(ABC)–The most important member of the Washington Redskins offense could easily become backup quarterback Colt McCoy.
Yes, there has been a lot of well-deserved talk about the critical roles of quarterback-turned-wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. and slot man Jamison Crowder. But McCoy, in his eighth season, is one play away from having the Redskins’ fortunes in his hands.
Not just this year, but maybe next season as well.
With starter Kirk Cousins in his second season as the team’s franchise player, which means he will be a free agent for the third year in a row at season’s end, McCoy could figure much more prominently in future plans.
“I feel like I’m having the best camp I’ve ever had, so I feel good,” said McCoy, a Texas product who will turn 31 in September. “From a camp standpoint, I feel really good with where we’re at.”
McCoy didn’t shine in the Redskins’ 23-3 loss to Baltimore in their preseason opener, going 6 for 13 for 40 yard with an interception, but has looked sharp in 2-minute drills during the team’s three weeks in Richmond.
Washington broke camp on Monday, and will resume workouts at its Ashburn, Virginia home on Wednesday.
With Cousins due to make $23.94 million as the first quarterback to play under a team’s franchise tag for two years in a row, McCoy knows he’s no threat to start, but also just one play away from being called on to produce.
How that plays out this year, and beyond, is more than a little interesting.
“Lord only knows,” McCoy said. “I feel like, as a player, I feel confident in my ability to come off the bench and play if the team needs me to do that. I also feel confident I’m going to help Kirk be the best player he can be this year, and that’s kind of my focus. Whatever happens after that, who knows what’s going to happen.
“Going into year eight, I feel blessed to be here,” he said of his third year in Washington. “I feel my mind, my body, my makeup, my mindset is right where it needs to be at this point. I feel like I’m in the right place.”
The Redskins are trying to rebuild their receiving corps, having lost Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to free agency. Besides Pryor and Crowder, their favorite targets figure to include injured tight end Jordan Reed, who has missed all of camp with an injury.
For now, only Pryor is healthy, which creates a teaching moment for the veteran and young players.
There’s no time, McCoy said, to be worrying about next year with this season still to be played.
“I’m really just focusing on the now and trying to have the best camp I can have, trying to make the guys around me better, but we’ve got to keep building,” McCoy said, while joking that the preseason isn’t like real games.
Five receivers, for example, didn’t make the trip to Baltimore for the preseason opener.
“We bussed (to Baltimore) and back,” he said. “The only thing we didn’t do is wear our shoulder pads.”