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49ers QB McCoy ready for a fresh start

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Associated Press
4/2/2013 7:10:19 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO -- In Cleveland one day for the start of off-season conditioning, in the Bay Area the next studying his new San Francisco playbook.

What a whirlwind 24 hours for Colt McCoy.

McCoy's trade from the Browns to the 49ers was finalized Tuesday after the quarterback passed a physical.

"I actually showed up in Cleveland yesterday to start the off-season," McCoy said on a conference call between meetings at his new team headquarters. "I didn't really know what was going to happen. I think there was a lot of speculation. At the end of the day yesterday I was a 49er, and I couldn't be more happy."

McCoy will have the chance to win the backup job behind Colin Kaepernick for the NFC champions, who had a spot to fill after trading 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick Alex Smith to Kansas City at the start of the NFL's free agency period.

"We are pleased to add another high-character player like Colt to our roster," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. "He is a young, competitive player who we are looking forward to working with."

McCoy showed up in Cleveland on Monday to participate in the team's off-season training regimen only to learn he was headed West to play for ex-NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh and the two-time reigning NFC West champion Niners.

"It's good to get a new fresh start, fresh opportunity, and to do it with a team that's well established," McCoy said. "I've heard nothing but great things about this place. ... It's a blessing."

San Francisco is sending a pair of undisclosed draft picks to the Browns. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press the team got a fifth- and seventh-round pick in this month's NFL draft in exchange for McCoy and Cleveland's sixth-round pick. The person provided details of the trade on condition of anonymity.

McCoy can't wait to get to work alongside Harbaugh, the 2011 NFL Coach of the Year after his rookie season as a head coach. As of Tuesday afternoon, McCoy was still waiting for the chance to toss the ball around with the coach -- though they still had a sit-down scheduled after lunching together earlier in the day.

"They've been very successful. I've watched Coach Harbaugh since he was at Stanford," McCoy said. "I've played with some guys who were with him at Stanford, Owen Marecic, he played both ways for him, one of my good buddies.

"These guys have been around the game for a long time, they know offence like the back of their hand. My job is to come in and learn things as quickly as I can. We do a lot of things similarly. I'll be new to it but I'm excited to get going."

When questioned whether he asked his agent to try for a trade, McCoy didn't answer directly -- but it sure sounds as if he wasn't against the idea.

"I just told him that I wanted what's best," McCoy said. "This is a situation I think will work out best for us, me and the Browns organization. It was a quick turnaround, a quick change of events. ... I went in with the mindset to compete and I'll carry that mindset over here as well."

The 26-year-old McCoy played in only three games last season because of a shoulder injury, a year after starting 13 games in 2011 before sustaining a concussion.

McCoy, who won 45 career games at Texas, was forced into the starting lineup as a rookie and made eight starts in 2010. The very next year, he was the victim of a helmet-to-helmet hit by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison. Brandon Weeden beat out McCoy last season, then the Browns signed veteran Jason Campbell last week to make McCoy expendable.

He is healthy now -- his shoulder and his frame of mind -- and ready to compete. That's just what Harbaugh likes, and the coach knows Scott Tolzien will show up also ready to chase the No. 2 job.

As crazy as the past day went, McCoy is moving forward.

"It happened this way, so I kind of live and never look back," McCoy said. "There were some great things that went on and sometimes I learned from things that went on. I have no hard feelings. I know that's probably a shock for some people to hear that. At the end of the day, I'm where I'm supposed to be right now."

McCoy spent the past day pondering his up-and-down tenure in Northern Ohio.

"I wished them all the best," he said. "I probably didn't mention it enough in my time there how much I appreciated my time there. I would have loved to see it through. Hopefully, this is a better fit for me."

Colt McCoy (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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