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McCoy replaces injured Weeden

Posted Dec 24, 2012

DENVER -- Quarterback Colt McCoy led the Browns on a fourth-quarter touchdown drive after replacing an injured Brandon Weeden.

DENVER -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy had not thrown a regular-season pass since Dec. 8, 2011, when he completed an attempt to running back Montario Hardesty while getting hit in the helmet by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison.

All that changed when Denver linebacker Von Miller sacked quarterback Brandon Weeden and knocked him out of the game with a right shoulder injury in the third quarter of a 34-12 win over Cleveland. In Weeden’s place, McCoy completed nine of 17 attempts for 79 yards with a touchdown.

When McCoy entered the game, the Browns were down, 21-6.

“I was excited to get out there,” McCoy said. “We hope, as a team, Brandon’s okay. You never want to see anyone go down. We were pretty far behind at that point when I got in, so I assumed we would start throwing the ball. It took a couple series (to) get used to the pocket. I hadn’t had any reps, hadn’t sat back there in a while, so getting a feel for how those guys we’re playing, I maybe missed a couple throws early.

“I was glad we got to throw the ball around. It was the first time I’ve really thrown with these guys since I don’t know when, never in a game. I thought those guys did a great job. There were a couple times where we were off a little bit just because I couldn’t get a feel for them exactly, but in a situation like that, it’s a really tough spot to be in. When they’re blitzing you, they’re coming after you and we’re on a silent count and it’s hard to change some things. You just try and handle it the best you can.”

In the fourth quarter, McCoy engineered a 10-play, 80-yard drive that he capped off with a six-yard touchdown pass to second-year wide receiver Greg Little. Little caught a pass on the left side of the field that was short of the end zone, but extended his arms to get the ball across the goal line for the score. It was Little’s third touchdown of the year and McCoy’s first of the season.

“That’s a play we’ve been running when we were in the red zone,” McCoy said. “If you get the right coverage, you might have a chance. I know he broke before the end zone, but he stuck the ball over. I like Greg as a big body down in the red zone.”

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said that McCoy “went in there and battled,” despite facing a Denver pass rush that sacked him four times. McCoy was sacked on his first play from scrimmage, as well as twice more on the Browns’ final drive before the Broncos ran out the clock with a kneel down.

For McCoy, he started to settle into a rhythm when he found rookie wide receiver Travis Benjamin with three passes for 46 yards, including a team-high 21-yard reception.

“We have a lot of new faces, a lot of new guys running routes that are very good athletes, very good route runners,” McCoy said. “They create some plays in our offense and I was excited to get out there and throw to them. I spend a little bit of time with those guys when I can, maybe one day a week. They’re tired after practice, but throwing some timing routes and things I want to keep a rhythm with and we hit a few of those today. Overall, in a situation like that, you just have to go out and make the most of what we have.

“Benjamin runs a few routes in scout teams, but give the credit to those guys. I’m a new guy coming in. I hadn’t really thrown to Travis or Josh Gordon. Greg is playing a new position than he did last year, so that’s really my first time to get in there and create a rhythm with those guys.”

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