Browns coach Pat Shurmur shared some thoughts today on where the franchise is heading in 2012, but he declined to commit to either quarterback Colt McCoy or running back Peyton Hillis as part of the team next season.
Shurmur did say that he has seen improvement in McCoy.
“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.”
But no matter how much improvement McCoy makes on play calling, directing the offense and going through progressions, the fundamental question remains whether he passes the ball well enough to succeed as an NFL quarterback. Shurmur declining to commit to McCoy suggests that the coach is yet to be convinced that McCoy is an NFL-quality passer.
As for Hillis, he seemed headed out of town in the middle of the season, but Shurmur said he was impressed with the way Hillis continued to work hard and contribute late in the year.
“Peyton and I had a great conversation yesterday,” Shurmur said. “I’ll tell you what, all-star player who was dealing with injury early in the middle part of the year and then came back, and gosh, I really like what he did at the end of the season. But that’s one of those questions I really can’t answer at this point.”
Shurmur also wouldn’t talk about anyone the Browns might take in the NFL draft. With the fourth overall pick, the Browns may have an opportunity to draft Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, whom Shurmur has previously gushed about as having the talent to do more than just get guys lined up properly.