BEREA - As the story goes, Colt McCoy was sitting at home one day last spring when he decided to call Brett Favre to see if they could play a game of catch.
Seriously, that's how the meeting of a legendary quarterback and another at the beginning of his NFL career occurred. McCoy thought he knew plenty about the west-coast offense he was about to run for the Browns, but there were some things he needed to add to the mix.
What better guy to ask than Favre, who was more than happy to invite McCoy to his home in southern Mississippi?
"Can you come tonight?" Favre asked McCoy, who was at home in Texas at the time.
McCoy got there as quickly as possible to pick up a few tips from one of the game's greatest quarterbacks. The two took a football to a local high school, where Favre went from being McCoy's idol to his tutor.
"I tried to soak in as much information as I could," McCoy said. "You can't be around your coaches (because of the lockout), so I found a way to get a hold of Brett, and I spent a couple of days with him.
"He's an outstanding guy, and we had a blast. I learned a lot. I was thankful for him being open to me. That was the first time we had met."
Although McCoy is settling in as a starter for the Browns, he still maintains an almost boyish admiration for some of the great quarterbacks. It showed last season after the Browns upset the New England Patriots, 34-14, in what was McCoy's best performance among his eight starts.
Addressing reporters after the game, McCoy almost had to pinch himself to make sure what had just happened actually occurred.
"That's stinking Tom Brady out there," McCoy said, using the adjective in a positive light.
"I'm impressed by other quarterbacks, whether it's Tom or playing against Aaron (Rodgers) last week," McCoy said. "Just in the short time I've been the starting quarterback, I've realized how hard it is. I've realized the time commitment. I've realized you have to be a little lucky at times.
"So for guys like Aaron or Tom or anyone that can go out and win successfully year in and year out and play well, I have all the respect in the world for them. This isn't an easy thing to do. Week to week it's fun. You play against different quarterbacks. I'm going up against (Detroit's Matt) Stafford this week. We played against each other in high school."
McCoy and Rodgers talked before the preseason game between the Browns and Packers last Saturday. Rodgers had an interesting take on how McCoy should go forward in the west-coast offense.
"They run the west coast. He's kind of made it his own, and that's what he was encouraging me to do. You know what you like and don't like. Make it your own. Just go out there and play."
Favre made every offense he played an extension of himself during a 20-year career that included stints with Atlanta, Green Bay (16 seasons), the New York Jets and Minnesota. McCoy tried to tap into Favre's deep resource of knowledge as much as he could.
"I had a list of questions that I wasn't able to ask my coach," McCoy said. "But you could go down and ask him, 'what call do you make here?' If you see a pressure, you can adjust. The same questions I would ask a coach. Now that I'm here and getting coached every day, we're way past that. But during that time Brett was very helpful."
Now comes the difficult part - putting it all to good use.