This Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, the Cleveland Browns will be starting Josh McCown over Johnny Manziel after McCown missed the Browns week 2 matchup against the Tennessee Titans after suffering a concussion on the Browns 1st drive in their season opening game against the New York Jets.
“(McCown’s) done everything that we’ve asked of him in the offseason, so far this year,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said. “He’d earned the right to be our starting quarterback. We feel that he gives us the best opportunity to win on Sunday, and that truly was the basis for the decision.”
McCown was cleared on Wednesday by an independent neurologist to return to practice, and as such he completed the last step necessary laid out in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Manziel is returning to his role as the 2nd string quarterback after earning his first career victory last week against the Titans as he threw for 2 touchdowns and 172 yards on 8 completions. Manziel did, however, fumble the ball two times in the matchup against Tennessee, giving him 4 fumbles over the course of the first 2 games of the year.
“(Manziel’s) making great strides,” Pettine said. “If he continues to make strides really he can get where we all want him to be. But just where we are right now, we look forward to Josh leading the offense against the Raiders on Sunday.”
McCown is 17 and 33 as a starter over the course of his career, but he brings with him a very deep knowledge of the Browns offensive system. That knowledge is part of the reason the Browns have elected to go with McCown on Sunday and seat Manziel once again.
“This was a positive thing for us that our second quarterback went in and played well,” Pettine said. “But there was a reason we started the season with Josh as the one and Johnny as the two. That was our plan and at this point we’re not seeing a reason to deviate from it.”
The 2012 Heisman trophy winner has a lot of potential, and will certainly become the starter one day for the Browns, but for the time being, he will have to sit on the bench, and continue to learn and develop.