Josh McCown had an awful game in the Cleveland Browns’ 11-10 preseason loss against the Buffalo Bills this evening. He was one of the main reasons that the Bills ended up winning, and was an absolute disaster early on in the game. Despite his poor play, head coach Mike Pettine has made it clear to the media that McCown is still firmly in the lead to start the regular season as the number one quarterback.
Pettine very complimentary of Manziel. But Josh McCown is “firmly” the No. 1 quarterback.
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) August 21, 2015
It just doesn’t seem fair that McCown can put up that type of horrid performance and still be “firmly” in the lead. Manziel came through with one of the best games that he has had as a member of the Browns, and didn’t make much of a dent in the starting job competition.
At 22 years old, Manziel took big steps this past offseason by checking himself in rehab. He obviously wants to take a big step forward this season and to prove that he isn’t a bust. Manziel has looked like a completely different player throughout the first two preseason games this season, and it is obvious that he is taking his career seriously.
Looking ahead at the remainder of the preseason, Manziel has to continue coming up with big games. McCown showed some of what made him such a disappointment with the Buccaneers last season, and ended up throwing two interceptions on the evening. Buffalo’s defense is solid, but McCown looked flustered and certainly was nowhere near Manziel’s talent level.
Pettine doesn’t seem to like Manziel that much, which could come into play in the quarterback competition.
That being said, it will be interesting to watch over the course of the next couple weeks. Cleveland knows that McCown is not an option under center long-term, while Manziel is definitely that type of player. It isn’t going to be easy for the Browns to go with a potential troublemaker, but they have to put Manziel’s past behind him and focus on the production that he is putting up right now.
Expect to see the competition heat up over the next two preseason games. Manziel is making some progress on catching McCown, but he obviously isn’t there yet. There is a chance that he will never convince Pettine to give him the Week 1 starting job, but there is also a chance that he won’t give Pettine the option to say no.