So Mike Pettine and his top offensive advisers, coordinator John DeFilippo and quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell, huddled on Monday night to determine who should be the starter going forward. In the receiving end, Travis Benjamin had 115 yards and two touchdowns in three receptions. With Josh McCown waiting to get cleared from a concussion, Manziel is still an option to start Week 3 which could help him permanently secure the job for 2015.
Manziel, who was overmatched in two starts last season, showed Sunday that he’s capable of leading the Browns. Both of those were short throws that receiver or defensive miscues turned into long gains. Though the team is happy with how Manziel has performed this year, common belief is it trusts McCown as providing the best chance to win. If you go back and watch some tape, you will see Woods rag doll pro-bowl center Alex Mack on more than one occasion. They zip all over the room with no apparent goal or direction.
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“To me, it’s a positive conversation because you have a young quarterback that’s been through a lot, that has gone out and led his team to a win”, Pettine said.
Newton was 18 of 37 for 195 yards and ran for 77 yards on nine carries. And there was the spin, move, plant-and-throw play that cinched the game. Since college, analysts have debated whether or not he has what it takes to be a productive quarterback in the NFL. Manziel lacked humility and grace and couldn’t stay out of the spotlight. The Giants allowed the second most passing yards last week and three scores, and the pass rush simply did not exist, which is part of the reason the oddsmakers are picking this game to have the second highest scoring total of Week 2 (51 points). Manziel has done what he can to keep himself from mushrooming into a bigger story than he is.
J-Mac Show episode 2: In this clip, Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty explains what it would mean for the Titans to beat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. He wasn’t afraid to quip about ESPN analyst Merrill Hoge, about Brian Orakpo (the guy who taunted him so much in the preseason a year ago in Washington) and he expressed personal gratitude at how far he’s come since he left Caron.
Benjamin has four TDs in two games – all over 50 yards. When a defense feels a player has fumbling issues, it will take advantage. It needs to be addressed, by Manziel’s own admission. There is a whole wheel of possibilities when Manziel goes into this mode; it’s like watching the Wheel of Fortune slow down around “Bankrupt” and “Lose a Turn” and “Feed Contestant to Sharks”. He credited the coaching staff for this, saying Manziel’s drop-back passing is not good enough yet.
“He just needs to be much more protective of the football”, Pettine said. Benjamin also returned a punt 78 yards for a TD, helping the Browns build a 21-0 lead.
“It was vintage Manziel”, Pettine said after the game. “We have to get that cleaned up”. “Did we get predictable? We’re looking to make the same kind of jump on defense”. Manziel made a couple of nice throws, Isaiah Crowell scored on an 11-yard run. This 17-yard gain showed a better understanding of taking what the defense gives, as opposed to being overcome with Hero Syndrome on every play and trying to do things outside yourself. He converted four third downs, two with runs and two with passes. Not all that falls on Manziel of course. DE Desmond Bryant will likely miss some practice time with a shoulder injury that limited him last week.
If NFL Week 3 oddsmakers are on their game, Cleveland will defend its home turf when Oakland comes to town, but it’s expected to be a highly contested affair. The timing seems right. Manziel is able to generate the correct level of torque on the throw because his mechanics have improved.