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On the Beat: 5 questions on the Browns

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  November 6, 2010 06:08 PM

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Cleveland - For our peek behind enemy lines with Cleveland Browns, this week we check in with the esteemed Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

1. So QB Colt McCoy good now? When last I saw him against the Packers in an exhibition game, he was, um, a work in progress.

Cabot:In preseason, Colt McCoy never got any work with the first-teamers. He was mostly throwing to guys who aren't in the NFL anymore. They were really focusing on Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme. But the ultra-competitive McCoy spent all of that time preparing as a starter and working harder than anyone behind the scenes.

2. Who is the one Browns player most Patriots fans don't know right now, but will by the end of the game on Sunday?

Cabot: The Patriots will be well-acquainted with running back Peyton Hillis by the end of the game. He leads the Browns with 104 carries for 460 yards and five touchdowns. He's also second on the team with 27 catches for 193 yards and a TD. Mike Shanahan said he had the best hands on the Broncos when he was a rookie there in 2008. Fans might see him leaping over a defender, and will most likely watch him drag a few for some extra yards. A tremendous pickup for the Browns in the Brady Quinn trade.

3. What's the biggest weakness on the Browns' offense you expect the Patriots to try to exploit?

Cabot: The Browns biggest offensive weakness is their receiving corps. The players who were expected to be their No. 1 and No. 2 receivers this season -- Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie -- have 17 catches between them, nine for Massaquoi and eight for Robiskie. The Browns have had to find alternatives in the passing game, relying on tight end Ben Watson (leads the team with 30 catches) and using tight end Evan Moore at receiver at times.

4. What's the biggest weakness on the Browns' defense you expect the Patriots to try to exploit?

Cabot: The Patriots might try to exploit cornerback Eric Wright, who's given up five touchdown passes this season, including three to Baltimore's Anquan Boldin. The Browns have been vocal about saying they need to Wright to step up and be the consistent player he was last year.

5. Finally, Browns win on Sunday if...

Cabot: Colt McCoy can stay away from interceptions and if the Browns can find some trick plays that will work against the Patriots the way they did against the Saints last week.


Thanks so much to Mary Kay for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this for us. Make sure you read the Plain Dealer's coverage from her and Tony Grossi. It's always unique. And catch Mary Kay on Twitter at @MaryKayCabot.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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