Weeden healthy but no surprise Hoyer remains Browns starter
BEREA, Ohio -- After Brian Hoyer led the Browns to back-to-back wins, Rob Chudzinski wasted no time naming him the starter for Thursday's nationally televised game with the Bills.
"Brian Hoyer will start again for us this week," Chudzinski said. "He played well again (Sunday) and for the past two weeks, obviously we've been able to win those games and with a short week we'll be ready to play Thursday."
Hoyer was 25 for 38 passing for 269 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions and a rating of 103.9.
"I think he improved from the week before," Chudzinski said. "His decisions were good. I know, just from talking him this morning, there were a few throws he would've liked to have made better, but he's been able to manage the drives. You look at the drives, we've had some long drives that we were able to string together and the things he did on third down, the decisions he was making. I think the guys are rallying around him."
Chudzinski admitted that Hoyer is is gaining the confidence of the team.
"I think the first thing is, he's doing his job," he said. "That's where all that starts and you get the credibility to do that and he's a fiery guy. I think our whole team was that way about that game (Sunday). Our fans were awesome. It was loud and the guys were really excited about playing in front of them and I think Brian typified that."
Chudzinski re-iterated that Hoyer's performance in the final preseason game gave him the confidence to bypass Jason Campbell when the team needed a starter two weeks ago with Brandon Weeden injured.
"Going back, like I had mentioned before, going back to the fourth preseason game in Chicago, you could see glimpses of that and he has a way of making plays," he said. "He's done a good job with the opportunity and he continues to get better."
Chudzinski said Hoyer is doing everything he needs to do to keep the starting job.
"It starts with their approach," he said. "I always believed that quarterbacks always have to be the first in the building and the last guy out and then their teammates see that and set the example and lead by example. Ultimately, it comes down to production and winning games."
Weeden has been cleared from his sprained thumb injury, but Chudzinski didn't name him the backup to Hoyer for Thursday's game.
"(Weeden) is healthy," Chudzinski said. "He's been cleared, but obviously we don't have a whole lot of practice opportunities. We only have one full speed practice before (the game). Again, you look at Brian and what he is able to do, as well.
"We'll work (Weeden) back into practice and see where he's at."
Chudzinski stopped short of naming the Hoyer as the starter for the rest of the season.
"We'll take it week to week."
-- The Browns defense didn't give up a touchdown against the Bengals and limited the Bengals to under 100 yards rushing. The Bengals had just 63 yards on 20 carries for a 3.2 average, and the Browns as a defense is allowing just 79 yards a game on the ground. "They really, really have played well," Chudzinski said. "I can't be more pleased with our defense."
The defensive backs limited WR A.J. Green to just 51 yards on seven receptions while WR Mohamed Sanu had just three catches for 19 yards.
"You look at the secondary, as a whole, that was the best game that they've played to date this season," Chudzinski said. "We just continue to get better and better in that area."
-- RB Willis McGahee had 46 yards on 15 carries in the game, but he came up big on the Browns final touchdown drive. He had six carries for 33 yards on the drive, including a 9-yard run that gave the Browns a first down at the one.
"At the end of the game, for him to get in there he really ran hard," Chudzinski said. "Obviously, he's a physical guy who hits it up in there. He was big on that drive. I've mentioned before, not just from his as a player, but also the leadership he's bringing and the attitude he is bringing to the offense and to our team, I think is really helped our guys."
Chudzinski likes the confidence that McGahee brings to the Browns.
"He brings some of that swagger to us."
-- Chudzinski said there are challenges in all areas to turn around and play on Thursday after playing on Sunday.
"Obviously, the preparation in getting to work on the opponent with limited reps and from a coaching standpoint putting together a game plan in a short time – there are a lot of challenges, but we're excited for the opportunity to play on a Thursday night."
-- Chudzinski said the Browns came out of the win over the Bengals with no new injuries. He did not have any updates on LB Jabaal Sheard (knee), DL Billy Winn (calf) or OL Shawn Lauvao, who were all held out of the game.