Nov 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
In Friday’s press conference, Mike Pettine would not announce who would be behind center for the Browns on Sunday. However, Josh McCown has been limited in practice all week with a rib injury and it was reported he did not take first team reps on Friday. All signs are pointing to Johnny Manziel making his second consecutive start of the season.
ESPN’s Adam Scheffer tweeted Friday afternoon he expects Manziel to start for the Browns Sunday
Manziel will have an opportunity to show the Browns how he can improve on a weekly basis. It would be promising for the Browns if Manziel plays better within the pocket and does not miss as many open receivers this week. Last week, Manziel showed great poise and command of the Browns offense, and he must continue to build off of the solid first half he had against Cincinnati.
The Bengals played a lot of Cover 2 against Manziel and took the big throws down the field away from him. Manziel passed on completions and check downs attempting to make the big play. This week it will be key for Manziel to be sharp making reads and take what the defense gives him.
As I continue to watch film, continue to play in these games, there are going to be times when I am not going to be able to see everything like everyone else is as clear as day. I think I am getting better at it, but I am nowhere near perfect, that is for sure.”- Johnny Manziel
The Pittsburgh defense ranks 26th in the league in passing yards per game, giving up an average of 273 yards, giving Manziel a favorable match-up with the Pittsburgh secondary, one that he will need to capitalize on at every opportunity. Manziel will have some additional help, as it is expected that wide receivers Andrew Hawkins and Brian Hartline will return to action this week.
“I have a lot of confidence in my ability. I am continuing to gain confidence in playing in this system and playing in this offense,” Manziel said this week. “It takes a lot of time getting used to seeing these coverages, knowing where people are going to be and exploiting that.”
Manziel’s next opportunity to show what he has learned should come on Sunday against the Steelers.
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