BEREA - The Browns are light years away from running the West Coast offense like it was run in San Francisco with Joe Montana and Steve Young at quarterback for the 49ers, but maybe there's light at the end of the tunnel.
Coaches have to look for the smallest of positives after any win. The 14-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars gave Browns coach Pat Shurmur the opportunity to feel better about the offense before facing a brutal stretch of five games in six weeks against AFC North Division opponents.
Quarterback Colt McCoy, always an optimist, talked after the game about the small margin for error the offense has each week. Minus playmakers in the backfield and at the receiver spots, the Browns don't have the luxury of easily overcoming mistakes.
"We turn the ball over, our chances of winning go way down," McCoy said. "Thus far we haven't been good enough when we make mistakes; when we turn the ball over to respond and answer back, and today we did."
McCoy made what potentially could have been a critical mistake when he had a pass intercepted by Dawan Landry at the Jaguars' 3 in the third quarter. Earlier on the drive Shurmur took a 40-yard field goal by Phil Dawson off the scoreboard because of a leaping penalty against Jacksonville that gave the Browns a first down.
McCoy shook off the interception and what appeared to be an injury to his right arm or shoulder and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Josh Cribbs in the fourth quarter.
"The important thing is that during the course of the game the quarterback is going to have a bad play or two," Shurmur said. "Those are the ones we tend to focus on. When it happens in a game and there's a lot of game left to play, how does he respond? I thought he responded well."
McCoy, who's been criticized for a lack of accuracy, completed 78.3 percent of his passes (17 of 24) for 199 yards, one touchdown and one interception. For one week it looked as if McCoy was more comfortable with his teammates.
"They're getting more and more comfortable with each other," Shurmur said. "I think we had a good week of practice. You like to think that's going to help our performance."
The brightest star for the offense was running back Chris Ogbonnaya, who had the first 100-yard rushing day (115 on 21 carries) of his career. His presence has made the losses of Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty to injuries easier to handle.
"You play your best players, and the guys that have produced you put them on the field," Shurmur said. "Chris has been very productive. He's done things for our team that will warrant him playing, at least some, when the other guys come back. That's a good problem to have."
Shurmur was pleased with two drives of 80-plus yards. The first covered 87 yards and produced a 1-yard touchdown run by Ogbonnaya. Cribbs' touchdown reception was the final play of an 85-yard drive.
"Long drives are to be commended," Shurmur said. "Let's not forget, though, that this game is about scoring. What it does is it says there were a lot of players doing a lot of things right."
STEPPING UP: Emmanuel Stephens has been rewarded for his improving play by nudging out Jayme Mitchell as the starting defensive left end. Shurmur liked what he saw of Stephens against the St. Louis Rams, and he gave Stephens a start against the Jaguars.
INJURY REPORT: Hillis (hamstring) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hardesty (calf) will be evaluated as the week progresses. Fullback Owen Marecic suffered a concussion. Linebacker Quinton Spears suffered what Shurmur called a significant hamstring injury. Safety T.J. Ward has been ruled out with a foot injury.
TIME CHANGE: The starting time for a home game Dec. 4 against the Baltimore Ravens has been changed from 1 to 4:05 p.m. as a result of the NFL's flex scheduling.