McCoy is the guy in 2011….

From Cleveland.com

The Browns arrived at the NFL Scouting Combine with obvious needs on defense. That matches up well with the strength of the 2011 draft, which is top-heavy with blue-chip defensive linemen.

But offense never escapes the mind of President Mike Holmgren. Upon landing here on Wednesday, Holmgren’s eyebrows twitched just enough to keep everyone guessing about the direction the Browns will take with their first pick, No. 6 overall.

“I’m also looking for a home-run hitter,” Holmgren said, pointedly.

That comment alone will intensify the debate on which glaring need the Browns should satisfy first — defensive line or wide receiver.

Four defensive linemen are considered worthy of the No. 6 pick. Two are tackles and two are ends. The top-rated linebacker, Von Miller of Texas A&M, and the top-rated cornerback, Patrick Peterson of Louisiana State, could be justified there, too.

But there’s really only one home-run hitter on offense worthy of a top-10 pick, a guy who can score a touchdown from any place on the field. That’s Georgia receiver A.J. Green. Without mentioning him by name, Holmgren essentially conceded that Green is a strong candidate for the team’s No. 1 pick.

“We do [have a lot of work to do on defense] and it is [a good draft for defense],” Holmgren said. “But I think you have to be a little careful of thinking too much about needs so that you reach. I don’t want to do that. So our philosophy is to take the best player on our board once it’s set up. Now, if you have two guys that are [really close], then we’d have a discussion on which one to take.”

Green is considered by some draft services to be the top player in the draft. Some mock drafts have him being taken by Cincinnati at No. 4.

Another position on Holmgren’s mind as the draft season kicks off is — no surprise — quarterback.

“Oh, yeah, we will draft a quarterback. You can almost count on it,” Holmgren said.

But the feeling going into this week is that Holmgren is looking for a developmental prospect and is not planning on displacing Colt McCoy as the team’s starter in 2011.

“I believe in the young guy we have,” he said. “I’m pretty sure we’ll take one later in the draft.”

McCoy has been meeting regularly with new coach Pat Shurmur for the past couple of weeks. The Browns want to get McCoy exposed to Shurmur’s offensive playbook before a possible owners lockout shuts down all contact with players after March 3.

Holmgren indicated he has no intention at present of bringing in a quarterback to compete with McCoy.

“It works best if you can identify ‘the guy,’ let him know he’s ‘the guy,’ and train him appropriately to be ‘the guy,'” Holmgren said. “It’s nice to have all this competition and all this stuff, but it doesn’t work very well, usually. So if you believe in a young man, believe he’s ‘the guy,’ then you have to go with it.”

Holmgren’s apparent plan is to designate McCoy the starter, choose between Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace as the backup, and draft a developmental quarterback for the No. 3 role.

Delhomme is under contract for 2011 for $5.4 million. Wallace is unsigned and has expressed a desire to compete for a starting job. Holmgren conceded that Wallace may fit better in Shurmur’s offense because of his past exposure in Seattle to Holmgren’s West Coast offense.

“That decision honestly hasn’t been made yet,” Holmgren said. “Some of it has to do clearly with Jake’s contract.”

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One Response to “McCoy is the guy in 2011….”

  1. Denolakes says:

    Of course, Colt is the guy in 2011. How could it be anything different? Cleveland cleared over $13 million in payroll by letting Bowens, Rogers, Barton and the others go. Having franchised (wisely) Dawson, a net $2 million of that (Dawson was making $1 million)is already eaten up. Offensive playmakers are needed besides Hillis and Watson — but defense needs an identity and playmakers. I see DL or LB being the first priority. WR comes in a mid round. QB in round 4 or 5. And this is based upon my huge expertise, having never playing in or coached an NFL football game.

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