Cleveland Browns: Colt McCoy To Start Against Cincinnati Bengals

Joe HunleyContributor IDecember 16, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 21:  Colt McCoy #12  of the Cleveland Browns warms up during a game agaisnt the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 21, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Known for being elusive when questioned about who will be the starting quarterback in the upcoming game, Cleveland Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini has strayed from his code of silence.

Resisting the urge to keep the media, opposing team and Browns fans guessing who, in this quarterback carousel, will start against the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday, Mangini has spoken, and it's only Thursday.

The Browns' rookie quarterback Colt McCoy will start his sixth game of the season against the Bengals.

McCoy participated in full practice Wednesday, and was reported to have taken a decent amount of repetitions, showing no signs that his ankle was limiting his production. Mangini, when questioned earlier this week about McCoy not being able to start against the Bengals, was quick to state that Jake Delhomme would start if McCoy was not ready.

After witnessing the dismal performance of Delhomme last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, McCoy starting against the Bengals is welcome news. McCoy has quickly bridled the hearts of Browns fans thirsting for something to cheer about, yet there are other reasons to start him.

McCoy adds another weapon to a lackluster offense. His ability to scramble buys time for his receivers to get open, and leaves the option for McCoy to run the ball, possibly turning an otherwise failed play into a possible gain.

McCoy has proven to be effective at hitting receivers while being flushed from the pocket. In the few games that McCoy has played, these traits have been noticeable. Whether they will continue can only be answered with more playing time.

Can the kid from Texas perform in the cold, windy and unpredictable weather associated with Cleveland in December and January?

The final two games of the season will be at Cleveland Browns Stadium, against the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Aside from possibly answering any questions regarding his ability to play in adverse conditions, McCoy will have the chance to show how he can perform against two highly-ranked defenses.

Can McCoy save Mangini's job?

The discussion on whether or not it is time to fire the head coach always arises when a team is not performing well by some peoples' standards. After the loss to Buffalo, the subject of firing Mangini has become a daily debate, with numerous sportswriters offering their opinions.

If McCoy does start the remaining three games, and the Browns come away with three wins, does this save Mangini's job, provided that his job is truly in jeopardy?

Could Mangini be given another year as coach, provided the Browns play competitive football in the final three games, yet lose all three?

Provided McCoy does start the final three games, barring another injury, he will have the opportunity to answer a few questions. McCoy can show the Browns that he is capable of performing well in possibly adverse weather, maintaining his poise and performing against two highly touted defenses, and showing that he is capable of being the Browns starting quarterback.

As far as Mangini, we'll have to wait until next Monday to see how this love-hate relationship is working out.