Browns to start QB Colt McCoy

Updated: December 16, 2010, 4:55 PM ET
By James Walker | ESPN.com

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini named rookie quarterback Colt McCoy the starter for their upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals and for the remainder of the 2010 season Thursday.

McCoy, who missed the past three games with a high ankle sprain, will take first-team reps in practice with the Browns for the second straight day.

"It's no landmark day," McCoy said. "Today is the day that I know I'm the starter and I have to go out and play. I gotta go out and get better, and I gotta go out and help us win."

Mangini said it was his call. But he also consulted with Browns president Mike Holmgren and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll about giving the job to McCoy for the final three games of the year.

"I feel like he's earned this opportunity and I want to give it to him," Mangini said. "I want to see how he continues to grow. This is by no stretch just throwing a young guy in just to throw a young guy in."

McCoy was injured on Nov. 21 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Before that, the third-round pick provided a spark for Cleveland's offense and led the team to wins over the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots. In five games McCoy threw for 975 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions and was 2-3 as a starter.

"I've never looked for somebody to name me the starting quarterback," McCoy said. "I've looked for what I have to do today to get better. What I have to do, when it is my time, to make sure I can go out there and execute and go out there and lead."

Browns veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme struggled in place of McCoy. Last week he threw for 86 yards, one interception and lost a fumble in a loss to the Buffalo Bills.

"I'm going to work my tail off and always be ready," Delhomme said. "You just have to take it in stride. That's what I believe. That's how I work and that's what I'll do."

Mangini said Delhomme took the news like a professional.

"He couldn't have been more supportive, not only of Colt but of the whole team," Mangini said. "That's just who he is. Colt is incredibly lucky to have someone like him in the building. You can't ask for a better team player than Jake Delhomme."

Mangini also hinted this week that it's possible Seneca Wallace could be the No. 2 quarterback when the Browns (5-8) face Cincinnati (2-11), so the team would preserve the option to run some Wildcat packages and other trick plays if needed.

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter