July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Browns GM Tom Heckert, coach Pat Shurmur express confidence in QB Colt McCoy

INDIANAPOLIS – Browns general manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur reiterated their confidence in quarterback Colt McCoy on Friday at an hour-long interview session with Cleveland media at the NFL scouting combine.

Heckert said he wouldn’t hesitate to draft a quarterback with the sixth pick in the draft – “two great quarterbacks are not a bad thing” – but probably won’t given the other quality players available at the top of the draft. The Browns believe they saw enough in McCoy’s eight starts as a rookie to move forward with him as the starter.

“I think Colt’s a good quarterback. I really do,” Heckert said.

“Colt has all the things you’re looking for,” Shurmur said. “I don’t have any questions about his arm strength.”

The duo talked on a number of subjects.

** Shurmur likes quarterback Seneca Wallace a lot, including his experience in the West Coast offense. Wallace is an unrestricted free agent, but Heckert would like to bring him back.

Heckert said it was possible McCoy, Wallace and Jake Delhomme could all be on the roster for a second straight season. Delhomme is due $5.5 million in 2011 and would likely have to agree to a pay cut. Heckert said the subject hasn’t been discussed with him yet.

** Heckert said he hasn’t talked to kicker Phil Dawson, who hasn’t signed the $3.25 million franchise tender placed on him Tuesday by the Browns. Heckert said he’d like to work out a long-term deal. It’s not known if Dawson is willing.

** Shurmur confirmed the Browns will make the switch to a 4-3 defensive scheme. Heckert said the Browns need to add linemen, but the rest of the personnel fits the new system. He said Scott Fujita is an ideal strongside linebacker, Chris Gocong can play all three linebacker spots and Ahtyba Rubin is a fit at tackle.

** Heckert said linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who’s missed most of the last two seasons with a pair of torn pectoral muscles, is better-suited for the 4-3. Heckert hopes to keep Jackson, who’s expected to be a restricted free agent, depending on the collective bargaining agreement. Heckert sounded as if he’d tender Jackson, as well as other restricted free agents, in an effort to retain them.

** Heckert said he would have no problem drafting a cornerback at No. 6, likely LSU’s Patrick Peterson, even though he took Joe Haden at No. 7 last year. Heckert said a team can’t have enough good cornerbacks.