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John DeFilippo taking 'no holds barred' approach to game plan vs. Ravens

The key piece to John DeFilippo's initial game plan for the Ravens was removed Tuesday when Johnny Manziel was moved down the depth chart and replaced by Josh McCown.

That it's a veteran such as McCown who has played a lot of football for the Browns and beyond filling the void left the Browns offensive coordinator in a comfortable spot that won't affect much from his perspective when Cleveland kicks off Monday night against Baltimore.

"We know what Josh does well. It is not like we are saying our No. 2 quarterback at the time, which Josh was, and we don't know what he can do and we haven't played with him," DeFilippo said before Friday's practice. "We are in a situation where Josh has played a lot of football for us. We are confident we know what Josh can do."

There's reason to be confident with McCown under center, particularly against AFC North rival Baltimore on a national stage. The last time McCown faced the Ravens' defense, he set multiple franchise records in a performance that saw him throw for 457 yards -- nearly 300 of which coming in the second half and overtime -- in Cleveland's 33-30, Week 5 victory in Baltimore.

McCown hasn't put up numbers like those in the games since Cleveland's last win, but he's been a steady piece in an offense that has relied heavily on the pass. He'll be making his first appearance Monday in 29 days, as he missed the previous two games with painful and rib and shoulder injuries that dated back to late October.

All indications are McCown's close to as healthy as he was the last time he faced the Ravens, and that's why DeFilippo isn't shying away from anything in his game plan.

"We are going in with a no-holds barred mentality," DeFilippo said. "We are going to try to attack this defense like we try to attack defenses every week. I am not going to hold anything back – I think he is healthy and ready to roll."

The injuries that concern DeFilippo a little more are to the two wide receivers who had a major impact on that victory in Baltimore.

Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel remain in the league's concussion protocol after suffering their respective injuries Nov. 15, against the Steelers. They combined to account for 11 receptions and 124 yards against the Ravens in Week 5, making a number of pivotal catches during the Browns' rally from an 11-point deficit.

If neither can play, it will mark the second time in the past three games Cleveland will be without two of its top wide receivers.

"They have gotten the ball a lot this year," DeFilippo said. "What they do doesn't show up on the stat sheet a lot in terms of the blocking part of it. In terms of even when they don't get the football they are in the right position. To lose guys who have played a lot of football for you, it is difficult. It is. I am not going to sit here and say it is not.

"At the same time we are confident that the guys we have that are going to play on Monday are going to be out there and do the right thing and be in the right spot."

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