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Mangini disputed Brees‘ claim, pointing out that the Saints have reached into their own bag of tricks, most famously with an onside kick to open the second half in last season’s Super Bowl.

“I don’t know exactly what he’s talking about,” Mangini said. “They run the flea flicker quite a bit. They do a lot of exotic type stuff. They had an onside kick in the Super Bowl. To me, it’s not about needing to win. To me, you’re doing anything you can in order to win.

“I don’t think those were over the top or risky if you’ve got the right look.”

As for McCoy’s immediate future as a starter, Mangini said he will wait until after the bye week before deciding on which quarterback will face New England on Nov. 7. Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace are coming off high ankle sprains, and Mangini won’t know their playing status for several days.

He praised McCoy’s poise, ability to avoid turnovers and handle another hostile crowd in Sunday’s win. Mangini doesn’t feel any pressure to play the third-round pick, who made his debut in Pittsburgh one week earlier, and said he will consult with team president Mike Holmgren before deciding.

Mangini did say he will base his choice on Cleveland’s next opponent _ not any long-term goals.

“The playing time (McCoy) has gotten has been great,” Mangini said, “and the things he has shown have been really positive. We’re going to try and play the guy who we think is going to give us the best chance to win on Sunday.”

This is the third straight year the Browns have upset the defending Super Bowl champions. Last December, a 13-6 win over Pittsburgh triggered a four-game winning streak _ a season-ending burst that probably saved Mangini’s job.

He refused to acknowledge if Sunday’s win bought him any favor with Holmgren. Mangini insists his sole focus remains on the next game and it would be hypocritical for him to ask his players to adopt a one-game-at-a-time mentality and then not do it himself.

Since 1990, three teams that started 2-5 have made the playoffs. In a season of unpredictability, would it be far-fetched to think the Browns could be creeping into the playoff picture?

“I really believe anything is possible,” Mangini said. “But the most important thing is to never make your focus on what’s nine weeks down the road. You can’t get to nine weeks down the road right now, but you can get to that next game. Just win that one and deal with the one after it and win that one. That’s the approach that works.

That, and the occasional trick play.