Manziel's first win complicates Browns quarterback situation

Johnny Manziel's win on Sunday giving Browns plenty to consider at quarterback

Manziel's first win complicates Browns quarterback situation

BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- Johnny Manziel's antics have the Browns in a jam. This time, a positive one.

Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday that Manziel's first career win on Sunday over Tennessee has Cleveland's coaching staff considering maybe keeping him as their starting quarterback even if Josh McCown returns from a concussion.

Manziel threw two long touchdown passes to wide receiver Travis Benjamin, the second an improvised 50-yarder with 2:52 left to seal a 28-14 victory.

Although his statistics (8 of 15 for 172 yards) weren't great and he fumbled twice, Manziel led the Browns (1-1) to the win and that may be enough to move him ahead of McCown, who sustained a concussion in the season opener and remains on the sidelines.

Until McCown is cleared to play, Manziel will start for the Browns, who host Oakland this week. But that could change.

"To me, it's a positive conversation because you have a young quarterback that's been through a lot, that has gone out and led his team to a win," Pettine said.

"We were all able to enjoy it last night. I'm proud of him because if you had said back early in the offseason if this was going to happen, I think a lot of people would have said pretty slim chance."

McCown may give the Browns the better chance to win, and Pettine and his coaches have to weigh that against getting the 22-year-old Manziel playing time to see if he can be their long-term answer at quarterback.

Sticking with Manziel might be an easier choice if McCown, who signed a three-year, $14.5 million deal in March, hadn't shown promise while guiding Cleveland on a 17-play, 90-yard drive before he got drilled in the helmet diving into the end zone.

Pettine said last week that McCown would have likely played against the Titans if he had practiced just one day, but he suffered a setback on Friday.

Manziel's performance was personally satisfying for the former Heisman Trophy winner, whose bad rookie season was followed by a stint in rehab.

He has been a fixture in U.S. tabloids since the Browns selected him in the 2014 draft, repeatedly photographed while partying in Las Vegas. In November, he was involved in an altercation at a downtown Cleveland hotel where he lived.

But he's worked hard at getting himself turned around both on and off the field, and Pettine has been impressed by his growth.

"Johnny has made a lot of progress in the right direction," Pettine said. "Still a lot of things to get cleaned, but we certainly feel like the arrow is up."

Updated : 2021-03-05 03:51 GMT+08:00