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Published: Monday, 10/18/2010

Painful lesson Steelers rough up McCoy in debut


PITTSBURGH - The night before his NFL debut against the defense that was supposed to tear him from limb to limb, Colt McCoy used the final team meeting to ease everyone's mind.

"Most guys sit down when they talk to the team. He stood up and looked everybody in the eyes," tight end Evan Moore said.

"And he just said to have confidence in him 'cuz he has confidence in us," added receiver Chansi Stuckey.

McCoy's poise and command of the offense were evident in the Browns' 28-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in loud, foreboding Heinz Field. He didn't win the game, but he won a lot of respect.

The rookie from Texas completed 23-of-33 passes for 281 yards and a 12-yard touchdown to Benjamin Watson with 4:09 to go. He was sacked five times and intercepted twice. It could've been much worse considering that Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi were knocked out of the game by Steelers linebacker James Harrison in a seven-minute span in the second quarter.

Cribbs had rolled to the right, looking to throw from the wildcat formation, then tucked the ball in and cut inside. As he turned in, Harrison left his feet and led with his helmet, which struck Cribbs' helmet. The collision left Cribbs on the ground for several minutes. He walked off the field under his own power but never returned.

Massaquoi was turning inside to the middle of the field for a McCoy pass when Harrison knocked him in the helmet with both arms. Massaquoi also left under his own power and did not return.

Harrison did not draw a flag with either hit.

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