12/08/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
Back to back losses to Baltimore and Cincinnati are commonplace for the Cleveland Browns. But how the Browns have done it the past two weeks is even hard for the most hardcore of Cleveland fans to stomach. It's not so much that they lost, but that they lost without the guy who is supposed to be their starting quarterback and QB of the future. Which leads to the question of: Where is Johnny Manziel? And what should the Browns do with him now?
First there was the Baltimore loss two weeks ago. Losing on a last second blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. That hurt. But watching Johnny Manziel stay on the sideline when starter Josh McCown was injured and replaced by Austin Davis hurts worse. Davis starting and the Browns lackluster performance in this week's 37 to 3 loss to Cincinnati hurts pretty bad as well. For those of you counting, Davis makes it 24 different players to start at quarterback for the Browns since returning to the NFL in 1999.
But the reason Davis was playing was because Johnny Manziel was acting a fool again and benched. After a solid performance against Pittsburgh, Manziel was named the Browns starter for the Ravens game. But in between the Steelers game and the Baltimore game, there was a bye week. And in that time off, Manziel was caught partying again, on video yet again. This after Manziel had entered a treatment facility in the offseason. After he had worked on being a better teammate. And after he had earned the chance to start by playing well. All of that was put aside because Johnny Football would rather be Johnny Party instead of the Browns starting quarterback.
That forced the Browns to demote him to being the 3rd string QB for the Ravens game. A game the Browns very well may have won had Manziel started, or at least played. Then there was the debacle this weekend against the Bengals. Not saying that Manziel playing would've altered a 34 point loss, but it would've had to have been better with him starting. Browns head coach Mike Pettine had no choice but to bench Manziel, and he couldn't go back on his word even if it would've given the team a better chance to win. So Manziel's antics not only punished him, they punished his teammates as well. The same teammates who's trust he was starting to earn again.
So what do the Browns do with Manziel now? Let him go or trade him and it's another wasted first round draft pick and another joke associated with the Cleveland quarterback situation. Give him another chance and hope he's learned his lesson? But what if he hasn't? It's a tough spot for the Browns to be in right now, so the best they can do is take it one week at a time.
It's been reported that Manziel will be back under center as the Browns starter this coming week against San Francisco. Here's some advice Johnny...don't screw it up this time.
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