SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Wide receiver Josh Cribbs said on Wednesday that the Cleveland Browns passing game is starting to develop under quarterback Colt McCoy. And Cribbs sees McCoy’s mobility as a huge asset to the Browns’ offense.
“He’s very smart,” Cribbs said of his quarterback. “Colt is quite mobile as a pocket passing quarterback. He knows how to move around and make plays. He has that ‘it’ factor. When stuff breaks down, he knows how to make stuff happen with his feet or throwing when running out of the pocket.”
Cornerback Carlos Rogers also sees a potential challenge as the 49ers defense will try to contain McCoy.
“He’s got a young group of receivers that can get open and make plays on the field,” Rogers said. “Especially with Josh (Cribbs) — getting the ball, and getting screens, bubbles. When you got a running game with (Peyton) Hillis in the back, that’s going to help him out a lot.”
Hillis has been nursing a hamstring injury and his status for Sunday is uncertain. The running back was limited in practice on Wednesday but missed all of practice on Thursday afternoon. That could force McCoy to rely heavily on his receivers Cribs, Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi.
“That’s what they’re trying to do with young quarterbacks: trying to get the ball out quick, run the ball and take shots when you can,” Rogers added.
That philosophy has been the staple of the West Coast Offense — a system that the Browns have employed under head coach Pat Shurmur. However, the offense isn’t the same as the one that Bill Walsh established when he coached the 49ers.
“In some ways, they run some of the same routes,” 49ers defensive coordaintor Vic Fangio said. “But the West Coast Offense they claim to run, nobody really runs Bill Walsh’s offense. They use the his nomenclature and his words, but they’re not really running the offense he used to run 100-percent of the time.”
Fangio said that while Brows president Mike Holmgren was with the 49ers, he added his own touch to it. The evolved running game and defensive approaches in the league has forced teams to change up their appraoch to the West Coast Offense.
Even though the 49ers also run the same offense, it’s not necessarily the same as the Browns nor the one the team used 30 years ago. Teams now use the same philosophy and principals but have their own approach to it based on the skill players on the roster.
That will be a challenge for the 49ers defense this Sunday against Cleveland.
- C Jonathan Goodwin was listed on the injury report on Wednesday as having a concussion. He did participate in practice (wearing a “no contact” black jersey) and offensive coordinator Greg Roman said he’s hopeful that Goodwin plays.
“I’m doing all right,” Goodwin told me before he went into the locker room.
- WR Braylon Edwards is listed as day to day and his status for Sunday still remains uncertain.
“He’s moving around well,” Roman said. “He looks like he’s in darn good position, physically.”
- Defensive coordinator said CB Chris Culliver will remain as the team’s third cornerback as Shawntae Spencer hasn’t fully recovered from a hamstring injury and Tramaine Brock just had his cast removed from his left hand this morning.
- Fangio said that there have been several players on the defense that have played nearly every defensive snap this year: CBs Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown, LBs Ahmad Brooks, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman and DEs Justin Smith and Ray McDonald.