Once the 49ers made their move to acquire Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, I got in touch with Chris Pokorny from Dawgs by Nature, SB Nation's Browns blog. Chris was kind enough to give me a few thoughts on the brief Colt McCoy era in Cleveland.
Colt McCoy's biggest asset is his mobility. He doesn't necessarily throw great on the run, but he can evade the rush and moves the chains at key points. The issue during his time in Cleveland is that he constantly checked down instead of throwing the ball down the field. There were debates as to whether that was coaching/scheme-related, or a limitation of McCoy. I think it was a combination of both, but that the coaching was dictated by the fact that McCoy didn't have a good enough arm.
With that said, he was a likable guy who fans wanted to root for, and I think pretty much any mobile quarterback can thrive in Jim Harbaugh's system. This seems like a good pickup for them in the event something happens to Colin Kaepernick. McCoy will not be a disaster if he has to step in; he just won't be someone who lights the world on fire.
It's always nice to know a player "will not be a disaster" if he has to take over for another player. I wouldn't exactly call those the most inspiring of words. Now that we have the preseason schedule in hand, it will be interesting to see how much playing time the backup quarterbacks get, and how it is split.
I imagine the 49ers add one more quarterback, but I suspect it will be an undrafted free agent who is basically a camp arm. The 49ers could decide to draft a quarterback and unload one of their QBs before the season starts, but we'll have to wait until later this month to see the next step in the process.
For now, the battle is between Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien. I don't really feel like I can make a prediction on which of the two quarterbacks will emerge as the backup. Tolzien has been working with the 49ers coaching staff for two years, but do we really know what he brings to the table at this point? This year, he is likely to get the most useful preseason action of his young career. It wouldn't surprise me if Tolzien and McCoy alternate the No. 2 role the first two weeks of the season. That would be the highest Tolzien has reached in his young career. It won't give us all the answers we want, but it will get us moving in the right direction.