What is it like to be Colt McCoy right now? Are you having weird nightmarish flashbacks of your rookie season in Cleveland? Did you have to have your jaw reset after it hit the floor when Eric Mangini first walked into the 49ers facility? This is like that scene in The Truman Show where the rain follows Jim Carey's character around the beach. Where it only pours in a three-foot radius around him and is completely dry everywhere else. That's what I imagine it's like to be Colt McCoy right now. And things were going so well too.
Whether you are in the Pro-Mangini or Anti-Mangini camp, we can all agree his tenure in Cleveland was a hot mess. He was supposed to be Yoda, but he turned out to be Jabba. Maybe there should have been some foresight within the Browns organization. After all, Mangini's Emperor Palpatine, Bill Belichick, did enough damage to have Art Modell pull the ol' fingers-crossed-behind-the-back "of course you're still my head coach" routine.
Actually, Belichick wasn't that bad in the Forest City (what a terrible nickname), not "scorched earth" bad anyways. He took them to the playoffs and even won a game, but after starting 3-1 and finishing 5-11 in 1995-96, there was enough cause to fire him (read: Belichick is a jerk). Mangini even spent some time as a ball boy with the organization in his youth. Modell noted he was "the worst ball boy we ever had...just awful, spent all his time yelling at those balls" (I may have made up this quote). Despite the fact they they were a new expansion team borrowing a classic name it was still a bit of "meet the new Browns, same as the old Browns."
Even though there were enough warning signs about Mangini from New York ahead of time, the "new" Browns took a shot with the Mangenius (LOL) and it failed. Miserably. 5-11 in consecutive seasons is bad, but the inner revolt and grumblings about overworked players made the situation toxic. Maybe Mangini is cut from the same cloth as Mike Singletary ... The same angry angry cloth that seems to ignore common sense and reason.
But seriously, what was McCoy's first reaction when Mangini walked in the door? I imagine they first ran into each other somewhere around the buffet table or Harbaugh sat him down in his office and opened with "now Colt, don't freak out..." I would have killed to be a fly on that wall.
So far McCoy, to his credit, has been the perfect company man and you can see him in action here (you can also see the exact moment his heart breaks at 44 seconds). This year must have seemed like a dream for McCoy. Not only did he make it out of Cleveland alive (ugh, Cleveland) but he landed on a team in a low-pressure role. It really seemed to be the best-case scenario for him. He gets to learn from Harbaugh the QB guru, and maybe get a few looks from other teams this season like Matt Flynn did when he beasted Detroit's Powderpuff defense in 2012. On top of that the 49ers TRADED for him. He wasn't some afterthought free agent signed to fill a roster spot; this front office wanted him.
In addition to all that you're doing cool stuff like this with your friends and generally living the good life that comes with being a millionaire. And then BAM! MANGINI! The hard-ass schlub who let his quarterbacks coach endlessly haze you, who was called out by his own players for pushing them too hard, who was run out of Cleveland after just two seasons, and who was called the worst head-coaching hire ever by Joe Posnanski (hello Pot, meet Kettle) is back in your life. Would you want to see that storm cloud follow you to your new home in California? It's been so sunny here too!
Seriously, McCoy has had a rough string of luck over the last few years. His shoulder injury in the BCS National Championship was heartbreaking and getting drafted by Cleveland was an "at least you're a college legend, kid" kind of moment. Then suddenly McCoy was thrust into the spotlight for the Browns way too early and he handled it like a man; more than can be said about the Mangenius. But, if you paint a zebra black and run it in the Kentucky Derby, eventually you'll be exposed. That's exactly what happened to McCoy in 2011. The bottom fell out and he spent last season sitting behind Brandon Weeden who looks like Steve the Pirate from Dodgeball. That must have been frustrating.
So if you're hanging around 4949 Centennial Boulevard in Santa Clara, CA and you hear a grown man softly weeping, give him a great big hug. He needs it.
Related: Eric Mangini? Really? Better say the prayer:
Our Baalke, which art in the Owners Suite,
aggressive be thy game;
thy Harbaugh come;
thy trades be done,
at Candlestick as it is in San Francisco.
Give us this day our Patrick Willis
And forgive us for Dennis Erickson,
as we forgive them that went 4-12.
And lead us not into the Wild Card;
but deliver us a Super Bowl.
For we are the nation,
the Red, and the Gold,
for ever and ever.