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Loss does not alter Browns' plan, which includes Josh McCown at QB

Mike Pettine was asked Monday if Josh McCown did anything that would cause him to reconsider the quarterback spot and go to Johnny Manziel. "No," Pettine said. AP Photo/David Richard

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns press forward with Josh McCown as their quarterback and the plan to win intact.

The Browns will try to play better defense, run the ball better and play well around the quarterback. There will be no major lineup changes, including at quarterback, following the 27-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Mike Pettine was asked Monday if Josh McCown did anything that would cause him to reconsider the quarterback spot and go to Johnny Manziel.

He gave a one-word answer: "No." Sunday, he had emphasized he would not put McCown on a short leash.

The voices in the background are the cynics, carping 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' The Browns struggled for much of the Oakland game, but in the end McCown did have some good numbers. He threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns.

"Overall he showed what he's capable of doing, and hopefully we'll get better and learn from some of the situations that came up," Pettine said.

But McCown and the offense started slow, and Pettine said McCown made a poor decision to throw to Travis Benjamin against Cover 2 defense. The pass was intercepted to end the Browns chances to tie.

McCown said he could not step into the throw due to pressure from the Raiders.

McCown's right hand was swollen on Monday. He said it was stepped on during a third-quarter sack, but added it did not affect him. The evidence would indicate it didn't. Prior to the turnover, McCown completed 21-of-33 second half passes.

X-rays were negative, McCown said he's fine and the Browns will stick with him in San Diego on Sunday.

The Browns do have several serious issues other than quarterback, starting with a run defense that is giving up 158 yards per game.

"The most disappointing aspect of our defense this year," Pettine said.

And while Pettine said he pays no attention to players the Browns could have drafted -- Raiders QB Derek Carr and linebacker Khalil Mack -- playing well in beating the Browns, the fans can't help but notice. Carr and Mack were outstanding while the two guys the Browns chose -- cornerback Justin Gilbert and Manziel -- did not play a down on offense or defense.

Pettine said he understands. But he said his emphasis is to "control the controllables."

"You don't get into the what ifs?" Pettine said. "I know the end of the movie now. Now I can go back and second-guess things. That's not how we work."

Thus he said he will stick with the team's plan that was built around the way the team was built.

"We're capable of executing that plan," Pettine said. "We're not going to deviate from it or panic. We need to play better. We need to execute."