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Browns leadership sees bright things in QB McCoy's future

With quarterback prospect Robert Griffin III presumably out of the Cleveland  Browns' reach, and with the team reportedly cool to the idea of signing free agent Matt Flynn, the odds would appear to be good that Colt McCoy will remain the starter in Cleveland next season.

In a conference call with season-ticket holders Thursday, Browns president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert both spoke highly of McCoy, according to The News-Herald.

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After saying that the Browns will continue to run the same offense that they've been running, Holmgren emphasized the importance of having his players gain more experience in that scheme.

"We're not going to change it, but it takes times to get good at it," Holmgren said, according to the newspaper. "If you can stick with your quarterback and you stick with the system and you stick with the coaches in the program, it works. You just have to trust me on that."

Holmgren did say that he was reluctant to "anoint" McCoy, who threw for 2,733 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, but had 11 passes picked off. The Browns went 4-9 in games started by McCoy, who also dealt with injury issues.

Heckert implied that the team's offseason plan is focused on finding a supporting cast for McCoy rather than replacing him.

"We do think Colt has a big ceiling," Heckert said. "It's my job to get better players surrounding him. After the season, we said we have to protect him better. We have to be able to run the football, which we did at times last year. If you look at the games when we ran well and protected well, Colt played very well."

According to The Plain Dealer, Holmgren also hinted that the Browns might take a younger quarterback in the NFL draft, though such a move might come in one of the later rounds.

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