There has been a lot of talking surrounding Johnny Manziel in the past couple of months. He was first in the media for a fight with his girlfriend on the side of the road. Manziel was on thin ice with his coach and team at that time. Weeks later he jeopardized his position as the starting quarterback for the Browns, when a video was released of him partying during the bye week. Manziel was designated as the third string quarterback, but might get his chance to move up to starting quarterback position.
Josh McCown, who took over as the starting quarterback, is out for the season due to a broken collar bone. Obviously since the new first string could no longer play, it was up to the second string quarterback to take over for the team. Austin Davis was next in line to lead the team, but ended up failing in the process. In their game against the Bengals, Davis went 25 of 38 for 230 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. He was also sacked three times. Coach Mike Pettine really had to evaluate the remainder of the year. Should he continue to punish Manziel for his actions off the field, or try and play him in order to win some of the remaining games in the season?
Sources first told ESPN that Manziel would definitely play as the starting quarterback for the December 13th game against the San Francisco 49ers. Coach Pettine did not confirm that Manziel would play in the game until later in the week. He was waiting to see if Manziel might do something to jeopardize his chances at playing in Sunday’s game. In replacing Austin Davis, Pettine hopes that Manziel can help lead the team to a victory. Coach Pettine said that he is hopeful that Manziel will continue to make progress with his personal goals and in his time on the playing field. Pettine’s decision to start Manziel was made at the same time that he announced that he thought the Browns’ organization wasn’t completely unified. It seems as though the Browns’ ownership wanted to see Manziel start, while the coach staff had trouble coming up with the final decision.
It was a smart decision to start Manziel in the December 13th game against the 49ers, as the team ended the game with a win. The Browns beat the team with a score of 24-10. Pettine said that the goal of every game is to go out and win, and that is exactly what Manziel helped the team to do last week. The season will close out with games against the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Manziel proved himself in last week’s game, and will continue to start in the last three games.
Johnny Manziel really needed to step up his game, and prove to staff and his teammates that he is a quarterback who is worthy of the team name. Hopefully, he can keep this positive image for his team.