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Why The Browns Need to Stay With Manziel, Even if McCown is Healthy

By Matt Williamson

Thursday Browns coach Mike Pettine eluded that if Josh McCown is able to practice Friday then he’d likely start Week 2 at home against the Tennessee Titans.

He may want to think that over.

Yes, McCown’s opening drive last Sunday against the New York Jets almost ended in the endzone. Yes, the operative word there was almost.

If you want to compare first drives of last weekend’s game, then Johnny Manziel’s first drive did in fact result in a touchdown, following his 54-yard TD connection with Travis Benjamin.

But the game isn’t predicated on first drives, and unless there is a significant upgrade in talent around the QB and someone discovers an actual fountain of youth, playing McCown is a waste of time.

Now, I don’t have to spill his disappointing career stats for you to understand that the veteran QB’s head has already poked through his own ceiling. The Browns have to start winning now, there’s no time for a lame duck quarterback.

It’s time to find out, really truly find out, whether or not Manziel can handle this job. If he’s successful then we know we can rest easy for at least the next few years.

If he fails, well, then it’s back to the drawing board.


But when you’re being honest with yourself, with this roster, what kind of record can we really expect with either QB?

This isn’t about which player will lead us to the playoffs this year, because there isn’t a playoff caliber QB on this roster.

That’s not to say that we can’t analyze this situation and finally figure out the conundrum that is Cleveland quarterback.

If we continue to play McCown for these remaining 15 games, then we end the season no closer to knowing who the real ‘quarterback of the future’ in this town really is.

And if I have to watch a 36 year old quarterback go 6-10, then sit through an off season that leads to a QB competition with the same two guys – I’m going to puke.

I guess what I’m saying is, what’s the point of playing McCown? What would be considered a success for him (8-8 maybe?) would qualify as inadequate for most NFL franchises.

Why do we have to settle for his mediocrity?

If Manziel plays the rest of the year he’ll either set the league on fire or go down in flames.

Either way, we’ll know where we stand going forward, and that’s more important than skating around .500.
Johnny Cash could potentially stop the QB carousel.

Can McCown give us anything passed this year?



  1. lee schubkegel

    September 18, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I am in total agreement.Mccown should be our backup.

  2. Debbie

    September 18, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    He had a Head injury! Of course they should start Johnny

  3. Jason

    September 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    What if all Johnny needs is another year to learn and watch from the sidelines? Aaron Rogers, for example, may have not had the same success had he not sat for a few years. Pushing him to start before he’s ready is a recipe for failure.

  4. Kirk Cooper

    September 19, 2015 at 4:10 am

    Yes Aaron Rodgers sat for a few years before staring, and yes that may be key to his success. But Rodgers sat behind one of the all time greats at the position… You can’t say the same for Johnny. Watching horrible qb play on the sidelines will not make any qb better.

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