“The play time that [McCoy has] gotten has been great,” Mangini said. “The things that he’s shown has been really positive. But we’re always gonna try to play the guys that we think give us the best shot to win on Sunday.”
McCoy’s role in the Browns’ epic 30-17 upset in New Orleans was restricted to managing the offense in adverse circumstances, not turning over the ball and keeping the offense out of negative situations.
McCoy was 9-of-16 for 74 yards. His longest completion was 18 yards to tight end Benjamin Watson. He was sacked one time and did not throw an interception or fumble the ball. His rating was 68.2 — below average, but above that of Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees.
Besides the lack of turnovers, McCoy’s composure was evident. He adjusted to a silent count following a false start on the first play of his first possession. The Browns never jumped again after that.
McCoy never was late getting off a play, never needed to burn a timeout and never came close to a delay penalty. He presided over the 71/2-minute field goal drive in the fourth quarter that kept the ball out of Brees’ hands.
The Browns ran the ball on 12 of the 13 plays of that drive. The other play was a Peyton Hillis throwback to McCoy for 13 yards on third down.
Overall, in his two starts against Pittsburgh and New Orleans, McCoy has completed 65.3 percent (32-of-49) for 355 yards. He has one TD, two interceptions and has been sacked six times. His rating is 76.5. Those numbers are similar to Wallace, who started Games 2-5 after Delhomme’s Game 1 injury. Wallace completed 63 percent (63-of-100) for 693 yards. He had four TDs, two interceptions and was sacked six times. His rating is 88.4.
“I’ve been encouraged by what [McCoy’s] done. I really have,” Mangini said. “I’m happy to see that. The poise he’s shown at two really difficult, loud environments has been great. But there’s a lot of things that he can improve and there’s a long way he needs to continue to come. But what he’s done so far is really encouraging.
“The thing I was most happy with in terms of Colt’s play, he improved in some areas and there’s some areas that is a work in progress. But he was consistent, and he was poised again, and I thought he made some real good decisions in terms of not taking a sack and throwing out of bounds. Those things are positives.”
Mangini said he “may have a chance to get back” Wallace or Delhomme, or both, for the New England game. It’s more likely to be Wallace, who suffered his high ankle sprain in the Oct. 10 Atlanta game.
Delhomme initially suffered his high ankle sprain on Sept. 12 against Tampa Bay and then aggravated it relieving Wallace in the second half of the Atlanta game. In the locker room in New Orleans, Delhomme sounded less than enthused about rushing back into action until the ankle is fully healed.
“I want to be right. I don’t want to be out there hobbling around,” he said.
So what will Mangini do against New England if Wallace is ready? He hesitated to say.
“How healthy is he going to be?” he asked rhetorically. “Is he 100 percent? Is he perfect? There are ranges of injury. He could play, he could be the 2, he could be the 1 at 80 percent. There’s a lot of mitigating factors.”
Not the least of which is what Browns President Mike Holmgren might be thinking. In an interview in Sunday’s Plain Dealer, Holmgren indicated a desire and responsibility to evaluate McCoy to make a conclusion on whether another quarterback needs to be drafted next year. He said he would have a better idea on McCoy “if he were able to play four or five games.”
When the time comes to decide on McCoy’s future playing time, Mangini said he would consult with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and Holmgren.
“I’ll definitely get his input,” Mangini said of his boss. “He’s been through these decisions quite a few times. But it’s got to be at the point where it really is a decision, as opposed to where we’re at now, in terms of a few games under our belt
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