My Morning After Browns Thoughts

By: T.J. Zuppe

Browns Receiver Chanci Stuckey

1. I am not quite sure what has happened to the play calling in the last two games, but I like it. If it was simply the trick plays that have worked to perfection, or how aggressively they have allowed quarterback Colt McCoy to progress, it has been a true pleasure to watch. Part of the reason for the offensive aggression could be McCoy, who has shown his IQ at points in his first two starts. He has been changing plays at the line and seemingly for the better. That is just another example of why he has emerged as the best quarterback on the team.

2. Speaking of Colt McCoy: There is not a doubt, he should be the starter for the rest of the season. At least, that is until he gives you a reason otherwise. Not only does he give the Browns the best chance to win now, but he is constantly building on his future with every snap. Even more impressively, he has passed every eye test imaginable and even though the stats have not been glamorous, he has shown incredible smarts, poise and moxy under center. More importantly, his leadership has shined and he seemingly commands the huddle better than anyone since the return in 1999. Balls were delivered on time and on target, something that has not been a theme in the last decade in Cleveland.

3. With McCoy playing better, several players have become relevant again. Of course, we are speaking of the wide receivers in this offense, most notably Chanci Stuckey (who scored on the Browns version of the Fumblerooskie, the Brownie) and Mohamed Massaquoi. Massaquoi, who has been dubbed a bust already (and maybe rightfully so, given his draft position) had a very big part in the McCoy ball distribution on Sunday against the Patriots. He has four catches for 48 yards, including a big 22-yard reception that got McCoy going early. In the last two weeks with McCoy under center, the second-year receiver has nine receptions for over 100 yards.

Browns Running Back Peyton Hillis

4. Prepare yourself for the most obvious statement ever uttered. The Broncos have to be kicking themselves again and again, for letting running back Peyton Hillis go. Hillis has become the foundation of the now viable Browns offense. He finished with 184 yards on the ground, a career high, and two rushing touchdowns. He also caught three passes, including an incredible grab up the sideline. He finished with 36 yards receiving. He also allowed the play-action pass game to work to perfection. The man is an absolute monster. (Then again, the ladies in Denver think Brady Quinn looks pretty good holding a clipboard, so maybe its a toss up.)

5. Somewhere along the line, the Browns defense has become very solid. The Browns were able to control the line of scrimmage for the majority of the game, allowing the linebackers and secondary to operate to full capacity. Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin deserves a great deal of credit, as he spent a number of plays in the Patriot backfield and was able to wreak havoc. Also impressive were linebacker Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita. On top of that, safety Abe Elam played arguably his best game as a Brown, involved in eight tackles and came up with a big fumble recovery.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

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