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Browns Brass Making Big Mistake Turning the Keys Back to McCown

By Matt Williamson

Yesterday morning the Browns announced that Josh McCown had been cleared of his concussion symptoms and would resume his starting role in this weekend’s matchup with the Oakland Raiders.

Big mistake.

In McCown’s absence Week 2 at home against the Tennessee Titans, Johnny Manziel led the offense to a 14-point victory in Cleveland’s home opener. The former Heisman winner accented the best game of his pro-career with two 50-plus-yard TD bombs to Travis Benjamin, prompting fans to believe that perhaps Cleveland had finally found its elusive franchise quarterback.

However, according to Coach Pettine and the Browns coaching staff, Manziel just isn’t quite ready yet.

So my question becomes – what are they waiting on?

It’s no secret that McCown was brought to Cleveland to bridge the gap from ‘veteran QB’ to ‘QB of the future’. The only problem with that approach is that typically the teams that incorporate that game plan use a veteran quarterback that has – at bare minimum – been mildly successful in their own career. It’s usually a guy that’s been on that team for a few years, who understands the dynamics of the franchise and demands respect because of accomplishments they’ve endured in the NFL.

None of that describes our veteran.

McCown doesn’t know this franchise any better than Manziel does because McCown’s only been here for six months. He doesn’t know how to win because his career record is deplorable, and the only reason he may get more respect than Johnny from their teammates is because Manziel used his first season in the NFL as some kind of homecoming party.

He’s obviously rubbed players – and coaches – the wrong way, and he’s paying for it by having to sit behind a quarterback whose lifetime rating is 76.2. If that were his rating this season he’d be ranked 29th of 38 eligible QBs.

This is who is supposed to teach Johnny how to play? This is the person responsible for handing the reigns to our future quarterback? That makes sense to some of you?

It doesn’t make sense to me.

At this point the worst case scenario is McCown stringing a few wins together. I know how it sounds, but what are the actual chances of Cleveland making the playoffs? And if we aren’t playing in the postseason, and we aren’t establishing who runs the offense for the next five to ten years, then what the hell are we doing?

I stand firm in my belief that had Johnny never admitted himself into rehab then he’d have been the Day 1 starter this season. By admitting to – and making public – his sobriety issues, he pushed this coaching staff into panic mode and they knee-jerk reacted by signing a 35-year-old career backup to a multiyear deal and likely guaranteed him a starting spot.

So we’ll see what happens Sunday. If the Browns pull off the win at home I’ll be as elated as all of you.

I’ll also be shocked as hell if the crowd doesn’t erupt in Johnny! Johnny! as soon as McCown throws his first pick.



  1. Chris S

    September 24, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I respectfully disagree, if he never went to rehab and made changes, he wouldn’t of progressed to the point for who is the starter question to even be asked. Johnny still has ball security issues and the veterans have made known they want Josh. When we are out of contention then let johnny establish himself as the starter. Jff only played two good quarters last game and two quarters of the offense struggLing.

  2. Kevin Z

    September 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Ditto what Chris S said

  3. Bob Loescher

    September 24, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    How did you ever become qualified to write this commentary? You don’t have a clue. The next article I see your name attached to I won’t even waste my time reading.

  4. Jennifer B

    September 24, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I can totally see where you are coming from, Matt. What’s wrong with going against the grain every once in awhile? Don’t the fans want change? Isn’t that what he’s calling for, change? A chance? Every year during the draft don’t Browns fans want to find the next “it.” Why stick with a guy who’s proven he’s just a backup to get a miserable 4 or 5 wins and no progression for the franchise when you can challenge your draft pick and see if he’s worth the time? The idea of “sitting and learning” is if you have someone who’s worth doing so behind, until it’s your turn to be the successor.

  5. Matt Williamson

    September 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Whoa whoa whoa! First of all, I think some people misinterpret what I meant about Johnny going to rehab. I don’t believe he shouldn’t have went. I ABSOLUTELY believe he HAD to go to get his life together. What I meant was, and pardon me if I didn’t convey this correctly – him being in rehab is the reason we signed McCown in the first place. At that time, the Browns weren’t sure what would become of Manziel. So they over reached for a under qualified journeyman and u rightfully promised him a starting job. Then he got hurt. Of course Johnny made the right call going, but it cost him his starting position. For now.

  6. Steve a

    September 24, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    McCown will get the win Sunday

  7. joe

    September 24, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    F7ck all of u go johnny

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