After a promising 6-3 start last season, the Cleveland Browns have been nothing but disappointing since. In the last 16 games, Cleveland owns a 3-13 record and the seat appears to be getting hotter for Mike Pettine. If Pettine wants to keep his job, he is going to have to make some important decisions.
In particular, Pettine hasn’t handled the quarterback situation well. Despite verbal praise of Johnny Manziel, there has been no commitment to the development of this young quarterback. Whichever quarterback gives us the best chance to win is a motto that Cleveland’s head coach has always stood by. Josh McCown has given us the best chance to win yet owns a 1-6 record when starting this year.
Clearly, the McCown experiment isn’t working, so why not see if Manziel can be the quarterback of the future? There is no chance of consistency with Pettine because of his lack of faith in Johnny Football. The only way to tell if this kid has a future is to watch him play and learn from his mistakes.
Manziel looked like an NFL quarterback during the first half of the Cincinnati Bengals game. He compiled 128 yards and a touchdown while completing 11 of his 18 pass attempts. The quarterback didn’t get any praise from his head coach, even after a decent statistical half. Pettine was quoted saying Manziel needed to “settle down” because he missed some reads. However, he also didn’t want to limit the quarterback’s ability outside the pocket.
Unfortunately, Johnny struggled when Cincinnati prevented him from rolling out and extending plays. The Browns were shutout in the second half and couldn’t gain any offensive momentum. You can blame Manziel, the ineffective run game or even the play calling, but it doesn’t change the result of the game.
However, this marks the second consecutive game in which Cleveland has failed to yield any second half points, being outscored 41-0. Blame Pettine’s halftime speech because the Browns have made horrible halftime adjustments. The box score is clear evidence. Our stale offense doesn’t stay on the field long enough. This translates into an exhausted defense that surrenders big second half plays.
I can’t officially diagnose the problem, but apparently neither can Mike Pettine.
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