CINCINNATI - Bruce Arians said that he hasn't been told if he will be asked back to serve as the Browns offensive coordinator in 2004.
If he isn't back, he doesn't think he will be considered a scapegoat for the offense's struggles this season.
"It's a performance business," Arians said. "We don't speak about it. We'll go in and evaluate it. I can look at myself in the mirror and whatever happens, happens. I'm ready to go. I love this job, and I love the organization. I want to be a part of it."
Arians saw the 186-yard rushing performance by Lee Suggs against Cincinnati and thought about what it would have been like to have had that type of ground game all season.
"When you can run the football and then convert third downs, anybody can play quarterback," Arians said. "When we were good last year down the stretch, it was (because of) good rushing every day. It wasn't all in the hands of the quarterback."
Offensive tackle Ryan Tucker is one player that would like to see Arians back in 2004.
"As far as I'm concerned, BA shouldn't go anywhere," Tucker
said. "We starting to get a feel for what he does. I know Lee Suggs is getting a
feel for what he does."
CUTCH READY FOR ANYTHING: Cornerback Daylon McCutcheon thinks he played well enough to be asked back next season. McCutcheon is due a $1.3 million roster bonus in March,
"I don't know how many games I've played hurt for this organization," McCutcheon said. "They have to understand that if there's any way I can be on the football field, I'm going to be out there. If they don't see that, then it would be real disappointing.
"I'm ready for anything. Those guys that were cut last year
were shocked. I'm going to go home and enjoy my offseason and let my agent
SUGGS SETS STANDARDS: The Browns rushed for 188 yards in the first half, surpassing the previous single-game high this season of 171 against Oakland.
Running back Lee Suggs rushed 78 yards for a touchdown in the first half. The run was the longest by a Brown since Jim Brown ran 80 yards for a touchdown Sept. 15, 1963 against Washington.
The longest run in Browns' history was 90 yards by Bobby Mitchell in 1959. The run occurred against the Redskins.
BODDEN GETS TESTED: Rookie cornerback Leigh Bodden played well in covering Bengals Pro Bowl receiver Chad Johnson, who had 86 catches for 1,326 yards entering the game. Johnson, who left the game for a short time for an IV in the second half, was limited to four receptions for 29 yards.
"As soon as I got into the game I knew they were going to try
to come at me," Bodden said.
BIG MONEY, BIG TALK: Defensive tackle Gerard Warren had a talk with a few members of the offense prior to pre-game introductions.
"I just told them, 'We need a little help guys. We have to run
the ball to control the clock,' " Warren said. "It was the first time I've
talked to the offense all year, but don't put that on me. Those guys were
determined to come out and finish strong this season."
HOLCOMB STILL HOPEFUL: Quarterback Kelly Holcomb remains confident that he can be an effective starter, but it appears Tim Couch might get the call next season.
"I'll cross that road when it gets here," Holcomb said. "My
goal ultimate goal is playing, and I got a little taste of that this year. I
haven't lost confidence in what I do."
INJURY REPORT: Linebacker Ben Taylor suffered a laceration to his right arm in the third quarter but was able to return. The cut wasn't in the area of the right elbow where he suffered a staph infection last month. Cornerback Michael Lehan sprained a shoulder in the second half. He wasn't able to return.
INACTIVES: Inactive for the Browns were kicker-punter Derrick Frost; quarterback Nate Hybl; defensive back Anthony Henry; linebacker Mason Unck; offensive linemen Paul Zukauskas and Scot Osborne; receiver C.J. Jones and defensive lineman Felipe Claybrooks.