CLEVELAND - Cornerback Corey Fuller came to the defense of quarterback Tim Couch after the Browns' 24-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Fuller was critical of fans that cheered when Couch suffered a mild concussion Oct. 6 against Baltimore. Couch broke into tears as he lashed out at his critics after the loss to the Ravens.
"I want to say this to all of our fans," Fuller said. "Nothing against (Kelly) Holcomb, but you should be careful for what you wish for sometimes. They were out there booing Tim Couch, but he didn't look so bad, did he?
"I respect both of them, but Tim Couch is a franchise player. When the game is on the line, the guy comes up and makes plays."
Couch suffered a fracture of his right fibula on the first play of the second quarter. He remained on the field for one more play but was unable to continue.
It's the third time this season that Holcomb has replaced Couch. Holcomb started the first two games while Couch recovered from an elbow injury suffered in a preseason game against Green Bay. Holcomb entered after Couch suffered the concussion against the Ravens.
Kevin Johnson agreed with Fuller.
"It's not easy at all, and Kelly will be the first one to tell you," Johnson said. "Sometimes you see Couch making mistakes out there, and guys are ready to hang him. That's not a position you can really be critical of because it's very hard back there when you have all the pressure and everything on your shoulders."
THANKFUL COACH: Butch Davis had nothing bad to say about the fans. He singled out their efforts for turning up the noise level.
"I want to thank those legendary Browns' fans," Davis said. "This was a playoff atmosphere, and those people made a difference. You need that encouragement. You need the fans screaming and making it difficult for the other team. It gives you that added incentive to play."
"All those people that busted the offensive linemen all year obviously don't know what they're talking about," Verba said. "The offensive linemen are the grunt men. We do all the dirty work. We haven't blocked differently all year long than we did today.
"It's all on Willie, and that's why he deserves all the credit. When he doesn't run good, he knows what to do to get better. When he does run good, we give it all to him. All we can do is block our guy for a second."
LONG DISTANCE: Green had a 64-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. It's the longest run by a Brown since Mike Pruitt went 77 yards in 1979.
IT'S ALL EVEN: The win gives Davis a 16-16 record in two seasons as coach. The Browns are 8-4 this season and 14-5 overall when they score 20-plus points. The Browns are also 3-1 this season when they have a 100-yard rusher.
FINALLY: The last time the Browns won their regular-season finale was in 1994 when they defeated Seattle, 35-9… The nine wins are the most since the 1994 team posted an 11-5 record… The Browns scored 344 points, the most since the 1987 team tallied 390.