cleveland Brown and proud to be one.”

NOTES: New owner Jimmy Haslam III watched practice from the middle of the field, chatting with team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert, but was unavailable for comment. Haslam’s $1 billion purchase from Randy Lerner of the team is awaiting NFL approval. … DT John Hughes and DE Juqua Parker returned to practice. Both had been out with undisclosed injuries. … TE Benjamin Watson practiced, but sat out team drills with an undisclosed injury. … DE Emmanuel Stephens was among 13 players not in workouts. He hurt his left leg in a walkthrough Monday.