As a starter this season, Colt McCoy is just 4-7, but the Cleveland Browns quarterback has shown flashes of his potential and boasts a few statistic similar to that of his counterpart this Sunday.
McCoy has the same touchdown-to-interception ratio as the Ravens’ Joe Flacco (13-8), has a slightly better completion percentage (58.5 percent to Flacco’s 56 percent), and a slightly lower passer rating (78.1 to Flacco’s 78.9).
McCoy has endured his share of struggles, failing to throw for at least 200 yards in four of his last six games and matching Flacco for a league-high 10 fumbles. But that’s natural for a second-year passer who recently wrapped up a full-season slate of 16 contests as a starter.
“That’s just part of being a young quarterback,” Ravens defensive end Cory Redding said. “The guy can obviously run. He can move. We all watched him grow up in college at Texas and do his thing. … He can run, he can get the ball down the field. He has his progressions, and you can see those on tape. He’s a very tough football player, and so he will bring a lot of things to the game. That’s going to good for them. But what we have to do is eliminate those things. We have to attack him and attack him early and get after him early and often. [We have to] take away his reads, and when the ball is in the air, challenge him.”
After the Browns’ 23-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis intimated that McCoy would make his first read and then tuck the ball and run.
Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur didn’t confirm or deny that line of thinking, but told Baltimore media during a conference call that McCoy’s development was ongoing.
“He played a couple of games last year, but I’ve seen progress in him, especially in the last three weeks,” Shurmur said Wednesday. “Not that we’re super explosive yet, but just in terms of general efficiency, that’s what you’re looking for. Hopefully, he can be efficient to begin with, and then when the big plays show up, you hit on them. And I think he – and really all of the Browns – have become more efficient. Part of it is the players are practicing hard. They’re competing hard and they go into every game expecting to win. And so, I think that’s part of it.”