Why San Francisco 49ers’ Colt McCoy is Not an NFL Quarterback
San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colt McCoy has been a clear disappointment at the pro level. He shouldn’t be considered as the No. 2 behind Colin Kaepernick and arguably should be cut before the season starts.
McCoy injured his throwing shoulder Thursday against the Denver Broncos and underwent an MRI. While the results of the MRI haven’t been reported, McCoy returned to the practice field Saturday in a blue no-contact jersey. He told the Sacramento Bee that he suffered a “stinger,” and Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said he should be “back in the mix” before too long.
McCoy’s throwing shoulder was injured in the BCS Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2010, and he has admitted his shoulder has never been 100 percent since. This coming from a guy who already possessed a weak arm by NFL standards, should give the 49ers pause.
McCoy played his first two seasons as the Cleveland Browns‘ starter before being supplanted by now second-year starter Brandon Weeden last season. He threw 21 TD and 20 INT in 24 games played and suffered multiple injuries behind a porous offensive line in his time with the Browns. Cleveland had no issue parting ways with McCoy in the offseason and actually attempted to do so before last season began.
In his time in Cleveland McCoy demonstrated clearly that he can’t throw the ball outside the hash-marks. Whether it be because of his shoulder never fully recovered or simply because he was not blessed with enough arm talent, it shouldn’t matter to Harbaugh or the 49ers. This guy is not an NFL quarterback.
Remember, just last year Alex Smith was benched in favor of the gifted Kaepernick not only because of Kaepernick’s ability to make plays with his feet, but also because he opened up the playbook with his big arm.
Being able to drive the ball down-field on deep corner and crossing routes is important in this offense, and that’s something McCoy never could do with any consistency. If Kaepernick were to get hurt, the 49ers would be stuck reverting to a ball control style of offense with McCoy as the backup. In today’s NFL, that only gets you so far. The bottom line is, McCoy simply can’t throw the ball the way you need to as an NFL quarterback.
McCoy is currently competing with Scott Tolzien for the backup job. However, Harbaugh should seriously consider the rookie B.J. Daniels over both Tolzien and McCoy.
Daniels possesses a much bigger arm than both McCoy and Tolzein along with outstanding athletic ability. It makes much more sense to groom Daniels as the backup given his abilities — which are much more like Kaepernick’s — than it does to groom either of the other QBs on the roster. Daniels didn’t see any time on the field in the 49ers’ preseason opener against the Broncos.
McCoy is a No. 3 masquerading as a No. 2 QB. Let’s hope Harbaugh isn’t the last one to notice it.
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