By now we’ve all heard about the NFL lockout, but what have the players been up to if they aren’t allowed to talk to coaches or practice at their team’s facilities?
For Colt McCoy, the answer lies in passing on his skills to the youth.
Holding camps have become the easiest way for athletes to give back to the community and to take their minds off the mess that is the NFL right now. For two days, he wasn’t running sprints or working on timing with his receivers. Instead, he was teaching children fundamental skills they can use to grow as athletes.
McCoy’s two-day camp at Westlake High school allowed hundreds of children to participate in games and drills for several hours each day. McCoy made his rounds to every group of children and even posed for photos and signed autographs for all of the attendees. Much of the McCoy family was also on hand to lend help to the campers. Colt’s younger brother, Case, helped out with drills after an early workout with the Longhorns on Friday morning. The children in attendance really seemed to enjoy their time with Colt and were very appreciative of the star’s presence.
And as far as working with his Cleveland Browns teammates since the lockout, McCoy has that covered.
“We’ve met up like four or five times, and we’ve got another [meeting] this weekend here in town,” McCoy said. “I’m thrilled to get to work with them.”
It’s not easy to organize workouts with teammates during the lockout, but McCoy realizes it’s up to him to take the initiative.
“You can’t have any contact with coaches, and it falls on the quarterback to become a leader,” McCoy said.
By now, becoming a leader is second nature for McCoy. After four years as a starter for the Longhorns, he quickly became the centerpiece of the Browns’ offense when he was named the starting quarterback early last season. However, after a disappointing 5-11 season for the Browns in 2010, McCoy admits there is still a lot to be done for his team to be successful.
“We haven’t won in Cleveland, and we’ve got a long ways to go, a lot of work to do,” McCoy said. “The time we’ve spent together this summer will help.”
After an equally disappointing 5-7 season, the Longhorns are hoping that they can learn a little something from McCoy while he’s in town. McCoy has been on hand for multiple practices with the team during the summer, keeping both himself and his younger counterparts in top form.
“Since the lockout, I’ve been able to train at UT a lot,” McCoy said. “Those guys are working their butts off up there, and there’s been some drills I’ve almost wanted to drop out of.”
With talks still ongoing between the Players Association and team owners, patience is key for the players waiting to officially begin the offseason. Having a busy schedule also helps to take the players’ minds off of the stress of the situation. McCoy will continue to hold similar camps for children around Texas, in addition to coordinating more meetings with his Browns teammates. It hasn’t been a typical offseason so far, and McCoy and Co. are ready for a return to normalcy.
“We’re all anxious for it to get over with,” McCoy said.
It could be some time before things are settled in the NFL, but for now, it is up to the players to train and organize meetings on their own. So far, McCoy has found different ways to stay busy throughout the turmoil, and the children at his camp couldn’t be any happier.
Printed on 7/11/2011 as: Gone Camping: Former UT quarterback teaches children the basics