BEREA, Ohio--After leading the Browns to back-to-back wins, Rob Chudzinski wasted no time naming Brian Hoyer as the starter for Thursday's nationally televised game with the Bills.
"Brian Hoyer will start again for us this week," Chudzinski said. "He played well again (Sunday) and for the past two weeks, obviously we've been able to win those games and with a short week we'll be ready and be ready to play Thursday."
Hoyer was 25-of-38 for 269 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions and a rating of 103.9.
"I think he improved from the week before," Chudzinski said. "His decisions were very good. I know, just from talking him this morning, there were a few throws he would've liked to have made better, but he's been able to manage the drives. You look at the drives, we've had some long drives that we were able to string together because of some of the things he did on third down, the decisions he was making. I think the guys are rallying around him."
Chudzinski admitted that Hoyer is is gaining the confidence of the team.
"I think the first thing is, he's doing his job," he said. "That's where all that starts and you get the credibility to do that and he's a fiery guy. I think our whole team was that way about that game (Sunday). Our fans were awesome. It was loud and the guys were really excited about playing in front of them and I think Brian typified that."
Chudzinski re-iterated that Hoyer's performance in the final preseason game gave him the confidence to bypass Jason Campbell and start Hoyer two weeks ago.
"Going back, like I had mentioned before, going back to the fourth preseason game in Chicago, you could see glimpses of that and he has a way of making plays," he said. "He's done a good job with the opportunity and he continues to get better."
Chudzinski said Hoyer is doing everything he needs to do to keep the starting job.
"It starts with their approach," he said. "I always believed that quarterbacks always have to be the first in the building and the last guy out and then their teammates see that and set the example and lead by example. Ultimately, it comes down to production and winning games."
Chudzinski said that Brandon Weeden has been cleared from his sprained thumb injury, but didn't name him the backup to Hoyer for Thursday's game.
"(Weeden) is healthy," Chudzinski said. "He's been cleared, but obviously we don't have a whole lot of practice opportunities. We only have one full speed practice before (the game). Again, that's not a lot of opportunities, but again, you look at Brian and what he is able to do, as well."
Chudzinski was asked if Weeden will be the backup quarterback for the Bills game.
"We'll work (Weeden) back into practice and just see where he's at this week."
Chudzinski stopped short of naming the Hoyer as the starter for the rest of the season.
"I think it's a week-to-week, I think where we're at and I'm comfortable with that in terms of that we're focused on the week, we're focused on the day," he said. "I'm a coach and you know coaches tend to feel that way anyhow on a day to day basis, so its not adversely affecting our guys in any way, so we'll continue to go in that direction."
Nasty Defense: The Browns defense didn't give up a touchdown against the Bengals and limited the Bengals to under 100 yards. The Bengals had just 63 yards on 20 carries for a 3.2 average and the Browns as a defense are allowing just 79 yards a game on the ground.
"They really, really have played well," Chudzinski said. "I can't be more pleased with our defense. "
Chudzinski said the Browns defense has developed an attitude.
"If your'e playing football and you want to have the style of defense we what to have you have to have to have an attitude and it's got to be a nasty attitude."
The defensive backs limited WR A.J. Green to just 51 yards on seven receptions. WR Mohamed Sanu had just three catches for 19 yards.
"You look at the secondary, as a whole, that was the best game that they've played to date this season," Chudzinski said. "We just continue to get better and better in that area."
McGahee Strides: RB Willis McGahee had just 46 yards on 15 carries in the game, but he came up big on the Browns final touchdown drive. He had six carries for 33 yards on the drive, including a nine-yard run that gave the Browns a first down at the one.
"At the end of the game, for him to get in there he really ran hard," Chudzinski said. "Obviously, he's a physical guy who hits it up in there. He was big on that drive. I've mentioned before, not just from his as a player, but also the leadership he's bringing and the attitude he is bringing to the offense and to our team, I think is really helped our guys."
Chudzinski likes the confidence that McGahee brings to the Browns.
"Willis has a lot of confidence," Chudzinski said. "He's won. He's been a winner what it takes in this league. He brings some of that swagger to us.
Short Week: Chudzinski said there were challenges in turning around and playing on Thursday after playing on Sunday.
"It's a challenge in all areas," he said. "With the players, to be able to turn around and play Thursday. Obviously, the preparation in getting to work on the opponent with limited reps and from a coaching standpoint putting together a game plan in a short time.
"There are a lot of challenges, but we're excited for the opportunity to play on a Thursday night. "
No New Injuries: Chudzinski said the Browns came out of the win over the Bengals with no new injuries. He did not have any updates on LB Jabaal Sheard (knee), DL Billy Winn (calf), OL Shawn Lauvao, who were all held out of the game.