Johnny Manziel remains the Browns’ backup QB no matter what other players and fans say

Cleveland's Johnny Manziel looks on from the sidelines against Oakland on Sunday.

Cleveland’s Johnny Manziel looks on from the sidelines against Oakland on Sunday.

(Jason Miller / Getty Images)

Last week Cleveland Browns Coach Mike Pettine said quarterback Josh McCown, not Johnny Manziel, gave the team its best chance to win.

The explanation really didn’t make a lot of sense. The Browns were 1-1 at the time, with Manziel starting during the win and McCown under center for the loss.

But Pettine went with McCown against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and his team lost, 27-20. Now 1-2, Pettine was asked Monday if he’s considering starting Manziel this week against the San Diego Chargers.

Pettine replied simply, “No.”


At least three Browns players reportedly disagree with their coach, and they have pretty strong feelings on the topic.

“I love both Johnny and Josh but it’s [messed] up when you have Johnny come in and play well and has proven to the team that he is the right person for the job,” one player told TMZ.

“It’s frustrating to him and us when you sit a player down when he is playing well. Coach has got to understand you are messing up the chemistry and timing with players.”

A second player said: “The team plays better when [Manziel] is in the game. I play better when he plays. You can’t get better unless you play. We won when he played and coach has got to trust him like he trusts Josh.”

Player No. 3 added: “When Johnny in the game it puts the defense on edge. He doesn’t just sit in the pocket, he makes plays. Coach has got to make the change now.”

But Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins tweeted later Tuesday, “This story is %1000 made up,” along with a link to the TMZ post.

McCown’s stats aren’t that bad -- he’s completed 57.9% of his passes for 390 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for an 83.2 passer rating.

Overall this season Manziel has completed 53.8% of his passes with three touchdowns and one interception for a 99.7 passer rating. But he looked real good as a starter against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2, completing eight of 15 passes for 172 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 133.9 passer rating.


And, most importantly, the Browns won that game. Ultimately, that’s all fans want, which is why they were chanting for Manziel during the Raiders loss.

Obviously, Pettine wants to win too. But the guy he thinks gives the team its best chance to do so isn’t the same one whose name was ringing through FirstEnergy Stadium last week.