Johnny Manziel Starting? Not So Fast

After naming Manziel the rest-of-the-season starter for the Browns, Mike Pettine might be reconsidering his decision based on Johnny Football's off-the-field actions.

BEREA—After naming Johnny Manziel the starter for the remaining six games, Mike Pettine sounded as though he’s contemplating changing his mind—at least for this week’s game with the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. 

Pettine was asked on Tuesday about the video that surfaced showing Manziel partying over the weekend.

“Seen it,” Pettine said. “Still in the process of gathering information. I think we’ll try to get all parties involved this afternoon and we’ll move forward from there.”

Pettine was asked if Manziel would still start on Monday against the Ravens. 

“I’m not in  a position yet to answer that,” Pettine said. 

When pressed further Pettine said he will have the answers on Wednesday.

“I’m not going to get into that,” Pettine said. “We’re still in the process of getting all the information available before we would act on anything. “

Pettine said ‘all parties involved’ included the other coaches and Manziel.

Pettine said he has talked to Manziel, but wouldn’t disclose what the discussion involved.

“Yeah we talked about it last night.”

Pettine used the word “disappointment” and “frustrating” on several occasions in his answers concerning Manziel.

“I can’t stand here and say whatever word (you want to use) that it’s not disappointing, frustrating,” Pettine said. “In general, the one thing you do get frustrated with is you have a vision on what the team to look like and how they handle themselves outside the building.”

Pettine re-iterated he is still in the process of gathering information and has spoken to Jimmy Haslam and Ray Farmer about the situation, but was guarded in his comments.

“In general, the one thing you do get frustrated with is you have a vision on what the team to look like and how they handle themselves outside the building,” he said. 

“We’ll have more information and I want to sit down and discuss it before a knee jerk (reaction) and go off on a potential tangent with it. I’ll be more fully prepared to speak on it (Wednesday).”

Josh McCown was asked his thoughts on Manziel.

“It’s hard to comment on what a teammate does outside the building as long as he’s doing what he’s supposed to in the building,” McCown said. “My hope for him is that whatever choices he makes are healthy choices and they are good for him as a person. when you’re in that room and spend as much time as we do, there’s a connection there and you want to see them make good choices and make healthy decisions. If that doesn’t go that way, is there something more I can do to help.”

McCown has been cleared to play and Pettine could go back to him if he decides to go that way.

“Josh is cleared and good to go,” Pettine said.

McCown agreed that he is feeling better in his recovery from a rib injury.

“I’m feeling better,” McCown said. “I feel a lot better and obviously when you’re dealing with ribs you never know until you take the first hit, but I think I’m ready to go.

“My plan is to just be ready to go and that’s my mindset regardless,” he said. “When you’re the quarterback, you’re really only one play away. I’ll prepare like I always do.”

Pettine said whether Manziel plays or not will be his decision, but he said that the organization will have input.

“The decisions being made can be echoed by the organization and certainly (there will be) feedback there, but the final decision will be a coaching decision.”

Extra Points

Haden, Hawkins, Gabriel Still Idle: As the Browns started to prepare for the Ravens, DB Joe Haden, WR Andrew Hawkins and WR Taylor Gabriel were still not practicing due to concussions. OL Joel Bitonio (ankle) and DL Randy Starks (knee) were also not practicing."The bye was good for Joel," Pettine said. "He got a lot of good treatment and by the end of the week, I think there's a chance he will get himself to the point of being questionable for the week."

Pettine wasn't as optimistic for Starks, but did say he is getting better. 

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