Colt Ready to Fire

While Eric Mangini will not come out and say Colt McCoy is starting Sunday in Pittsburgh, he had positives things to say about the rookie's progression in practice this week at Friday's press conference.

BEREA, Ohio According to Eric Mangini, Colt McCoy looked good in his first two practices with the first team.

"Colt got the bulk of the reps and I thought he did a really nice job," he said. "He operated the offense well mechanically, and in terms of reads. Brett (Ratliff) got some work there, too. (McCoy) seemed really comfortable behind center in that role. That's probably what he is used to from his days in college."

Mangini was asked Thursday and Friday he is announcing McCoy as the starter. Even though Mangini praised McCoy, he hedged his bets in not officially announcing him as the starter.

"We'll go through (Friday), but I like what I've seen," Mangini said. "I would say the leaning is more pronounced. What happens Friday, is he gets the bulk of the install and be able to execute the new stuff. It's a little different for him in that regard. He's been much more limited prior to this week. We want to see the progression."

Mangini said McCoy seems to have taken on the leadership role, despite going from third string to starter.

"I don't know if it's as much a change in him, but an opportunity for him to be out in front and he's done well with that," Mangini said prior to Friday's practice. "It's not so much a change in him, but it's a different situation for him."

Wallace was in the locker room in a walking boot and limping. He doesn't look as though he would be ready by Sunday. He confirmed he has a high ankle sprain. Delhomme was not seen in the locker room.

"I keep (the boot on) walking around," Wallace said. "I get in here early and I'm hopeful (on playing). I don't know. I will continue to rehab and see how it is Friday."

Mangini, as expected, was evasive about the status of Delhomme and Wallace. He was asked if he'd rule either or both out of Sunday's game.

"I'm not going to officially rule them out," he said. "We'll go as deep as we can."


Injury Update: Other than Delhomme and Wallace, the only other player to not practice Friday was John St. Clair and, possibly Robaire Smith.

Hillis Back: With the trade of RB Jerome Harrison, it is more apparent the focal point of the rushing game will be RB Peyton HIllis. He has missed practice until Friday with a thigh injury. Hillis was practicing and expected to play on Sunday, as is newly acquired RB Mike Bell.

"We'll have some packages for (Bell)," Mangini said.

Mangini said he expects the Browns to get their running game back on track.

"My assumptions are we are going to be solid in the running game every week," he said. "It has to be well coordinated every week to be effective."

O-Line Shuffle: Four of the five listed starters on the offensive line were listed on the injury report with three being doubtful on Wednesday. However, all but St. Clair have been playing. Floyd Womack, Alex Mack and Joe Thomas were back Friday.

Rookie Shawn Lauvao is not on the injury report for the first time and Mangini said he is progressing well.

"I thought Shawn did a good job with the reps he got," Mangini said.

Lauvao is working at guard in place of Womack and center in place of Mack.

"Billy Yates and Steve Vallos also did a good job," Mangini said. "Steve is getting better and more accustomed as the season goes along. Billy can play any of those spots. Steve took a lot of reps at center. Shawn took some there. Shawn is getting more and more work in there."

Mangini was asked about Mack after missing most of practice last week and playing against Atlanta with an injured shoulder.

"I thought Alex did a good job he did well considering his limitations during the week," he said.

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