AFC North: Question

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Will the Cleveland Browns have enough patience to successfully groom rookie quarterback Colt McCoy?

When it comes to quarterbacks, patience certainly is not a virtue in Cleveland.

[+] EnlargeColt McCoy
AP Photo/Amy SancettaColt McCoy is expected to start the season No. 3 on the quarterback depth chart.
It's a city that is desperate for a championship and a franchise quarterback to call its own. It's been 17 years since Bernie Kosar last donned a Browns uniform. Cleveland fans have been quick to anoint the Browns' next franchise quarterback, only to be disappointed.

Often the Browns' organization followed suit by rushing quarterbacks onto the field and usually without much of a supporting cast.

For example, Tim Couch was a No. 1 overall pick after the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999. He played 15 games his rookie year and spent that season -- and most of his career -- taking a pounding for an expansion franchise. Thus, Couch never had the chance to fully blossom as an NFL quarterback thanks to various injuries he suffered.

Kelly Holcomb, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson and most recently Brady Quinn all followed and were among the young players who were shuffled in and out of Cleveland’s revolving door at quarterback. The team never established a consistent direction at the league's most important position.

This brings us to McCoy -- this year's highly publicized third-round pick. He is the next young quarterback to generate hope and a significant buzz in northeast Ohio.

Ideally, Browns president Mike Holmgren wants to wait a year, maybe two, before McCoy sees the field. But the second veteran starter Jake Delhomme struggles with a multi-interception game, there will be pressure in Cleveland to see what McCoy can do. Yet Seneca Wallace, not McCoy, is currently No. 2 on the depth chart if Delhomme falters.

In the past decade, few NFL franchises have failed more at grooming a long-term solution at quarterback than the Browns. That is why it's important for the team to stick to its plan and let McCoy learn from the sidelines in 2010 -- no matter what happens with the quarterbacks in front of him.

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