Bears 28, Browns 20

Colt McCoy gained confidence. Seneca Wallace stayed cool.

Now that their summer-long competition is over, the two

quarterbacks fighting for one backup job can only sit and wait for

a decision.

Like a pass spiraling down field, it’s out of their hands.

”We’ll see what happens,” Wallace said.

With rookie starter Brandon Weeden on the sideline resting for

his NFL opener, McCoy and Wallace got their final chance to impress

Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur on Thursday night in a 28-20 loss to

the Chicago Bears, who scored two touchdowns off Browns miscues in

the second half to pull away.

While speculation continues over a possible trade, Shurmur, who

has kept a poker face for weeks during the McCoy vs. Wallace duel,

wouldn’t reveal his plans as the Browns prepared to trim their

roster from 75 to the NFL-required, 53-man limit by Friday

night.

McCoy? Wallace.?

”I do know what I want to do,” Shurmur said. ”I’m just not

telling you.”

Josh McCown threw two touchdown passes in the first half as the

Bears (3-1) closed the exhibition season with an impressive win.

Playing the entire game, McCown finished 20 of 29 for 157 yards and

the two TDs. He’ll sit behind starter Jay Cutler and Jason

Campbell, but at least the 33-year-old showed he’s still got

something left.

”To get the feel and rhythm of a whole game felt good,” McCown

said. ”For the most part, we went out and executed well. All I

know is when you take the field and they turn the lights on, you’ve

got to go out and play hard.”

For the Browns (2-2), this was the last act of a backup

quarterback drama that has engulfed training camp.

McCoy, who lost his starting job to Weeden in training camp,

went 2 of 5 for 16 yards and an interception. Wallace completed 3

of 4 attempts for 36 yards and a touchdown. Neither looked

particularly sharp, and it’s not clear if the performances swayed

Shurmur.

”All three quarterbacks played like backups tonight,” said

Shurmur, adding Thad Lewis to the mix. ”I’ll just leave it at

that. I can see a lot of different scenarios.”

Browns general manager Tom Heckert spent more than 30 minutes

before the game speaking to incoming owner Jimmy Haslam III on the

field. It’s safe to assume Cleveland’s final cuts were part of

their conversation and undoubtedly the QB situation was mentioned

as well.

Cleveland has discussed trading McCoy with several teams, but

Shurmur has continually said he’s been impressed with the way his

former starter has handled his demotion and may want to keep him as

insurance should Weeden get hurt.

McCoy felt he did all he could to win a roster spot.

”I wouldn’t say I’m worried,” he said. ”I’ve practiced well.

I’ve improved. I feel confident.”

Wallace can envision both he and McCoy staying around. He also

knows that with a $2.4 million salary – McCoy is set to make

$540,000 – he could get cut.

”This isn’t my first rodeo,” the nine-year veteran said. ”I

felt like I’ve done all I’ve can. Whatever decision is made is

made. Hopefully, I get the opportunity to come back and be here

with this team. We’re doing some good things, bringing a lot of

young talent. I feel like we’re moving in the right

direction.”

Shurmur has more to worry about than naming a backup QB.

Cleveland’s special teams were bad again, and rookie running

back Trent Richardson still hasn’t returned after undergoing knee

surgery on Aug. 9.

Phil Dawson’s 39-yard field goal brought the Browns within 14-10

in the third before the Bears struck quickly.

First, cornerback Greg McCoy picked off Lewis and returned it 15

yards for a TD. Moments later, Bears linebacker Patrick Trahan

shoved Rod Windsor into punter Reggie Hodges, whose kick caromed

off his teammate’s back and Brittan Golden scooped it up and ran 22

yards for the score.

Rookie Adonis Thomas flipped over from the 1 in the fourth to

pull Cleveland within 28-17.

Shurmur rested Weeden for the opener against Philadelphia and he

watched from the sideline as McCoy, who started 13 games last

season before being sidelined with a severe concussion,

struggled.

On McCoy’s first pass, he never took his eyes off Greg Little

and nearly got his wide receiver pummeled. When Cleveland got the

ball back, McCoy threw high to Jordan Norwood and was intercepted

by Chicago backup free safety Jeremy Jones.

On the first play following the turnover, McCown waited for wide

receiver Dane Sanzenbacher to get behind rookie Trevin Wade, and

the Bears’ versatile wide receiver made a diving, one-handed TD

grab. The play stood following an official replay.

”Typical Dane,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said of the former

Ohio State star. ”When we throw him the ball, he makes plays. He’s

a Buckeye, so I know he was looking forward to this game. It’s

always special to come back home.”

Bears running backs Lorenzo Booker (81) and Armando Allen (83)

combined for 164 yards on 31 attempts. They’re competing for a spot

behind Matt Forte and Michael Bush.

”This was a Super Bowl for a bunch of players tonight,” Smith

said. ”Booker and Allen stepped up and made play after play.”

NOTES: Browns rookie LB James-Michael Johnson injured his side

in the first half and did not return. Shurmur said X-rays were

negative. Losing Johnson would be a huge blow since he’s expected

to start if LB Scott Fujita has to serve his 3-game suspension for

his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal. The Browns are already

missing LB Chris Gocong, out for the season with a torn Achilles.

… Booker and NT Brian Price sustained head injuries.

—(equals)

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