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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



October 19, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Seattle's secondary to be a primary target

Posted by Danny O'Neil

RENTON -- The Browns offense is well-armed as it prepares to host Seattle on Sunday.

It has to be considering all the times Cleveland has passed the ball this year in what amounts to a Seismic shift in offensive tendencies under first-year coach Pat Shurmur.

Colt McCoy threw 61 passes in Cleveland's game against Tennessee two weeks ago, and he threw 45 passes in Oakland on Sunday.

Compare that to last season when the Browns attempted 29.9 passes per game, fewer than all but three times in the NFL. This season, Cleveland is averaging 43.4 passes, more than every team in the league save for the New Orleans Saints.

So is that a sign of a philosophical shift or a reality of game situations?

"The last two games we've found ourselves behind in kind of the meat of the game so we've thrown the ball much more," Shurmur said.

Shurmur went so far as to say that he hopes that McCoy never has to throw 61 passes in a game again.

The Browns are averaging 81.6 yards rushing, making them one of only three teams in the league whose ground game has been less productive than Seattle's so far this season.

That doesn't mean Cleveland doesn't want to run the ball, though.

"I like to run the football," Shurmur said. "I believe in it, and I think we've got to do it more. I think those two games, it was more circumstance than philosophy."

The Browns' Peyton Hillis -- who was No. 11 in NFL rushing yardage last season with 1,177 yards -- is day-to-day this week because of a hamstring injury.

Montario Hardesty, a second-round pick in 2011, is No. 2 on the team with 143 yards rushing this season.

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