Chip Kelly may be creating a quarterback controversy in Cleveland before he even gets the job.
With the Browns reportedly getting close to finishing a deal to bring Kelly from Oregon to Cleveland, a report from ESPNCleveland.com suggests that Kelly may like Colt McCoy, the 2010 third-round pick who started 21 games in his first two seasons, better than Brandon Weeden, the 2012 first-round pick who started 15 games as a rookie.
According to the report, Browns CEO Joe Banner told McCoy he is “in the next head coach’s plans.”
Of course, there are a lot of caveats here. For starters, Kelly has been spending his time coaching Oregon and watching tape of the Ducks’ Fiesta Bowl opponent, Kansas State. He hasn’t been watching tape of McCoy, Weeden or anyone else on the Browns. So any opinion he has about either quarterback is extremely preliminary. And even if Kelly did have plans for McCoy, those plans could change if McCoy struggled to pick up Kelly’s offense in minicamps, training camp or the preseason.
The reality is that we have no idea who the Browns’ quarterback will be this year. Maybe it will be Weeden, maybe it will be McCoy, maybe it will be a rookie the Browns draft, or maybe it will be a veteran the Browns acquire through a trade or free agency. But this much is clear: If Kelly is going to make this thing work, he’s going to need a quarterback who can run his offense. And just a year after the Browns selected Weeden in the first round of the draft, there are real questions about whether Weeden can be that quarterback.