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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
PFW Browns correspondent Tony Grossi, the Browns' beat writer for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, recently took time out to answer five questions about the club entering the bye week.
1. Where does the upset of New Orleans stack up with other unexpected victories in team history?
Grossi: It's the third year in a row the Browns have defeated the reigning Super Bowl champions. Each was a big upset, but this one exceeded those because it occurred on the road. As far as team history, I would put the win in New Orleans somewhere in the top 10 of upset specials.
2. Assess Colt McCoy's play in his two starts.
Grossi: He's displayed immeasurable poise and composure in two extremely hostile environments against two pressure defenses. Now, he hasn't made a lot of plays, but he managed the game extremely well in New Orleans and did not unravel in Pittsburgh. He has exceeded expectations. The next step is to make some plays when the team needs them.
3. How can Eric Mangini manage the situation at quarterback without it becoming a dreaded "QB controversy?"
Grossi: That may be impossible. There are so many variables. If Jake Delhomme were healthy, it would be easy to return him to the starting role. But if it's Seneca Wallace, does playing him outweigh the benefits of seeing and evaluating Colt McCoy over the duration of the season? I believe what will happen is Wallace will be reinserted, but McCoy will finish the season in the driver's seat.
4. There has been a lot of praise for Rob Ryan's defensive game plan against the Saints, and Brad Seely's special-teams units have had a very good season. What's your take on coordinator Brian Daboll's work with the offense to date?
Grossi: The Browns' offense has not been able to develop a competent outside passing game. That may be due to the lack of talent at wide receiver and the instability at quarterback because of injuries. There is no rhythm and no apparent logic in the passing game.
5. At this time a year ago, the Browns were 1-6 and preparing for a game at Chicago. How much different is the mood around the team now than it was then?
Grossi: The mood is 180 degrees different. That 1-6 team had several players on it still not comfortable with Mangini and was not competitive in numerous losses. This team plays hard to the end and has been competitive in every game.
Tony Grossi's work can be found in The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (Cleveland.com/browns). He can be followed on Twitter @TonyGrossi.