Johnny Manziel to start at QB for the Browns on Sunday


Sep 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) looks to pass during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Browns 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns have announced that Johnny Manziel will get the start on Sunday in the home opener against the Tennessee Titans.

With regular starting quarterback Josh McCown unable to practice on Friday as he continues to go through the NFL-mandated concussion protocol, the Browns have no choice but to turn the team over to Manziel.

It will be the first start for Manziel in front of the home fans since last season’s 30-0 debacle against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The one good aspect in all of this is that Manziel has practiced with the first team all week and looked better – if still not good – against the New York Jets last week when called upon after McCown was knocked out of the game. On the day Manziel was 13-of-24 for 182 yards and a touchdown, while also leading the Browns in rushing with 35 yards. He also committed three turnovers, which led to 21 points by the Jets.

Manziel said earlier this week that he will be looking to build on that small step the next time he takes the field.

“I’m just trying to go out and play better football than I have in the past,” Manziel said. “I’ve been disappointed in the way I performed, especially ending the season last year. (It) didn’t end on a very good note. Was it better on Sunday? Sure, it was better. Did I feel more comfortable? Sure. But did I do some things looking back that I would like to have back? Absolutely.

“Now moving forward it is don’t make those same mistakes again. I need to learn from what I did, see the field and trust what’s gotten me to this level, and trust what’s gotten me in this locker room. For me, I want to continue to improve, go out and not care – not worry about what anyone else was saying.”

Despite his struggles against the Jets, Manziel has the backing of the team.

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“He has a tremendous amount of physical traits,” offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said this week. “Johnny losing these last three weeks of practice, he didn’t drop off from a level of accuracy, footwork and those things that a lot of young quarterbacks do. Johnny has tremendous physical attributes, tremendous physical attributes. We just have to keep grooming him and keep teaching him situational football and when to take chances and when not to.”

“(Johnny) has done a much better job this year making decisions in the pocket,” left tackle Joe Thomas said. “We may not have to wait for [17] plays because he is a guy that makes big, explosive plays with his feet and scrambling and throwing the ball down the field. It could be the best of both worlds. You could have a nice ball control offense and still hit some big, explosive plays with him back there.”

While we will have to wait to see if Manziel increases the Browns chances of winning on Sunday, having him going up against Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota will certainly give all the talking heads something to get excited about between now and kickoff at FirstEnergy Stadium.

How do you think the Browns will do with Manziel at quarterback on Sunday?

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