Browns Week 1 preseason observations

August, 13, 2011
8/13/11
10:52
PM ET
CLEVELAND -- The Pat Shurmur era began for the Cleveland Browns Saturday night with a 27-17 preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers.

Here are some observations:

The Good
  • Browns quarterback Colt McCoy was sharp. He led two touchdown drives for the first-team offense in the first half. McCoy made several nice throws, including a rope over the middle to tight end Benjamin Watson and a 27-yard touchdown pass to receiver Josh Cribbs. This was a very good start for McCoy's 2011 season. He finished 9 of 10 for 135 yards and a touchdown. "I thought he was pretty sharp," Shurmur said of McCoy. "He executed well. He was pretty efficient with his throws."
  • Cleveland's pass rush looked improved. Defensive ends Jayme Mitchell and Marcus Benard were among the Browns who recorded sacks. Cleveland had five sacks total. Brian Smith's sack and forced fumble in the third quarter also led to a 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown by linebacker Titus Brown.
  • Overall, it was a solid coaching debut for Shurmur. The offensive play-calling made sense and gave that side of the ball confidence. The Browns also came out with energy and effort, which is what you look for this time of year. These are good things the Browns can build on in the preseason.
The Bad
  • Cleveland's first-team defense still needs work. The Browns drew a tough assignment with Green Bay's offense. They held the Packers to a three-and-out on the opening drive. But Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers got hot and led a seven-play, 73-yard drive on his second try. Cleveland's second-team defense also gave up 10 points in the second quarter against Green Bay's second-team offense.
  • Browns backup quarterback Seneca Wallace was inconsistent. He threw for 99 yards, one interception and had a 55.8 passer rating. Wallace is a nine-year veteran and knows this West Coast offense well. He also went against Green Bay's backups Saturday night and didn't have his best game.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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