Cleveland is 'perfect fit' to rookie QB McCoy, even if he has to wait

BEREA, Ohio -- Colt McCoy grew up on a farm in Texas, building fences, hauling hay and feeding cows.

"It definitely taught me a lot of values at an early age," he said.

Hopefully patience was one of them.

McCoy put on another orange jersey -- a Cleveland Browns practice version -- as part of the team's first rookie minicamp Friday. But the 85th overall pick in last week's NFL draft won't be on the field for long. Browns president Mike Holmgren already has said he wants McCoy to stay on the sideline next season, learning behind veterans Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace.

That's fine with McCoy -- at least for now.

"Every quarterback is a competitor," McCoy said. "I do see myself playing in the long term. I want to be out there. Ask anyone in this locker room what they want, and they want to be suited up and playing. But right now my job is to come in and learn and do my best."

McCoy, who will wear No. 12 in Cleveland, called joining the Browns "the perfect fit," even if he had to wait until the third round to be selected. Criticized before the draft by former NFL coach Jon Gruden for his southern drawl, McCoy barked out signals Friday and did his best to lead the rest of the Browns' players. It's what Holmgren and coach Eric Mangini ask of all the rookies.

"A lot of the guys we bring in typically have been captains at their universities," Mangini said. "Sometimes when they come to a new place, they sit in the shadows until they find their way through and then it starts to come out. But we want them to lead in whatever capacity they feel comfortable doing it. Some guys that's in the weight room, some guys it's in the locker room, and some guys it's in the classroom. But we all have the capacity to help others become better."

At Texas, McCoy was at his best on the field. He went 45-8 as a four-year starter with the Longhorns, leaving as college football's career leader in victories. This will be the first time that McCoy hasn't started since redshirting his first year at Texas in 2005. Before that, he was a three-year starter in high school when his father was the head coach.

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McCoy passed for 13,253 yards and 112 touchdowns, both school records at Texas. He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy as a junior and a senior.

The Browns delivered a playbook to McCoy the morning after he was drafted. The size or complexity of it hasn't intimidated him.

"It's a little different with the terms, but a lot of the concepts, a lot of the routes, a lot of the protections are very similar," McCoy said. "Learning the language has been the biggest challenge. I've been studying it hard. I really feel confident in this camp."

Mangini was pleased with how McCoy digested the large amount of information at his first minicamp. He likes the work ethic that McCoy developed by growing up on a farm, even if he already has grown tired of all the stories.

"I could move down to Dallas now with the stuff I know about cattle raising," Mangini said jokingly. "He's used to getting up early and working hard, two things I like. That's good."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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