Browns stun Patriots as McCoy stakes his claim

Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy celebrates a touchdown in the second quarter of a game against the New England Patriots on November 07, 2010 in Cleveland. UPI / David Richard Photo via Newscom

Colt McCoy has stakes his claim to the quarterback job for the Browns. The fans know, Mike Holmgren knows it, and Eric Mangini better know it. We’ll hear all kinds of BS as Miangini leaves the door open for Seneca Wallace or Jake Delhomme to return, but this is McCoy’s job. Period.

Despite the tortured history of Browns football over the past 10 years, we have seem some excellent performances by quarterbacks, only to see reality set in over time. So McCoy still needs to prove himself over time, but he’s certainly earned the opportunity to play out the season.

Mangini and his staff deserve a ton of credit for turning this team around. Let’s hope it continues, and I’m pretty confident they’re ready to ride this colt.

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Peyton Hillis and his impact on the power running game and the passing game

CLEVELAND - AUGUST 21:  Peyton Hillis  of the Cleveland Browns runs the ball through the St. Louis Rams defense at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 21, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

We saw some sloppy play the other night when the Cleveland Browns faced the St. Louis Rams, but we also saw more good signs heading into the new season.

It was a joy watching Peyton Hillis play. He’s the kind of blue-collar player that can make this team more physical so we get back to Browns football. He’s a tough runner who is hard to bring down, and he showed that on Saturday night as he punished the Rams in the running game. On one play it took practically the entire defense to bring him to a stop, and they were lucky the refs blew the whistle as Hillis broke free again at the end of the run.

Hillis is also an excellent receiver, which gives the Browns more options in the passing game. We know Jerome Harrison can be explosive catching the ball out of the backfield, and we’re seeing that Hillis can be very effective as well. This can be a huge plus in games when the Browns are facing a tough pass rush. Hillis is a big back who can help on pass protection in games where Harrison is having trouble picking up blitzes.

Finally, we haven’t even seen Montario Hardesty yet. With Hillis, Harrison, and then Lawrence Vickers opening up holes, the running backs suddenly look like a strength on this team.

Here’s another photo of Hillis. It will be nice to see him pounding the Steelers and Ravens defenses.

CLEVELAND - AUGUST 21: Peyton Hillis  of the Cleveland Browns celebrates with Robert Royal  after a run against the St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 21, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)