Browns-Bears Sets Up Third String QB battle

Updated: September 3, 2015

After the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears play on Thursday, every team is required to cut their 74-man roster to 53. After an interesting offseason with the spotlight focused on Terelle Pryor, Johnny Manziel and even rookie Danny Shelton, the Browns may to have to alter their plan for the start of the season.

It has been with every intention from the first day of training camp that Josh McCown would be the starting quarterback heading into the season, allowing for Manziel to learn from an experienced veteran and learn the Browns offense under offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

But with the lingering soreness Manziel has with his elbow and Connor Shaw out for the season (thumb), it would be wise to at least keep a quarterback on the active roster to at least start the season.

Either Thaddeus Lewis or Pat Devlin are likely to make the opening day roster, should the team decide to keep three quarterbacks. And with Thursday’s preseason finale, it’s highly probable that the two will compete for a potential spot on the roster.

Each quarterback has had experience playing in the league, so who should the Browns take? Should they choose to keep one or the other?

Career Stats:

Thaddeus Lewis: 115/189 passing/attempts, 5:4 TD/INT, 6.7 Y/A and an 83.3 QBR in seven career games, starting six of them.

Pat Devlin

Pat Devlin

Pat Devlin has never played in a regular season game. The last time he suited up for any game in the NFL came back in 2013 with the Miami Dolphins. Through four games, his stats were: 47/80 passing/attempts, 3:3 TD/INT, 74.2 QBR.

Upon career statistics in the NFL regular season, Lewis would be the clear choice to earn a spot on the Browns. However, Devlin has history with quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell. O’Connell was with the Dolphins as a player during the 2011 preseason; Devlin’s rookie year.

While O’Connell never coached him, there is enough history that he could play a role in Devlin staying should the Browns decide to keep three quarterbacks.

Lewis heads into Chicago as the team’s starter but is expected to share playing time with Devlin. How that time is to be shared won’t be known until Thursday night.

Coach Mike Pettine acknowledged that he would like to keep “three or four (quarterbacks) on campus” during the season. He also mentioned that the team could also keep two quarterbacks (McCown and Manizel), on the 53-man roster to start the season, but that the team had yet to make that decision.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Perhaps we may know the direction the Browns plan to take before Saturday too.

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