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Colt McCoy Embraces QB Situation

Posted May 6, 2013

Colt McCoy enters his fourth year in the National Football League with a positive outlook and is doing so with a new club, the San Francisco 49ers.

The uniform number has changed, but the attitude is still the same.

Colt McCoy enters his fourth year in the National Football League with a positive outlook and is doing so with a new club, the San Francisco 49ers.

McCoy, 26, was traded to the 49ers in April to provide veteran depth at the quarterback position. The former Cleveland Browns starter, who wore No. 12, has already put in a number of hours at 49ers headquarters to learn Greg Roman’s complex offensive system. McCoy, now wearing a red No. 2 jersey, is looking to claim a backup role behind Colin Kaepernick on San Francisco’s depth chart.

McCoy doesn’t feel burdened by the time spent at the 49ers training facility. He’s enjoying building on the similar West Coast concepts that he ran in Cleveland. He also likes Roman’s multiple offensive schemes, including plays that feature the zone-read option and Pistol formation.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” McCoy told 49ers.com after a Monday workout in Santa Clara. “Just being here, learning the system, I’m really just trying to get a grasp and a feel for what we do offensively.”

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound quarterback has never been bashful when it comes to off the field dedication. With 21 starts in the first three years of his NFL career, McCoy knows what it takes to be a leader at the quarterback position.

McCoy has been a consistent attendee of the team’s offseason strength program. He’s worked alongside new teammates and built bonds with players he competed against in the college and professional ranks.

Following Monday’s Football School session, McCoy ribbed Aldon Smith about Texas’ big win over Missouri in 2009, to which the 49ers linebacker reminded McCoy about the 49ers victory over the Browns in 2011.

Both laughed at the friendly banter.

It’s clear, McCoy is fitting in just fine in his new digs.

The transition from Cleveland to San Francisco is challenging for McCoy, but it’s been a rewarding experience.

McCoy ran a West Coast offense with the Browns and sees similarity to what he’s been working on with the 49ers. The biggest change, however, is running the Pistol formations that showcase Kaepernick’s unique skill set of rushing ability and precision downfield throwing.

McCoy has already been in the shortened shotgun attack this offseason. He’s taken a few Pistol snaps at 49ers Football School. It’s not a scary predicament though. McCoy ran a zone-read offense in college and won 45 games for the Texas Longhorns, all while proving to be a nimble runner and accurate passer.

“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.”

The new 49ers quarterback is always under the watch of head coach Jim Harbaugh, plus Roman, the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Geep Chryst. The hands-on coaches constantly stress the core principles of San Francisco’s multiple-look offensive system.

With their help, McCoy is getting a better grasp of what the 49ers are looking to achieve in the shotgun, zone-read and Pistol schemes.

McCoy has truly enjoyed the working relationship with Harbaugh and Kaepernick.

McCoy, the self-described visual learner, studies Kaepernick’s repetitions to get a better sense of how to execute offensive play calls. McCoy also appreciates how San Francisco’s head coach isn’t bashful when it comes to demonstrating proper footwork in individual quarterback drills.

“Coach Harbaugh is really intense, but he’s a guy who’s really smart,” McCoy said. “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 early on. I’m spending a lot of time with him and it’s been good.”

When McCoy is not learning from his coaches, he’s picking up the system from Kaepernick, a third-year player with 10 starts and a Super Bowl appearance under his belt. McCoy leans on Kaepernick for tips on what alerts and checks should be made at the line of scrimmage.

“We’re working well together so far,” McCoy said of Kaepernick, who enters his first season as a full-time starter. “He’s been in the system three years now, he gets it.”

So while there might be carryover from the offense he ran in Cleveland to what he’s doing now with San Francisco, McCoy still keeps a close eye on every detail he encounters.

Visual tips from coaches and teammates have been one of McCoy’s best teaching aids this offseason.

“I’m learning quick,” McCoy said. “I’ve always picked up things pretty quickly and I’ve just got to continue to work. We’re only in the second week of Football School and I still have a lot to learn.”

Even so, McCoy feels like he’s catching on quickly.

“I feel really comfortable with where we’re at right now,” the new quarterback said.

McCoy looks around the locker room and sees a talented group of players. Because of that, McCoy is eager to see how far the group can go in 2013.

“We have a lot of talent,” McCoy said. “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.”

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