NFL  > Cleveland Browns  > Steelers Vs. Browns - some thoughts on Monday
October 18, 2010, 09:49 AM
1. I liked the play of Colt. I thought he played through the nerves well, kept his feet when he threw and started to see a bit down the field. It's clear he's smart and I hope we can get Seneca back so we can continue to develop McCoy from the sideline. B+

2. Hillis is for real - I LOVE this guy. He's fast, big, and athletic! Great add for the Browns, and he did alright yesterday against the Steelers. B

3. Harrison's first pop on Cribbs = Clean. I didn't like the second hit at all though. No grade on this... just a comment.

4. Defense - Secondary is still awful. Is it bad planning? Or Bad talent? Whatever we need to figure this out. F

5. Defensive line - Getting better... still not getting enough pressure on the QB. Seems like we're always right there but losing our push right at the pocket. C-

6. Offense - Run Game - Getting really good in the open field. Fun to watch, good eating up of the clock... goes well with the short pass game. B-

7. Offense - Passing Game - real down field threats at all. We need to pick up two WR's at least to make Cribbs effective. Even a run first offense needs downfield threats. D

Overall, C- But moving in a MUCH better direction than we have been for years. Chins up Browns fans... we are finally building something.
October 18, 2010  10:58 AM ET

1. Can't agree at all. McCoy demonstrated freakish accuracy after practicing with the first unit for only a week. He was putting the ball in the tightest of windows. Imagine what the offense will look like once he and the his receivers are truly on the same page.

2. Absolutely.

3. Agree but I still don't have to like it

4. The young talent is there in Hadden and Ward. Brown might have to be moved to safety which would get rid of Elam's mistakes. That leaves us with Wright on the other CB position though. Also I don't think we have enough quick pressure on the opposing QBs. The front seven is tough and stout but not very speedy.

5. See above comment. The front seven is good but lacks real playmakers.

6. Agreed. Will be even better if Hardesty fully recovers. Plenty of solid RB's have sat out their rookie year with injuries, Ricky Watters and Marshawn Lynch come to mind.

7. 280 yards on 33 attempts or 8.5 per attempt. And that was with 2 starting WRs knocked out. Primary reason for keeping McCoy as starter. You can either load your team with so many receivers that it doesn't matter who you have throwing, or you get a QB who's so accurate and aggressive it doesn't matter who you have catching. Does McCoy fall into that category? It sure looks like it. And this is probably as tough as it's going to get (The Jets for all their bluster are only number 11 in defense)

October 18, 2010  11:15 AM ET

I agree with Hells on McCoy, If you put his numbers against what Flacco did against the steelers, they pretty much match or McCoy is better Per Att and that's with D to C List of receivers vs Flacco's A list. If the Browns were smart they would get some talent around this guy...

October 18, 2010  11:23 AM ET

I agree.

Even though your RB only had 41 yards against us, we have a tendency to make all RB's look bad.

McCoy came out slingin' it - and I have to give him credit for that. Yes, he needs a deep WR threat and yes, you need some D but it looks like it's something to build on.

And for Cleveland fans, that's a giant step forward.

October 18, 2010  01:57 PM ET

I agree. Even though your RB only had 41 yards against us, we have a tendency to make all RB's look bad. McCoy came out slingin' it - and I have to give him credit for that. Yes, he needs a deep WR threat and yes, you need some D but it looks like it's something to build on. And for Cleveland fans, that's a giant step forward.

TY Rayne

I don't know if we need a deep threat as much as a YAC guy. Colt can deliver the ball fast and accurate. And yeah as I said another CB and a playmaker on the front 7 is desperately needed.

October 18, 2010  02:19 PM ET

Right up front I am a Pittsburgh fan. That said, I was very impressed with Colt McCoy yesterday and I really like Hillis too. I anticipate the AFC North divisional games will just keep on getting better and better over the next 3 years...starting with this seasons return matchup of Pgh @ Cleveland being a much closer affair..IMO the Browns, at fulll strength, are the best team under .500 in the AFC (yes even better than the Chargers) and are very under rated. One area of surprise was the defensive secondary coverage yesterday. ASide from the one pick, which was the result of a very poorly thrown ball, the browns didn't seem to be able to cover as well as I recall....I am sure Rob Ryan(great coach) is abit unhappy with same. Good Luck Cleveland with the rest of the season.

October 18, 2010  02:29 PM ET

Hells - I am not saying we shouldn't look to Colt as our future QB, I liked what I saw. Don't forget, however, that there was exactly NO NFL film on him and he still got sacked several times and hit more than that. I am just saying that we should not do the typical Cleveland thing and send a rookie QB out there again and again until he gets killed. I like bringing him along slowly. As more film comes out, he will have to adjust to teams adjusting to him.

Bolgheri - you're the kind of Steelers fan I like... one who can speak intelligently about why we need to get this great rivalry back! Thanks for the comments!

October 18, 2010  02:36 PM ET

TY RayneI don't know if we need a deep threat as much as a YAC guy. Colt can deliver the ball fast and accurate. And yeah as I said another CB and a playmaker on the front 7 is desperately needed.

