BEREA, Ohio— Peyton Hillis needs just 38 yards to surpass the 1,000 yard mark for the season.
Sunday’s conditions should be conducive to the Browns running the ball and there is a good chance he will eclipse the mark this week for the first time in his career. The weather forecast is calling for bad weather once again Sunday in Buffalo.
“If I do, it will be a blessing,” Hillis said. “I have a great offensive line and a fullback in front of me.”
Hillis has 962 yards on 217 carries for a 4.4 average, with 11 rushing touchdowns. He also leads the team with 53 receptions for 436 yards (8.2 avg.) and two touchdowns.
The Browns won their final four games of the 2009 season with an NFL leading rushing attack over the final quarter of the season. Eric Mangini said these types of games are what the Browns are, hopefully, built for.
“I love this weather and that’s what you would expect in Cleveland at this time of year,” Mangini said. “The way you can handle the conditions and run the ball, stop the run, that’s important. That should be a real home field advantage for us.”
Hillis is coming off a game where the Dolphins kept him under wraps and held him to just 57 yards on 18 carries (3.2 avg.).
“It was bad for me individually, but it created gaps and opening for the rest of the team,” Hillis said.
Hillis said he is motivated to bounce back this week.
“Most definitely,” he said. “I’m more determined to come out and have a good game.”
The Bills have the worst rushing defense in the NFL and Chan Gailey is expects to have his hands full this week. Meanwhile, the Browns rank 14th, overall, in rushing.
“He’s a strong downhill runner we have to get a lot of bodies around him and try to knock him back and not let hima fall forward,” Gailey said.
Last year, the Browns won their first game of the season at Buffalo in a very ugly way by a score of 6-3, despite only having two completed passes in the game by Derek Anderson.
“That was a classic,” Mangini said.
Hodges Player of the Week: Punter Reggie Hodges has been AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Dolphins.
Hodges had nine punts for 438 yards (48.7 avg.) with two punts inside the 20, including one downed at the one-yard line. His net average of 43.3 led the AFC for the week. Hodges leads the league with 13 punts inside the 10 this season.
Hodges said there’s no secret to placing the ball inside the 10.
“I wish I was good enough to say that, but I’m getting good bounces.”
Earlier this season, linebacker David Bowens earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week and running back Peyton Hillis was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week in Week 9.
It is the first time in his career that Hodges has won the award.
“It’s all a positive what Reggie did,” Mangini said.
Thus far, Hodges is putting up the best numbers of his career.
“It comes down to comfort level and that has been a big part of his success, along with his experience.”
Barton Wins Award: Linebacker Eric Barton was chosen the Browns’ recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award. The award is given in honor of former trainer of the Baltimore Colts which exemplifies courage, compassion, commitment and community service.
After missing the final eight games of the 2009 season with a neck injury, Barton has bounced back with 50 tackles and one fumble recovery. He has started 10 of the 12 games this season for the Browns.
“There were a lot of question marks coming off the neck injury,” Mangini said. “He’s very deserving of the award.”
Colt Update: Colt McCoy will not practice Wednesday, but Mangini said that he came through a workout on Tuesday in a positive light.
“I think we have a shot for him to practice this week,” Mangini said. “I don’t think it’s a slam dunk, but we’ll see.
“He did some good work (Tuesday), but that’s very controlled with the trainer.”
Others not practicing are Eric Barton, Titus Browns, Scott Fujita and Evan Moore.
“I’m optimistic with all of those guys being able to do something this week except Scott,” Mangini said.