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Shurmur, Browns moving forward with McCoy

From the department of grim statistics: You have to dial it back to 2001 for the last time the Cleveland Browns had the same quarterback lead the team in passing three seasons running.

That player was Tim Couch. Before him? Vinny Testaverde in 1995.

Not an outrageously inspiring duo, and a burning-red indicator of Cleveland's enduring troubles. President Mike Holmgren has preached consistency and if we're to believe the messaging from team brass of late, the Browns appear content to stick with Colt McCoy under center.

Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert and, most recently, coach Pat Shurmur have voiced confidence in McCoy, 4-9 as a starter last season.

"At this point, he's our quarterback," Shurmur told The Plain Dealer on Tuesday from the NFL Annual Meeting. "We're looking forward to him being our guy and I'm looking forward to seeing him improve. We believe he has a chance to be a fine player in this league."

For McCoy, it's a dose of job security on the heels of the team's very public pursuit of Robert Griffin III, by way of the Rams' No. 2 draft pick, a chase the Browns lost to Mike Shanahan and the Redskins.

It would be a mistake to interpret Shurmur's words as disinterest in quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The team will attend his Texas A&M pro day Thursday and Holmgren has said repeatedly that his philosophy is to stock up on passers. Seneca Wallace remains no more than a stopgap while the team explores what it has in McCoy.

Last season was a rocky affair for McCoy and Shurmur. Their newly implemented West Coast offense screamed vanilla from Day One, struggling to squeeze out 218 points.

With Peyton Hillis now in Kansas City and a cast of wideouts that would have trouble finding starting jobs on more potent teams, the free-agency-allergic Browns are under the gun to hit one home run after another in next month's draft.

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