September 29, 2008

Adams: I owe Colt McCoy an apology

It's really hard to think about the 4-0 start by this Texas Longhorn team without looking at the performance of Colt McCoy. He is playing at a level, even when you consider the competition, that is not often seen. In the passing game many quarterbacks could not have his numbers in 7 on 7 scrimmages.

One of my favorite movies is A Time to Kill starring Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson. At the end of the movie, McConaughey has to figure out how to get the jury presiding over Jackson's case to identify with the defendant. He has to break down the whole crime and show it from a perspective of race.

For as much as I like to think that I'm a guy that points out racial issues but am not bogged down by stereotypes, I think I owe Colt McCoy an apology.

I have questioned on numerous occasions the value of McCoy running so much. Not being able to sleep last night and watching A Time to Kill reminded me of that and I asked myself the question, "Would I balk at and question Colt's running if he were a black kid from Houston or Dallas?"

I have always looked at McCoy as a pro style smallish passer. We all get by in life by putting people in boxes that allow us to make decisions and understand how things work or how we think they work. I questioned myself on whether I have done that with Colt McCoy.

When I was Abilene Christian University, we had a great running back that I became really close friends with from Ethan Sheffield. He was a great running back but I always teased him that he was great… for a white boy.

Did I fall into a stereotype because Colt McCoy is a white kid from West Texas? Did I fall further into the stereotype because he cemented himself in my mind as a pure passer when he threw for 29 touchdowns against only seven interceptions as a red-shirt freshman?

Colt McCoy is a very good quarterback. The fact of the matter is that McCoy is a great running quarterback. We have talked over and over again about McCoy having just enough to make plays. Just when it appears like he is about to go down he breaks another tackle, finds a throwing lane or checks down to a safety valve.

At other times, he tucks it and runs. Many of those times he becomes one of the best runners on the field. He was a good runner in high school and through his training and study has made himself into a great runner while still honing his passing skills.

Am I still leery about Colt being relied upon to be the Longhorns leading rusher over the course of the 2008 season? No doubt! Most other running quarterbacks have a great compliment at running back, but maybe this is the Texas football program putting all their chips in the middle of the table. Maybe this is the Texas program saying that this team will rise and fall and go only as far as the versatile skills of McCoy can take it.

Whatever the Texas program is selling right now it is working. Is their better competition down the line? Sure! Will this team experience some struggles if they don't settle on a feature back and scheme? Sure!

But…

I'm putting my stereotypes to bed. McCoy can run, period! Very rarely, over the landscape of college football, do you find a quarterback that can run as equally as effective as they can pass. Colt McCoy might be that guy.

I'm going to look at the skill set, the effectiveness and the production. As economist John Maynard Keynes once noted, "In the long run, productivity is everything."

My bad, Colt.


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