A deep guy is needed to stretch the field, otherwise you have a lot of defenders in a really tight space. IMHO, Cleveland should make a trade for Shipley in Cincy because that was McCoy's main WR at Texas.

October 18, 2010  03:08 PM ET

BuckAye - I don't know if Mangini and Daboll can afford to sit him. Yesterday was the first time the passing attack looked good at all. At best under Wallace it looked borderline competent. Daboll's not a good OC to win games with strategy and playcalling. He needs someone of Colt's talent to make his schemes work.

October 18, 2010  05:23 PM ET

Hells - I think one game is a little too soon to consider any one QB better than another. I would disagree with this is the first time the passing attack looked good all season. Seneca actually had a couple good games and was playing the roll of managing the game. I think if you look at his stats from particularly weeks 3, 4 and 5 before he got hurt... he was playing well enough. If we are a run first team (which I think we should be), then we can work with a guy like Seneca for a year while we let McCoy get some more studying under his belt.

My fear is, again, that we do exactly what we are doing now. Create a plan (to let him "redshirt" a year) he gets a spot start... and now fans are clamoring to put him in there full time. He is not going to change our season around... he's more likely to get hit more and flustered more as people study him on film. You're right that he was surprisingly good... I am simply saying that I would rather continue on a plan for once than immediately shift gears because something looked good for one week. If it's not possible and Seneca isn't an option, I guess I understand. I WILL say... I would not put Jake back in... he is a mess.

Comment #10 has been removed
October 18, 2010  05:50 PM ET

Buckaye I understand your concerns, but if he was going to fall apart on us it would have been this game. Short notice, at Pittsburgh against a defense that hit him, sacked him and picked him off. He didn't go into a shell, he fought back.

It's an academic argument anyway. Wallace and Delhomme are highly unlikely to be ready for New Orleans. If Colt plays as well or (knock on wood) better, it's going to be impossible to shut him down. He'll at least have earned a shot at Buffalo, Carolina and Jacksonville.

October 18, 2010  07:40 PM ET

I have been a Steelers fan since the early to mid 80s nad I remember some of those browns team putting the beat down on the steelers.Kevin Mack and Leroy Hoard were absolute man animals that crushed some very good steelers teams with their hard nosed running. I must say that I am a fan of the AFCN as a whole. I route for all the teams when they are not playing the steelers or when I need them to lose to benefit the steelers(maybe not the Bungals). I will say that the browns definitely have a few positive thisng going in their direction. 1. TJ Ward is a beast and their is a good chance that he hits harder than Ryan clark when it comes to secondaries in the AFCN. He is more athletic because of his youth. 2. Hillis is a jerome bettis type who fits a classic Browns mold. 3. Colt showed me something I havent seen a QB in brown uniform do in a while. He stood tall took the abuse and delivered with poise. The LAst browns QB to do that was Kosar. The last thing I noticed was that you never quit on yourselves. That was one thing that the browns have done for the past decade, quit when things get tuff. That is something I didnt see yesterday. I will be honest with you when I say that I enjoy watching the steelers blast the browns because some of those games in the 80's still hurt to this day. that being said,there is a different feeling coming out of cleveland and you should all be proud. Good Job and welcome back to the big kid table.

October 18, 2010  09:10 PM ET

How about giving rookie WR Carlton Mitchell a shot at proving himself. A year ago he was a standout on a very good South Florida team.

October 19, 2010  05:16 AM ET

No way was I going to root for the Browns to beat the Steelers. While my main team is the Eagles, as a central PA native my AFC team has always been the Steelers. Having said that, I was rooting for Colt to make a good showing. I simply felt bad for the young man. Tebow got so much credit for his college career and intangibles, while people just kept trashing McCoy for having some of the same deficiencies that Tebow has. Meanwhile, people ignored the fact that McCoy was actually the QB who set the record for the most college wins, and his intangibles are every bit as good as Tebow's. Just because he doesn't make such a public display of his faith doesn't mean he's not every bit as driven to succeed. I approved of Holmgren's intention of sitting him for a bit and letting him develop. Then fate stepped in and injured the QBs ahead of him on the depth chart, and leaving him to make his first start against the Steelers on the road. Oh, and the Steelers were just coming off of a very close loss to the Ravens, which certainly doesn't leave them in a good mood. When I heard that, I was just hoping he'd come out of the game in one piece. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by his performance. Yeah he threw a couple of picks, but the Steelers defense treated VY a whole lot worse. He made some really nice passes, threw is first TD, and had a nice completion percentage against the best defense in the NFL. I don't expect Carson Palmer to do as well against the Steelers defense. So, I love that the Steelers got the win, and I'm glad that McCoy made a decent showing under rather adverse circumstances.

October 19, 2010  06:29 AM ET

Let's remember that the vast majority of McCoy's stats came on ydg gained on "his" side of the field......once the Browns crossed the 50yd line, the completions dried up. And on the lone TD pass in the 4th qtr, Colt was running for his life and got outside the blitz ( barely ) to make an easy throw to a wide open receiver. This doesn't take ANYTHING away from his performance, as he did show some moxey out there. But now that there is some game film on him, defenses will start to make adjustments......

October 28, 2010  05:18 PM ET


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