A Pretty Good Day for Johnny Manziel
The Cleveland Browns have named Johnny Manziel as their starting quarterback for the rest of the season. The move came just hours before the National Football League cleared Manziel for off-the-field activities.
As Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports, Manziel’s performance could also help the team make a decision about next year’s draft.
On Sunday Johnny Manziel had the best game so far of his short professional career as he filled in for starting quarterback Josh MCown, who is out with a rib injury. Coach Mike Pettine says that was a turning point.
“The performance against Pittsburgh I think validated for us the progress that he’s made, the improvement that he’s shown and that he deserves this opportunity. Also just Josh’s (McCown) circumstances being what they are, not being entirely healthy.”
Off the field.
If the team knew the league was about to clear Manziel they didn't say so.
Manziel sparked an investigation by the NFL after an incident October 13. Avon police questioned Manziel and his girlfriend who were stopped on the side of a road. Manziel said he had been struggling to keep her from jumping out of his moving car. Both had been drinking but were not charged. The league concluded “that there is an insufficient basis on which to take disciplinary action.”
Manziel had entered an alcohol and drug treatment center in January and now says he knows he is under scrutiny in the upcoming week off.
“Coach Pettine said he wouldn’t micromanage me or any of the other guys in their time off but at the same time I let him know I’m not going to do anything that’s going to be a distraction to this team or be an embarrassment to the organization. So that was a thing he stressed to me as well.
The Browns are likely to have a high draft pick next June when some excellent college quarterbacks will be available. Playing Manziel now helps the team to decide whether they should draft one or use their choice on a different position. Coach Mike Pettine
“I think when the season’s over that you always clear the table and evaluate each position. This will allow us to have a lot more information as we assess the quarterback position moving forward.”
The Browns next game is not until Monday night, November 30th, against Baltimore.