Browns not sure about McCoy

Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno...

Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins in the first half of their NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati Nov., 27, 2011. (REUTERS/John Sommers)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:02 PM ET

The other day, the Minnesota Vikings told rookie quarterback Christian Ponder to sleep easy, that they had no intention of acquiring another hotshot college quarterback with their No. 1 draft pick (third overall).

No such luck for Colt McCoy, the sophomore and beat-up quarterback of the Cleveland Browns.

On Thursday, when given the chance, Browns president Mike Holmgren declined to give McCoy the backing that the Vikings afforded Ponder.

“My opinion of Colt hasn’t changed,” Holmgren said. “He can be, could be (a franchise quarterback). But I’m not ready to anoint Colt yet.”

In his closing press conference earlier in the week, head coach Pat Shurmur said he saw improvement in McCoy’s play.

“The game starts in the huddle with the play-call, being able to direct things, get guys lined up,” Shurmur said. “I saw him become more efficient on some of the basic progressions. I saw him make some better plays outside the pocket later in the year better than he did earlier in the year. Leadership, being able to get guys lined up properly.”

Holmgren, though, trumps Shurmur.

Where that competition will come from has yet to be determined but it means that McCoy won’t be entering training camp with a firm grip on the starting job. He may have no grip at all.

There has been talk and rumours that the Browns have interest in acquiring Green Bay backup Matt Flynn or will use their draft pick (No. 4 overall) on Baylor QB Robert Griffin III.

In Cleveland, McCoy’s time may already be over.

CRASH LANDING

A little more dirt was tossed on the New York Jets’ grave.

Following the comments made by third-string quarterback Greg McElroy the other day concerning the toxic environment in the Jets’ locker room, were those of former Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, who retired prior to the 2011 season.

The main target of his criticism was quarterback Mark Sanchez.

“The No. 1 quarterback should have said that a long time ago,” Jenkins said on the Mike Lupica Show. “It would have been all part of the process of him growing a pair and standing up and being a man. But the thing is, he lost his because he got caught up in the wash that is New York, the spotlight, taking pictures in the magazines and doing all that stuff. That’s just what everybody has seen with Mark Sanchez, they got tired of it.”

His pointed remarks didn’t stop there.

“Mark wants to be a leader but there’s a difference between wanting it and taking it,” Jenkins said. “He’s always trying to be a crowd pleaser. He’s always trying to be nice. He wants to be a leader but he won’t take it.”

For the Jets, just how bad can it get?

FALL GUY

In San Diego, head coach Norv Turner survived the axe this week.

But you knew somebody was going to take a bullet for the Chargers finishing 8-8 and out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

On Thursday the gun was pointed in the direction of defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and the trigger was pulled.

Manusky was hired in March to replace Ron Rivera, who left to become head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Manusky inherited a defence that surprisingly finished first overall in yards allowed in 2010. This season they placed 15th. More importantly the Chargers dropped from 10th to 22nd in points allowed and from fourth in third down conversion rate to last.

Linebackers coach John Pagano is favoured to take over the job.

BACK TO WORK?

You would have thought with how things unravelled so quickly and so decisively in Tampa Bay under head coach Raheem Morris, that it would be a while before he resurfaced. However, Morris, who was fired by the Bucs on Monday thanks to a 4-12 season, one that ended on a 10-game losing streak, has reportedly talked to the Washington Redskins about becoming their defensive backs coach.

Reports say he could also be given the title of assistant head coach.

Despite the disaster this season in Tampa Bay, Morris, just 35, is still considered to be one of the bright young minds in the game.

Morris and Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, son of head coach Mike Shanahan, also have a relationship together from their days on the same staff in Tampa.

Washington’s current defensive backs coach is Bob Slowik, who served as Mike Shanahan’s defensive coordinator in Denver in 2007 and 2008.

NO HARD FEELINGS

Mike Martz, who on Tuesday was let go by the Chicago Bears as their offensive coordinator, leaves the team with no regrets.

Martz, the former head coach of the St. Louis Rams in its glory days and architect of the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ couldn’t recreate that magic in the Windy City. After a 7-3 start, the Bears season fell apart thanks to a broken thumb suffered by quarterback Jay Cutler. They finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs, winning just one of their final six games.

“I thank Lovie for the opportunity,” Martz said of Chicago head coach Lovie Smith. “There is nothing in our relationship that changed. It was just time for me to move on. We had two good years here.”

Cutler’s injury, though, killed the Bears season as backup Caleb Hanie wasn’t up to the job as his replacement.

“It’s unfortunate things happened the way they did this year,” Martz said. “We were rolling there when Cutler got hurt. He was really doing well and the entire team was. At that point, I think we were the most complete team in the league. Offensively, we finally came up to what we needed to be. We had some guys thrown in the offensive line who were playing well.

“Then it happened. Things happen.”

And in Chicago, it all fell apart.


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