Ask the Cleveland Browns Insiders: Playing Johnny Manziel, Cutting Robert Turbin and More

Fred Greetham answers our subscriber questions this week, including questions about Johnny Manziel, Robert Turbin and making the best use of the talent available. Become a subscriber and ask your questions!

Rutger: If Pettine is holding out hope that McCown can actually play with his rib injuries and he's actually splitting reps between the 2 QBs. Whether he ever wanted Manziel or not how is this truly giving the team the best chance to win on Sunday against the Squealers?

If you're really serious about who gives you the best chance to win. It's the one who can at least prepare for the game on the practice field and get a little timing down with the receivers. It’s an important game! It's Steeler week.

Pick one and give him ALL the damn reps! And if only one is healthy and the other might get knocked out with those ribs in the first qtr of the game. Pick the other one. Wtf? But pick one!!

Fred Greetham: The indecision tells you all you need to know about who Pettine thinks gives them the best chance to win this week. Manziel was getting all the reps with the first team in the portion we watched today, so I wouldn't be surprised if he goes with Manziel. However, he said they still have Friday and Saturday practices and McCown looked a lot better throwing today.


PlaygroundLegend89: So during and after the game, all of the media and fans were praising Johnny for a good first half, and showing improvement, all while recognizing the 7 or so drops that occurred that night.

Now, even though nothing has changed, he's being crucified and somehow everyone has come to the determination that he has no future?

This all seems to be based on Pettines comments and reluctance to play him.

But that doesn’t make sense either because people are turning on Johnny for Pettines decisions? A man everyone has been jabbing at this last week?

Has our media and fan base lost all sense of sanity?

He is a 22 year old (younger than MANY rookies) with hardly any playing time under his belt. What are people expecting? I don’t get it.

Fred Greetham: I've been in Berea every day and haven't heard the coaches turning on him. Pettine and Flip were positive about his progress today. Just because they aren't ready to turn over everything to him, doesn't mean they have given up on him.


JohnTyler: The browns have not scored a point in the 4th quarter for the last 4 games and haven't scored in the 2nd half the last 2 games.  They actually were within 7 pts with the ball in the 4th quarter against the Bengals.

What do you attribute this to?  Is it experience, coaching, planning, talent, strategy?  What is your assessment? If you are good enough to play with a team for a half - is it really talent? I watched this team stop 4th and ones last year consistently - this year they suck on 4th and one... Those in charge can't get it done...

Fred Greetham: Most NFL games are within 7 points and the Browns were hoping to stay close and have a chance to win at the end. However, the defense has let them down all year. I have no idea why the defense has been so poor this year. They couldn't stop the run last year, but played good pass defense in the secondary. This year, they're not doing either.


Animaleyz: Was there a unified, cohesive plan for this season? It's starting to sound like Farmer's goal is to see growth out of younger players while Pettine needs to show results immediately. Are there some crossed wires here? Why the seemingly two different goals? Or was there one agreed upon entering the league year to begin with?

Fred Greetham: I think they were planning on getting better as the season wore on but everyone's still waiting on that to happen. I think you have a good assessment of the situation and for the franchise to get better they have to be on the same page.


Tochigi: Why was Turbin released so quickly? I really thought Turbin was a good signing, especially in his first couple games back. I thought he ran hard and seemed to have the knack for patience to find the holes. They in fact wasted a roster spot on him while injured and then released him pretty quick. Was it the fumbles or was there more?

Fred Greetham: Flip said today that he told Pettine last Thursday that it hurt to try and use 3 backs in a game so they made Turbin inactive. It will be interesting to see if they activate Winston and use him or just put him as an inactive on game day. It's disappointing about Turbin because they held a roster spot for 5 weeks when they talk about how valuable each roster spots are and talked him up like he was going to be the go to back. Nobody claimed him on waivers and the 49ers picked up and used Shaun Draughn last week.


Mcarovil: New subscriber here, so if this has been discussed, my apologies. Is there any rhyme or reason for asking players to do things out of their areas of strength?

Most glaring example is watching Kruger drop into coverage and look slow as hell trying to follow backs and TEs into the flat. He had 11 sacks last year and pressuring the QB is a huge weakness for this team.

I watched Armonty Bryant in coverage last Thursday give up a critical 3rd down conversion.

How do coaches not see this and adapt. I can understand trying new things but when they fail, why continue? I'm just confused as to the goal of the coaching staff. Thanks.

Fred Greetham: Welcome! You bring up good points that we ask on a consistent basis. O'Neil said today that Kruger is playing well, just not getting sacks. The Browns need a pass rush and he's got be rush the passer. He's not a coverage guy and not that great stopping the run, ether. It seems like there are other players that aren't used in the best positions.

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