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Why 'Camp Colt' is a positive sign for Cleveland

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Posted Aug. 03, 2011 @ 1:07 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

The Browns, like so many other NFL clubs, held player-organized workouts during the lockout. Their workouts had a catchy — and a very telling — name:

"Camp Colt." 

The workouts, held in Texas and Ohio, were organized in part by second-year QB Colt McCoy, who was initially thrust into the starting lineup only because of injuries last season but clearly proved he was the club's best option at the position.

In addition to flashing some intriguing potential with his play, his leadership skills were quickly apparent. Multiple Browns raved about the tone he set.

Is McCoy the Browns' long-term answer at quarterback? How he fares this season will go a long way toward determining his fate. How he takes to Pat Shurmur's version of the West Coast offense will tell the tale.

No matter what happens, however, he's showing he has the necessary intangibles to command a huddle.

"In this young guy, I really believe he has the want to, he is a natural leader, he has all those types of (measurables) and he's already there, we saw some of that last year," Browns president Mike Holmgren said as the lockout ended. "Now his experience, he hasn't played very much, and experience at that position means more than any other position in football. He's going to play young sometimes, but if he can play like he did at times last year and be pretty consistent and give us a whole season and stay healthy, I think he's going to be fine."

I suspect Colt McCoy can consistently play at the level needed to be a successful NFL starter, but getting there might take time. And though I do not know this for a fact, I would suspect he's not quite a finished product as a leader. Who is at age 23 (he turns 24 on Sept. 5)?

Nonetheless, it has to be reassuring to Holmgren that the Browns' workouts had that catchy nickname. We can't yet conclusively say the Browns are Colt McCoy's team, but he's trying to make it that way. You would rather your second-year quarterback assert himself that way than stand in the background.

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