BEREA – Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy took another step toward starting his first game Sunday in Pittsburgh with a solid practice Wednesday.
“He got the bulk of the reps and I thought that he did a really nice job,” coach Eric Mangini said Thursday morning. “I thought for his first opportunity to be in that position he operated the offense well both mechanically in terms of the reads and the things that he has to do in that role.”
Mangini said Wednesday he was “leaning” toward giving McCoy the start against the Steelers.
“I’d say that the lean is more pronounced today,” he said. “I was really happy with what he did yesterday.”
Veterans Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace missed practice again with ankle injuries and aren’t expected to play, although Mangini hasn’t ruled them out. Wallace stopped by the locker room with his lower right leg in a walking boot.
He said he felt a “pop” Sunday when Falcons defensive end John Abraham sacked him. He said this is his first high ankle sprain and doesn’t know when he’ll be able to return.
“I’m rehabbing every day,” Wallace said. “I’m here early, so hopefully I’m back real, real soon.”
The Browns also have issues at running back. Peyton Hillis missed his second straight practice with a quadriceps injury, although Mangini keeps saying he believes he’ll play Sunday.
The Browns officially announced the trade of running back Jerome Harrison to Philadelphia for running back Mike Bell. Mangini said Hillis’ emergence reduced Harrison’s role with the team. He also said Bell’s physical style is a better complement to Hillis.
“I thought that was a good fit for us,” Mangini said.
Harrison had been upset with a lack of carries, but Mangini said that didn’t play a role in the move.
“No, no role at all,” he said. “If anybody’s ever dissatisfied with either their role or their situation, you always have the chance to talk to me about that and sit down. That’s ongoing and we hadn’t had that conversation, so my assumption is that he understood his role.
“This decision and any of these decisions are going to be made based on what we think is going to help us move forward as a team as opposed to that side of it.”
Defensive linemen Robaire Smith (back) and Shaun Rogers (elbow), center Alex Mack (shoulder), right guard Floyd Womack (knee), right tackle John St. Clair (ankle), tight end Robert Royal (shoulder) and special teamer Nick Sorensen (calf) missed practice again.
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