Chip Kelly hasn't even officially taken the Cleveland Browns' head coaching job, but it seems he's already got a quarterback controversy brewing.
It looks as though owner Jimmy Haslam III, C.E.O. Joe Banner, and the Browns organization have found their next head coach and his name is Chip Kelly. The next big question to be answered, however, is who will be the quarterback? A source in the Browns’ organization told ESPN Cleveland that just over a week ago Banner told backup quarterback Colt McCoy he is “in the next head coach’s plans.
These plans would obviously come as news to incumbent starter Brandon Weeden. The rookie signal-caller was taken in the first round of last April's draft and was ostensibly seen as Cleveland's quarterback of the future.
However, Weeden struggled mightily in 2012. The former Oklahoma State standout threw for 3,385 yards and 14 touchdowns against 17 interceptions, good for a QBR of 26.6, which ranked 35th out of 36 qualifying quarterbacks.
Weeden is already 29 years old, and having seen other rookie NFL quarterbacks ascend in 2012, the new regime in Cleveland may already be leaning in a new direction.
That's where the possible move to McCoy comes in. A third-round pick out of Texas in 2010, McCoy was a vital cog in the Browns offense in his first two NFL seasons. But after the team drafted Weeden, McCoy's days in Cleveland seemed numbered, and he was a non-factor throughout 2012.
In three sporadic appearances, McCoy attempted only 17 passes all season, completing nine for 79 yards and a touchdown. When it seemed McCoy would finally get an opportunity in Week 17, he went down with an injury, and the Browns had to call up Thaddeus Lewis from the practice squad to start.
Nevertheless, it seems like Kelly's impending hiring may inject lifeblood back into McCoy's NFL career. The current Oregon Ducks coach is seen as an offensive guru and has compiled a 46-7 record in four seasons with the team.
It's still not confirmed that Kelly will take over as the Browns' next head coach. But based on this news, McCoy undoubtedly knows who he wants to coach him in 2013.