Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/3/11
BEREA, Ohio If the average Browns fan can see that Colt McCoy and the offense have been more effective in the two-minute or no huddle offense, why dont the Browns play to that strength from the get-go?Bear in mind, the Browns have been outscored 44-3 in the first quarter. Some of McCoys bright spots this season have been when he was in the shotgun. He led the Browns to a game-winning drive against the Dolphins in their 17-16 victory. The Browns scored their 10 points against the 49ers in the same scenario and were moving at the end of the game when time expired.Pat Shurmur said the Browns want to be as efficient, as possible.Were always looking for ways to get (McCoy) going quickly, he said. We found a way to score three points before the half in the two minute (against San Francisco). We scored a touchdown in the two-minute later in the game. We have to generally find ways to be efficient.McCoy has played his best when he gets into a rhythm.I think hes progressed in a lot of areas and he has to eliminate the bad plays, Shurmur said. Within the scheme of the offense, he has got into a rhythm. I think hes executing better, absolutely. Does he have to play better? Absolutely.Were looking for any way we can to move the football and score.McCoy said he believes in the system.Were doing what were coached to do, and we believe in what we do, McCoy said. We do. In the two minute drive, thats the situation where youve got to throw downfield, and weve made plays. So we just have to continue to work and its an everyday thing. McCoy played almost exclusively in the shotgun at Texas, where he flourished. However, Shurmur said he needs to play under center in the NFL, as well.In our offense, we have plays under center and then we have plays in the shotgun, Shurmur said. He does both. I think its important that youd be able to execute under center as well as you do in the shotgun. I think thats important for an NFL quarterback to be able to do that. Hes obviously more comfortable in the shotgun because thats what hes done his whole life.McCoy agrees.Yeah, absolutely, he said. I feel like Ive gotten a lot better playing underneath the center, a lot more comfortable from Week 1 to now. Its night and day. I can imagine what its going to be from now until the end of the season, he said. Its just experience. I agree with (Shurmur). I think youve got to play underneath the center. I think it helps in the run game, I think it helps the timing of things were trying to do. But I think playing in the gun at times, too, is OK.McCoy is 163 of 286 for 1,618 yards (57.0 percent) with 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Hes been sacked 16 times and has a QB rating of 76.4, good for 25th in the NFL.In the eight games he started as a rookie, he was 135 of 222 (60.8 percent) for 1,576 yards with 6 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. His QB rating was 74.5. McCoy led the Browns to wins over the Saints and Patriots in 2010 and was 2-6 as the starter. In 15 games as the starter, he is 5-10.Some critics argue McCoy has regressed rather than improved in a new system with a new coaching staff. He said it goes with the territory.You start listening to it and thinking about it, its just going to bring you down, McCoy said. My focus is doing my best for the guys in here. These guys work so hard. I work so hard. These coaches work so hard.McCoy is confident brighter days are ahead.It is going to be real sweet when we turn this thing around, he said. Right now, were going through the growing pains. Were going to continue to improve and get better. Im no different.Massaquoi back: WR Mohamed Massaquoi has been cleared to practice following his concussion. Shurmur ruled out DL Auston English (knee) and RB Montario Hardesty (calf). DB Dimitri Patterson (knee) was the only other player who didnt practice. Mo will be out there, Shurmur said. Hes out there practicing, so hes been cleared to practice.Dick Jauron said that DB Buster Skrine will step in if Patterson cant go.Patterson has been doing a great job, but Buster will have to step up if he cant go, the coach said.OL Tony Pashos, whos still listed as questionable with an ankle injury that has bothered him all season, was alo on the injury report.Tonys fighting through it, Shurmur said. Hes like everybody at this time of year.OL Artis Hicks took reps with the first team on Wednesday, but Shurmur said thats routine.We normally limit Pashos on Wednesday, he said. I wouldnt read into that and dont have any plans to make a change.DB Ray Ventrone (hamstring), LB Chris Gocong (shoulder), LB Kaluka Maiava (knee) and T.J. Ward (knee) were all limited on Wednesday, but practiced on Thursday.Hillis update: Shurmur said that RB Peyton Hillis didnt suffer a setback Wednesday, but he didn't practice after doing some running.I think hell be out there (Thursday), Shurmur said. He was in the walkthrough like Wednesday. We intended to run him but after the run, that wasnt the case.Hillis was on the field during the part of the practice that was open to the media.Shurmur was asked if Hillis has been a distraction for the team.Thats a better question for the players, he said. The team takes care of that. The team understands and I dont see there being any problems between the team and Peyton.The latest episode in Hillis saga is he missed an appearance with the Boys and Girls Club on Monday. He apologized on Wednesday. I just want to say Im sorry about the charity event that happened with the Boys and Girls Club, Hillis said. There was a lot of miscommunication between me and the management that I had, and if I knew the full depths of it, I wouldnt have missed it. Ive always made community events before, but that shouldnt be an excuse now. Like I said, Im sorry about everything and hopefully, in the near future, we can be able to make that up.Marecics play: This week the Browns will face FB Lawrence Vickers, who played with the Browns up until last season. Vickers was a free agent and the Browns chose to go with FB Owen Marecic.After we drafted Owen, we decided to move on, Shurmur said. Shurmur was asked to assess Marecics play thus far.I think Owen is performing well, he said. He gets in there anywhere from 12 to 20 snaps a game. I feel like hes doing a good job.Marecic has three receptions for 18 yards and three carries for five yards.Vickers is lead-blocking for RB Arian Foster and RB Ben Tate after doing so for the Browns the past five seasons.
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