Colt McCoy is glad to be out of Cleveland and with the 49ers. (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
When former starting quarterback Colt McCoy was relegated to backup duty behind rookie Brandon Weeden last season with the Cleveland Browns, he wasn’t happy.
He questioned the fairness of the situation and hoped for a chance to again show what he could do as a starter.
In San Francisco, however, McCoy enters spring workouts excited to be with a winning 49ers organization, eager to be working with a new coaching staff and happy to be the backup to starter Colin Kaepernick.
Since his trade to the 49ers last month, McCoy has been putting in as much time as he can with the team, learning the playbook and his new teammates.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” McCoy told Taylor Price of 49ers.com this week. “Just being here, learning the system, I’m really trying to get a grasp and a feel for what we do offensively.”
Unlike the situation in Cleveland, where there was no clear-cut No. 1 quarterback, Kaepernick is the unquestioned starter in San Francisco. Kaepernick won the job at midseason, looked sensational at times and helped the 49ers get to the Super Bowl, where they lost a close decision to the Baltimore Ravens.
But with Alex Smith traded to Kansas City, the 49ers believed they needed another veteran on the roster to back up Kaepernick and compete with holdover Scott Tolzien and rookie draftee B.J. Daniels of South Florida.
It’s been a blessing for McCoy, who was eager to get a fresh start in San Francisco after a disappointing three seasons in Cleveland where he played 24 games, took a load of physical punishment behind a shaky offensive line and completed 58.3 percent of his passes for 21 touchdowns and 20 interceptions after being a third-round pick of the Browns in 2010 out of Texas.
As a starter, McCoy’s record was 6-15. He was shuttled to a backup role after the Browns took Weeden in Round 1 in 2012.
In San Francisco, the focus is on winning now. The entire organization has been working this offseason to take the next step after falling short in the Super Bowl.
“When I walked in the building in San Francisco, it was the same feel (as at Texas),” McCoy told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram after being traded to the Niners. “It’s a great organization and their only focus is we want to win and we want to win now. That’s obviously different than some of the things that I’ve been a part of the last few years.”
Since joining the 49ers, McCoy told Price that he’s been learning the Pistol and getting re-acquainted with the read-option, which he ran with the Longhorns.
“Doing that in college really helps this transition,” McCoy said. “Playing out of the Pistol will be a little bit new, but I don’t think it’ll be that big of a deal.”
McCoy said it’s been a pleasure getting lots of hands-on coaching from head coach Jim Harbaugh, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst.
“Coach Harbaugh is really intense, but he’s a guy who’s really smart,” said McCoy. “You want to listen to him. You want to learn from him. He’s played the position. He knows what it takes to be good at the position. He’s just a wealth of knowledge for me, especially early on trying to learn everything.”
He also told 49ers.com that he’s developed a good relationship with Kaepernick and picking things up from him about the system.
After three seasons of losing in Cleveland, he’s glad to be in a winning environment.
“We have a lot of talent,” he told the website. “We have receivers and tight ends who can run and catch. We have running backs who can create explosive plays every snap. We’re going to get the ball in the guy’s hands who can make plays and it’ll be a lot of fun.”