BEREA, Ohio -- Although Colt McCoy shines in the shotgun and no-huddle, Browns coach Pat Shurmur is determined that his quarterback learns to play well under center this season so he can run the West Coast offense most effectively.
"In our offense we have plays under center and then we have plays in the shotgun," said Shurmur on Wednesday. "He does both. I think it's important that you'd be able to execute under center as well as you do in the shotgun. ... He's obviously more comfortable in the shotgun because that's what he's done has done his whole life."
McCoy, who became the NCAA's all-time winningest quarterback at Texas, knows it's vital for him to keep honing his under-center skills.
"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "I feel like I've gotten a lot better playing underneath the center, a lot more comfortable from week one to now. It's night and day. I can imagine what it's going to be from now until the end of the season.
"I agree with [Shurmur]. I think you've got to play underneath the center. I think it helps the West Coast, I think it helps in the run game, I think it helps the timing of things we're trying to do. But I think playing in the gun at times, too, is OK."
McCoy said playing under center -- even though his bright spots this season have come in the two-minute drill -- is part of the growth process in the new scheme.
"I think that's just how they've done it from the very beginning," he said. "You go back and watch tape from [Joe] Montana, [Jerry] Rice and tcheap nhl jerseyshose guys, go back and watch them when they first started. That's just how we learn it, that's how we go."
The Browns used the no-huddle sporadically in San Francisco, and drove downfield in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half to set up a field goal. It was the offense's first sign of a pulse that day. So why not try it earlier in the first quarter -- during which the Browns have been outscored, 44-3, this season?
"We're doing what we're coached to do, and we believe in what we do," said McCoy. "In the two-minute drive, that's the situation where you've got to throw it downfield and we've made plays. So we just have to continue to work and it's an everyday thing."
McCoy, who's 24th in the NFL with a 76.4 rating, has blocked out the naysayers.
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"You start listening to it and thinking about it, it's just going to bring you down," he said. "My focus is doing my best for the guys in here. These guys work so hard, I work so hard, these coaches work so hard, it's going to be real sweet when we turn this thing around.
"Right now we're going through the growing pains. We're going to continue to improve and get better."
Robiskie signs with Jags: Former Browns receiver Brian Robiskie was awarded on waivers Wednesday to the Jaguars, who placed receiver Mike Sims-Walker on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Shurmur was asked why Robiskie never panned out here.
"I don't know," he said. "He competed with the other receivers and I felt like he was given his opportunities to play and again, you just make decisions. I like Brian. I have a great deal of respect for him. He's an NFL receiver so we're hopeful he has a place to go."
Injury roundup: Receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, who missed last week's game with his concussion, sat out Wednesday's practice and his status remains uncertain. If he can't play, Josh Cribbs will most likely start in Houston.
Dimitri Patterson, the starting nickelback, sat out with his knee injury. Rookie Buster Skrine would replace him. Defensive tackle Auston English (knee) is not expected to play Sunday. Defensive back Ray Ventrone (hamstring) was idle. Four Browns were limited in practice: linebacker Chris Gocong (shoulder), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (knee), right tackle Tony Pashos (ankle) and safety T.J. Ward (knee).
Texans' Johnson still ailing: Houston's five-time Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson sat out Wednesday with his surgically-repaired hamstring and is in jeopardy of missing his fifth straight game, which would be a huge break for the Browns.
"A guy like that, every year when he's healthy, he's one of the top two receivers in the league," said linebacker Scott Fujita. "A guy like that can stretcCheap NFL Jerseysh the field. He can go up and catch the big ball. He's also great after the catch. He's big, he's strong, he's hard to tackle. ... I put him and [Detroit's] Calvin Johnson at the top of the list."
But Fujita expressed full confidence in cornerback Joe Haden.
"Joe right now is playing about as good as any corner in the league," said Fujita. "He's approaching that shutdown corner status and he's obviously got a bright future -- just his ball skills, his explosiveness, his leaping ability, the whole deal. He's got it all."
Subbing for Pashos: Offensive lineman Artis Hicks, who's recovered from his back spasms, spent time with the first team at right tackle because Pashos was limited.
"That's something I do every week," he said. "It's a position I played before and it's always a work in progress. Being that I'm a guy that might be called upon to play any of the four [positions], I have to work my craft at all four."http://b4k14.yours.tv/t71-topic